On, January 23rd, Downtown Springfield, Inc hosted their 26th Annual Awards Dinner highlighting the people and places that make downtown the hub for culture in Springfield. One very special award went to Mark Kessler, of Recycled Records for his tireless work in our community. Here is the speech the Past DSI Director, Victoria Ringer gave while announcing her dear friend as the recipient of the Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award:
I am Honored to be presenting the Wally Henderson LifeTime Achievement Award
this evening. Wally and his wife Brynn came to mean a lot to me and my husband
Doug. Our recipient and his wife have also be like Wally, this man has made his
mark on downtown by saying exactly what he thinks, working harder than the
average guy, giving back to his community and pulling no punches.
In fact, as did Wally, our recipient would often call the DSI office and give his
opinion, often with volume and passion, on an issue affecting downtown. He would
always end the conversation with “you know I love ya, right”. Yep, I did.
When it comes to historical knowledge, business savvy, and the ability to
communicate I always knew where to send the media when they were looking for a
good interview or story. Running a family business that has been in the same
location for over 100 years takes stamina, the ability to acclimate to good and bad
economic situations, and character.
What once began as a downtown furniture store has evolved into a national
destination for collectors, famous musicians and people wanting to have a real
experience when shopping for jewelry, vintage items and, of course, music. You will
find an experienced staff, unusual displays and one constant overseeing the entire
Not unlike a fine vinyl record, this man has unique grooves, a crisp voice and the
ability to make a difference in the way you feel just by having a listen.
It is my great pleasure to present the Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award
to Mark Kessler, of Recycled Records.
Other winners of the night included:
Best Retail: The Roost
Best Restaurant: VELE
Best Not for Profit Initiative: Lincoln Library and Director Will O’Hearn
2018 Most Impactful Public-Private Partnership: Kidzeum of Health and Science and the City of Springfield
Green Leadership: Kevin Greene
Best Renovation: St. George Apartments – Josh Wagoner
Best Creative Promotion: Hashtag Adams Family developed by Mark Forinash, Cafe Moxo
Best 2018 Event: Old Capitol Blues and BBQ Festival
Best Nightlife: Buzz Bomb Brewery
Bicentennial Award: Illinois Governor Mansions Association & Illinois REALTORS
Downtown Advocate of the Year: Linda Renehan
Volunteer of the Year: Brenda Stroh
To read more about the Wally Henderson Lifetime Achievement Award, see the article posted in the SJ-R