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Yvette Jones is Park Forest’s Business Person of the Year for 2015.
Jones was presented the Sam Montella Business Person of the Year Award at Village Hall during Park Forest’s Board of Trustees meeting on December 14.
The annual award, sponsored by Park Forest’s Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG), considers nominations from the community in determining each year’s winner. Jones received 26 votes to secure the award. One nominator described Jones as “compassionate with amazing energy and dedication.”
Jones, a 15-year resident of Park Forest, has operated her home-based business in Park Forest since 2001. She is the first home-based business owner to win the Park Forest Business Person of the Year Award since the award was created in 2009.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Jones also serves as the vice chair of the Park Forest Veterans Commission -- the Village's newest volunteer commission -- and as an ambassador for the Rich East High School band.
“Ms. Jones is making a big difference for people in the community of Park Forest,” said EDAG Chairman Phillip Perkins.
Jones was joined at the meeting by numerous supporters who applauded her service and selflessness.
“I just do what I love to do. I don’t think it’s work. I don’t think it’s forced upon me. It’s just something I feel the need to do,” said Jones in accepting her award.“I just want to say thank you for this honor, and it is a great honor, for something that I would do anyway.”
In 2015, the award was renamed after former Park Forest businessman and EDAG Chairman Sam Montella, an influential member of Park Forest’s business community for over 30 years.