Great Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce's 21st Annual Profile Awards dinner tonight will honor a businessman, a public official, a small business that is growing and a nonprofit.
The awards will be presented at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in East Whiteland.
Unique criteria are applied to each award, but all winners are selected based on outstanding achievement and involvement in the Great Valley community, the chamber said.
Larry Korman, co-president of Korman Communities, was selected as Business Person of the Year.
Carol Aichele, newly nominated Pennsylvania State Secretary and former Chester County commissioner, will receive the chamber's first Great Valley Appreciation Award.
Conlin's Digital Print and Copy Center will receive the Small Business of the Year Award.
The Elite Companies Charitable Foundation was named Non-Profit of the Year, an award presented to an organization that works directly with the Great Valley and surrounding communities through programs, information resources, employment or other partnerships.
The evening will be hosted by Tracy Davidson, NBC 10 News at 5 p.m. anchor. Davidson reports on consumer and health issues.
The evening's keynote speaker will be Tim Chambers, who wrote, produced and directed "The Mighty Macs," the inspirational feature film based on the improbable true story of tiny Immaculata College winning the first national championship in women's basketball.
"The Elite Foundation could not be more honored to receive the Nonprofit of the Year Award from the Great Valley Chamber," said Cat Lambert, associate director at the nonprofit.
"We hope this distinction will further highlight the local charities we support."
Each of the grant recipients play an important role in making the community and the families within it stronger, Lambert said.
Elite provides financial support to charitable organizations in Chester County that seek to build a stronger society by improving the health and quality of life of children, women and families facing economic, educational, social and medical challenges.
"We take pride in our mission and feel blessed to hear that others recognize our work," said Russell Naylor, Elite chairman.
Korman is a principal in Korman Communities, a fourth-generation New York City-based real estate development company established in 1909.
Korman developed a passion for the apartment industry on childhood visits to company properties with his father, Steven, and began his career in the family business after graduating from Duke University in 1986.
Over the next several years, Korman saw an opportunity to unite its 23 garden-style apartment communities into one synergistic brand, Korman Suites, which provides furnished luxury apartments in the Philadelphia region.
The current Korman Communities emerged as a standalone company in 1995. It recently developed AVE, a collection of mid-rise furnished and unfurnished, short- or long-term leased residences focusing on key suburban markets in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and northern New Jersey.
AVE has a location in East Whiteland/Willistown and another in East Caln, both on Lancaster Avenue.
"This is a team-based award in Chester County," Korman said, singling out Lea Anne Welsh, president of AVE, for praise. "I'm very proud of the team."
Short for "avenue," AVE, is the edgy name that delivers a sense of lifestyle, Korman said.
From the general manager through the entire team, everyone has embraced the change, Korman said, adding that in a difficult economic time Korman Communities has made AVE a success.
"It's new for us, the township and the county," Korman said.
Aichele was nominated to serve as Secretary of the Commonwealth in January 2011.
In Chester County she is best known for her years as a county commissioner from 2003 to 2011.
Aichele said the award means a great deal to her.
"It's where I live. This is particularly meaningful to me. We've worked together for so many years," Aichele said about members of the Great Valley Chamber.
As commissioner, Aichele worked to get Route 202 widened from the Exton Bypass to King of Prussia to better serve the Great Valley corporate commuter and to get funding for the Chester Valley Trail, which opened last year and runs through the Great Valley area.
"These are people who are my friends, who I've worked with," said Aichele, of Tredyffrin.
As acting Secretary of the Commonwealth, Aichele leads the Pennsylvania Department of State, which protects the public's health, safety and welfare by licensing over 800,000 business, health and real estate professionals, among other duties.
She is also the commonwealth's chief election official.
By statute, the Secretary is also the chairperson of the Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and its Navigable Tributaries, chairperson of the Board of Property, a member of the Board of Finance and Revenue, the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Board and the State Athletic Commission.
The Secretary is the keeper of the Great Seal of the Commonwealth and has the duty of authenticating government documents through the seal's use.
There has been no date set for the Senate confirmation hearing, as yet.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The award is given to a company that is comprised of 150 employees or fewer that demonstrates dynamic growth and community service.
"I'm honored," said Michael Conlin, who runs the East Whiteland branch of the printing business with his wife, Jane. "We've been a local business for 30 years starting in 1980. It's nice to be recognized by the chamber."
Over the years, the business has expanded to three locations and other family members have joined it along the way. It now employs 55 people.
"It is a good place to work," Conlin said. "We're proud of that."
Bill Conlin, president, operates Conlin's King of Prussia office.
Ann Conlin is vice president of sales and marketing, and her son Jim DiBattista runs the Horsham office.
"We're proud of continuing doing business, proud of continuing to serve local businesses," said Michael Conlin, of West Vincent.