Business leaders gather for Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce event

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Chef Rick Bayless was the keynote speaker at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce's event June 6, 2017. (WLS)

About 800 business leaders gathered Tuesday morning for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Chef Rick Bayless, who recently won the James Beard Award, was the keynote speaker. He also is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his award-winning Frontera Grill restaurant.

Bayless spoke to the audience about how he has approached the challenges of growing his business without compromising his integrity. He said focusing on quality and values have helped him to be so successful.

"I have always wanted to go far," Bayless said. "And sometimes that meant stepping back and not necessarily taking advantage of every opportunity that came our way, but choosing the right opportunity that we knew would actually offer a lot of opportunities for the people who work with us.'

Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the business community for helping to generate robust growth in tourism and attracting new businesses to Chicago.

Chamber leaders rewarded growth and service to one emerging business with its James Tyree Award. Wendy Serrino, of North Shore Exchange, received $50,000 for business growth and philanthropy. Her company has donated $1 million to local charities over the last four years.

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