Skip to main content

In June of 2022 Restoriation Works' Light Wave Stripper was granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va. The company at 320 S. Forest Ave. in Bradley is being recognized as this year’s Innovator in Technology as part of the Daily Journal’s 2023 Progress Awards.

Thursday's Progress Awards event featured speeches from Tim Nugent, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, and Kankakee Mayor Chris Curtis. They spoke, respectively, on the progress and development of Kankakee County, and how to ensure a business's progression. 

When it comes to yellow mustard, Manteno Township-based Plochman's Mustard has few rivals in this region or the United States. It is the recipient of the Excellence in Manufacturing Award as part of the Daily Journal’s 2022 Progress Awards.

Last year, the company helped farmers in huge ways by keeping a new fungus at bay, and that’s why Benoit Aerial Spraying has been named the recipient of the Excellence in Agriculture Award as part of the Daily Journal’s 2022 Progress Awards.

For its dedication to its plans and for the opening of the Orthopedic and Spine Center, the Daily Journal has selected Riverside as an Innovator in Healthcare as part of the 2022 Progress Awards.

Rise Baking Company in Manteno successfully completed its expansion in July 2021 and is being honored as the Medium-Sized Business of the Year as part of the Daily Journal’s 2022 Progress Awards.

The grocer’s successful and sustained growth is what led to its recognition as Large Business of the Year as part of the Daily Journal’s 2022 Progress Awards.

As a result of her influence in the business she and her husband, Steve, operate, along with their son, Chris, and his wife, Amy, Nancy has been named Female Entrepreneur of the Year as part of the Daily Journal’s 2022 Progress Awards.

The Kankakee Riverwalk development has been discussed, studied and explained for about five years. For the journey the project has traveled, it is being honored with the Daily Journal’s 2022 Excellence in Hospitality Award.

Progress: Iroquois County

More Stories in the 2022 Progress Section:

State's Attorney Jim Rowe receives this year's Social Services Progress Award for implementing the role of community outreach specialist. 

Many will be flocking to Benoit Greenhouses upon its April 12 opening. Their dedication has earned them the title of Entrepreneur Couple of the Year as part of The Daily Journal’s 2021 Progress Awards.

Replica of the print edition optimized for your computer, tablet or phone.
Search the whole paper, including ads! You can even print it, if you'd like.

Log in to the e-edition

Or click to view subscription options


Progress Awards 2022 Winners


Riverside Healthcare

Award sponsored by CSL Behring

See page S3


Plochman’s Mustard

Award sponsored by Olivet Nazarene University

See Page S5


Benoit Aerial Spraying

Award sponsored by Van Drunen Farms

See Page S9

Large Business of the Year

Berkot’s Super Foods

Award sponsored by MJP Development Corp.

See Page S6

Medium Business of the Year

Rise Baking Co.

Award sponsored by Economic Development Alliance of Kankakee County

See Page S13

Small Business of the Year

Vaughn Outlet

Award sponsored by First Trust Bank

See Page S11

The Daily Journal's 2022 Progress Awards is a two-part series. Here are winners announced in the first section: 


The Currents of Kankakee riverfront project 

Award sponsored by AMITA Health St. Mary's Hospital Kankakee 

See page S1


Oak Orthopedic/AMITA Health St. Mary’s Kankakee

Award sponsored by Kankakee Community College

See Page S3

Social Services

City Life Center

Award sponsored by McColly Real Estate

See Page S5

Real Estate

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Speckman Realty

Award sponsored by Langlois Roofing

See Page S7


Nancy Tholen, Tholen’s Landscaping

Award sponsored by Oak Orthopedics

See Page S8


Brandon Malone, Llama Bean Coffee Co.

Award sponsored by Daily Journal

See Page S9

Past Progress Winners


Excellence in Education: Grace Christian Academy

Innovator in Healthcare: Riverside Healthcare

Excellence in Hospitality: Manteno Chamber

Innovation in Social Services: Jim Rowe 

Excellence in Real Estate: Spike Ball

Innovator in Agriculture: Greg St. Aubin

Innovator in Manufacturing: Del Monte

Innovator in Technology: KCC Career Coach

Entrepreneur Couple of the Year: Mandy & Luke Benoit, Benoit Nursery

Entrepreneur Couple of the Year: Dave & Tiffany Kruse

Small Business of the Year (less than 50 employees): King Music

Mid-Sized Business of the Year (50-250 employees): First Trust Bank

Large Business of the Year (more than 250 employees): AMITA


Excellence in Education: Olivet’s computer science program revamp

Innovator in Healthcare: Riverside Behavioral

Innovator in Hospitality: Kankakee High School’s new culinary arts lab

Innovation in Social Services: Hospice of Kankakee

Excellence in Real Estate: Key City Community Development Corporation (“Key City”)

Innovator in Agriculture: VanDrunen Farms

Innovator in Manufacturing: NuCor Steel

Innovator in Technology: OAK Surgical Institute

Male Entrepreneur of the Year: Troy Clark – Five Star Wings

Female Entrepreneur of the Year: Wendy Langlois, On Top Exteriors

Small Business of the Year (less than 50 employees): Janice Miller, Merchant Street Gallery

Mid-Sized Business of the Year (50-250 employees): Hoekstra Transportation LLC

Large Business of the Year (more than 250 employees): CSL Behring

Daily Journal's Past Progress Awards Winners

For the Nucor Steel Kankakee plant in Bourbonnais, the future appears to be as solid as the product it produces.