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2024 GEM Honorees

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Elizabeth Felt Wakeman
Wakeman Law Group, PC

Elizabeth “Liz” is owner and lead attorney at Wakeman Law Group, PC. She is a tremendous role model and leader in the field of law and is making an impact in McHenry County and beyond. Liz is also dedicated to community development and service, especially as a Board Member of People for Parks Foundation.

Liz has a wonderful ability to inspire others through her influence and dedication, especially as a proud woman-owned business in the Crystal Lake Community.

Some of Elizabeth Wakeman’s Accomplishments Include:

  • SHAW Media Woman Of Distinction honoree in 2018
  • Sponsor and supporter of numerous McHenry County 501c3
  • organizations
  • Board Member at People for Parks Foundation of Lake in the
  • Hills, Inc 
  • Top Lawyer awards in McHenry County and beyond
  • Past CLCF Board Member 
  • Annual CLCF GEM Leadership Celebration sponsor 

We applaud Liz’s ability to raise the stature of the CLCF through her increased sharing of the Foundation’s reach of scholarships provided through the GEM Celebration. 

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Randy Smith
General Kinematics Corporation

Randy Smith has been with General Kinematics Corporation for over 44 years; and this alone is an impressive achievement! General Kinematics is a local Crystal Lake business that has exhibited success through the complex machinery that helps other companies retrieve raw mining products.

Randy led Technical Services and Global Quality for over 8 years, all while being a long-standing leader dedicated to community development. His consistent and sustained pattern of community service makes him a perfect GEM, “Generous, Enthusiastic and Motivated” leader. He mentors others to build on their achievements, while providing inspiration through his dedication to the Crystal Lake Chamber, the Crystal Lake Chamber Foundation and Leaders In Action.

Some of Randy Smith’s Accomplishments Include:

  • Vice President/Executive Leader at General Kinematics Corporation 
  • Leadership Involvement in the Leaders In Action program (which the
  • Crystal Lake Chamber Foundation supports through scholarships).
  • CLC Board of Directors 
  • Executive MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

We applaud Randy’s ability to raise the stature of the CLCF through his increased sharing of the Foundation’s reach of scholarships provided through the GEM Leadership Celebration. 

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Northwest Herald
Shaw local media group

We are so fortunate to have the Northwest Herald/SHAW Media News, with such a strong, long-standing reputation, as our local and regional news source. Founded in 1851, SHAW Media is the third oldest and eighth largest continuously owned, and operated family newspaper/publisher in the nation.

Interesting fact: Shaw Media has documented Mayflower ancestry and a founding office in the Plymouth colonies. Did you know that a daring, orphaned 14-year-old pony express rider turned printer/newspaper editor founded the company? 

With over three hundred employees who put their absolute best into the Northwest Herald/ SHAW Media’s award-winning daily and weekly print and online publications located in Illinois and Iowa, they consistently exemplify dedication and excellence. 

We are so grateful for their consistent support and friendship and for providing advertising and editorial coverage at no charge for the CLCF. Not only has the Northwest Herald/SHAW Suburban Media Group attended ALL 11 CLCF GEM Celebrations, but they have also supported thousands of small businesses, community non-profits, municipalities, community outreach initiatives, and the Crystal Lake Chamber over many, many years. 

All these efforts help make our communities better places to give, live, and work! The Northwest Herald—Shaw Media is characterized by “Tenacity, Drive, And Vision,” making it an ideal GEM honoree! 

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