The Marion Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the finalists for the 2019 Young Professional Leader Award. Laura Chairez, along with Tyler Young and Amanda Newlin, have been nominated for this year's award. Our finalists have been nominated by fellow chamber members and selected by the Awards Committee.
Laura Chairez is an emerging business leader and a mother of two sons, Giovani and Leonardo. With only a high school education, she has accomplished many great things in her thirty-four years. Her journey began when she was brought to the States from Mexico at age eight. After gaining her citizenship at age twenty-seven, she quickly realized she wanted to leave a footprint of her culture in Southern Illinois. She started her culinary career at seventeen, slowly transitioning to restaurant management with a dream to create La Galeria. The idea for La Galeria arose after her numerous trips back home to Mexico, and the realization of the food and culture she had originally taken for granted.
Becoming the owner of La Galeria has launched Laura into the Marion community. She has sought opportunities to give back through fundraising opportunities and donation boxes for organizations such as Caritas Family Solutions. This organization is close to her heart since she also was once a child in need of necessities. She has also become active with “Heaven’s Kitchen” first annual Thanksgiving dinner and she plans on assisting again next year. These efforts have sparked her interest in volunteerism and service to the Southern Illinois community.
Being nominated for this award, ‘makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth it. Everything I have learned has paid off and it represents my faith to continue working towards her dreams.’ La Galeria joined the Marion Chamber of Commerce this year and Laura has taken part in Leadership Marion’s Lunch & Learn program.
Our finalists have been nominated by fellow chamber members and selected by the Awards Committee.
The winner of the Young Professional Leader Award will be announced during the 99th annual Marion Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet & Auction on Friday, January 17 at The Pavilion. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets to attend are $65/person, $500/table of 8 or $750/table of 12 and are available by calling the Marion Chamber of Commerce at 618.997.6311 or visiting www.marionillinois.com.