PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — A yearly event that celebrates the achievements of the local business community, the 48th annual Thanksgiving Luncheon was held by the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce.

Community and business leaders gathered in the Peoria Civic Center ballroom for an awards presentation, as well as guest speakers such as Peoria native and former secretary of transportation Ray LaHood. He spoke to the importance of mentorship and Peoria pride.

Award winners included Lari LaBello for the “Woman of the Year” award and Lifeline Pilots for the “Community Wealth” award.

Diamond Medical Staffing, a staffing agency specializing in healthcare staffing and employment, won the “Above and Beyond” award. CEO Kenny Wyatt was honored by the recognition.

“This is my first time winning an award, and this is actually our first year in business. It’s really nice to receive some recognition, especially from the community because we are local,” Wyatt said.

For Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Joshua Gunn, it’s important to recognize local businesses.

“They’re working hard to meet payroll, to create jobs, to stimulate our economy, and they don’t get the recognition that they deserve most of the time so it’s a great opportunity for us to recognize their work in their business and all the work they do for the community,” Gunn said.

It was also announced that the Rise Summit will return Sep. 9-11 next year at the Par-A-Dice Hotel & Casino in East Peoria. The purpose of the event is to connect young professionals and facilitate professional growth.