Art Hyland

By Anne Eickstadt


Felicia Hopkins, the intended feature speaker for the event was stricken with the serious flu bug on her recent trip to Israel, which escalated upon her return and under doctor’s order was not allowed to travel. She was very disappointed having to cancel and the Chamber is planning to secure her for a future event.

The Chamber of Commerce was delighted to secure Frank Bucaro in the 12th hour.

Frank is not a stranger to the Chamber and presented a number of years ago for an Ethics in Business seminar. Frank was a teacher of moral theology before starting his business as a keynote and motivational speaker. Frank is the author of Taking the High Road and Trust Me. He is a recognized authority and requested speaker on ethics, morals, leadership missteps and trust in business.

Frank Bucaro spoke on ethics in business. “Number one, always put people first in decision-making. 57 percent of companies that

Maureen Koteles

have downsized still have the same problems. It’s the 15 million people who are out of work who pay for those problems.

“It’s like throwing a stone into a pond. It causes ripples. In life, those ripples include foreclosure rates, marital and family issues,

“Number two, respect individual dignity. You have the right to disagree with my behavior, but you have no right to attack my self-esteem. There’s a difference between telling someone, ‘you’re the dumbest thing since the jack***’ and ‘normally you don’t make poor decisions like that. I wonder why you did this time.’

“My father was in the military and signed up for college on the GI Bill. He became an engineer, graduated in three years. A mathematical genius. None of his children have the gift. I can make change. I can tell you my phone number. As the first-born child, what was I expected to become? An engineer. In high school, he signed me up for all these advanced courses.

“Every night, for hours at the dinner table we would work on math. He would get frustrated. He’d look at my mother, ‘your side of the family.’ ‘We got the wrong kid at the hospital.’

“My head tells me, ‘someone who loves me very much tells me I’m stupid. Therefore, I must be stupid. So, I fulfilled his expectations. I got Ds in Math and Science. I got As in Latin and History.

“Second semester as a senior in college, I am two credits short in math. The only course open is Advanced Calculus. I couldn’t even spell it. I went into the prof’s office. ‘You don’t understand, I am stupid.’ He said, ‘There is no such thing as a stupid kid. We’ll do it together. I got an A. I took the report card home. My father looked at it and said, ‘There is a God.’

“And then I sat down with my father and I told him what he did to me. ‘I had it all along and you didn’t see it. I know that you love

Frank Bucaro

me.’ He cried and I cried.’ I vowed, as a teacher, never to equate a grade point average with a student’s self-esteem. Never. Never. Never.

“It’s the process of how we respond to people’s dignity.

“Number three, treat everybody fairly. There are rules and everyone must play by the same rules – from the president of the university down to the kid who is just about to put his bunk bed together.

“And lastly, be honest. If you have a short memory, always tell the truth. If you tell a lie, then you have to tell another one because you forgot what you lied about in the first place.

“Part of the moral compass is that you need to know what your line in the sand is. What is negotiable and what is not negotiable in your job. What is acceptable and what isn’t. Make those values very clear.

“People listen with their eyes. If you say one thing and do another, people will see that and stop believing you. If upper management does this, the entire corporation will have poor morale and iffy ethics. If middle management gets away with it, again, the entire company is on shaky ground.”

Everyone from the bottom to the top and back again needs to be held to the same standard.

Bucaro received a warm ovation when he concluded his speech and Master of Ceremonies Paul Arco took over.

“The ‘Distinguished Citizen’ award recognizes outstanding volunteer service to community organizations, projects and activities within Boone County.”

Arco requested past winners of the Distinguished Citizen award to stand and be recognized and announced this year’s recipient.

“Art Hyland has been a long-time active Lions Club member; serving as President and Rose Committee Chair. He is best known for building homes for Habitat For Humanity. When unable to physically do the work on these homes, he turned to being Project Manager, overseeing all aspects of the construction.

“Help me welcome this year’s winner of the “Distinguished Citizen” award: Art Hyland”

Arco then announced the Doctor of Civic Betterment service award for this year.

“The ‘Doctor of Civic Betterment’ is the Chamber’s most prestigious community service award. It recognizes individuals who have provided leadership in numerous areas of volunteer service to enhance the Quality of Life in Boone County.”

He asked that past winners of the Doctor of Betterment award to stand and be recognized, and began listing the credentials for this year’s winner:

“Maureen Koteles has been a member of the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce. She has served on the Board of Directors for many years, held every Executive Board position and served multiple years as Board President.

She was a key player in the late 90’s, reversing the dismal scenario when the Chamber was faced with dissolution or merging with Rockford.

She has always maintained memberships for both facilities over a combined single membership.

She has never said no to any request we had for monetary sponsorships, Silent Auction packages or sending staff to volunteer.

She has provided part-time employment for students, well beyond the company’s needs.

Growth Dimensions:

She was a financial supporter from inception and continues to provide support.

She served numerous years on their General and Executive Board.

As a member of the Boone County Arts Council:

She was a significant force in attracting the Wall Dogs group to Belvidere, which led to the City of Murals designation from the State of Illinois.

She continues to be a major benefactor in promoting arts.

She is on the Boone County Arts Council Mural Project Committee.

She is a strong supporter of Education.

She was a member of the District 100 Foundation Board.

She continues to support and assist students participating in DECA causes. Two specific programs: Raising money to improve conditions for a small village in Africa, and Brought drinking water to Third World countries in addition to arts & music festivals for enhanced cultural experiences.

Her influence and efforts through the McDonalds’ Foundation secured hundreds of supply-filled backpacks for disadvantaged students in District 100 & 200 over the past few years and still continues.

She has never denied a request for assistance and is first to offer assistance when learning of a cause or asking how she can help.

She does not distinguish between civic, family, friend, personal, national or international betterment. She only believes in the betterment of humanity through helping, aiding and sharing with each of us.

Maureen Koteles graciously accepted the award and the program concluded.

Held at Giovanni’s Convention Center, sponsors for the evening were:

Platinum Sponsor: OSF Healthcare

Speaker Sponsor: SwedishAmerican

Gold Level: Belvidere School District 100; Blackhawk Bank; City of Belvidere; FCA US LLC Belvidere Assembly Plant; First National Bank; Gallano Trucking; General Mills; Growth Dimensions; John Morrissey Accountants, Inc.; Mercyhealth; Union Savings Bank

Silver Level: Alpine Bank; BMO Harris Bank; Byron Bank; Crusader Community Health; Poplar Grove State Bank

Bronze Level: Boone County Shopper; Enbridge; Franklin Display Group; Furststaffing & Furst Professionals; Jack Wolf Auto Group; Nothing Bundt Cakes; Stillman Bank; US Bank


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