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Big Shoes fit perfectly…again


The Sterling Family was this year’s Big Shoe Award recipients. From left: Karen Jeffrey with John, Carter, Carson and Cooper Sterling.

By Michael Scholefield

June 30th marked the second and what promises to be an annual celebration of excellence in manufacturing in the Southland with the presentation of the 2016 Big Shoes Award to John Sterling and the Sterling family, owners and operators of the Village of Phoenix-based Sterling Lumber Company.

Before more than 150 attendees at the Calumet Country Club, Jack Lanigan Sr, MiJack and Lanco Industries founder and inaugural CSEDC Big Shoes recipient, presented the award to John Sterling and his sons. Emphasizing the value and contribution of family-owned businesses, “Senior” congratulated the Sterlings and the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation for moving the area forward.

Phoenix Mayor Terry Wells shared with those present how, through the efforts of Reggie Greenwood and Ed Paesel, he met the Sterlings and knew immediately that the company was exactly what the Village needed.

In business for more than 60 years, Sterling consolidated its operations in Phoenix in 2013. The Illinois-based company is a national leader in the production and installation of ground protection mats critical to the building of electrical transmission and distribution networks, as well as major highway and bridge infrastructure. On Crain’s Chicago Business Fast Fifty listing for the past two years, Sterling Lumber’s five-year growth rate is a staggering 569 percent.

Proceeds from the event underwrite training of Southland residents in manufacturing and 21st century production technology. More photos are here. An additional photo is in the Southland Voice here.

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