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Chicago Southland CVB recognises Mokena/HITS as regional leaders


Images: Top, center-Mokena Mayor Frank Fleischer accepts municipal leadership award; Bottom, center- Crete Mayor Mike Einhorn accepts a leadership award on behalf of HITS-Balmoral President & CEO Tom Struzzeri.​/Courtesy of CSCVB & Larry Burrows Photography.


HITS and the Village of Mokena were among honorees at the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau’s annual awards luncheon Oct. 11 at the Hilton in Oak Lawn.

Mokena Mayor Frank Fleischer accepted the Patricia Chase Magon Municipal Leadership Award on behalf of his village.

The municipal award is presented to a leader or municipality that understands the value of tourism and what it means to the local and regional economy as well as the impact tourism has on the people of the Chicago Southland.

Mokena is home to one of only 13 disc golf courses in the Chicago Southland, which is a championship rated course. And, they will soon be opening one of Chicago Southland’s newest attractions:  Accelerate Indoor Speedway, which offers heart-racing, high speed indoor go karting. Additionally they are opening a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites. Mokena has a wide array of festivals and events each year that adds to the quality of life for residents and increases activities for Chicago Southland visitors.

Crete Mayor Mike Einhorn accepted the Aldo DeAngelis Leadership Award on behalf of HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzeri.

This award is presented to an organization for outstanding leadership in its municipality and in the hospitality industry. HITS has revitalized the beloved Balmoral Park Racetrack of nine decades into a state-of-the-art equestrian venue. It is located at 26435 S. Dixie Highway in Crete.

Mr. Struzzeri came to Illinois to purchase used equipment at a bankruptcy auction in early 2016 and within 24 hours had purchased the entire Balmoral Park property. HITS-Balmoral reopened in the spring of this year and has since increased international exposure for the Chicago Southland, elevated the brand awareness and provided a positive image for the region.

The CSCVB is the regional destination management organization for Chicago’s 62 south and southwest suburbs.  Each year, they recognize members, municipalities and organizations for their outstanding service in the hospitality and tourism industries.

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