Naperville Chamber Awards Bev Patterson Frier with Lifetime Achievement
The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce will present longtime resident and businesswoman Bev Patterson Frier with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming Small Business of the Year Awards May 13.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given each year to one business and civic leader for their commitment to Naperville’s business community, excellence in business stewardship, contributions to the region’s quality of life, and leadership in support of economic progress.
“When John Schmitt called me, I assumed it was a business call,” Frier said. “But when he told me I was going to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, I was totally overwhelmed.”
Chamber president and CEO John Schmitt said Frier is passionate about the Naperville community and is a role model for younger generations.
“We often say Naperville is a community made up of ordinary people who do extraordinary things,” Schmitt said. “Bev is an exemplary representation of the great business and civic leaders we have in our community.”
Frier said she is truly honored and humbled to be chosen for the award.
“Knowing those who have been so honored before me, I can’t imagine I fit in that same category,” she said. “I am just an ordinary person and feel there are so many people in this town who are worthy of this recognition. Thank you.”
Frier joins a distinguished group of business and civic leaders named Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. The past five recipients of the award are:
2010 – Dr. Kenneth Packer, Packer Engineering
2009 – Ray Jones, Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home
2008 – Frank Slocumb, Harris N.A.
2007 – Carmine DiGiovine, DiGiovine, Hnilo Jordan + Johnson, Ltd.
2006 – Ed Channel, Sound Inc.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the Small Business of the Year Awards, please visit http://naper.cc/hu8hyI or call the Chamber at 630-355-4141.
About Bev Patterson Frier
Bev Patterson Frier was born in Anderson, Ind., and graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., with a bachelor’s degree in music. She moved to Naperville in 1962 and immediately began contributing to the area’s business community.
Frier started Fabric Inn in 1966 in Naperville and later added a second store in Elgin, Ill. Just one year later, she opened her first music store, Bev Patterson Piano & Organ Co. Frier opened three additional stores in 1973, 1974 and 1975—located in Addison, Ill., Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Ill., and Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Ill., respectively.
During this time, Frier became the first-ever woman nominated for a seat on the board of directors of the National Association of Music Merchants. She served on the board for three years.
Frier sold Bev Patterson Piano & Organ Co. in 1982 but retained ownership of the properties in Naperville and Addison and rented them out to business tenants. Frier continued to rent pianos on her own out of her home until 1995.
In 1999, Frier spearheaded a still-ongoing endeavor to build the Omnia Performing Arts & Cultural Center in downtown Naperville. Omnia is a nonprofit organization focused on revitalizing the north side of downtown Naperville’s dilapidated train station. Frier is a founding member of the organization.
In addition to her contributions to Naperville’s business community, Frier has always donated a significant amount of her time to various area clubs and organizations.
She been a member of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce since 1966 and has served several stints on the Chamber board. She is also a founding member of both the DuPage Investment Club and the Center for Lifelong Learning in Naperville. Frier serves on the senior advisory board under Illinois state representative Darlene Senger and the board of Naperville Elderly Homes Inc., Martin Manor. Other affiliations include the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Mich., and The Ninety-Nines Inc.—an international organization of women pilots.