BLOOMINGTON — The president of Illinois State University and several local businesses and agencies were honored Saturday during the McLean County Chamber of Commerce gala.

More than 600 people attended the event, held at DoubleTree by Hilton. 

Honored were Larry H. Dietz, Legacy of Excellence; Mid Central Community Action, Nonprofit Excellence; Connect Transit, Green Excellence; Red Raccoon Games, Micro Business Excellence; Abbey Placements, Small Business Excellence; and Heartland Community College, Large Business Excellence.

The university, the second-largest employer in McLean County, set three consecutive quarter-century enrollment records. Dietz led the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning and a cybersecurity major that received a $3 million gift from State Farm. He also oversaw campus improvements including a $33 million revitalization of Bone Student Center. 

Dietz is a board member of BN Advantage and, with his wife Marlene, has chaired many community service events.

Mid Central Community Action helps more than 5,000 families annually with services to achieve healthy relationships, finances, homes and neighborhoods. MCCA is McLean County’s comprehensive domestic violence victim services provider. 

Connect Transit previously won the American Public Transportation Association Outstanding Public Transit award. Solar infrastructure will be installed in the maintenance facility to provide power to charge all of the new electric buses and reduce current energy demand. 

Red Raccoon Games in downtown Bloomington is one of Illinois’ largest board game stores, with space for 90 people to play games at any given time. Owner Jamie Mathy and staff hold game clubs in schools and offer discounts to educators. They are also working to promote “Gameful Learning” at state and national education conferences. 

Abbey Placements in downtown Bloomington hires temporary and permanent workers for open workforce positions. The company is owned by Ken Poirier, with Marc Poirer as general manager. The business is in its 35th year.

Heartland Community College has three locations and a fall enrollment of just under 5,200 credit students and 12,000 non-credit students. It offers more than 50 programs of study and almost 40 student clubs and organizations.