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Neighbors of Kane County

Marcia Boyce named 2017 Batavia Citizen of the Year

For many people this time of the year means great anticipation for the upcoming holiday season. At the Batavia Chamber it also means time to select the Batavia Citizen of the Year!

Every year I walk into the mayor’s office where I am surrounded by past recipients of the Citizen of the Year. I am always awed when I sit down with these honorees and reflect on how they got here along with their accomplishments and dedication to our community.

For the 60th time, this group poured over nominations, past and current to determine, who, of all of these very deserving nominated citizens should be receiving this auspicious award.  The Citizen of the Year Award is given to a local resident whose service and dedication have made a significant contribution to the community.

The 2017 Citizen of the Year is Marcia Boyce! Through her tireless dedication to non-profit organizations, Marcia’s hands-on, go-getter attitude has been at the forefront of the success of many Batavia gems. From the Batavia United Way to Water Street Studios, Marcia has brought great direction to them in their time of need. When asked how it felt to be added as the 60th Citizen of the Year, Marcia said, “It makes me want to cry. I am incredibly humbled and very honored to be included in this group.” With a young family and a business to run, Marcia still made volunteering in her community a high priority, “It started by volunteering alongside my kids at Alice Gustafson School and that continued all the way into Batavia High School. My daughter was a competitive gymnast and Batavia High School didn’t have a gymnastics team. So, two other moms and I fundraised for 3 years so that the School District would recognize it as a sport.” It turned into a great long-term investment, because her daughter is now the head gymnastics coach at Batavia High School.

In his nomination letter, Rob Hollis describes Marcia as, “The kind of person who tends to work in the background so the significance of her contributions sometimes goes unnoticed.” Marcia has made significant contributions to the city through her work with the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, Batavia MainStreet, United Way, Chip In, and countless other organizations and individuals throughout Batavia. In an interview following the selection, Mayor Schielke said, “Marcia is the ideal candidate. She is always a worker, cheerleader, and idea person for anything to benefit citizens of Batavia.”

Jamie Saam, Executive Director at Batavia MainStreet, said, “I could not think of a more deserving individual to be honored as Citizen of the Year. Marcia Boyce goes above and beyond in her generosity to so many in the Batavia community. The support that Marcia gives to Batavia MainStreet as a very valuable board member as well as the support that her business, Boyce Body Werks, contributes annually helps us to focus and succeed with our goal of making Downtown Batavia the heart of the community. I am grateful to have Marcia in my life as a mentor and a friend, and cannot wait to celebrate with her in January.” Please join us in congratulating Marcia Boyce, the 2017 Citizen of the Year.

In its second year of presentation, the Spirit of Batavia Award is given to a group that has made significant contributions to the Batavia community. This award is also selected by the Citizen of the Year committee, and was awarded to the Batavia ACCESS Committee in 2016 for their tireless acts of giving through the Batavia ACCESS Toy Drive. This year, the award goes to the Rotary Club of Batavia. Staying true to their motto of Service Above Self since 1948, the Rotary Club of Batavia has served on a local and an international level through programs that benefit all ages and abilities. Mayor Schielke describes the Rotary Club of Batavia as, “A mainstay, Rock of Gibraltar, for community giving in Batavia. They truly made a positive and heartfelt difference to thousands of Batavians.” Roger Breisch ads, “The impact of the Batavia Rotary Club is evident everywhere you look in this community. Their generous support made the Batavia Fireworks possible in its early days. Their contributions made the Riverwalk the jewel it has become. Today, they are helping preserve Batavia history by helping expand the Depot Museum." They support programs to eradicate polio, fight hunger, provide clean water, promote literacy, and alleviate suffering worldwide. Please join us in congratulating the Rotary Club of Batavia, the 2017 Spirit of Batavia Award recipients.   

In addition, we as a Chamber select our annual Ole Award winners. The Ole Awards are given to businesses or organizations that have completed either new construction or building renovations in Batavia. The recipient in each category is a business or organization whose investment enhances the city’s economic and aesthetic future, and provides interest and excitement for the entire community.

Ole Awards are given in each of two categories: Commercial Construction and Industrial Construction. The categories are defined by the City of Batavia’s zoning codes.

In each category, there is an award for new construction and renovation. The award for new construction goes to the developer or owner who invests in a building that is completely new (i.e., new walls and roofs are part of the project). Renovation awards go to the developer or owner who invests in a building that already exists (i.e., walls and roofs are already in place).

To officially honor all of these award recipients, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce holds their annual Inspire Event. This year’s event will be held on Thursday, January 25th at the Nagel Emporium at Abbey Farms.  There are several sponsorship opportunities for businesses as well as a new Live Auction at this year’s event! To register to join us that evening, please call the Batavia Chamber of Commerce at (630) 879-7134 or visit our events calendar on our website at

We look forward to celebrating our recipients and enjoying a wonderful night with all of the people who work diligently to make Batavia an amazing community!