Longtime Elmhurst businessman Whistler inducted into chamber’s Civic Hall of Fame

Denise Lucas, daughter of Darrell Whistler, is introduced by Ken Bartels as she represents her father on his induction into the Elmhurst Chamber's Hall of Fame. (Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry)

ELMHURST – Longtime Elmhurst businessman, civic leader and community volunteer Darrell L. Whistler was honored as the 2016 inductee into the exclusive Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry Civic Hall of Fame.

Whistler became the Hall of Fame’s 25th member during the induction ceremony at the Chamber’s 98th Annual Awards Gala held at The Drake Oak Brook Hotel in Oak Brook on Friday, January 27.

A former Sears Roebuck & Co. executive, Whistler serves as a Vice President and Director at Community Bank of Elmhurst and is the longtime Chair of the City of Elmhurst’s Zoning and Planning Commission.

“Darrell Whistler offers a life-time illustration for all of us to see of the good that people can accomplish through their volunteerism,” said John R. Quigley, ECCI President and CEO since 1999, and active in the Elmhurst Chamber for 25 years.

A longtime supporter of the former Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, Whistler served as Chair of both the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees and the healthcare system’s Board of Governors, earning him the Robert E. Soukop Award for Leadership.

Whistler is a longtime member of the Elmhurst College Bluejay Backers Executive Committee – which honored him as its Community Service Award recipient in 2010 – and also active participant in the select Bluejay Backers Bunch.

The Elmhurst Jaycees honored Whistler as their 1996 Distinguished Service Award recipient and in 2003 he was the inaugural winner of the West Suburban Philanthropic Network’s Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year Award.

Whistler is a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club of Elmhurst.

The Civic Hall of Fame, which was established in 1992, recognizes women and men who make major contributions to the Elmhurst community. Up through 2008, inductions were conducted during the Opening Ceremonies of Elmfest. The 2009 inductee was honored at the Chamber’s Spring Luncheon in April of 2010.

Joe Newton, legendary boys’ cross country coach at York Community High School, was the inaugural Hall of Fame inductee.

Preceding Whistler as Hall of Fame inductees were: Eleanor King Hookam (1993), Elmhurst Art Museum; Dr. Ivan E. Frick (1994), Elmhurst College; Joseph Wagner (1995), York Furrier; Jean Haselhorst (1996), Elmhurst Park District; Robert M. Magnuson (1997), Elmhurst Memorial Hospital; Virginia J. Harmon (1998), Unique Travel Services; Illinois House of Representative Lee A. Daniel (R-46th District) (1999); A.J. “Toche” Terrones (2000), Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry; William C. “Bill” Gooch Jr. (2001), Community Bank of Elmhurst; Willis Johnson (2002), York Theatre; Fred Messerschmidt (2003), Elmhurst Federal Savings & Loan; Jim Van Ewyk (2004), Pfund and Clint Florists; Jacquelyn Haddad (2005), Elmhurst Junior Women’s Club; Thomas O. Myers Jr. (2006), Thomas O. Myers Real Estate; Abner Ganet (2007), Leonard’s Men’s Store and Mayor of Elmhurst; Jan Pauli (2008), Pauli’s Marathon; Bob Schiller (2009), Schiller Real Estate; Thomas D. Marcucci, four-term Mayor of Elmhurst (2010); Rich Grodsky, Elmhurst Park District (2011); Pete Cruger, Elmhurst Independent (2012); Doug Beach, Elmhurst College Jazz Band Director (2013); Betsy Hanisch, Elmhurst businesswomen, civic leader and community volunteer (2014); and Ralph Pechanio (2015), retired banker, civic leader and community volunteer.