George Hamilton was recognized as the “Boss of the Year” by the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce at its annual Business Expo at Hamilton’s Catering.
Hamilton says it was somewhat of a surprise. He credits his staff at the 110 North East location for helping him win the award.
“You’re only as good as the people you work with; that’s what it comes down to. I’ve been very lucky, and the people before me in this business have been lucky,” says Hamilton.
“Something that helps us here and helps us compete against bigger areas like Springfield is the fact that we have people with a work ethic right here in Central Illinois from the agriculture community. They’re proud of what they do, whatever it is, and I think that’s been a big factor in us competing.”
Though it’s George Hamilton who was honored as Boss of the Year, he says his wife Gina plays a big part in what happens at the catering establishment. She works as a nurse at MacMurray College, but he says she’s tireless.
“Everything we do here is a special event. Meetings are great, anniversaries, but weddings are the most special day of anybody’s life. We try to do 75 or 80 weddings here, and she works all week at MacMurray, but then still on a Friday or Saturday, she’s getting up,” he says. “She knows some girl’s getting married, and she puts her heart into trying to make sure that everything’s perfect and everything’s special. If they forgot safety pins, she has them. If they forgot Tylenol, she has it.”
He also credits his son Kyle and daughter Leevia, who works full-time as a teacher, with helping the business stay on top.
George Hamilton has been the owner of Hamilton’s for the last 35 years, taking over the business from his father. The business was started by Doc Hamilton in 1913.