Two Rockford natives are among this year’s recipients of the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service.
The eight people awarded the Order of Lincoln for 2018 include 16-year-old pianist, composer and songwriter Emily Bear and David Rydell, chairman of Bergstrom Inc., a designer and producer of climate systems for the commercial vehicle industry.
The announcement Friday by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner cited Bear’s groundbreaking success in the field of music at an early age, and the millions of dollars she has helped raise for charities across the globe through performances and events.
Rydell was praised for helping his company become a player on the global market and a technology leader in its industry. He also was cited for his work on the boards of numerous community and nonprofit organizations, as well as his support for them through family and company foundations.
Others on the list include Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy alumnus and You Tube co-founder Steven Chen; former Chicago Bear Dick Butkus; The Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.; Mellody Hobson; Edward L. McMillan and Dr. Louis Philipson.
The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will honor the group next May 5 in a formal ceremony, concert and gala reception at Rockford’s Coronado Theatre.