Jim Elliott, founder, and president of the Downers Grove nonprofit Diveheart was one of several honorees honored during the Daily Herald Suburban Business’ 23rd annual Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, in partnership with NAWBO Chicago. The awards were presented during a virtual ceremony on Sept. 22.
The awards recognize and build entrepreneurship in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, and Will County. Honorees demonstrate the best traits of entrepreneurship, including willingness to take risks, drive, perseverance, and business creativity.
Since 2001, Diveheart, a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, has been helping youth, veterans, and others with disabilities build confidence, independence, and self-esteem
through adaptive scuba and scuba therapy. The organization has programs in the Chicagoland suburb of Oak Lawn, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Miami, and even Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Recently, its mission was captured in the recent and award-winning documentary by Los Angeles filmmaker David Marsh called “Adapting To Dive” which is on Amazon Prime and tubi. The film follows Marsh who went on a life-changing Diveheart scuba adventure trip to Cozumel, Mexico last year. As a result, he experienced a transformational journey while doing the film after losing his son to an overdose just seven days before the trip.
Diveheart was nominated in the Regional Spirit Category. This category has honorees demonstrating a commitment to the growth and well-being of the region through outstanding corporate citizenship and promotion of regional ties. Honorees should also be active in local and regional business groups, promote charitable and civic causes, and work to build the region’s workforce and enhance its quality of life.
“When life hands you lemons, at Diveheart we suggest you just add water,” Elliott said. “It’s rewarding to be selected as one of this year’s Daily Herald Suburban Business EEA Award winners. We believe people of all abilities deserve the chance to ‘imagine the possibilities’ in their lives. This award helps us get that story out to the world, and we are forever appreciative of that opportunity. Thank you!“