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Voting for the 10th District Leadership Awards has been extended to noon on Monday, Nov. 9, for a contest organized by the office of U.S. Congressman Robert Dold (R-10).  Nominations were solicited throughout the month.

Of the 10 finalists for the various awards, four are from North Shore communities. They include:

Marcia Tazioli, a finalist for the Entrepreneurial Award from Highland Park, founded the Shri Yoga Center in Highland Park in 2011. She has provided jobs for 30 local women and has strengthened the community with her services. Her business is devoted to improving the health and wellness of everyone who walks through its doors. The Shri Yoga Center has worked with the Cancer Wellness Center, Prentice Women’s Hospital, the American Lung Association, the Moraine Township Food Pantry, and Beacon Place.

Paul Baffico from Lake Forest, is a finalist for the Helping Heroes Award. While suffering from PTSD as a Vietnam Veteran, he has used the experience as an incentive to help create and build a community in order to provide comfort and guidance for military men, women, and families. Paul was appointed chairman of the governing council for a 5-year federal grant and later created a foundation to improve Lake County’s response to service men and women and their families. The foundation now has a drop-in center where veteran peers greet and assist active duty, guard, reserve, veterans and their families.

Kirk Humphreys from Deerfield, is up for the Exceptional Educator Award. He is a teacher at Caruso Middle School and has made an impressive and powerful impression on the students. Kirk Humphreys “flips” the classroom by using video to share information with students at home and then he supports learning in class. Kirk’s classroom is highly engaging: students know they can count on Mr. H. and he uses technology to facilitate their learning. Kirk never uses a lecture style approach – he uses a personalized learning technique for all students every day.

Brian Floriani, from Lake Forest, was named a finalist for the Community Service Award. Floriani is the founder and executive director of Bernie’s Book Bank, which serves 110,000 at-risk children throughout Chicagoland with 12 quality books per year. By applying sound, logical business principles to the operations and structure of a non-profit, Floriani has inspired corporate and private supporters and partners. He believes strongly in ensuring at-risk children have every opportunity for success when they begin school through book ownership.