QUINCY -- After more than 60,000 votes, The Herald-Whig and WGEM announced the winners of the 2018 Readers' Choice contest at a private award reception Tuesday night at One Restaurant and Bar.
The event highlighted businesses, organizations and events in 85 categories. Winners in each category were invited to receive their award and mingle with other recipients.
Quincy University President Phil Conover was the keynote speaker. Conover, whose father owned a country grocery store, discussed working in a small business and how it influenced his career.
"Celebrating excellence, ladies and gentlemen, is a very worthy experience," Conover said. "Excellence in business can mean different things to different people."
He advised business owners in Quincy to follow four concepts to be successful: learn how to treat people the right way, develop a strong work ethic, keep morally strong and learn how to appreciate what they have.
"What do you stand for?" Conover asked. "What do you represent?"
Walking through these concepts, Conover explained how his experience in business influenced his role in leading QU and told businesses to complement and support each other.
"As you reach out to your customers, be proud of what you bring to the community," Conover said.
After Conover's speech, Herald-Whig Publisher Ron Wallace and Marketing Manager Eric Wait presented attendees with plaques commemorating their achievements and the support of their customers.
"Without you, without what you do, we would not enjoy the quality of life that we do here in our area," Wallace said. "You know we talk about success, but surely you have people willing to vote for you. If that's not a sign of success, I don't know what is."
After the event, Herald-Whig staff handed out advance copies of a special publication commemorating the Readers' Choice winners. The publication, which lists all Readers' Choice winners, will be included in Sunday's issue of The Herald-Whig. Those who would like to know the winners early can watch a recorded Facebook Live stream of the event on The Herald-Whig's Facebook page.