Event Overview

WHAT: Annual Luncheon of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the 2019 Retailer of the Year Award Ceremony

WHEN: October 2, 2019
11:30am Reception
Noon Luncheon and Program

WHERE: Palmer House
17 E. Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603


To register for this event as a participant, or to become a sponsor, please complete the registration form and return it to Debbie Cole at dcole@irma.org. The registration deadline is September 20, 2019.

Register Now

Members of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, industry leaders and elected officials will gather to recognize the successes and challenges of the Illinois retail community during the 62nd Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 in Chicago.

Last year, IRMA honored Saputo’s Restaurant of Springfield, Illinois as the 2018 Illinois Retailer of the Year.

Saputo’s Restaurant has a long tradition of serving fine Italian food and has grown into a favorite destination for tourists, dignitaries, celebrities, and locals alike. Owned and operated by third and fourth generation family members, Saputo’s is known for Old World family recipes that maintain a high standard of excellence in both food and service.

What started with Frank and Florine Saputo’s love of Southern Italian cooking turned into a family business in 1948. Joined by Frank’s twin brother, Joe, and his wife, Edda, they grew the restaurant into the beloved “everybody knows your name” restaurant that it is today.

Saputo’s is a gleaming representation of what it means to be an Illinois retailer, thriving for the past 70 years because of good old-fashioned hard work and perseverance. While Saputo’s has been inventive through the years, such as being a leader in the pizza delivery industry in the early 1950s, the family-run restaurant has always remained true to its value of customer service. Springfield residents and traveling guests alike stop by Saputo’s for the well-known reputation but stay for the delicious food and welcoming atmosphere. With countless Springfield families who consider Saputo’s their second home, guests are always visiting to celebrate life’s most cherished moments or to enjoy a family dinner. The Saputo family has truly created valued memories not only for themselves, but for families near and far.

Currently operated by Frank and Florine’s daughter, Sandy (Saputo) Coffey, her husband Mike, and their son Mike Jr., the restaurant is proudly celebrating their 70th year of serving the Springfield community. As a literal cornerstone of Springfield, IRMA is honored to present the 2018 Illinois Retailer of the Year award to Saputo’s Restaurant.

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle

Keynote Speaker, Founder and Publisher of retailminded.com

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of retailminded.com, a well-respected industry publication that has been recognized worldwide for its leading retail insight since 2007. With a core concentration on independent retailers, small businesses, and how the various touchpoint of commerce influence modern merchants, Reyhle is a frequent guest and contributor to various media outlets that include¬†The Today Show, Forbes, Entrepreneur.com,¬†and countless B2B publications. Additionally, Reyhle has been the spokesperson for American Express’ Small Business Saturday since 2014 and is the author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business.” Recognized within the top 10 worldwide retail thought leaders since 2015 and a retail futurist for IBM, Reyhle is proud to have grown up in Libertyville, Illinois and attended Columbia College in Chicago.