The Chicago Board of Wish Upon a Wedding is honored to announce the 2016 Shining Star Recipients. These three people are some of the most inspirational, motivational and giving professionals in Chicago. This is our way to thank and pay tribute to those professionals who inspire others to engage in volunteer service by their demonstrated commitment and example.
The Shining Star Award Recipients for 2016 have shown an ongoing and substantial commitment to the community and have consistently exhibited honesty, integrity and the highest ethical standards in his or her profession.
Congratulations to Candace Collins Jordan, Dan Bernstein, and Jessie Paré. Thank you for all that you do!
Candace Collins Jordan
Candace is a media personality; Chicago Tribune social columnist (Candid Candace); one of the first Chicago Now bloggers (Candid Candace), author of her own popular blog CandidCandace.com and award-winning host of Candid Candace TV.
Jordan began modeling at age 13 in St. Louis, Mo., and during the course of her long career, she’s appeared on over 20 national magazine covers including 9 for Playboy (2 U.S., 7 international), had a billboard in Times Square, was a Playboy Centerfold (Dec. 1979) and Playboy Bunny of the Year and appeared in Risky Business with Tom Cruise. She’s been featured in magazines as one of “100 Powerful Chicagoans”; a “Chicago Personal Brand”; the “Belle of the Blog”; “100 Women Making a Difference”; “100 Women of Influence”; “Top 25 Most Fashionable Chicagoans”; “The A-List: 60 Chicagoans of Style” and “Chicago’s Most Social Scenester.”
She has been honored by the Alliance for Women in Media and presented with the inaugural Women Driving Excellence Trailblazer Award. Recently, she was named the 2016 Woman of Vision by Eversight Illinois and presented with the Oprah Winfrey Female Entrepreneur Award by “We Dream in Color” at the DuSable Museum of African History. She was also the honoree at the Stanley Paul Foundation’s annual benefit where she drew the largest crowd in the event’s history.
She has won two Telly Awards and two Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards for her work on Candid Candace TV, an online series that takes viewers behind the velvet ropes to film premieres with celeb interviews and behind the scenes to Chicago’s hottest parties.
Since 1974, Jordan has been a champion and advocate for Chicago, shining a light on the charities, people and events that make it great.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995.
Named “Best Sports Talker” by Chicago Magazine, he’s the city’s only three-category winner of the Achievement in Radio Award (Best Reporter, Best Play-by-Play and Best Talk Show). His play-by-play experience includes five years calling DePaul basketball and both radio and TV work for the Arena Football League’s Chicago Rush. He has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, CNN and other national television networks.
Before joining WSCR, Bernstein broadcast games for minor-league affiliates of the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs, as well as the Raleigh Bullfrogs of the Global Basketball Association and the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association.
Bernstein interned in the news department at WBBM-TV in Chicago and in the sports department of WTVD-TV in Raleigh/Durham, N.C.
He’s a Deerfield native and an honors graduate of Duke University, where he did four years of play-by-play for basketball and football and anchored “Duke SportsCenter” on Cable 13 TV.
He lives on the northwest side of Chicago with his wife and two children and is actively involved in fundraising for such charities as Children’s Oncology Services, The Michael Rolfe Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Blind Services Association and others.
Jessie got her start in the wedding industry shortly after her own wedding, where she was inspired by an incredible team of vendors. She had just received her teaching degree as the teachers union went on strike, which she took as a sign to get involved with the industry she truly loved.
Jessie began her career at the Chicago History Museum, where she spent a year and a half before taking a position in events at the W Hotels of Chicago. She has recently joined the team at Calihan Catering as a Sales Account Executive and is absolutely loving it.
Most inspiring to us is Jessie’s unparalleled dedication to philanthropy and putting good into the world. She is lucky enough to have both a mother and a wife who have inspired her with their constant acts of selflessness and random acts of kindness. They have inspired her to find ways to give back not only in the wedding community but in our local and global community. For the past 3 years she has passionately helped collect silent auction donations for Wish Upon a Wedding. For the past year, she has focused on finding simple every day ways to give back in hopes of inspiring others to do the same. This past Christmas she eliminated gift giving in her household and adopted a refugee family instead. Both she and her wife’s places of work were so inspired that they did the same!
Jessie recently turned 30 and, instead of throwing a big milestone birthday party, she started a feminine hygiene product drive in order to supply women in need with basic items unavailable to them. She was so overwhelmed by the response of her friends and family, that she was able to supply 3 shelters. She is a firm believer that we can find ways to give back every single day!