ADDISON, Ill., April 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of the Illinois 8th District, Addison Mayor Rich Veenstra, and representatives from Illinois' Senatorial and Congressional offices celebrated Earth Day together in Addison at the manufacturing facility of the nation's leading green cleaning products company, Earth Friendly Products. In honor of the company's founder, Dr. Eftichios "Van" Vlahakis, who graduated from Roosevelt University, the company presented the university with a check for $500,000 to establish the Eftichios "Van" Vlahakis Organic Chemistry Lab on campus. The event was hosted by Itasca native and president and CEO of Earth Friendly Products, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks. The employees of the Addison plant were gifted with an extra week's salary, and they are among some of the highest paid minimum wage employees in the nation.
With 200 people in attendance at the event, Governor Rauner spoke about how Earth Friendly Products is the "epitome of the American Dream and provides Illinois workers with good paying jobs while delivering quality and sustainable products to consumers nationwide."
Congressman Krishnamoorthi presented a proclamation to Earth Friendly Products in honor of the occasion and thanked Vlahakis-Hanks for choosing Illinois as a location for one of its four manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. and creating green jobs for the denizens of Addison.
Other dignitaries present included State Senator Tom Cullerton, Illinois 6th District; State Representative Deborah Conroy, Illinois 46th District; State Representative Robyn Gabel, Illinois 18th District; and State Representative Kathleen Willis, Illinois 77th District.
During the inspiring afternoon, Vlahakis-Hanks spoke about her love of the environment, gave heartfelt praise to her employees, and said it was an honor to be a part of the business community in her native state of Illinois. She thanked Governor Rauner for helping to champion the Future Energy Jobs Bill that will create thousands of clean energy jobs in the state and said the company was committed to creating more green jobs for Illinois workers in the years to come. She encouraged guests to "read labels, know what you bring into your house" and thanked the U.S. EPA for the honor of being chosen as its 2017 Safer Choice Partner of the Year.
As Vlahakis-Hanks stood on the podium, she told the moving story of her father, Van Vlahakis, a Greek immigrant who came to the U.S. with $22 in his pocket. "My father was an eco-pioneer who founded this at the dawn of the environmental movement. He said that success is doing the right thing. That vision guides us to continue to break barriers in green science. I vow to protect people, pets and the planet. Finally, I want to remind you that the small choices you make – even the smallest - can create big consequences for your health and that of the planet."
Vlahakis-Hanks then went on to present a $500,000 check to Roosevelt University President Dr. Ali Malekzadeh to support the organic chemistry lab named in her late father's honor.
Did you know?
- Earth Day started on April 22 in 1970. Earth Friendly Products was established only three years before that in 1967 by Van Vlahakis. Not speaking a word of English when he came to the U.S., Vlahakis chose to study chemistry because the root words of chemistry were in his native Greek.
- On the first Earth Day, 20M people, Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor came together to place the environment on the national agenda.
- In the same year that Earth Day was created, so was the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
- On Earth Day in 2017, it is estimated that 1B people in 192 countries will come together to rally, plant trees, clean beaches and educate the world about protecting the environment.
- The U.S. government currently has no requirements on ingredient disclosure for household products.
- The pollution inside homes is 5-70 times worse than outdoor air pollution; this is based on the noxious chemicals typically used in cleaning products.
About Earth Friendly Products Family owned and operated since 1967, Earth Friendly Products is the maker of ECOS™ Laundry Detergent and over 200 other environmentally friendly products that are safer for people, pets and the planet. Made with plant-powered ingredients, ECOS™ cleaners are thoughtfully sourced, pH balanced, readily biodegradable, easily recyclable and never tested on animals. Earth Friendly Products is a primary manufacturer that makes its own products in sustainable manufacturing facilities located across the U.S. All Earth Friendly Products facilities are carbon neutral, water neutral and Zero Waste Platinum certified, saving over 53 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually and diverting over 95% of all waste from landfills. Over 100 ECOS™ products have received the coveted U.S. EPA Safer Choice certification, which means that every ingredient is the safest in its class and that the product has proven superior performance. ECOS™, Disney Baby ECOS™, ECOS™ for Pets! and ECOS™ Pro cleaners are available at selected major retailers throughout the U.S., in over 60 countries and online at ecos.com.
Alyson Dutch / Andrea Schnorr, BROWN + DUTCH PR, INC.
SOURCE Earth Friendly Products