A National Award-Winning Publication

Blackwood Group is set to receive the ‘Business of the Year’ award 


Based in Chicago and led by José Duarte and Rafael Hernández, the company will be honored during the Negocios Now Who’s Who Gala, which will be held on July 19 at the Fairmont Hotel.

By Migdalis Perez

CHICAGO,  -Today, Negocios Now announced that Blackwood Group LLC, a Chicago-based company, has been selected as the recipient of the Business of the Year award, highlighting companies with outstanding performance in the Chicago area.

The award will be presented at the Negocios Now Gala, a Whos Who in Hispanic Business event at Fairmont Hotel presented by Wintrust Bank.

Led by José Duarte and Rafael Hernández, Blackwood Group, LLC has seen remarkable growth in recent years, propelled by the successful integration of a series of projects across the city into its portfolio.

“We are thrilled to present this award to a Hispanic company that has achieved such remarkable success through the dedication and talent of its leadership,” remarked Publisher Clemente Nicado.

Over the past 16 years, Blackwood has been a trailblazer in executing construction projects of significant impact, contributing to the development and enhancement of our community and City.

Reflecting on their journey, it’s evident that Blackwood has made an indelible mark on pivotal projects within the city. Promising ventures that underscore the company’s steadfast commitment to being a 100% Latino-owned enterprise are on the horizon.

Established by José Duarte in 2007, Blackwood has been involved in notable projects such as Albany Terrace + McCoy Gaines Apartments, valued at $80 million, as well as the design and construction of Enlace, Illinois headquarters. Their work extends to a 10,000-square-foot building slated for occupancy by organizations including Latinos Progresando.

Further showcasing their impact, Blackwood’s involvement in initiatives like United Yards – Invest Southwest, a comprehensive mixed-use development valued at $70 million, and partnerships with entities such as Brighton Park Neighborhood Council and the National Museum of Mexican Art highlight their diverse contributions.

With Jose and Rafael’s extensive expertise in construction and program management, Blackwood’s recognition as one of the six finalists for LaSalle Reimagined underscores their commitment to community engagement and innovative design as they present their plans to the public.

Negocios Now takes great pride in honoring Blackwood as a standout company. Their remarkable achievements position them as one of the most dynamic and rapidly expanding construction firms in our community today”, said Nicado.

During the celebration, Negocios Now also recognized other community leaders with the ‘Latinas in Business Award’, Community Champion Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. This recognition will be announced soon.

As usual, Negocios Now, during the Gala Negocios Now, presents its special edition Whos Who in Hispanic Business’ that recognizes over 200 leaders in different industries and fields”.  Nominations are open at NegociosNow.com/whoiswho

For Sponsorship opportunities, contact Sofia Herrera at whoiswho@negociosnow.com  or call 312.593.2557