Raue Center, with current and past Board Presidents Tim Paul and Matt Turk,  proudly presented its Williams Dwyer President’s Award to Susen H. Berg and Rich Naponelli on November 26, 2021. 

Raue Center welcomed an intimate group comprised of lifelong friends and more than four generations of family from all over the country to a private reception to celebrate the honorees.  “Rich Naponelli and Susen H. Berg have dedicated more than 65 years of their lives to provide for more than 1 million adults and over 350,000 students,”  said executive director of Raue Center, Richard Kuranda. The event lasted two hours and included the presentation of the award and heartfelt speeches celebrating their hopes for the future of our great community.

Throughout Raue Center’s 20 year history, Rich Naponelli and Susan Berg have helped ensure that Raue Center achieves its mission to “Bring the Arts to All” and maintain its status as a cultural, educational, and economic cornerstone of McHenry County. The award is given at the discretion of the Board of Directors and the Executive Director and is not necessarily awarded every year.

“Despite the incredible positive impact they have made on our community throughout their lives, the Dwyer Award is not intended as a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  We know that both Rich and Susen are not done sculpting their impact on society.  Celebrating their hard work and achievements with this award is a way of rededicating ourselves to the values and standards they embody as we pursue new goals and new ways of enhancing life for all.” explained Richard Kuranda, Executive Director.

A founding Board Member and original member of the Civic Center Authority, Susen H. Berg was instrumental in Raue Center’s beginnings.  Her passion for the arts and her love for her hometown of Crystal Lake helped set the foundations for future artistic and economic success.

Current Board member and former Sage Products CFO, Rich Naponelli, has brought shrewd financial guidance and dedication to children in the arts that helped set a steady course for the historic theater and championed its growing educational initiatives.

Joining previous award recipients Paula Dorion-Gray, Chuck Stevens, and Matt Turk, Susen and Rich continue the legacy of commitment to Raue Center and to the mission of providing Arts For All.


Bronze reliefs designed by Charlotte and Erik Blome and commemorating the award winners will be installed over the next Quarter in the historic theater.  Raue Center is proud to have the work artistry of these local and world-renowned artists on display for generations to come.  


About the William H. Dwyer Presidents Award – The Raue President’s Award (The Dwyer Award) symbolizes the institutional advancement of Raue Center’s mission to enrich the lives of all through the arts. The leaders receiving this award have proven themselves to be selfless pillars of the community who are willing to invest their time, their energies, and most importantly, their influence, as they help create a space where the arts can flourish. Internationally renowned sculptor and Crystal Lake resident, Charlotte Blome, created the original artwork for the Award with assistance from her husband, Erik Blome.


About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 


For additional information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter, and twitter.com/RaueCenter.