22 June

June Members’ Perspective: Six Word Memoirs

June Members’ Perspective: Six Word Memoirs

How do you capture 20 years or an entire lifetime in just six words? It may not sound like enough, but six short words can communicate a powerful message of a life filled with meaning, discovery and growth. CFBC members share the stories of their life and the CFBC in six words as we reflect not just on 20 years of the CFBC, but decades of life and journeys.

Jim Buik / Roscoe Company

My Life: Grow, learn, provide, protect and enjoy!

My CFBC Experience: We all walk a similar path

The Meaning of CFBC: Shared experiences creating new possibilities

Marcus Newman / GCG Financial

My Life: Happy cluelessness, de-evolution, rebuilding, learning

My CFBC Experience: Community, communication and camaraderie

The Meaning of CFBC: Collaborative environment where I can grow

Sara Poss / Shapes Supply

My Life: Great, hard, blessed, and faithful

My CFBC Experience: Nervous, personal growth, blessing, commitment, stronger

The Meaning of CFBC: People that want to see you succeed

Jeff Conner / Liners Direct

My Life: Always forward, never straight

My CFBC Experience: Growing vicariously through others

The Meaning of CFBC: Continuous learning opportunities

AJ Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

My Life: Forget the past and move forward

My CFBC Experience: Many ideas shared, not enough time

The Meaning of CFBC: Second business team without judgement

Brian McIlwee / McIlwee Millwork

My Life: Boy Scout, Businessman, Family Man, Deplane

My CFBC Experience: Weird beginning, foundation built, beyond expectations

The Meaning of CFBC: Could never return the volumes learned

Jim Padden / Padco Financial Services

My Life: Learn everyday, fight hard within rules

My CFBC Experience: Don’t be afraid to step up

The Meaning of CFBC: My private club of favorite strangers

Donna McCaleb / Noland Sales Corp.

My Life: Loving family, amazing experiences, truly blessed

My CFBC Experience: Eye-opening, jaw-dropping, self-examination

The Meaning of CFBC: Safety, insight, growth, depth, friendship, knowledge

Bob Stahurski / Nyco Products

My Life: Pair of Kings in a game of Jacks

My CFBC Experience: Nine Strangers bond quick & share big

The Meaning of CFBC: Support and a great resource

Art Lukowski / Oil Express

My Life: Power through vigilance, conviction and love

My CFBC Experience: Family plan, pain, gain and repay

The Meaning of CFBC: Friendships and heroes cherished, devotion returned

Darrin Shallcross / Shallcross Financial Planning

My Life: Self-made, husband, father

My CFBC Experience: Short time meeting wonderful people

The Meaning of CFBC: Meeting new people and sharing experiences

Judy Hogel / Chicago Family Business Council

My Life: The unmistakable Molly Brown finds JOY!

My CFBC Experience: Anton’s hug healed my soul

The Meaning of CFBC: With grace comes acceptance of all

Mike Baines / Prairie State Packaging

My Life: It’s like climbing Mt. Everest everyday

My CFBC Experience: Having my father appreciate our involvement

The Meaning of CFBC: My sanctuary away from judgement

Tom Donlon / Standard Equipment Company

My Life: Loving mutual admiration, dependable hard worker

My CFBC Experience: Safe place to discuss highly personal

The Meaning of CFBC: Healthy perception and fellowship

Neil O'Donnell / Progressive Industries

My Life: I’ve only just begun…

My CFBC Experience: Great friends, invaluable knowledge

The Meaning of CFBC: Allows me to find balance

Mike Graham / A to Z Sales

My Life: Beautiful exploration

My CFBC Experience: Listening to grow

The Meaning of CFBC: Genuine human interaction

Sharon Wong / NOW Foods

My Life: I have lived a full life.

My CFBC Experience: CFBC helped me with family conflict

The Meaning of CFBC: CFBC provides a safe learning place

Michael Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

My Life: Love and forgiveness with no regrets

My CFBC Experience: Building a never-ending bond

The Meaning of CFBC: Deep rooted relationships with incredible peers

Kevin Walter / Tasty Catering

My Life: Blessed

My CFBC Experience: Wonderful

The Meaning of CFBC: Warm, genuine, sincere, bonding

Jim Armbruster / ATMI Precast

My Life: Veni Vidi Vici

My CFBC Experience: A place to open up

The Meaning of CFBC: A haven where they can’t get you

Guy Ockerlund / OX BOX

My Life: Blessed

My CFBC Experience: Wonderful

The Meaning of CFBC: An oasis. Safe place.

Don Domanus / MEGAPros

My Life: On the ocean holding my wife

My CFBC Experience: Set me free from bad marriage

The Meaning of CFBC: Nonjudgmental opportunity to share and grow

Chris Prestegaard / American Chartered Bank

My Life: Good examples leave lasting memories

My CFBC Experience: Great people are great to know

The Meaning of CFBC: Excellence, goes without saying

Brian Bernard / SPEC Engineering

My Life: Some magic, some tragic…great ride

My CFBC Experience: Learning that self-honesty is liberating

The Meaning of CFBC: Eight friends I can’t live without

Jay Smith / William V. MacGill

My Life: Brief encounters with reality, then pizza

My CFBC Experience: Growth from an employee to leader

The Meaning of CFBC: My best friends with no bs

Mary Koonce / Cal's Electrical Services

My Life: Imaginative, fortunate, and itchy

My CFBC Experience: First retreat: Nervous, relieved and rejuvenated

The Meaning of CFBC: Priceless

Shea Roche / Carbit Paint

My Life: Always looking out for others

My CFBC Experience: Sharing experiences, knowing I’m not alone

The Meaning of CFBC: Life, love and happiness are key

Neil Houtsma / Nuance Solutions

The Meaning of CFBC: Personal growth, extraordinary insights, lasting friendships

Mike Moran / American Chartered Bank

My Life: Work hard, play hard, repeat

Stewart Lipton / Scientific Device Laboratory

My Life: Rags, hope, work and sharing
The Meaning of CFBC: A means for further contentment

Alan Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

My Life: If he can, anyone can
My CFBC Experience: Realizing we all have problems
The Meaning of CFBC: Learning to cope with family issues

Cathie Cushing Duff / Cushing & Co.

My Life: Constantly learning how blessed I am

My CFBC Experience: Safe place to be vulnerable

Jason Bone / Bone Roofing Supply

My Life: Graduated, worked, started a great family

My CFBC Experience: Opened up, learned to listen, grew

The Meaning of CFBC: Knowledge friendship, openness – leads to improvement

John Friedman / Northern Container

My Life: Born comfortable, helping others, doing both

My CFBC Experience: Buying friends? No, trusting and giving.

The Meaning of CFBC: Friendship, trust, advice, support

Michael Nitti / Isola Imports

My Life: I thought things would get easier

My CFBC Experience: An uplifting and fulfilling friendship

The Meaning of CFBC: A constant learning experience

Sean Hoffman / Nuance Solutions

My Life: Fun, regret, laugh, anger, love, hope

Nirel Inman

The Meaning of CFBC: Striving for your definition of success

Kerra O'Donnell / Progressive Industries

My Life: Unique
My CFBC Experience: Life-changing
The Meaning of CFBC: Inspiration

Don Wallin / Joule Technologies

My Life: Shame, addiction, satori’s, love, grateful, content

My CFBC Experience: Lifted up, expanded, pressed, new friendships

Deanna Salo / Cray, Kaiser Ltd.

The Meaning of CFBC: Most genuine group of business professionals

Anton Gfesser / Trendler

My Life: Innocence, Wonder, Adventure, Education, Listening, Reflection

The Meaning of CFBC: Trust, Friendship, Family, Clarity, Wisdom, Heart

Gina Krusinski / Krusinski Construction Company

My CFBC Experience: Exceptional friends found under unique circumstances

Brent Ogle / Blazer Manufacturing

My Life: Blessed with an incredible family and friends

The Meaning of CFBC: It made me a better person

Heiko Mitzkus / Vaxcel International

The Meaning of CFBC: Audi, listen, appreciate others & yourself

Janet Nitti / Isola Imports

My Life: Work, love, play with your heart!

My CFBC Experience: Mind expanding, knowledge, willingness to help

The Meaning of CFBC: Honesty, acceptance, personal growth, true friendship

26 May

May Members’ Perspective: What I Learned In Forum

May Members’ Perspective: What I Learned In Forum

In the CFBC, Forum is the place where it is safe to learn, grow and share experiences with others. Our members value their Forum experience and have created a strong and unique bond with their Forum group. This month they share the biggest takeaway from Forum this year.

Michelle Puch / Primrose Candy Co.

“I learned to be open and willing to trust others. The more you share, the more wisdom you gain.”

Kacper Stojowski / Aspen Commercial Painting

“So far, I have only attended one Forum meeting. However, I have already learned that being in a trusted environment is something I need. This answer will evolve over the near future as I dive deeper into Forum.”

Don Domanus / MEGAPros

“I learned that people that are ready and willing to change will make changes in their life, business, and home.”

Jeff Conner / Liner’s Direct

“Do not operate out of fear. If you know something isn’t quite right, fix it. Most people don’t fix their company or family issues because they are afraid of the consequences.”

Bob Stahurski / Nyco Products

“I thought my rock (challenges) were heavy but I learned that I am not carrying the heaviest rock. I also learned that confidentiality is crucial to build a safe environment to share.”

Gina Krusinski / Krusinski Construction Company

“I learned to listen, listen, listen and then to shut up!”

Art Lukowski / Oil Express

“I learned to listen carefully and to be candid with my ideas.”

Guy Ockerlund / Ox Box

“I learned that you are not alone in your experience.”

Lisa Tomsheck / Arthur Clesen

“I have learned to see the best side of yourself instead of all the head trash.”

Kevin Walter / Tasty Catering

“In the Forum training session and in the two Forums I visited in the selection process, I was amazed at the warm, genuine, and quality people I met. Every CFBC Forum member I’ve met has been a pleasure to speak with. I believe that the practice of training and using Emotional Intelligence plays a large part in what I’ve experienced to date.”

Nirel Inman / Chicago Glue & Machine Co.

“I learned that no one has all the answers and no one is right all the time. But, by listening, you can gain invaluable experience and knowledge.”

Sean Hoffman / Nuance Solutions

“I have learned that having it not be about you helps you.”

Jim Armbruster / ATMI Precast

“As I watched a mature Forum start after losing members due to retirement and or selling, I learned how to re-form with a base of younger members and still keep the Forum vital.”

Deanna Salo / Cray Kaiser, Ltd.

“Seeing the Forum experience from a strategic partner’s perspective, there is an unparalleled bond amongst these individuals who come from different business and experiences but who share a common goal of providing each other unfounded support in business and in life.”

AJ Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

“I learned to work on your business and not in your business.”

John Friedman / Northern Container

“I reinforced the idea that the grass is always greener somewhere else.”

Kerra O'Donnell / Progressive Industries

“I have learned that everyone is so different, and I love that!”

Neil Houtsma / Nuance Solutions

“I have learned the unbelievable generosity, support and value of a committed and diverse group.”

Susan Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

“I learned that you are not alone.”

Jim Buik / Roscoe Company

“I learned that shared experiences trump advice every time.”

20 April

April Members’ Perspective: Song About CFBC

April Members’ Perspective: Song About CFBC

CFBC members select songs that best capture the emotions, memories and experiences of their years in the Chicago Family Business Council. The number one choice among all members was We Are Family by Sister Sledge!

Don Domanus / MEGAPros

Celebration by Kool & the Gang because I feel Forum infuses such a positive energy, support, and life which is truly something to celebrate and make you feel good.”

Donna McCaleb / Noland Sales Corp.

“The theme from Cheers! – Where Everybody Knows Your Name. CFBC has the most welcoming group of people from all walks of life.”

Jim Armbruster / ATMI Precast

Beethoven’s 9th – Ode to Joy. It is my favorite. It lifts me up and I feel I can tackle anything after listening to it cranked up to number 11.”

Art Lukowski / Oil Express

Chale Chalo by A.R. Rahman – most of Rahman’s music reminds me of accomplishing the nearly impossible and celebrating results. This is one in particular is more of a battle song.”

Kevin Walter / Tasty Catering

Good Feeling by Flo Rida. My daughters put together a playlist for my iPod and this was on it. Every time I have a big presentation, client meeting or softball game, I listen to this song. You can’t help but get pumped up by this “happy” song. The lyrics, especially parts of the chorus and the second verse sums up how I feel after interacting with CFBC members to date.”

Kerra O'Donnell / Progressive Industries

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke – this song is a memory from our Forum retreat”

John Friedman / Northern Container

Don’t Stop Believing by Journey or It’s My Life by Bon Jovi”

Mike Graham / A to Z Sales

Space Oddity by David Bowie”

Brian McIlwee / McIlwee Millwork

School Boy Heart by Jimmy Buffet”

Bob Stahurski / Nyco Products

It’s a Big Old Goofy World – John Prince”

Deanna Salo / Cray Kaiser

Lean on Me by Bill Withers”

Neil Houtsma / Nuance Solutions

I’ll Be There by the Jackson 5″

Guy Ockerlund / Ox Box

Stand By Me by Ben E. King”

Michael Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

Friends In Low Places by Garth Brooks”

Heiko Mitzkus / Vaxcel International

Hotel California by the Eagles”

Anton Gfesser / Trendler

With A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles and Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler”

AJ Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas”

Nirel Inman / Chicago Glue & Machine

We Are Family by Sister Sledge”

Neil O'Donnell / Progressive Industries

We Are Family by Sister Sledge”

Darrin Shallcross / Shallcross Financial Planning

We Are Family by Sister Sledge”

Chris Prestegaard / American Chartered Bank

We Are Family by Sister Sledge”

24 March

March Members’ Perspective: Share a Travel Snafu You Experienced.

March Members’ Perspective: Share a Travel Snafu You Experienced.

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, there’s bound to be a travel snafu at some point along the road. From missed flights to long drives to lost baggage, CFBC members share their worst nightmare travel experiences.

Bob Stahurski / Nyco Products

“I went to the Grand Canyon for a trip. My friend booked the hotel and we stayed at the Ramada for a week. It was a terrible hotel and on the last day we found out we were actually booked to stay at the Radisson. That would’ve have been way better!”

Donna McCaleb / Noland Sales Corp.

“Once in the Dominican Republic we went with another couple on a tour that they set up. The cab driver could not speak English and our 45 minute trip turned into two hours. It was an adventure and still a wonderful tour after we got to our destination.”

Neil Houtsma / Nuance Solutions

“I was stuck in Minneapolis and missed my wife’s friend’s wedding 34 years ago, I am still hearing about it.”

Guy Ockerlund / Ox Box

“Make sure to read the arrival vs. departure time on tickets correctly. We had two families travelling together all miss their flights!”

Dave Westerman / Carbit Paint

“Our two-year-old puked on himself (and all over the stroller) as soon as they announced ‘Ready to board!’”.

Brian McIlwee / McIlwee Millwork

“I took a red eye from Denver to Midway and the jet wheels had literally touched the ground in fog and the pilot throttled back up and took off again claiming to have overshot the runway. We were diverted to Detroit until 5AM when we were allowed to return to Midway. We weren’t let off the plane for nearly seven hours.”

Alan Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

“I lost my baggage on a trip to Las Vegas with significant customers. What a nightmare for all of us!!”

Art Goldstein / Larson Equipment & Furniture

“While travelling in Europe this past summer we were supposed to fly from Prague to Frankfort, Germany. The crew got sick and did not show up so we diverted to Warsaw, Poland and then on to Chicago. It caused an 11 hour delay on our trip.”

Bob Carmody / Diana's Bananas

“My bags got misplaced in New Zealand at the airport. They got them confused as they were shuttling from our international flight to local flights. The bags were sent back to the international business and there they sat, lost for several days.”

Chris Prestegaard / American Chartered Bank

“I had to run to the gate through an airport without my shoes on because we almost missed it. I checked in two hours earlier but had a little too casual of a meal and forgot we hadn’t cleared security yet, oops! Some of our group didn’t make it on the plane!”

Deanna Salo / Cray Kaiser, Ltd.

“Lesson: Always know your parents’ birthdays. While traveling out of the country, we took a day trip outside of the resort we were staying at and one of the young men in our group was quite tan and looked like a native. When questioned by a local official, he was asked for his parents’ birthdays but he couldn’t remember them under the stress of the questioning.”

John Friedman / Northern Container

“Instead of making two flights for two legs of a trip, Alaska Airlines allowed me to book myself on the same flight twice. Then, they wanted $150 to change the reservation.”

Neil O'Donnell / Progressive Industries

“I was on a plane and my three children were in random seats throughout the plane.”

Brent Ogle / Blazer Manufacturing

“Early in my career I was a salesperson that sold corrugated boxes. I went on a quick trip to Nebraska to visit my girlfriend (now my wife). When I was at security, I had my work bag which contained a box-cutter knife that I had forgotten about. I used it for my job and completely forgot to pull it out of my bag before I got to the airport. This was only six months after 9/11 and box-cutters were a BIG no-no. I was arrested and released at the security station. They took my picture and all! They let me catch my flight but I had to go to court, pay a fine, and I was investigated. I ended up having it expunged from my record after six months of no other misdemeanors, luckily. What a dumb move on my part!”

Darrin Shallcross / Shallcross Financial Planning

“I accidentally booked a flight for a week later than I had planned to travel.”

Jim Buik / Roscoe Company

“I booked a hotel room for the day after I arrived.”

Mike Graham / A to Z Sales, Inc.

“I ran out of gas on a country road!”

Jim Padden / Padco Financial Services

“My flight got cancelled and I had to drive home from Houston.”

Jason Bone / Bone Roofing Supply

“I had to drive home from Vail in a blizzard.”

Mike Moran / American Chartered Bank

“Myself and the whole party had food poisoning on a flight home.”

16 February

February Members’ Perspective: What is your Favorite CFBC Memory?

February Members’ Perspective: What is your Favorite CFBC Memory?

Many members have been involved in the organization for several years, if not several decades.  With educational programs, Forum meetings, socials, and retreats, there is an abundance of great memories to choose from. However, it seems that Forum retreats stand out as one of the best overall experiences of the CFBC!

Deanna Salo / Cray Kaiser Ltd.

“Every time this group gets together is a favorite business and personal experience for me.”

Mary Koonce / Cal's Electric

“The ‘We’re In This Together’ event at Riva’s in July 2013. I brought my Dad (Sal Caldrone, the founder of Cal’s Electric and Cal-Tronics). He was exposed to what I have experienced for the last three years.”

Michael Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

“The first time I presented at Forum during a training session. It was great to unpack my luggage on the group and, in turn, learn later that I had a positive impact on the others that listened to my presentation.”

Shea Roche / Carbit Paint

“Attending Forum Protocol Training and meeting my Forum members for the very first time.”

Bob Stahurski / Nyco Products

“I enjoyed being the first presenter to our Forum. Joe Hogel was amazing for the preparation.”

Art Lukowski / Oil Express

“One member in particular struggled with openness, until he/she found the need. TAU Forum was there for support and surprised him/her with that support. There was an instant growth.”

Jason Bone / Bone Roofing Supplies

“My first Forum retreat was a very enlightening experience.”

John Friedman / Northern Container

“Forum retreats are always special. The comradery is enhanced with each exercise but the time off puts the finishing touches on the relationships.”

AJ Jania / Diamond Envelope Corp.

“Golfing with fellow CFBC members and getting to know people better in a real life setting that is unrelated to work.”

Brent Ogle

“The first night of our second retreat. We ate dinner and then sat on the back patio drinking wine and beer, smoking cigars, just hanging out, talking, and laughing. Plus, the sun was setting over the red rocks of Sedona, AZ and when it got dark, the amount of stars that were visible was unlike anything I have seen before. It was a very memorable moment.”

Jim Padden / Padco Financial Services

“Meeting a business owner that I had always wondered about.”

Neil Houtsma / Nuance Solutions

“The wrap-up meeting at our last Forum retreat. I am lucky to be in a group like this.”

Jim Buik / Roscoe Company

“Participating in Forum with other family business owners and sharing experiences that now have come full circle as the sole owner of my business.”

Guy Ockerlund / Ox Box

“My first Forum retreat and sharing life experiences for the first time.”

Heiko Mitzkus / Vaxcel International

“Our first year of Audi Forum with Joe Hogel as the moderator.”

Jay Smith / William V. MacGill

“Attending my Forum meetings each month.”

Jim Armbruster / ATMI Precast

“The safety of the group. The haven of a Forum group allows me to relax and rethink with a group that can be trusted.”

Chris Prestegaard / American Chartered Bank

“My first CFBC experience was at Pinstripes for the Winter Social. Everyone made my wife and I feel SO comfortable and welcome.”

Brian McIlwee / McIlwee Millwork

“My first Forum retreat and everyone giving each other big hugs of appreciation.”

Bob Carmody / Diana's Bananas

“My first Forum retreat. That is when I fully realized what this thing is all about.”

19 January

January Members’ Perspective: What Would You Never Do Again?

January Members’ Perspective: What Would You Never Do Again?

Learning from and sharing experiences is at the core of the CFBC. Members of our community have shared with us some important experiences they will never do again, but that taught them a lot along the way.

Michael Anderson / The Evanston Group

“We tried the model of hiring independent contractor sales people. The model had worked and still works in regard to our consultants, but we thought it would work in sales too. However, the two are very different animals. Sales people require a lot of training, direction, supervision, etc. All of which is incompatible with the IC model.”

Joe Krusinski III / Krusinski Construction Company

“I will never again ice fish. I continue to go and I am burned every time. I don’t believe fish live under the ice. I think they all go south for the winter with the birds. I’ve never seen anyone personally catch anything more significant than bait through the ice. I have seen photos and videos, but I believe these to be doctored. No matter how many times I get out there and swear it will be my last time, I continue to return time and time again…”

Brian McIlwee / McIlwee Millwork

“I left my high school prom date in an iHop restaurant at 7:00 am. I forgot all about her, drove home, and went to bed!”

Jim Padden / Padco Financial Services

“I will never again loan money to an unstable employee.”

Mary Deibert / KIARA

“I will never again skydive!”

Sean Hoffman / Nuance Solutions

“I will never again take a job for the money. I did it once and did not follow my gut and instinct. It backfired.”

John Friedman / Northern Container

“There were people I trusted who I eventually learned lied, stole, or failed to pay when my trusted friends and employees told me of the suspicions. I wanted to believe that everyone is doing his/her best, but I learned to listen to my friends and employees, at least to open my eyes or to be objective about the actions of others.”

Vickie Reilly / Reilly International

“In the future, I will avoid litigation at all cost! The only winners are the attorneys. Even if you are the ‘winner’, the energy it snaps from you is just not with it. But, I am glad I experienced it once!”

Shea Roche / Carbit Paint

“I will never again settle on a job.”

Jim Armbruster / ATMI Precast

“I have a monumental trail of things I have ‘screwed up’ over the years. The goal is to make sure they are transformational. I never look back to regret. I always look to history for wisdom and learning.”

Jay Smith / William V. MacGill

“I will never again deep fry a turkey while it’s raining.”

Jim Buik / Roscoe Company

“I will never again take for granted a business or personal relationship.”

Brian Bernard / SPEC Engineering

“I will always choose business partners very carefully…”

Art Lukowski / Oil Express

“I allowed my Christian upbringing to make me a kind, gentle person and yield as needed. I later learned that I could honor my upbringing and also demand what I expect from others.”

Bob Stahurski / Nyco Products

“I will never again hire a friend.”

Don Wallin / Joule Technologies

“I went into business with equal shares and it completely handicapped the business.”

Jason Bone / Bone Roofing Supplies

“I will never again bungee jump!”

Neil Houtsma / Nuance Solutions

“I one time misled a customer in order to protect another.”

16 December

December Members’ Perspective: Best Chicagoland Tourist Spots

December Members’ Perspective: Best Chicagoland Tourist Spots

From the Museum Campus to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building, there is so much to do in the Chicagoland area. Whether you have family and friends in town for the holidays or you’re daydreaming of a warm summer day, take a look at some of our favorite tourist spots around town.

John Friedman / Northern Container

1. Chicago lakefront via Segway tour: On a beautiful day this experience along the lakefront through Millennium Park will be a lifetime memory. 2. A museum tour of the Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art shows new world-class collections along with old collections of some of the finest art in the world. 3. The Chicago Architecture Tour by boat is one of the best attractions in Chicago.

Vickie Reilly / Reilly International

The lakefront is just beautiful. Buckingham Fountain – I have fond memories there as a child. And finally, Lincoln Park Zoo – I just love the polar bears!

Joe Krusinski III / Krusinski Construction Company

The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Chicago Botanical Gardens. I don’t think they require an explanation as to how they made the list. They are all great places. Whenever I find myself there, more than likely with an out-of-state traveler, I always wonder why we don’t visit more often.

Rudy Valenta / Valtech LLC

1. Cloud Gate – who doesn’t like the Bean? It looks great in every season that Chicago has to offer. 2. Twin Anchors. Best ribs in the city and also my dad’s favorite place to eat. Has been in many movies, located right in Old Town off the El. 3. Second City – where all the famous Chicago comedians come from. Go see them when they are back in town or see the up-and-coming ones before they are famous on SNL.

Brian McIlwee / McIlwee Millwork

Go two miles from downtown Chicago on Lake Michigan after sunset.

Deanna Salo / Cray Kaiser, Ltd.

Morton Arboretum in Glen Ellyn, IL. There are beautiful walking trails, flowers, landscaping – a great place to take a long walk for deep thinking.

AJ Jania / Diamond Envelope Corporation

Graham’s Fine Chocolates and Ice Cream in Geneva, Illinois

Bob Stahurski / Nyco Products

I always enjoy taking people to the Rooftops at Wrigley Field. Nothing quite like it anywhere else.

Mary Deibert / KIARA

Maya del Sol restaurant has a quaint outside sitting area – the food is wonderful and they even heat up blankets for you to put over your shoulders when the nights are cool in the spring and fall.

Michael Nitti / Isola Imports

Randolph Street, Michigan Avenue, Kingston Mines…all for the entertainment and food.

Shea Roche / Carbit Paint

In the city, visit Second City. In the suburbs, visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Studio.

Jay Smith / William V. MacGill

The Hancock Tower Observatory is so much better than Willis Tower.

Brent Ogle

I love the architectural tours around downtown. I like listening to the stories about the famous buildings. There is some architecture and also some great history.

Alan Jania / Diamond Envelope Corporation

Michigan Avenue is the best area in the world – second to none!

Darrin Shallcross / Shallcross Financial Planning

Al’s Beef and Mario’s Ice on Taylor Street

Mike Moran / American Chartered Bank

Drinks on the 96th floor of the Hancock.

Jim Buik / Roscoe Company

Riding bikes along the lakefront.

Don Wallin / Joule Technologies

Jazz Showcase on 806 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago.

Art Lukowski / Oil Express

Shedd Aquarium patio has the best view of the Chicago skyline.

Anton Gfesser / Trendler

Drive up Lake Shore Drive early on a summer Sunday morning in an open top vehicle or motorcycle.

17 November

November Members’ Perspective: Legendary Family Recipes

November Members’ Perspective: Legendary Family Recipes

Every family has that legendary recipe that is passed down from generation to generation. Some openly share the magic of the dishes but others keep the ingredients hidden away. CFBC members have shared some of their family recipes with us. For those that didn’t disclose the recipe, let’s hope we get invited over for dinner!

Vickie Reilly / Reilly International

Thanksgiving Stuffing! I’ve been teaching my children who will be the 4th Generation to make our stuffing, how to do it…. Pepperidge Farm Thin sliced White Bread (No Gluten Free at our house on Thanksgiving), hand broken into pieces with care. The elder always inspects the pieces to make sure they are small enough. Chopped celery, chopped onions (neither should be too fine or too large). Jimmy Deans Sausage cooked and broken into pieces! Season to taste with Salt, Pepper & Poultry Seasoning. Stuff the bird, and cook a lot in a separate casserole dish – adding turkey stock (preferably homemade) to moisten slightly. Once the bird is cooked, mix the two stuffing’s together so the awesome flavor of the cooked in the bird mixes with the stuffing cooked in the casserole.

Jim Armbruster / ATMI Precast

Baby Back Ribs. Marinate with oil and lemon juice. Season with a dry rub and lots of oregano. Overnight if you can, but a minimum of 2 hours. On an extremely hot grill, preferably infra-red elements, grill the ribs 6-8 minutes on a side. Nice and charred on the outside, but just slightly pink on the inside. Let them rest for 10 minutes then cut them into individual ribs and start eating. “No stinkin sauce!”

Alan Jania / Diamond Envelope Corporation

Homemade Italian sugo. Chop yellow onion and green pepper into small particles and fry them up in olive oil.  Into a cooking pot 4 cans of Contadina Tomato Paste and 2 cans of Contadina Puree.  Begin to cook with medium flame to brew comes to a boil and then let simmer until the sugo thickens – about a 4-5 hour process.

Kerra O'Donnell / Progressive Industries

Corn dip for an appetizer: cream cheese, butter, corn, jalapenos, salt, pepper, and cumin. Serve with Frito scoops.

Neil Houtsma / Nuance Solutions

Veal and Porcini mushroom sauce on pasta.

Bob Stahurski / Nyco Products

Oven Baked Apple Pancakes. 2 Granny Smith Apples, 2 tsp of cinnamon, ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, ¾ cup of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp salt, ¾ cup buttermilk, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons oil, 5 tablespoons butter. Peel apples and cut thin slices. Mix cinnamon and sugars with apples. Melt butter in 12” skillet – add apple-sugar mix. Cook over medium heat until sugars melt of 5 minutes. Mix flour, powder, and salt. Stir in buttermilk, eggs and oil until blended. Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour egg batter evenly over apples. Bake 25-35 minutes until edges are golden brown and apples are tender. The kids come back home and bring their friends over for it.

Judy Hogel / Chicago Family Business Council

Bread Pudding is one of our family favorites for the Holiday’s and yep you bet, leave your diet at home because this is packed with calories.

Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

8 large eggs, 3 ½ cups whole milk, 2 cups sugar, 1 ½ cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 (1 pound) loaf of cinnamon swirl bread cut into 1” cubes, 1 cup of golden raisins.

Wisk eggs, sugar, milk, whipping cream and vanilla mix to blend. Stir in bread and raisins. Pour mixture into greased 9 x 13 glass baking pan, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours (can be done overnight). Bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Spiced Rum Sauce: 1 cup packed brown sugar, ½ cup unsalted butter, ½ cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons spiced rum, ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Mix the sauce when you take the pudding out of the oven to set. Melt butter in a sauce pan, add brown sugar mix until smooth. Add whipping cream, rum and cinnamon, bring to simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 ½ cups (about 5 minutes).

Serve warm with sauce, great with ice cream!

Don Wallin / Joule Technologies

Tamarindo Margarita Recipe: 1 tbl Course salt ½ tsp chili powder ½ tsp tamarind pulp 1 tsp sugar 2oz tequila 1oz Grand Marnier ½ oz lime juice ½ oz orange juice 1 full tamarindo fruit 1 lime wheel Mix all ingredients and blend also strain out pulp Add tequila and triple sec Add chili powder to rim Fill cup with ice and serve

Anton Gfesser / Trendler Inc.

Chicken Paprikash & Veal Goulash

Deanna Salo / Cray Kaiser Ltd.

Cheesy potatoes – a literal heart stopping dish that’s a favorite side dish for anything.

Joseph Krusinski III / Krusinski Construction Company

I am not at liberty to divulge any family secrets, though I will share a VERY simple desert recipe that I learned for camp outs with kids. Peach Cobbler (I think this would work with other canned fruits if not a fan of peaches i.e. apples for apple pie) In a dutch oven, empty the contents of two cans of peaches, on top of that dump a packet of white cake mix (just the powder mix – nothing else) generously cover that with a layer of brown sugar and place on top one stick of butter. If you’re camping, throw it right in the fire and try to cover it with the hot coals. If you are at home, set the oven for 350 or 400 degrees and cook until it is bubbling and the edges are a little brown. (45 minutes ish).

Mary Deibert / KIARA

Potato Pancakes passed down 3 generations

Mike Moran / American Chartered Bank

Corn beef and cabbage

Michael Nitti / Isola Imports

Italian Aunts Zucchini Frittata. It is made with zucchini flowers that my uncle grows and it will make a dead man come alive again.

Sean Hoffman / Nuance Solutions

I make a mean chili….

Rudy Valenta / Valtech LLC

Tonkatsu and Curry – My mom’s homemade breaded deep fried pork cutlet and Japanese curry. A very hearty meal that warms you up. The curry is a rich brown with big cuts of carrots, potato and more pork.

Joseph R. Krusinski / Krusinski Construction Company

My spaghetti sauce – secret recipe.

Chris Prestegaard / American Chartered Bank

Mom’s Augratin potatoes – simple really, but very good. Potatoes thinly sliced cooked in heavy whipping cream, some salt & pepper, covered with cheddar cheese.

Brian Bernard / SPEC Engineering

Super Bowl Chili

AJ Jania / Diamond Envelope Corporation

Lou Malnati’s take out deep dish pizza

20 October

October Members’ Perspective: Favorite Quotes

October Members’ Perspective: Favorite Quotes

It’s no secret that being in a family business, or any business, comes with its fair share of hard times and struggles. Our members selected some of their favorite inspirational quotes and business quotes to share with you when you’re looking for some light at the end of the tunnel.

Shea Roche / Carbit Paint

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

Deanna Salo / Cray Kaiser Ltd.

“Be brilliant, be brief, and be gone.”

Guy Ockerlund / OX BOX

“You don’t make money accounting it.”

Jim Buik / Roscoe Company

“Your brand involves every facet of your organization…from how you can answer your phone to the service you provide to the logo on your building.”

Janet Nitti / Isola Imports

“Trust your employees, but always confirm.”

Keith Carman / StandFast Packaging

“Seek to understand before being understood.”

Kerra O'Donnell / Progressive Industries

“Your time is limited, don’t waste some else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of the other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Art Lukowski / Oil Express

On Indifference: “Science may have found a cure for the most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.” – Helen Keller

Jackie Bone / Bone Roofing Supply

“The rule is this: a business run by a team of family members is more resilient and more likely to succeed than any other kind of company. Not as likely, more likely. For despite the sometimes emotionally taxing challenges of family-based management – and no one is saying it’s easy – there are things about family businesses, about the ways they function internally and are perceived externally, that other businesses simply can’t replicate. The result is that family businesses enter the commercial fray with a head start smart managers can exploit to keep them ahead. By their very makeup, family businesses have an unparalleled competitive advantage.” – Leslie Brokaw

Darrin Shallcross / Shallcross Financial Planning

“Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

Nirel Inman / Chicago Glue & Machine Company

“Fail forward faster.”

Joe Krusinski / Krusinski Construction Company

“Work is more fun than fun!”

Tom Novak / Martin Implement Sales

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carl Buechner

Mike Weiler / Rydin Decal

“All acts of communication are an act of translation.”

Susan Jania / Diamond Envelope

“Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them.”

Don Wallin / Joule Technologies

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…then to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows no victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Brian McIlwee / McIlwee Millwork

“Never chew your food twice.”

Mike Moran / American Chartered Bank

“Leave margin for error…”

Alan Jania / Diamond Envelope

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Marcus Newman / GCG Financial

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

22 September

September Members’ Perspective: Biggest Business Blunder

September Members’ Perspective: Biggest Business Blunder

Jay Smith / William V. Macgill

Hiring against my gut, multiple times.  I learned to trust my instincts, and hire experts to help fine tune those instincts when it comes to hiring.

Darrin Shallcross / Shallcross Financial Planning

Having five partners. I would only choose a partner for a success plan and not for ongoing business purposes.

Judy Hogel / Chicago Family Business Council

I was in a hurry and forgot to make the payroll deposit. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about it until the following week when the bank called me to say the account was overdrawn. The hardest thing for me was telling my husband, I knew I let him down. What I learned from it: I always made the deposit on Wednesday and verified that it was in the bank on Friday before payroll. The jewel that came out of it was about a year later when I had a problem with our office staff making mistakes and covering them up vs. owning them and learning from them, I thought that if I shared my biggest mistake with them then just maybe we could all start to share and learn from each other. It worked and became a “Celebrate your Mistakes” Friday lunch and an opportunity to learn and grow from each other’s experience.

Sean Hoffman / Nuance Solutions

At an interview for my first job I had to do a sales pitch. I totally froze at the get go. I asked to be excused to gather my wits, did so, and then came back and did OK. Later on I learned that doing that and composing myself got me the job.  I learned to just do the best you can and things will work out OK.

Jackie Bone / Bone Roofing Supply

My biggest blunder was becoming too much like “friends” with my employees. I was always afraid of making an employee upset, when I was really only holding them responsible for their own actions.

Mary Koonce / Cal's Electrical Services

Early in my career at Cal’s, Mr. Mather from Hal Mather and Sons called our office, I did not know it was Mr. Mather as he did not announce himself. He said he had a question about an invoice. I smirked back “well you know our motto, ‘If we don’t shock you, our bills will.’” Mr. Mather then asked to speak to Sal.  We really did not do much business with Hal Mather & Son after that. Lesson: Always remain professional with everyone you’re talking to.

Michael Anderson / The Evanston Group

We tried to expand our business, hiring sales people, recruiters, moving to bigger offices, etc. without first building the foundations of effective hiring and managing processes.  We learned the hard way.  Life has been kinder to us since then.

Nirel Inman / Chicago Glue & Machine Company

Violated a legal agreement by not understanding the details and I learned that everything is fixable. You pay a price but you keep moving forward.

Jim Armbruster / ATMI Precast

I am very good at starting businesses, but there was no exit strategy. Every time I would share with others ownership, they put no capital in, nor were they significant in the business growth. I am almost 68 years old and I have spent the last seven years fending off partners and almost losing control of the companies. The lesson learned is that it is OK to share, I would not change that, but make sure there is a fixed ability to buy them out so you maintain control. Having the company buy back their stock is not necessarily the answer as it may dilute your stock below control.

Mary Deibert / Kiara

By not preparing for a presentation – I thought I could “wing” it….happened when I was 21 years old and I have never done it since.

Brent Ogle

Not letting go of a bad apple employee when I should of. I didn’t feel right about him shortly after I agreed to hire him and instead of trusting my gut, I decided to give the employee another chance.  The employee ended up burning me big time.  He faked a back injury and we spent way too much money dealing with it.  He also caused another good production employee to leave due to his behavior.  He was a bad apple and I should have trusted my gut and cut ties early on.

Donna McCaleb / Noland Sales

The biggest blunder was knowing we were in financial trouble and allowing my business partner to convince me to wait three months before following thru on cuts that needed to be made. I learned that my opinion matters and that this is my company too. If the ship goes down, we all go down.

Guy Ockerlund / Ox Box

50/50 ownership with a nonparticipating family member. Participating members should always own controlling interest.

Janet Nitti / Isola Imports

My personal biggest business blunder was not stepping up to the best of my capabilities just to eliminate arguments at home.

Brian McIlwee / McIlwee Millwork

Never fight any lawsuit on principle.  Settle and get out from under any legal fight.  It drains too much time, money, and energy and you never win.

Sharon Wong / NOW Food Group

My role as a Director created a team blunder. We purchased a distribution company & allowed them to continue with their management team and loses for several years. They focused on sales, not profits. We had to change management and focus. We started controlling the financials, salary and bonuses based on profitability. With a focused new President and team, the company was able to pay off $10MIL debt to our company and become profitable.

Chris Prestegaard / American Chartered Bank

Extended a loan to someone which on paper had a nice business, but had a feeling in my gut the owner was of poor character. Character is the most important thing!

Heiko Mitzkus / Vaxcel International

I once kicked a customer who I was supporting through a supplier negotiation under the table in that negotiation with a supplier. He started to side with the supplier, and I had not read his and the supplier’s signals (in particular, body language). I learned to pay more attention to non-verbal communication in stressful situations.

Deanna Salo / Cray Kaiser Ltd.

I am horrible with names but remember EVERYONE’S faces.  When meeting someone new, I say their name ten times in my head in my (weak) attempt to remember their names.

Tim Watson / Modernfold Chicago

I was speaking poorly of an employee to another employee. We were in agreement in their shortcomings, but I learned that as an owner, I can’t complain and must be professional and positive. I can’t expect employees to act that way if I don’t model it myself.

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