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Dear Readers,

Welcome to i Inspire. Prepare to meet some truly remarkable Chicagoans.

This magazine you’re holding is a dream turned real. Our idea is to introduce you to individuals of accomplishment – individuals who inspire by their actions – and to understand what inspired their activities and their successes. Such accomplishment fuels me and I hope it will resonate with you.

The people you will meet are all at the top of their fields, arenas that range from diversity to design, food to finance, law to Lake Michigan. You’ll read a bit about them and see, in their own words, what inspires them. We also have some articles on successful living: how to hone a successful lifestyle, both at work and play. We hope you find i Inspire interesting and enjoyable.

I’d like to thank the people who made this magazine a reality, starting with the advertisers who believed in us and with particular praise to our publisher (who is an inspiration in herself) and her team. Candice Kuhnen, founder and president of ABC Communications, a three-decade-old full-service marketing firm, is a font of energy and ideas with a history of – among other activities – publishing informative and attractive magazines. And finally, thanks to you, our readers. We hope you enjoy the results of our work – and that they inspire your efforts. -- Dr. Ajay Madhani, Founder

Note from the publisher: Without Ajay’s . vision, i Inspire would not exist. The concept is his, as is the courage to launch this magazine at a time when the world of publications is undergoing major changes. And while we also rely on the Web, we value the portability and permanence of printed media.

While the individuals we’ve focused on in this, our first, issue are all remarkable in their own realms, we cannot help but see similarities in the visions they’ve pursued to realize their dreams. We salute them and commend their examples to you.

Let us know if you have any thoughts on future concepts you’d like to see us explore or people you’d like to meet. And let us know if you have an inspirational story you’d like to share with our readers. You can send them to us at candice@abc-communications.com. We wish you every success.

President and Founder:Dr.Ajay Madhani Publisher:Candice Kuhnen,ABC Communications candice@abc-communications.com Editor:Richard Greb Graphics :Patrick Indelak Photography:Brad Baskin Photography Distribution Success Media Group and ABC Communications Web design and Facebook:Success Media Group © 2014 I Inspire Magazine all rights reserved






aving participated in 51 Chicago to Mackinac races (thus far), Don is a Chicago sailing legend. At 86, he’s still active in Chicago’s maritime community. Moving to Chicago in 1950 after graduating from Iowa State University, he began an award-winning career as a film and television director, working, over the years, for WGN-TV, Encyclopedia Britannica films, Communication Concepts, Paramount and Montgomery Ward. He joined the Yacht Club that year and, in 1954, became a member of its Junior Activities Committee; he chaired that committee for 24 years and was instrumental in developing nationally recognized instructional programs. At the intersection of his job and his passion, in 1973 he developed the first commercial audio cassette and visual training booklet on learning the sailboat racing rules. Continuing his commitment to . youth sailing, in 1983 as executive secretary of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation, he originated the Midwest Youth Sailing Association to coordinate youth sailing between the Chicago clubs. A year later, he obtained approval for the addition of a Youth Council to the permanent operating structure of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation. He served in a executive roles with US SAILING, creating training programs at a variety of levels, his latest being a “Junior Big Boat Sailing” program aimed at getting teenagers on large boats; this is being tested in several markets. Don has devoted many years to the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation, which serves physically impaired with its sailing program and, with his assistance in cooperation with the Chicago Park District, developed a “learn-to-sail” small boat program for youth in two local park lagoons. Trainer, race officer, past chairman of the Race to Mackinac, commodore of the Island Goats Sailing Society (comprised of sailors who completed 25 Mackinac races) and sailor in Lake and ocean going races, Don is also an entrepreneur having operated a sailing school and being president of The Captain’s Emporium, founded in 1975 and supplying custom designed trophies and other nautical accessories. And he serves as a volunteer office manager for the Chicago Maritime Museum as he prepares for his 52nd race to Mackinac this summer. “I love the spirit of the sport of sailing. “I was raised in Iowa but would spend a couple of weeks each summer with an aunt and uncle in Chicago. They belonged to the yacht club and I’d spend time on their 50-footer. That’s when I first became interested in sailing. I learned that the secret in racing was not just the mechanics; it was to out-think your opponents – and to keep chasing your goal. “I love the camaraderie of sailing, participating as part of a team, and the closeness you develop as a crew. “And I love the challenges of sailing. The weather is a challenge, and the sea is always different. No matter how often I sail and how many times I race, I’m never bored.”




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ale creates irresistible masterpieces starting with butter, sugar, flour, eggs, chocolate and vanilla. Internationally known pastry chef, restaurateur, author, television personality, teacher, entrepreneur and mother, recognized as Pastry Chef of the Year by The James Beard Foundation and by Bon Appetite magazine, she has not limited her creativity to the kitchen. Her father and brother are professional musicians, and Gale performed with them as a child in the Gand Family Singers. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in silver and gold smithing from the Rochester Institute of Technology. After attending culinary school at La Varenne in Paris, and wondering what an American girl could accomplish in the field of food, she trekked through France learning her craft, working in restaurant kitchens where they’d have her. At Stapleford Park, an historic country house hotel in Leicestershire, England, she and Chef Rick Tramonto became the first American chefs to earn a Michelin Red M. They returned to Chicago, earning acclaim for Trio and Brasserie T before they partnered with restaurateur Rich Melman . to create the much honored Tru. Chef Gale hosted the first nationally televised all-dessert TV series “Sweet Dreams,” has guested on shows from Oprah to Good Morning America and The Today Show, and been featured as a celebrity judge on “Food Network Challenge,” “Last Cake Standing,” “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Just Desserts.” She produces her own artisan root beer, “Gale’s Root Beer;” teaches; participates in national and local charities, and was a mentor in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative, which helps fight childhood obesity through nutritional education. The mother of a teen-aged son and twin daughters, Gale’s latest restaurant project, Spritz Burger in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, is a collaboration with The Hearty Boys, who won “The Next Food Network Star;” it features her desserts and cinnamon-ginger-root beer (among other house-made sodas) and grass-fed burgers. The latest of her eight cookbooks, “Gale Gand’s Lunch,” was published in April. “All roads lead back to my father. He isn’t perfect, but that’s what I realize when I think about my skills and what I’ve accomplished. He is a musician and an entrepreneur. We weren’t told to be doctors or lawyers; in my tribe, the expectation was that we would do something creative. When I got started, that didn’t include food, but the tribe gets it now. “I didn’t pick the restaurant business; it picked me. I was going to the Cleveland Institute of Art – the other CIA. I was broke and hungry and away from home looking for a new tribe. I worked as a waitress. I give great waitress. My background – starting when I was 6½ and my father brought me on stage at the University of Chicago Folk Festival – made me a performer. I connect with strangers, and I’d tell customers all the details of the dishes on the menu. “Then one day one of the cooks didn’t show up. The manager asked if I could cook. I couldn’t but she threw an apron at me, put me in the kitchen and got me started. I realized I could follow the scripts I told the customers. I had seven seconds of terror. In the 8th second I felt a sense of calm. I found I was fluent in a language I never learned. I found a new sense of family in kitchens.”




teve is a child advocate, motivational speaker and author of a heart-rending but uplifting 2012 memoir about the human spirit’s ability to prevail. Named among the "top 20 chief diversity officers in corporate America" by Fortune, Steve currently serves as the CDO and divisional vice-president for Walgreens. He is the first person to serve in that role in the company’s 112-year history. With opportunity, access, and equality as the pillars of his life, he is recognized as a leader on matters of diversity and inclusion and their importance to the American industrial complex. Widely recognized as one of America’s most innovative and inspiring leaders in the field, emphasizing the importance of “next practices,” Steve’s perspective on differences and adversity comes from his formative years, when as a ward of the state, his future was left to a system that struggled with his bi-racial identity. He chronicled his life .experiences in “A Chance in The World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past and How He Found a Place Called Home,” now in its fourth printing and being translated into Chinese. His relentless journey to overcome, find his home, locate his biological family and right the wrongs of his parents’ past, is touching audiences worldwide. Steve’s unconventional journey to corporate America has inspired young people, teachers, executives and care givers to embrace adversity and believe in possibility. He has been featured in a range of media outlets, including People Magazine. A graduate of Boston College, Steve currently serves on the boards of The Home for Little Wanderers and UCAN, which provide guidance and inspiration to children in need. The Pemberton Fund For The Future has been established in his name at The Home For Little Wanderers to assist children aging out of the foster care system. He is married with three children.

“There’s not one single thing that inspires. “I draw joy from my family – my wife and three young children, and the joy they take from life. “I draw strength from the everyday lives of people – from their stories of triumph over adversity and the dignified way they handle those challenges. And from my country, particularly the women who sacrificed for it. “I've learned diversity is less about how you look and more about how you think. We should be cautious in our judgments of others; none of us look like our story. When we get to know the stories of others, we will often find ourselves in their chapters.”



jay, a fellow of the American College of Physi-

cians and a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, founded Advanced Inpatient Consultants, LLC, in 2006 and is its CEO. A pioneer in the growing medical specialty of hospitalist, he is reshaping health care delivery. He has also served on the boards of foundations such as In Search of Genius,

which inspires the academic lives of children in economically challenged Chicago schools, and Lambs Farm, which helps and inspires individuals with developmental challenges to lead productive and happy lives. He is the inspiration for, and founder of, I Inspire.


“During my early years in college, I became fascinated with successful individual stories. The first self-help book I read was Donald Trump’s ‘The Art of the Deal.’ I realized that he worked hard at success, and failed multiple times on the way. “I realized that challenges are the springboard to success; it’s all in how you process them. “From this experience grew my love for books that give insight into how people succeed, looking for similar inspiration in the writings and lives of other successful people. Working with four hospitals, I would listen to books by Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer and others as I drove from one to another. “I am driven to, and inspired by, the stories of successful people: What does success mean to them? What did they overcome to reach success? What inspires them? “I have created a successful life, personal and professional, by keeping my focus where it should be: living in the moment and complete in the moment. I desire to live with integrity, and if my life inspires? Such inspiration isn’t the intent of what I do, but it can be a result.”




hile he has a degree in business administration, Don

prefers working with flowers. A talented designer and selfdescribed store guy, he said one of his family's strengths is dividing up roles so everyone can follow his or her passions.

Don Phillip on left (3rd gen)James Phillip in center (4th gen) & Russ Phillip on right (2nd gen)

With his two brothers and other family members, Don operates Phillip’s Flowers & Gifts, one of the largest full-service florists

in the United States – with nine retail locations in Chicago and the western suburbs, a design center, an interior plantscaping division, plus substantial wholesale and Internet presences; its 800florals.com was one of the first online florists. He is president and chief operating officer and shares the executive suite with brothers Jim and Baxter, chairman and administrative officer,


respectively. The third generation in the family enterprise, the brothers continue to expand operations; their business ranks among the top one percent of florists nationally in volume, delivering locally, nationally, and internationally. With seven family members active, they recently welcomed the first member of the fourth generation. Phillip's was founded in 1923 in Cicero by Don’s grandparents, James and Helen, who raised their three children – J.R., Lee and Russ – in an apartment above the store. Their children all worked in the business; J.R. was instrumental for more than 60 years before passing in 2010, Russ – with more than 50 years – remains involved today and sister Lee Phillip Bell was involved even while making her mark in Chicago television and the national soap-opera scene. “I enjoy working with customers, and sharing the creative, upbeat and happy feelings that go with flowers. They’re fresh, fun and colorful, and we’re able to bring a little happiness to people. Plus, there are always new varieties, which point us in exciting new directions." “Then there’s the importance of family, and the high level of trust that comes with that. I’m inspired by what I learned from our parents and grandparents, what we learn from each other and working shoulder to shoulder with the next generation -- helping them develop their talents.”


MIRA Horoszowski W

hen the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission wanted to do a program featuring Mary Todd Lincoln’s fashion as a homemaker, first lady and a widow and mother in mourning, they turned to Mira. The founder some 40 years ago of Mira Couture, a Chicago design house devoted to evening and cocktail attire and wedding gowns, both classic and custom, accepted the honor. She worked from samples in the museum’s collection, recreated four of the First Lady’s dresses, down to the finest details of lace though in today’s average size rather than that which fit the tiny Mrs. Lincoln. Mira devoted months to completing them. Noted for her elegant designs and her passion for serving her clients’ dreams, Mira began designing clothing as a child in Poland. After earning a degree in mechanical engineer. ing and working for U.S. Steel for a number of years, she decided to pursue a career in fashion. Dedicated to setting the highest standard for custom clothing, she founded Mira Couture during the early seventies in Glenview, Illinois. Mira started a line of personally designed and created women’s clothing, paying close attention to the quality, fit and construction of every garment she produced. She is noted for consistently designing the most current, high-end styles that are both edgy and classically chic. Over the years, Mira has been featured in broadcast and print media. She works with colleges that teach fashion design and actively supports young designers. She belongs to many professional and women’s boards anad committees and is very involved with Chicago charities. Her many honors include the 1999 Chicago’s Couturier of the Year Award from the Apparel Industry Board and the 2001 Heritage Award honoring Polish American business leaders who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field and brought pride to the entire community. “I love fashion. I design for real people, for women who do not have standard measurements, which is most of us. I see the body in front of me and fit it with beautiful couture made of the finest fabrics. Women need to be perfectly fitted, taking into account their bodies and their needs, wishes and dreams. “I started sewing when I was 10. When I opened my first store, I bought clothing lines and found that the dresses did not fit just the way we wanted them to. Altering those dresses took more time than making dresses just for them. “Creating custom gowns allows me to concentrate on what I love; to bring together the features my customers want. These dresses make my customers happy, and their happiness is my happiness.”


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amille is a connector. Her passions include bringing people together, building relationships, creating strategic partnerships in the private and civic sectors. She operates from the perspective of a public affairs, marketing and communications professional – and much more. As the national director of SEC Professionals Group, an association founded in 2008 in California’s Silicon Valley for accountants responsible for meeting the filing requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Camille is responsible for the growth and development of the organization. She started there four years ago by orchestrating the group’s first satellite chapter in the Chicago area. Since then, her positive energy, strong commitment and collaborative approach have guided the organization from 300 members to 6,000 and from a single location to 35 chapters nationwide. For Camille, who holds a master’s degree in public . from the London School of Economics and Political Science, administration and public policy fundraising, executive search, talent recruitment, sponsorship development, coalition building and community outreach, both domestically and overseas, have all played prominent roles in her multi-faceted career. She has been an award-winning realtor, an entrepreneur, a political consultant, a headhunter, an executive and a radio producer. Active in philanthropy and volunteer community service since she was a teenager helping her mother at the Ray Graham Association, Camille believes in the importance of community. She has been active in the Junior Leagues of Philadelphia, London and Chicago, the Kohl Children’s Museum Women’s Board, the Robert B. Huff Foundation Board and The Junior League of Chicago Legislative Action Committee. She served as president of the Glencoe Newcomers, co-chaired the Service Club of Chicago’s 2002 Benefit Gala, which raised more than $360,000 for Chicago charities, was active with the One-to-One Learning Center’s reading outreach program for Chicago schools and is a long standing member of the Women’s Board of the Joffrey Ballet. She and her husband live in Glencoe. “I am inspired by my friends and committed to my relationships, which are the drivers in my life. When a friend needs me, I am there. If I can offer a helping hand, honest feedback, guidance and support, I will. I always want the best for others and I often take risks by being too candid. People always know where I stand; there are no hidden agendas. “I am inspired by strong leaders. I admire those who have vision and are clear-cut and direct in the way they express their expectations and goals. I thrive when I surround myself with positive, proactive, engaging people; people who are making a difference in the world and who put their time, energy and resources into their passions. “I am inspired by beauty and particularly attracted to the beauty of the dance. I marvel at their amazing bodies and exquisite expression of life. Being on the Joffrey Women’s board, a member of the Joffrey Circle and an annual subscriber to the ballet, allows me to experience their magic, front and center.”



ased in his abiding belief in community service, Elliot’s

mission is to level the playing field wherever he sees an unfair advantage. He is the founder and CEO of the Small Business Advocacy Council, an organization focused on improving the economic environment for small businesses in

Illinois, empowering them by bringing business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs together to speak with a unified and strong voice. Elliot also serves on the Board of Directors for Childserv, which helps at-risk children. He co-chairs its resource development committee. He is also on the board of Youth Conservation Corp. which trains at-risk children for the construction industry and has served as a director for Youth Communications, which empow. ers children by teaching them writing skills, on the Editorial Board of the Chicago Bar Association and on the executive committee of its Young Lawyers Section and on the board of the YMCA Alliance Board. Elliot became involved in community service as an undergraduate at Bradley University. At the University of Dayton’s School of Law, he belonged to the Public Interest Law Organization and received the school’s Pro Bono Publico Service Award. A partner in the legal firm of Korey Richardson, LLC, Elliot handles commercial litigation. “I’ve always believed in underdogs. “When I was a boy, my father would drive us to White Sox games. We’d go past the projects, and I’d see at risk kids and wonder why they couldn’t have the same opportunities I had. “I became involved in community service in college. My first job after graduation was as a group home counselor and, as I went on to law school and practice, I have continued to work with organizations that empower children. “I started the Small Business Advocacy Council in 2010 after watching two politicians on television. They were from opposite parties, but they both were calling small businesses the backbone of the community. That didn’t match the way these businesses are treated, and I realized that they had to speak with one voice if they were to compete successfully. “These businesses need support to level their playing field just as at risk children do. That’s my goal: a level playing field, regardless of the arena.”



etiring nine years ago after 40 years as a Cook County

prosecutor and circuit court judge barely slowed Nick down. He immediately founded, and became director of, the Arthur and Esther Kane Legal Clinic at The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired. The clinic offers free services to those with disabilities, and when he retired again early this year he left behind two offices, one at the Lighthouse in Chicago and one in Glenview. As director, he raised funds and oversaw operations but, above all, he helped people who had no-where else to turn. He understood their problems. When Nick was six, he contracted a rare blood disease, going into the hospital sighted and leaving


blind though with memories of color and shape that have remained with him. Lack of sight barely slowed down this mischievous son of Chicago’s West Side Italian community. He went through school, told constantly that his dreams were impossible for someone who couldn’t see. He was told this despite the scores that got him into school at Notre Dame. And the accomplishments that earned him a place at John Marshall Law School. And the gumption that led him to the prosecutor’s office and ten years as a litigator. And the skill, sensitivity and empathy that took him through 29 years presiding over all manner of cases in one of the nation’s busiest court systems. At each step, he was told he couldn’t. He knew better. He drove a car and a boat, flew a plane, skied on water and snow, rode an elephant and broadcast radio play-by-play at a White Sox game. Married for almost 47 years, with seven children and 15 grandchildren, Nick has earned numerous honors for his achievements and commitment to others, including the John Marshall Law School Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the Wall Street Journal Award, the American Juris Prudence Award, Handicapped Man of the Year Award from both Illinois and Louisiana, and the Chicago Lighthouse Centennial Medal. “I always wanted to be accepted like anyone else – to live the American dream. When I was six and newly blind, people were very negative: ‘poor Nick. He’ll never be anything.’ They expected me to be a burden, and I didn’t want that. I wanted to have a job – at 6 I didn’t know what that would be – a wife and children, and a home. I wanted to be successful.”


GREEN LIVING in Chicagoland Save Money and Enjoy Life while Saving the Planet By Peggy Malecki “Living a green lifestyle means a shift in consciousness of how we view the world,” explains Karen Kalmek, CEO of Green Home Chicago Design Center (www.ghcdesigncenter.com), located in the West Loop. “It also means realizing the impact our actions have collectively on the Earth. For all of us, this is a work in progress.” Green living is here to stay, no longer a trend but a mainstream way of life. Simply put, living a green lifestyle has come to mean being aware of our planet, and living in a way that saves energy, reduces waste and minimizes negative effects. But where to begin? We asked several influencers of sustainable living in Chicagoland to share their thoughts on steps we can take toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

Back to Basics


“Living a green lifestyle means opting for a sustainable and renewable way of living. This is based on three concepts: reducing, reusing and recycling,” explains Kevin Jotkus, President of Globus Construction/Green Living Designs (www.greenlivingdesigns.info), Highland Park, which offers design and installation of sustainable building and finishing materials for any home renovation project. Jotkus says the best step a family can take to start living a greener lifestyle is to educate yourselves, your children and your community about the impact of a sustainable lifestyle. It all begins with reconnecting. Environmental blogger (EcoWren.net) and advocate Amanda Hanley suggests spending more time outdoors appreciating nature, and making connections with how thoughtful choices can protect the environment. “Stay informed on the environmental issues,” Hanley advises. “Read green publications and blogs with your family, get involved, join an environmental group.”

Reduce and Re-Use

Going green does not mean buying the latest in eco-trendy products. While choosing energy-saving appliances, organic clothing and non-toxic cleaning products is great when new items are needed, living sustainably often means buying fewer, higher quality items. “I think families should consume less,” asserts Kalmek. “They should make purchases that improve their own health and that of the planet by buying items that are not disposable, but rather that can become modern day heirlooms.” Consider recycling items that are just occupying space, adds Kalmek. “Donate items that you no longer use. Keep only items that have positive memories and that you can enjoy now. Nature hates a vacuum, so create space for new energy.”

Eat and grow locally

Local food, either farm-to-table or grown in your backyard, is one of the fastest growing, most innovative and tasty trends. Events like FamilyFarmed.org’s Good Food Festival, expanding availability of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares and Farmers Markets make it easy to purchase produce, meat, eggs and dairy that are in-season and grown locally. Community gardens have popped up, thanks in part to organizations like Peterson Garden Project (PetersonGarden.org) that offer space and instruction to grow your own veggies. Locally crafted artisanal foods and beverages are more widely available. Growing and picking your own food is a fun family activity and a great way to teach kids about food and nutrition. According to Hanley, one of the most rewarding ways to green your life is to “grow something edible and organic: herbs on a sunny window sill, a veggie garden or even fruit trees.” She suggests serviceberry, apples and peaches


for Chicago area backyards.

Jon Levey, LEED AP, GREEN, executive vice president, chief lending officer and director of Chicago’s GreenChoice Bank (GreenChoiceBank.com), sees it this way: “Once you start learning about farm to table produce and taste the difference that ‘local’ makes, you are more likely to start to grow some tomatoes and herbs and then to consider composting your food and yard waste to energize that home garden. Pretty soon you are growing more and more of your own produce, sharing it with neighbors, creating community and making real change.“

Seal it Up

Painfully high utility bills last winter are still driving one of the greenest trends in home repair: sealing up the building envelope. “One of the most impactful ways to green your living space is by making it more energy efficient through insulation and air sealing,” explains Levey. “One can spend a lot of money on highly efficient heating and cooling, install a solar system and use greener decorating items, but if you don’t start with an efficient building envelope, you are still letting all that energy—effectively, dollars—escape through leaking walls, roof and other gaps.” Levy recommends scheduling a home energy audit from a qualified contractor, and then taking the prescribed steps to improve efficiency. This will allow the rest of your improvements to gain maximum efficiency.” Neil Fortunato, president of Green Building Technologies (www.greenbuildingtechnologiesinc.com) in Highland Park, agrees that “paying close attention to gaps around windows and doors, more effectively applying insulation materials, eliminating transfer through floors and walls and using efficient heating equipment is where the real savings come from.” A green lifestyle means reducing energy usage at home, at work and while on the road, says Fortunato. He explains that while hot new products related to geothermal heating, solar panels and wind turbines grab headlines, he prefers basics of energy conservation for maximum homeowner return.

Green Your Inner World


We can also improve our interior spaces to save energy and money. Installing efficient appliances and lighting, as well as dual-flush toilets and water-conserving faucets and showerheads, can lead to big gains. Jotkus recommends using recycled materials when planning a renovation. He suggests formaldehyde-free cabinets and recycled porcelain tile and countertops. “The new, hot trend is a beautiful porcelain tile we use for bathroom and kitchen projects. It’s made with 100% natural materials, contains no sealants, waxes, epoxies or man-made binders, and is designed to last a lifetime.” Take positive steps to green indoor air as well. Furniture, carpets, window coverings and paint have traditionally been sources of toxic chemicals, often absorbed by our skin or emitted into the air as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Thankfully, consumers have an ever-widening choice in low-impact and sustainable decorating items, paints and furnishings. Kalmek recommends repurposed materials for floors, wall tile and countertops, as well as more sustainable furniture. Current trends, she says, include movement toward natural, materials, especially in the use of reclaimed and local or sustainably harvested woods. She adds that the industry is also producing more furniture without flame-retardants and petrochemicals that go into the air long after manufacture. There’s a shade of green for every budget, too. Simple choices to freshen a room include low- and non-VOC paints and carpets, repurposed and upcycled accessories, all natural material throw pillows and organic cotton sheets and towels.

Make Lasting Changes

Once we start focusing on a greener lifestyle, it’s easy to find new ways to live more sustainably. “Going green” is an ongoing process, a gradual shift in how we view our homes and our buying and consumption habits, as well as an evolution of how we value the world around us. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition, but rather a series of small, ongoing changes as we rebalance what is important and raise our awareness of how our decisions affect this Earth. “Making incremental changes and choices and then sharing stories has an exponential effect on the community,” concludes Levey. “We all start somewhere. We all seem to progress. And, it’s also ok to recognize that none of us are perfect ‘green citizens.’ But small change adds up. And telling the stories of change has real impact.” Peggy Malecki is owner and publisher of Natural Awakenings (NAChicagoNorth.com), an independent magazine focused on green and sustainable living for Chicagoland. When she’s not publishing, Peggy can be found growing heirlooms in her backyard garden or enjoying Lake Michigan.



Networking skills help build business foundation

nspirational speaker Lillian D. Bjorseth, president of Duoforce Enterprises Inc. in Lisle, is synonymous with face-to-face networking. She co-founded the annual Greater Chicago Networking Extravaganza, and her books, online courses and other materials build excellence in business networking and communications skills. Speaker, trainer, coach and author, among other awards, she has been honored three times by the National Speakers Association’s Illinois Chapter, including member of the year, and was named Outstanding Chicago Speaker by Red Carpet Concierge. Here, she shares some thoughts on effective business communication.

What is involved in being . an inspirational speaker? How do you define your role, what is your goal and how do you achieve it?

To inspire is to influence people to want to do something or give them an idea about what to do or create. That’s my goal as I speak, train and coach people nationwide to build better relationships by improving their face-to-face networking and communication skills. I know that every time I present, I help change someone’s life for the better. I often do not know whom I have touched. Particularly rewarding is when people let me know I gave them an “aha” moment. One of my major messages for men and women is that self-confidence is the number one asset in the work place. They need to love themselves for who they are, embrace their possibilities and believe they will succeed. It propels them forward and upward. Since people know I am “the speaker” before a presentation begins, it’s important I send inspirational messages even before I begin speaking. One of my early subliminal positives is to show confidence through a combination of my appearance and behavior. I follow through with spoken words presented clearly and with zeal. My interactive style involves the audience, which is key since people remember 10 percent of what they hear and 90 percent of what they do. The people who benefit most are those who choose to follow up with personalized coaching sessions. I am co-creating “Class Act,” a series for younger professionals who will benefit from learning a traditional set of proven business skills that are the foundation of nearly every successful executive. Its presenters have successful corporate and entrepreneurial careers. (www.classact.guru.com)

Networking is a great business/marketing tool. Would you link this to the inspirational aspect of your activities?

My passion is to inspire my audiences – whether 1 or 1,000 – to understand what systematic and strategic networking is, to develop a plan and to then do it 24/7. Well, at least 24/5! Networking is the number one way to build relationships, and no one ever has too many mutually beneficial relationships. We do business with people we know and trust, and the best way to get known and trusted is by meeting people you can interact with or who can refer you to those kinds of people.


Anyone who is employed or in transition needs to network on an ongoing basis, having a written plan detailing whom they want to meet, who can help them and vice versa. It needs to include face-to-face and online networking components. Corporate employees usually don’t put the same value on networking as entrepreneurs; in fact, many network while in transition and then quit once they are employed again. Big mistake! Job security is tenuous and even more so as people age. They can’t use the excuse that they are too busy at work. That “busyness” won’t get them their next job when they become expendable. To maintain viable options, men and women over 50 must network. I recognize this with a conference I am creating for business women over 50. It will feature business tools and national speakers, and be in April in Naperville. (www.bizwomenover50conference.com) About half of the population is introverted and more reserved. These people need to enhance their networking and communication skills, and then do it over and over and over. It becomes easier. I advise that they network in their own style and not fret if they are not a social butterfly. “Be yourself, and you will do just fine.” Networking is more about giving than getting, especially during the initial stages of a relationship. People never forget those who connected them with someone they really wanted . the favors are returned, and you don’t need to keep track. to meet. The universe makes sure It’s called the Law of Reciprocity.

What inspired you to pursue this field?

It was lonely for a gregarious child like me to grow up on a farm on the outskirts of a town of 83 people in Missouri. My nearest friend lived two miles away, my mother didn’t drive, and my dad was far too busy with field work to take me for play dates. So I used my imagination. I made paper doll families from the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs, and I had pretend conversations for hours as they visited with each other. These paper dolls were my audience as I stood on the front porch and practiced my parts in school and church programs at the top of my lungs. Years later, my paper dolls had become real people who were eager to learn and grow. They were in meeting rooms and conference centers. They looked to me to learn how to build better relationships by improving their face-to-face networking and communication skills. Shortly after starting my coaching business more than 20 years ago after a corporate career with Nicor Gas and AT&T, I attended a workshop to discover my life’s purpose. I thought my business would progress more naturally when I did what I was meant to do. I vividly remember the closing exercise. We were to shut our eyes and pretend to open a dictionary. Supposedly our life’s purpose would be written there. I was sure mine would be “to communicate” since I have a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and had had a successful career in public relations. To my surprise, the words “to inspire” appeared as if out of nowhere. In retrospect, it makes sense as I have spent years inspiring others to build better relationships by improving faceto-face networking and communication skills.


Three areas for improving your golf game by Todd Sones The way I see it, there are three major problems in the golf industry that affect a player’s scoring potential. Recognizing them, and seeking instruction accordingly, opens major avenues to better golf results. My first concern is that many people are taught to “swing by the book”. What I mean by that is they are taught a method that a given instructor believes in. Methods ultimately help some players, while hurting others. If you look at the swings of the players who are in the Hall of Fame, they all share one thing: they are unique. At our school, we believe players all have a unique swing which will allow them to enjoy the game, playing to their personal potential, whatever that may be. Our job is to help them find it. . is that most players spend 90 percent of their time, whether The second concern in golf instruction practicing or taking instruction, working at just 30 percent of their games. In golf, approximately 40 percent of players’ scores is determined by how well they putt. Another 30 percent their scores is based on what happens from the edge of the green to about 70 yards out. So 70 percent of a player’s score is determined by what happens from 70 yards to the hole. When players spend the majority of their time working on just their full swing, they will never reach their scoring potential. At Impact Golf, we have come up with a complete short game system, called the “Scoring Zone.” We have made it a point to become experts in teaching putting, as well as all the shots around the green that enable players to enjoy better scores, which amounts to a lot more fun. Our Full Day Scoring Zone School has helped a lot of players take their games to the next level. My third concern is how players buy their equipment. All too often, advertisements, mainly through the PGA Tour, are the main stimulus or motivator of how players make equipment decisions. Often, I hear players say, “It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian.” In fact, many players are playing with equipment that is actually holding them back. At our school, we make is a priority to make sure our students are fit to the proper equipment from driver through putter. I look at fitting as part of an instructor’s job, just like you would expect an optometrist to make sure a patient’s glasses were made to the proper specifications. As I summarize the things my experience tells me are important, I couple eliminating these concerns with individuals who become a cohesive team meeting opportunity with determination and hard work. I like to work with people who want to get better and are willing to do their part. The most difficult lessons are the ones when a student expects results, but is not willing to change or to embrace the work and effort it takes to make a change. This done, students can accomplish some pretty amazing things. Todd, a member of the PGA for 34 years, was founding head golf pro at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest. He loves teaching and believes in the importance of hard work in reaching one’s goals. In 1996, he was listed among Golf Magazine’s initial Top 100 Instructors in America; he has remained on that list since and is also one of Golf Digest’s top 50 teachers in America. He started Todd Sones Impact Golf School in Vernon Hills in 1998, and Golf Magazine currently ranks it the best school in the Midwest, and number four nationally.



A Word to Live By….

Building a Solid Financial Foundation By Roch Tranel

Financial planning and investment management are very intimidating topics for a lot of people – especially young people who are about to venture out into their chosen career fields for the first time. Many of them have their sights set on moving up the corporate ladder, buying their first home down the road and possibly getting married and starting a family in the not too distant future. The journey that awaits them will be full of exciting opportunities and difficult challenges. With so much excitement and uncertainty ahead of them, it is difficult for young people to know where to start when it comes to financial planning and investment management. Should they save money or pay down debt? Save for retirement or for a house? If they save for retirement, should they contribute to their employer’s 401(k) or open their own Roth or Traditional IRA?


When working with young clients at my firm, I often give them one word of advice to live by: Balance; do everything in ‘Balance.’ When asked if they should save for a house or pay down debt, my answer is often times, “do both.” If an employer offers a 401(k) plan, they should take advantage of it. Deferring 10 percent of their pay check into the 401(k) is a great place to start. Once their paycheck hits their checking account, bills need to be paid every month: rent, utilities, student loans, car payment, food, entertainment, etc. After bills and living expenses are accounted for, there is hopefully money left over every month. If there’s not, then lifestyle adjustments need to be made, which leads to an entirely different conversation. Assuming there is money left over, the question becomes what should they do with it? The answer: “do everything with it – in balance.” For example, If there is $500 left over at the end of the month, transfer $100 into a liquid money market account to build up an emergency fund, place $100 into a separate savings account earmarked for a future home purchase, $100 into a Roth IRA, $100 into a brokerage account for mid term investments and pay an extra $100 towards outstanding debt (credit cards, student loans, or car loans). Doing everything in balance gives them flexibility; it gives them options. If they use all of their extra money every month paying down debt, then they don’t end up with any cash in the bank for a first home or for an emergency like an unexpected car repair. If they don’t have cash for the car repair then the repair goes on their credit card – which goes against their goal of paying down debt. If they put all of their extra money towards retirement accounts, they are not making progress on paying down their debt and they are also not building up cash reserves. Achieving balance with extra money every month is the key to forming a solid foundation to build from moving forward. Roch Tranel, CFP®, president and founder of The Tranel Financial Group in Libertyville, was named 2013 financial planner of the year by international wealth management and financial planning firm Money Concepts. Tranel Financial was named 2014 Employer of The Year by the American Legion, Department of Illinois, and received the Lake County Chamber of Commerce 2014 Community Involvement Award.


Dining & Drinks Butterfield's Pancake House & Restaurant has created a variety of breakfast specialties served all day long for your health and enjoyment. A cornucopia of world cuisines ranges from traditional American "bacon and eggs" to a selection of nutritious and healthful offerings. We welcome our guests with the assurance they will find the best in flavor, quality and service to brighten their day—no matter what the hour! Great for families and business professionals! FREE WiFi. www.butterfieldsrestaurant.com. 4195 Dundee Rd, Northbrook 847-205-2588; 1804 N Naperville Blvd, Naperville 630-955-0950; 351 Rice Lake Square, Wheaton 630-260-1353

Dover Straits has been the place to meet for 36 years! It specializes in the freshest seafood, prime steaks, salad and pasta, plus great martinis, fine wines and champagne. Dover Straits offers . live entertainment starting at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Casual dress. Banquet rooms for up to 130 guests. Carry outs available. Gift Certificates. Free

Wi-Fi OpenDaily. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations recommended. 847-9491550. www.doverstraits.com 890 East US Highway 45, Mundelein (1/4 mile east of Rte. 83)

Joe’s Wine Cellar, a Wicker Park mainstay, offers a wide range of wines by the bottle or glass, spirits and craft beers, plus free weekly tastings (check Joe's event schedule) and a menu of cheeses and meats. Owner and host Joe Dakton shares his knowledge of wines, gathered on travels throughout the world. He has found great tasting wines in the $10 to $20 a bottle range. Customers can sample varietals and Joe's featured vodka from the Cellar's state-of-the-art wine station with new wines featured every few days. www.joeswinecellar.com in Wicker Park close to Bucktown. 2108 W Division St., 773-303-4885 or 877-FOR-WINE

Mambo Italiano Ristorante is celebrating its 10th anniversary as Mundelein's gourmet Italian restaurant. Family owned and operated, it features traditional and unique homemade creations, including nightly dinner specials: relaxing family-friendly atmosphere, wonderful food and generous portions. Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., reservations are recommended on weekends and for parties of five or more. 748 S. Butterfield Rd, 847-281-9100, www.themamboitaliano.com

Sake Blu has had incredible reviews for its Japanese food, ambiance and service. It’s recognized as the best sushi place in the suburbs! It has a sushi bar and wide range of Japanese foods. If you’re having a taste for sushi, hands down, this is the best place to go. It offers seating and carry-out as well as catering, including private parties for up to 70 guests on Sundays and Mondays. It is open for lunch (11- 2 p.m. Mon. - Fri) and dinner (4:30 - 9:30 Mon. – Thurs., until 10:30 Fri. and Sat.) 2055 N Milwaukee Ave., Riverwoods 847-947-2182 22


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