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The Business Resource for Suburban Chicago
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 9:20 PM
  • Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz has pushed through many tough obstacles along her path in creating an award-winning public relations and marketing agency in Naperville. 
  • A Buffalo Grove company created a portable water filtration system that’s in the middle of a six-month testing period to provide clean water to about 600 rural homes in Ghana. 
  • Cindy Henning aspired to create that small town feel when opening her business, Sugar Mom Treats in downtown Western Springs. 
  • Bob Jones Sr. graduated high school, got married and started a tiny toy store in Chicago when he was 21. Five and a half decades later, the retailer has grown across the suburbs and the toys in the stores are much larger. 
  • Like most young boys, Larry Ruiz loved baseball. He holds onto fond memories of summers growing up above his family’s restaurant, El Jardin, located near Wrigley Field. Today, Ruiz has expanded the restaurant to Glenview and Lake Zurich.
     
  • Rick Lochner, a Naperville businessman, professor and author, has a lot to say about what makes a good leader.  His most recent book, “I’m just Sayin’ ... Revelations for Making Leadership a Way of Life,” pretty much says it all. “It’s not a checklist, but a way of thinking,” Lochner explains. 
  • Annamarie Gullo-Arthur’s summer trips to Italy and her time in the kitchen there with her relatives poured the foundation for the small pasta sauce business she runs in Elk Grove Village. 
  • Sue Shimkus bought Lake Zurich Travel two decades ago and has seen big changes in the landscape of the industry. When she bought the company, 98 percent of the business was corporate travel as companies needed travel agents at that time to book trips. Now, about 80 percent of her business is vacation travel.
     
  • Bryan Real was operating his own vending company when he decided the machines, mainly found in offices, needed better tasting hot chocolate and cappuccino mixes. He created his own, and he watched sales in his machines spike 40 percent. 
  • Jessica Grasse grew up in the Gurnee area and holds vivid memories of her trips to Door County where she spent quality time with her family.
    Grasse’s grandmother lived in Door County and several times a year her family would head north to swim, hike and enjoy the festivals and parades along with the autumn colors.
     
  • Many of today’s homebuyers are busier than ever with work, children’s sporting events or caring for aging parents. A local homebuilder says it’s important to focus on this lifestyle when building homes. 
  • At a young age, Ashley Marquez learned that hard work is essential in running a business. She recalls she was paid a penny for each nail she picked up from the construction yard of her father’s company, which was started by her grandfather. 
  • For more than two decades, business owner Barry Schuster has watched the landscape change in the world of kitchen and bath products on both the consumer and wholesale side. 
  • Culver’s co-founder Craig Culver describes the owner of the Darien frozen custard store as a “driven young lady.”  This drive is one of the primary reasons he chose Darien store owner Fernanda Fernandes as the divisional champion in the nationwide “Culver’s Crew Challenge.” 
  • A competitive drive and diversifying the product line are two key components in the continued growth of Kiefer U.S.A. based in Lake County. 
 
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