A new App Boot Camp and a very low-tech wheelbarrow full of mulch definitely had a connection for Eileen Sweeney, director of Libertyville-based Motorola Mobility Foundation.
She donated her time for one day to her community. That included pushing a wheelbarrow around the Garfield Park Conservatory on a recent rainy day, and even did a few impromptu wheelbarrow races with colleagues, all in the name of fun and volunteerism. Then she dried off and volunteered to teach how to create apps for smartphones to students at DeVry Advantage Academy High School and Evanston High School.
"Learning these skills can be very empowering for these students," Sweeney said about the App Boot Camp, a new Motorola program that reaches out to schools.
Sweeney was among 2,700 workers participating in Motorola Mobility's first global community service program to help people in 23 countries. The service offered technology programs, health and wellness education, environmental stewardship as well as natural disaster support over a five-day period this month.
While her time at the conservatory provided much-needed help at a cultural icon in Chicago, she especially enjoyed working with students on new technology that they know or use every day.
She showed them how to create simple apps, from choosing photos, sounds and text to putting the whole package together and running it.
"Many of these students were incredibly savvy," she said.
Motorola may continue to offer the boot camps at other schools, she said.
"We'll bring employees into the schools with information and education on a very current technology phenomena," she said.
Westfield manager on the run
Tim Geiges is the new general manager of Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. He was previously the manager of Westfield Hawthorn in Vernon Hills, where he created and managed the annual Turkey Day 5K run. Maybe that's because he's participated in a number of triathlons, half-marathons and 5K and 10K races.
Smashing good time
Alex Zepeda of Sugar Grove is general manager and Algonquin resident Jim Sobol is assistant manager of the new Smashburger that opened last week on Rand Road in Kildeer. This ninth area restaurant offered local residents a sneak peek with a free meal the night before the official opening.
Transforming the transition
Barbara Hunter of Mundelein has started Senior Home Transformations, a new company to help seniors who are downsizing. There may be "senior move managers" and those who "do estates sales," but Hunter said she does that and more. She creates a floor plan in the new living environment and helps you determine what will fit, stage the existing home for sale, decide what you should keep, donate or sell, set up electronics and help with choosing accessories for the new place.
John Rippinger, president of Resource Brokerage LLC in Schaumburg, received the Edward H. O'Connor Memorial Distinguished Service Award at the annual meeting of the Chicago & Northeastern Illinois Association of Health Underwriters held at Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling. ... Stewart McCutcheon, chief information officer of Naperville-based Nalco, has been named 2011 CIO of the Year by The Executives' Club of Chicago and the Association of Information Technology Professionals. McCutcheon, who lives in Aurora, received the award at the group's quarterly conference at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel in Chicago.
Attorneys Susan Rogers and Anastasia Xinos, both of Naperville, have joined Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona's Naperville office. ... Trent Richards of Roselle and May Pao of Glen Ellyn are among the new members of the executive board for National Able Network. Richards owns One-On-One Fitness and will be the group's new secretary, while Pao is vice president of Lincolnshire-based Zebra Technologies Corp. and will be the group's treasurer. ... Margaret Byrne of Schaumburg has been appointed as a long-term care insurance agent with Genworth Life Insurance Co.'s Long-Term Care Insurance Division of Genworth Financial.
Kari Burg of Naperville has bee named chief administrative officer for David A. Noyes & Co., a regional brokerage and investment advisory firm. Chicago-based Noyes has offices in Elgin, Oak Park, Skokie and elsewhere. ... Clara Aribser of Mundelein joins Elderwerks as a senior care consultant. Besides English, she speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Hebrew. ... Paula Sheffield is the new manager and vice president of the Elk Grove Village Bank & Trust. ... Michael Nichols has been promoted to executive vice president, parking operations-lead consultant at Next Parking, which has offices in Northbrook.
John A. Dobrott has been appointed president of the industrial division for Rosemont-based McShane Development Co., a national real estate development and investment firm. ... Mike Starovich, president and founder of Vernon Hills-based Star Auto Authority, marked his company's 10th anniversary this month. ... William W. Kirk of Glenview is the new director of administration and corporate counsel for Northbrook-based Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., a firm of architects, engineers and others that specialize in testing and design of repairs for historic and contemporary structures. ...
Thinking of spring yet? They are in West Chicago. George Ball, chairman and CEO of W. Atlee Burpee, said his company is accepting applications for the 2012 "I Can Grow" Youth Garden Award. Ball is the grandson of Jacob Ball, who founded the Ball Seed Co. in 1905 in West Chicago. Ball acquired Burpee in 1991.
• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to email@example.com. Follow me on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.