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posted: 4/30/2012 4:49 PM

Tellabs' Pullen is still in the game

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  • Robert W. Pullen

    Robert W. Pullen

  • Kathleen Yosko

    Kathleen Yosko

  • David Sterling

    David Sterling

  • Dean Rouso

    Dean Rouso

  • Theodore McGinn

    Theodore McGinn

  • Dan Tani

    Dan Tani

  • Gregg J. Altobella

    Gregg J. Altobella

  • James Kramer

    James Kramer

  • Susan Wan

    Susan Wan

  • Video: Tellabs workers talk


Robert W. Pullen has had a lot to deal with in recent years. He took over as CEO and president of the long struggling Tellabs Inc. in Naperville, oversaw changes in technology and job cuts, and then he told shareholders last week that he is being treated for colon cancer.

But the buzz on Facebook since then wasn't necessarily about his cancer, although some current and former colleagues expressed their concerns. The buzz focused on his years in baseball. Pullen used to play short stop at the University of Illinois, where he studied physics, and he played with former MLB and Chicago White Sox pitcher Don Pall.

"I played with Don Pall among many other good players," Pullen said through a spokesman. "I started at shortstop since I was a freshman and I was voted as an All Big Ten shortstop my sophomore year."

Pullen said he was on a scholarship that helped pay for my BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois.

"By the way," Pullen added, "the other guy that was voted all Big Ten was hall of famer Barry Larkin."

At 48, Pullen now faces the toughest game of his life so far, colon cancer. He told employees, shareholders and others on April 20 that he was undergoing chemotherapy.

A Tellabs spokesman said Pullen hadn't felt well and only recently went to the doctor. This likely is his first experience with any cancer.

Pullen joined Tellabs in January 1985 as an electrical engineer and has held a series of increasingly responsible positions in research and development, sales, marketing, and services. He became CEO in February 2008.

"I am determined to fight it and beat it," Pullen said in an April 20 email. "I'm working during the course of my treatment. I started chemotherapy a few weeks ago, and the doctors already are seeing some positive signs. My energy level is great."

After all, the game has just started.

Pie in the sky over Long Grove

Andrew Mansour, co-owner of Frank's Karma Café, said he's also co-owner of M. Belle's Pie Shop & Café, a maker of fresh handmade pies, which opens May 1 at 230 Robert Parker Coffin Road, in downtown Long Grove.

Yosko honored for helping the disabled

Kathleen Yosko, president and CEO of Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, will be honored on May 23 by the West suburban Philanthropic Network as Nonprofit Executive of the Year. Yosko, of Glen Ellyn, was selected for her numerous philanthropic contributions to people with disabilities over her 40-year career as a health care professional.

Combined 75 years devoted to Rotary

Bob and Tom Zengeler of Zengeler Cleaners have long been supporters of Rotary International. The father-and-son duo recently achieved historic milestones in the organization, combining for 75 years of service. Bob, the former president of Zengeler Cleaners (who still works a full schedule at the Park Avenue store in Libertyville), was a charter member of Libertyville Rotary 50 years ago. Son Tom is an active Rotarian as a charter member of the Libertyville Rotary Sunrise, formed in 1987. Tom said he has had perfect attendance for all 25 years of chapter's existence. Zengeler Cleaners has stores in Deerfield, Hubbard Woods, Northbrook, Northfield, Winnetka, Long Grove and two stores in Libertyville.


David Sterling of Schaumburg is the new national Mergers and Acquisitions Tax specialty service line leader at Bloomington, Minn.-based McGladrey & Pullen LLP, a provider of tax and consulting services. He'll work in the company's Schaumburg office. ... Former President Dean Rouso of Lisle-based Midwest Real Estate Data, the Chicago area's multiple listing service, was awarded the MRED Distinguished Service Award at a ceremony during MRED's recent Strategic Planning conference in downtown Chicago. Rouso, a broker with Baird & Warner in LaGrange, has been a member of MRED's board since its inception in April 2008.

Theodore McGinn, an attorney at Lavelle Law Ltd. in Palatine, was recently appointed to the Legislative Committee of the Illinois Home Care Council (IHHC). The IHHC is an organization that represents the interests of home care and hospice agencies in Illinois. ... Downers Grove resident Adam Bukowski, a financial representative with The Effner Financial Group of Northwestern Mutual in Aurora, has been appointed College Unit Director in Aurora.

Schaumburg-based Assurance CEO Tony Chimino will host a session on building a "Best Place to Work" at the Northwest Human Resources Council forum, which will be held at Harper College's Wojcik Conference Center in Palatine. He will speak to human resources professionals about the power of corporate culture and key long-term strategies necessary to be recognized as a "Best Place to Work."

NASA astronaut and Lombard native Dan Tani was on hand last Thursday at Wood Dale-based AAR Corp. for "Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day." He talked about his career path. ... Kent Braasch, president of Essex Corp., was on hand for the ground breaking in Northbrook of an independent senior living community called The Lodge of Northbrook, developed by Essex. Once completed in 2013, The Lodge will have 130 units. ... Brooke Jones, director of marketing for Palatine-based Weber-Stephen Products LLC, is touting the company's new larger-capacity Weber Q 240 electric grill for people living in apartments or condos that have gas and charcoal restrictions. ... Rick Staback, senior asset manager of Hamilton Partners, and Fred Sanders, co-owner of Second Systems Inc. saw their companies recognized by the village of Itasca for their leadership in environmentally sustainable business practices.

Gregg J. Altobella has been named director of RA Accreditation at the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities Inc. in Gurnee. The rehabilitation therapist will use his experience to help patient care at physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology clinics. ... James Kramer has joined Naperville-based Corporate Strategies & Solutions Inc., a sales training and business coaching firm, as business development specialist. ... Matthias Rebellius will lead Siemens in Buffalo Grove's Building Technologies Division of the Infrastructure & Cities Sector in the United States, effective June 1.

Calvin Butler, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at Chicago-based Exelon Corp.; Paula Erickson, vice president of Global Communications & Public Relation of Deerfield-based Beam Inc.; and Tim Jones, vice president of Talent for ConAgra Foods will join 100 leaders of human resources at the 2012 Human Capital Leadership Forum on May 10 in Chicago. ... Stephen Yenchek, president and CEO of Friendship Senior Options, sponsor of GreenFields, will head up a celebration on May 7 for the 65 residents who have moved to GreenFields of Geneva since it officially opened in January. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for community leaders and invited guests will be at 10.m. on May 8, followed by community tours. ... Western Springs resident Susan Wan is the new associate vice president of client engagement/supply chain at Chicago-based UHC, an alliance of the nation's leading nonprofit academic medical centers.

•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 Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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