Most people know Beckie Untiedt as the matriarch of Graham's Fine Chocolates and Ice Cream in Geneva and Wheaton and the 318 Coffeehouse in Geneva. That's where sweet treats are made and enjoyed around the Fox Valley since 1987.
But others know Untiedt for her operatic voice, which she raises up to God during church services as well as at weddings and other events. Now, she'll be one of the judges at the Geneva Chamber of Commerce's Geneva's Got Talent competition, where the semifinalists and finalists will perform during the Swedish Days Festival in June.
"I've always loved singing ever since I came out of the womb," she said.
The daughter of a minister, she's always felt it was "joyful to sing in front of people."
Her performances go back as early as fifth grade, when she performed for an aunt's wedding service. She later sang at more weddings and, after she turned 21, had joined a wedding band. Her weekends were filled with singing, she said. After she married Robert, her singing continued at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in St. Charles and now at Christ Community Church, also in St. Charles.
Untiedt said she studied opera with a number of private vocal teachers and attended McHenry County College. Besides her singing, she also competed in the Miss Illinois pageant after winning the Miss Carpentersville crown in 1978. She left the beauty stage, married Robert and raised their two daughters.
The family continues to run the chocolate stores and coffeehouse and they work alongside Untiedt's twin sister, Bonnie Pechous, a writer and general manager at Graham's.
Still, it's the singing the keeps Untiedt coming back to the church or stage.
"In church, when I'm singing, I want to bring joy to those who listen and take delight in who I'm singing about," she said.
Cheers in Chile & France
President and CEO William A. Terlato of Lake Bluff-based Terlato Wines said his company now has a long-term agreement with Marnier-Lapostolle Inc. to import and market Lapostolle wines from Chile and the Château de Sancerre Winery in Loire Valley, France.
Tip of the helmet
Dan Arment, president of Rosemont-based Riddell, the official helmet of the National Football League, said that two of its newest helmets received the highest possible, 5-star ranking in the latest Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings. The Riddell Revolution Speed, the only 5-star rated helmet in the 2011 study, was joined by the Riddell 360, reviewed for the first time this year.
Breaking ground in Mount Prospect
Tom Wiffler, president and CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Illinois, and Charlie Werhane, president & CEO of Enterprise Community Investment are among the dignitaries set to appear during the groundbreaking ceremonies today for Myers Place, a new $13.2 million mixed-use supportive housing project in Mount Prospect.
Roy Hanauer as the new senior loan officer at PrimeLending in Oak Brook. The firm is based in Dallas and is a residential mortgage originator. ... Bob Crawford Jr. has been named CEO of Lake Forest-based Brook Furniture Rental. He has been with Brook since 2007, first as its executive vice president and then as its president in 2009. ... Julie Kotalik has been promoted to project manager at Batavia Enterprises Inc., a Batavia-based leasing and property management company. ... Enrique Nevarez Jr. is the new director at ML Realty Partners LLC in Itasca.
Kim Gordon has been named vice president/deputy chief credit officer at Ridgestone Bank in Schaumburg. ... Tara D. Opalski, marketing manager for Opal Enterprises, said the Naperville roofing company was named as a Best Pick contractor for the third year in a row for its exterior remodeling services. ... Mary King Wilson has been appointed as chief financial officer at Schaumburg Bank & Trust, owned by Lake Forest-based Wintrust Financial Corp. ... Jeffrey Blair, CEO of Buffalo Grove-based CORPAK MedSystems Inc., a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of medical devices, said the company will acquire the intellectual property and other assets of Micronix. Those assets involve tip-location systems used for patients on feeding tubes. ... Timothy P. Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Deerfield-based Horizon Pharma Inc., will be in San Francisco on May 14 to address the JMP Securities Research Conference.
You Jia Shoa has joined The Premier Wealth Group in Downers Grove as a financial services representative. ... Michael McGarrity, chief commercial officer of Northbrook-based Nanosphere Inc., a company that develops and commercializes advanced molecular diagnostics systems, said the company has entered into a marketing and distribution agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. for markets in Germany, Austria and France. ... Wheeling native Avani Lodhaviahas joined the Chicago office of McDonald Hopkins LLC as an associate in the intellectual property practice of the business advisory and advocacy law firm.
Incumbents Alice Clements of Buffalo Grove, Kenneth Robinson of North Chicago, John R. Schwab of Waukegan and newcomer Yale Wolk of Libertyville have recently been elected to the board of Waukegan-based Consumers Credit Union. John Janezic will continue to serve as chairman of the board, with Ann Campanella serving as vice-chair, while Denise Charts and Alice Clements were re-elected as secretary and treasurer, respectively. Joseph Rajcevich rounds out the executive committee as chair of the supervisory committee.
Highland Park resident Steven M. Elrod, executive partner of Holland & Knight's Chicago office, has been re-elected chairman of the board of directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing law-related and civic education to elementary and high school students. The 50-member board is composed of managing partners of the city's largest law firms, law school deans and professors, Seventh Circuit and Federal District Court Judges, and lawyers and educators from Chicago and the suburbs.
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