While fans watched Chicago Bears No. 88 tight end Desmond Clark work the field in 2006, the Lakeland, Fla., native earned his real estate license in Florida. After all, he said he needed to establish a profession once he transition out of the NFL.
"I had done some real estate investing and gotten my feet wet," Clark said. "It was something I enjoyed doing."
Now at age 35, he has partnered with his girlfriend of one year, Maria McDaniels, and they work at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Libertyville. He's been living in Vernon Hills for the last 5 years. While he still has ties to Florida, he said this is his home.
"This has become my final destination," Clark said. "I wanted to tap into the contacts I've built up and the reputation that I made for myself here."
Clark actually met McDaniels when he and his ex-wife had decided to sell their home. McDaniels didn't get the listing, Clark gave it to a friend. But he eventually got back in touch with her and they started dating. And the relationship has turned serious, he said.
"I don't like to waste my time," Clark said. "If we weren't serious about each other, I wouldn't waste the time."
Clark also isn't wasting time in his real estate profession. He and McDaniels have formed "The Home Team" at the firm and plan to focus on the northern suburbs of Cook and Lake counties. Clark, who has connections with Chicago investors, likely will target investment properties, foreclosures, and other properties in the city as well.
Clark, after spending about 12 years in the NFL, including eight with the Chicago Bears, also did a lot of work with kids. He founded the 88 Wayz Youth Organization, where he helped to mentor those in 3rd grade through 12th grade on literacy, social and leadership skills. He also was recently named Mentor of the Year by 7th District U.S. Cong. Danny Davis, a Chicago Democrat.
Now, Clark has plans to expand the 88 Wayz organization, and help Fenger High School in Chicago.
"I just have to give back," he said.
Throwing the first pitch
Bill Keena, general manager of Des Plaines-based Rivers Casino, joins actor Jim Belushi to throw out the ceremonial first pitches during Rivers Day at Wrigley Field during the Chicago Cubs v. Miami Marlins game at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. Belushi also is expected to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch.
Cleaning for 155 years
Tom Zengeler is the fifth generation and great-great grandson of John Zengeler, who founded Zengeler Cleaners in 1857. At that time, the cleaning-and-dyeing business was called the New York Steam Dye Works, at 208 S. Clark St., which later was rebuilt elsewhere in Chicago after the Great Fire. Now, the Northbrook-based family-owned business marks 155 years. Tom and his brothers Robert Zengeler Jr., and Michael have each worked for the company for 34 years or more. And Robert Sr. has no plans to retire.
Penny for your thoughts
Shane Beard, owner of FastSigns in Naperville, got a check in the mail as a result of the Hanson v. Google settlement. Google advertisers, part of a class-action lawsuit, started receiving checks from a 2009 settlement for $20 million. The case involved Google allegedly charging advertisers 120 percent of their maximum daily budget within the AdWords (clicks) system. "You know that settlement that Google had to payout to their loss in the class action lawsuit????" Beard wrote on Facebook. "Well, I finally got my share. This is like 'pennies from heaven'......and I do mean PENNIES! Glad I didn't hire a lawyer!" Beard's take -- 25 cents.
George Stege, president of Lincolnshire-based Ford Gum & Machine Co., sent a video message to Congress, telling lawmakers that reforms are necessary to reduce the price of sugar so U.S. businesses can compete more fairly worldwide. ... Shawn Scott, senior vice president for Medline in Mundelein, said they're joining other long-term care executives from around the country last week in Washington, D.C. to meet with congressional leaders on issues affecting elder care and the nursing home industry.
Palatine resident Stephen Ferrara has been promoted to the chief operating officer of BDO USA LLP, an accounting and consulting organization. He'll be based in Chicago. ... Palatine native Lawrence Eppley has been named managing partner at the office at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Chicago. ... Downers Grove resident William Guzik started last week as chief financial officer for Oak Brook-based Ace Hardware Corp.
Vernon Hills resident Jeffrey Gwin has opened Padgett Business Services in Arlington Heights. ... Ronald Hem is the new chairman of the Aurora University board of trustees. Hem grew up in Oswego and now lives in Sugar Grove. ... Istvan Abdai, director of food and beverage at The Garlands of Barrington, was named among the top 10 outstanding food service professionals in the nation and earned the Premier Healthcare Alliance's annual Illuminating Excellence Award.
David Strosberg, president of Morningside Group, and Wheaton Mayor Michael J. Gresk today join the ceremonial groundbreaking for Wheaton 121, luxury apartments in downtown Wheaton. ... Jim Primm, store director at the Jewel-Osco in Wheaton, said the newly renovated grocery store had its grand reopening with a ribbon cutting and then donated $1,000 to First Assembly of God Church, in support of its hunger relief efforts. ... Harry Zoberman, vice president of Vernon Hills-based CDW said the company earned Microsoft's Server Platform Partner of the Year.
Neurologist Henry Echiverri has joined the Edward Neurosciences Institute in Naperville. He comes to Edward from NeuroMed Clinic in Warrenville, where he was president and clinic director. ... Elias Shaheen has joined the Edward Medical Group in Naperville.
Michael R. Errico, a dentist from Kildeer, received the Academy of General Dentistry's 2012 Fellowship Award during the group's annual meeting in Philadelphia. The Errico name has been in the Rolling Meadows area for about 50 years, Ron Errico started the office and was joined by his son, Michael, in 1985. Mike also provides dental care to people in need through the Salvation Army and helps with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago.
Michael W. Jones of Chicago and Joseph Hylak-Reinholtz of Darien are new lawyers with the Chicago-based Holland & Knight. ... Marty Singer, chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale-based PCTEL, acquired TelWorx Communications, a North Carolina-based company, last week. ... Recruitment and business consulting expert Andrew LaCivita, of Park Ridge, and has a new book out called "Interview Intervention: Communication That Gets You Hired."
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