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updated: 8/14/2012 7:48 AM

Former Chicago Bear, wife start luxury spa in Vernon Hills

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  • Venus vs Marz. Spa co-owner Ranee McGowan

      Venus vs Marz. Spa co-owner Ranee McGowan
    Courtesy of GLMV Chamber of Commerce

  • Venus vs. Marz Spa owners Brandon and Ranee McGowan, at center, cut the ribbon celebrating the recent grand opening of the luxury spa lounge in Vernon Hills, along with, from left, GLMV Chamber Executive Director Alese Campbell, Mike Allison, village of Vernon Hills, and other business leaders and community officials.

      Venus vs. Marz Spa owners Brandon and Ranee McGowan, at center, cut the ribbon celebrating the recent grand opening of the luxury spa lounge in Vernon Hills, along with, from left, GLMV Chamber Executive Director Alese Campbell, Mike Allison, village of Vernon Hills, and other business leaders and community officials.
    Courtesy of GLMV Chamber of Commerce

  • Venus vs. Marz owners Brandon and Ranee McGowan, at left, with Vernon Hills officials Mike Allison and Jeanne Schwartz.

      Venus vs. Marz owners Brandon and Ranee McGowan, at left, with Vernon Hills officials Mike Allison and Jeanne Schwartz.
    Courtesy of GLMV Chamber of Commerce

  • GLMV Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Alese Campbell, from left, spa co-owner and former Chicago Bear Brandon McGowan, and Amy Glover enjoy the festivities at the recent Venus vs. Marz grand opening celebration.

      GLMV Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Alese Campbell, from left, spa co-owner and former Chicago Bear Brandon McGowan, and Amy Glover enjoy the festivities at the recent Venus vs. Marz grand opening celebration.
    Courtesy of GLMV Chamber of Commerce

  • Patricia Davenport

      Patricia Davenport

  • Doug Houser

      Doug Houser

  • Andrew Lehman

      Andrew Lehman

  • Andrew Smiles

      Andrew Smiles

 
 

Ranee McGowanand her husband, former Chicago Bears safety Brandon McGowan, know there's life after NFL football. And they proved that by opening businesses, including a new pampering spa in Vernon Hills last week.

Venus vs. Marz Luxury Spa Lounge, which includes a bar and other amenities, is in a 3,000-square-foot penthouse that offers a new twist on mind-and-body services for women and men. Ranee works up front, manages the spa and workers, while Brandon works on the financials and back-office matters.

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"This has been a dream of mine for some time. ... There's nothing else like it around here," Ranee said. "Unless you go into the city of Chicago, but who wants to spend an hour or more driving downtown?"

And speaking of driving, Brandon also started his own company based in his native New Jersey, called Just Trucking It, that offers transportation services to businesses.

"Our proudest moment was when he developed his trucking company," she said. "He's definitely a self starter."

Ranee, who was a licensed hair stylist, had branched out into other services, including facials, to expand her career. One day after work, she and her friends went to a restaurant in the city and that's when she met Brandon. For about four months after that meeting, they just talked over the phone and didn't date. But when he got hurt during a game, she offered to help him, like pick up a prescription, and they've been together ever since, she said.

The couple now have two sons, and she has a 16-year-old son. They live together in Mundelein.

As they launch their spa, Ranee already is making plans for the future.

"I'd love to have a chain of spas," she said.

United pilots honored

United Airlines pilots Capt. Dale Nordhausen, an Elgin resident, and First Officer John Eskuri, a Spring Grove resident, will be honored by the Air Line Pilots Association International for a safe landing after their aircraft's landing gear door failed to fully open and blocked the right main landing gear from extending and locking into position in January 2010. The pilots received the association's Superior Airmanship Award last week at ALPA's 58th Air Safety Forum awards banquet in Washington, D.C.

St. Charles partners mark 10 years

Two former Andersen partners met at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas, about 10 years ago and decided to launch St. Charles Consulting Group. While St. Charles has been home base for the company, the founding partners, Phil Davis of St. Charles and Bob Hiebeler of Northfield, returned to Austin, Texas, along with 33 employees and partners, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of their company.

Meatheads CEO sees expansion

Wilmette resident Tom Jednorowicz, founder and CEO of fast-casual restaurant Meatheads, plans to open more restaurants this year, including in Glen Ellyn, Lincolnwood, Chicago and Frankfort. You may have already noticed the ones in Naperville, Northbrook, Schaumburg and Willowbrook.

FastTrack

Maurice Allen, professional long drive competitor, set the Guinness world record for driver ball speed using an Exotics XCG5 fairway wood from Batavia-based Tour Edge Golf. In the Full Swing simulator at America's Golf outlet in Orlando Fla, Allen swung an Exotics XCG5 fairway wood that bested the current record of 204 mph ball speed set with a driver. Allen's shot produced a ball speed of 211 mph. The Guinness world record for fastest golf drive with a driver was previously held by Jason Zuback, who on Jan. 1, 2007, hit a drive that generated a ball speed of 204 mph.

Ed Zelasko, president and CEO of Rolling Meadows-based Modagrafics, has partnered with Classic Stripes USA (part of the Astarc Group and Navis Capital), an automotive decal and imaging solutions provider. ... Steve DiMarco, president of Key Mortgage Services Inc., a part of Baird & Warner, aims to hire about 80 more workers, including for offices in Schaumburg and River Forest. ... Patricia Davenport is the new executive director of Zion-based A Safe Place. She is bilingual and will be helping the agency work with the Hispanic community in Lake County.

Doug Houser of Libertyville, Ryan Lehman of Woodridge and Andrew Smiles of Clarendon Hills, are among those hired at Acco/Murray National Construction Co. Inc. in Oakbrook Terrace. ... Catherine L. Lynch has been appointed as a director of Oak Brook-based The Inland Group Inc. ... Randy Boushek, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, said Fitch Ratings has affirmed the organization with a AA (very strong) rating, the third-highest of Fitch's 19 categories, and provided a stable outlook. Thrivent Financial is represented in the Lake County area by Joseph Duea's office of Libertyville.

Mark Earles, president and CEO of Naperville-based Context 4 Healthcare, said he has added Central States Health and Welfare Fund of Rosemont as the newest client using their DecisionPoint Health Payment System's Usual, Customary & Reasonable benchmarking databases. ... Ralph Taylor, executive vice president of marketing, business development and medical affairs for Mundelein-based Sysmex America Inc., said the company has made the list for Modern Healthcare's inaugural "Healthcare's Hottest" awards program. The program distinguishes 40 of the fastest-growing health care organizations that have at least $20 million in revenue for 2011 and have been in business for five years or more.

Janis Orlowski is the new chief operating officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. She is the daughter of Lombard residents John and Joan Orlowski. ... John Terlato, the third generation and vice chairman of Lake Bluff-based Terlato Wine Group; Kathy and Scott Vorpagel, second generation, co-owner of Lake Geneva Country Meats, and Nick Vorpagel, third generation and sales-technology manager at Lake Geneva Country Meats, will be on hand Aug. 18 for tastings at their Lake Geneva Country Meats store in Lake Geneva, Wis.

Mark Putbrese, a financial adviser with Edward Jones in Naperville, and Dawn Blokel, the branch office administrator, were honored by the firm for their performance and client service excellence and attended the Edward Jones' Drucker Conference at the firm's headquarters in St. Louis. ... Julian Crews, WGN Midday reporter and founder of Old Havana Foods, is the keynote speaker for the Lake County Chamber of Commerce's 5th annual Hispanic Scholarship Gala on Sept. 21 at the Glen Flora Country Club in Waukegan.

• 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 akukec@dailyherald.com. Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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