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updated: 2/5/2013 7:49 AM

New work, ear surgery help Wheaton entrepreneur's creative side

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  • Nancy Chovancek

      Nancy Chovancek

  • Ryan Gable

      Ryan Gable

  • Scott Fesus

      Scott Fesus

  • Israel Idonije

      Israel Idonije

  • Jennifer McGinnis

      Jennifer McGinnis

 
 

Nancy Chovancek's life turned around after her parents died and she felt life was too short not to do something she always wanted to do.

So she left behind a 10-year career in project management, returned to school, graduated magna cum laude from DeVry University with a degree in web graphic design in 2009, and launched her own company, Wheaton-based Pegleg Web Designs.

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"The death of my parents really put things into perspective," she said. "I wanted to get more organized with my life and wanted to do something I've always wanted to do, instead of what I had to do. At that time, I had no creative outlet and it was gnawing at me."

Still, it was more than just a career turnaround. After experiencing hearing loss from Meniere's Disease since she was 21, Chovancek underwent cochlear surgery in both ears and retrieved much of her hearing again.

"I was losing my hearing gradually," she said. "It got to a point where I couldn't even talk on the phone for a year."

She went to the Ear Institute of Chicago, talked with specialists and decided on the surgery in 2009. She did both ears at the same time, she said.

She had a cochlear implant surgically placed behind each ear. A small processor, which hangs on each ear, has a microphone that picks up sounds. Those sounds are transmitted through a device behind the ear that is attached by a magnet to a small metal disc surgically implanted in the skull. The tethered device transmits waves of sound to the brain. The brain then processes the sounds and articulates them into what is actually being said, she said.

If she hadn't taken those chances with her career change and her hearing, she might not have achieved her goals, she said.

If she hadn't taken those chances with her career change and her hearing, she might not have achieved her goals, she said.

And the name of her business? Well, that's in honor of her dog, Sadie, who is also called Pegleg, because of her "stick-like legs."

Can you cluck?

Andy Viano, president and general manager of the Schaumburg Boomers, is auditioning people on March 16 to become the new face of the Boomer franchise, aka the giant male prairie chicken. You must be able to strut, dance, run, skip and shake your tail-feathers in a fuzzy fur suit. You can fill out an online application at www.boomersbaseball.com/clubhouse/mascot or call (847) 461.3695, ext. 2208.

Bridal registry for first home

Ryan Gable, founder and CEO of StartingPoint in Palatine, is offering engaged couples and newlyweds a chance to make their dream of homeownership a reality. The agency has launched the StartingTogether Registry to help couples build their savings for a home by allowing their wedding guests to contribute a gift to the registry. Participating couples who choose to use StartingPoint Realty as their real estate agency also will receive a gift. The agency will contribute $250 to couples putting down up to $5,000 at closing; $500 for those putting down $5,001 up to $10,000; and $750 for anything over $10,000.

Author targets health care

Naperville author Michael Kalthoff has just released his new book, "Saving Private Healthcare," which focuses on health care, including the Affordable Care Act. It also offers a complete redesign of all sectors of the health care system with a new approach, which he calls the Saving Private Healthcare Initiative.

FastTrack

Former NFL cornerback Duane Starks has joined the Athletes for Loanlook program, hosted by Rolling Meadows-based Loanlook Inc. Starks will join Wes Welker of the New England Patriots; Israel Idonije of the Chicago Bears; Fred Taylor, former running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars; and Eric Winston of the Kansas City Chiefs. ... Dave Wendorf is the district manager for Party City, which has relocated its Hanover Park store to 375 S. Barrington Road in the Schaumburg Plaza. It features a new store layout and different displays.

Scott Fesus has been hired as the Midwest regional sales manager for Johnson City, Tenn.-based Mullican Flooring. Fesus will be based in Bolingbrook. ... Frances Melin marks the anniversary of her Amore Francesca Salon & Spa in downtown Wheaton with "Half-Priced Haircuts" for new clients on Feb. 13-14. ... Jennifer McGinnis, an interior designer with Redux Interior Design in Lake Zurich, recently passed the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination and earned the NCIDQ certificate.

Sandra Chase is the new vice president of patient recruitment at Northbrook-based Blue Chip Patient Recruitment, a division of marketing agency Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide. She recently moved from El Segundo, Calif., to Deerfield. ... Bob Murray of The Murray Group was the general contractor and Lou Simon and Barry Winyard of Design Trolley did the design for B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County's newly remodeled adult women's locker room. It opens today to members and includes a lounge, lockers, massage spa, sauna, private showers, hair-drying and makeup stations, and more.

Jeff Hartman's last day will be Feb. 15 as manager of development at Wheaton-based DuPage Community Foundation and then he'll start as director of development for the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. ... Executive trustee William Stafford was named the board president of Oak Brook-based Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. ... CEO Matt Murphy said his Arlington Heights-based marketing agency Fusion92 is expanding and adding three more employees.

Brett Hampson will now treat patients at DuPage Medical Group's newly opened Immediate Care Center in Lisle. ... Greg Werner, vice-president and Chicago general manager for Mortenson Construction in Elk Grove Village, said the firm is undertaking a $69 million renovation projects of the College of DuPage's Library and McAninch Arts Center, or the MAC, set to be completed in 2014.

Jim Robertson, president of Medline's textile division in Mundelein, said the company's PerforMAX long-sleeved scrub top has been named the third-place winner of the 2012 Excellence in Surgical Products awards in the apparel category, hosted by Surgical Products Magazine. The product helps protect against the transfer of germs by providing a protective barrier between the patient and a health care worker's bare arms.

Advocate Condell's Governing Council has appointed Libertyville residents Greg Pritchard as chairman and David Johnson as vice chairman. Green Oaks resident David Williams is a and new council appointee . ... Realtor and appraiser Gerald N. Perlow, of Glenview, and a senior consultant with Property Valuation Services, has received the Illinois Association of Realtors Political Involvement Award.

Dale Ziegler is the new vice president at Oak Brook-based On Point Technology, which provides unemployment insurance systems. Ziegler has worked at the U.S. Department of Labor, the state of Washington's Employment Security Department, and the Maryland Department of Economic & Employment Development.

Glen Ellyn resident Dean Fischer, CEO and co-founder of West Monroe Partners in Chicago, said the business and technology consultancy has restructured as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan trust. It transferred 100-percent of ownership to the ESOP trust. All 325 U.S. employees will participate as beneficial owners of the firm.

•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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