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posted: 4/29/2013 5:30 AM

Hoffman Estates couple hits home run with business, life

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  • Kate Mitchum and fiancee Tony Feo, who co-own Lake Zurich-based Go Hardball.

      Kate Mitchum and fiancee Tony Feo, who co-own Lake Zurich-based Go Hardball.
    COURTESY OF GO HARDBALL

  • Kate Mitchum and fiancee Tony Feo, who co-own Lake Zurich-based Go Hardball.

      Kate Mitchum and fiancee Tony Feo, who co-own Lake Zurich-based Go Hardball.
    COURTESY OF GO HARDBALL

  • Kate Mitchum and fiancee Tony Feo, who co-own Lake Zurich-based Go Hardball.

      Kate Mitchum and fiancee Tony Feo, who co-own Lake Zurich-based Go Hardball.
    COURTESY OF GO HARDBALL

  • Greg Brown

      Greg Brown

  • Warner Cruz

      Warner Cruz

  • Randy Jostes

      Randy Jostes

  • Jenet Pequeno

      Jenet Pequeno

  • James Doerr

      James Doerr

  • Brian Warens

      Brian Warens

  • Mary Murphy

      Mary Murphy

  • Robert McIlvaine

      Robert McIlvaine

  • Walter Sheldon, from left, Bill Leff, and Carl "Spark" Ball of Love Inc. receive a $1,000 grant from Allstate.

      Walter Sheldon, from left, Bill Leff, and Carl "Spark" Ball of Love Inc. receive a $1,000 grant from Allstate.
    COURTESY OF ALLSTATE

 
 

In 2005, Kate Mitchum met Tony Feo while she was playing in a women's baseball league called the Chicago Gems. The coach knew Feo, who was then with the Midwest Suburban League. Feo helped to coach a practice that included Mitchum at an Arlington Heights field.

Mitchum was also in an administrative position with the league and didn't think twice about Feo. "I ignored him for a year," she said.

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That didn't last. The duo now owns Lake Zurich-based Go Hardball, a business that offers hitting, pitching and other sports training for all ages and abilities.

Baseball is their life. They are getting married on Oct. 12 in a baseball-themed wedding ceremony at home plate at the Kane County Cougar Stadium. While they'll wear traditional formal wear, the bridesmaids will carry baseball-looking bouquets of large white flowers with red running through, like stitching. Two nephews will be dressed by batboys. And their reception will be in the skybox area.

Looking back, Mitchum recalls the day they knew their entrepreneurial spirits were a match. The were in a sports bar and she mentioned how she would one day like to own a baseball facility.

"His eyes just lit up," she said. "He said he never thought anyone else would have that same dream."

That's when they decided to go into business together. After all, she thought, if they could work together, they could certainly do well together as a married couple.

Today, she said their company has four other employees and they're aiming to expand by next year and possibly open another location, she said.

After the wedding, the couple expects to remain living in Hoffman Estates while planning for the future of their company.

"We found a good road map for success," she said.

Stimulating the immigration bill

Greg Brown, CEO of Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions, is working hard to get a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed either this summer or fall. Brown was named in January as the chairman of the Select Committee on Comprehensive Immigration Reform for the Business Roundtable. He has conducted meetings at the White House with President Obama and CEOs from other companies to consider reforms to the nation's immigration policy. He also serves on the steering committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. He met with the President about a month ago and will return in mid-May. "This is a major step in getting the best and the brightest here to work," Brown said. "And I consider this another type of economic stimulus since these people work here and pay taxes here and spend money here."

Helping during the flood

Warner Cruz, owner of Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration Inc., recently met a mother whose son is on dialysis with a serious illness. When the woman's Des Plaines home flooded, Cruz decided to gather 10 volunteers to help with the cleanup effort. The company already has a wall displaying their "Acts of Charity," the company told us.

Volunteer with a heart

Walter Sheldon, an Allstate agency owner in Palatine, received the Allstate Agency Hands in the Community Award for community service. Because of Sheldon's volunteerism, the Allstate Foundation awarded a $1,000 grant to Love Inc, a nonprofit organization where he volunteers. Sheldon, an Arlington Heights resident, has picked up and delivered used furniture to families. An Allstate official said Sheldon especially enjoys seeing how grateful and overjoyed families are to receive basic living items that others take for granted.

FastTrack

Randy Jostes of Wheaton is now a principal with RTM & Associates, an engineering consulting firm in Chicago and South Barrington, and will be responsible for new business development. ... Lyle Heidemann of Crystal Lake is retiring as president and CEO of True Value Co. and will be replaced by John Hartmann, who is still in the process of relocating. ... Attorneys Jenét Pequeño, James Doerr and Brian Warens joined Lavelle Law Ltd. in Palatine. ... Pat Cerny Keplinger owns Downsizing by Design, a business that supports boomers, seniors and their families to downsize their homes, whether they remain at home or move to a smaller home or senior living community.

Jones Lang LaSalle's Todd Schaefer represented Tomy International in relocating its U.S. headquarters to a new 25,000-square foot space at Commerce Plaza in Oak Brook, while the Jones Lang LaSalle's Jeff Shay, Bruce Renwick and Karla Harmon represented the building's owner, Arden Realty. ... Daniel Derman, vice president of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and president of Northwestern Memorial Physician's Group Northwestern Medicine said the new Immediate Care Center and Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group office has opened at 350 S. Waukegan Road in Deerfield.

Mary Murphy of Westchester has been named regional vice president for nursing with Hinsdale-based Adventist Midwest Health. ... Warren Seil, president of Morgan/Harbour Construction in Woodridge, said the firm will be constructing a 21,000-square-foot hangar at the Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling. It's expected to be completed later this summer.

Jack Allen has been appointed as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Lisle-based Navistar International Corp. He was the president of the company's North America Truck and Parts business since last June. ... Electrician Lee Stapel is perhaps the longest-tenured employee honored at Adventist Midwest Health's service awards banquet this year with 50 years of service at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

Realtor Robert McIlvaine has joined the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in St. Charles. ... Eric Wagener is a new broker and marketing executive with Owen Wagener & Co.in Schaumburg. ... Wells Fargo Advisors in Deerfield had several promotions in its branch offices, including Jay Cunningham in Naperville and Kimberly Maxey in Oak Brook, both promoted to senior vice president investments; Andy Buchta in Barrington, Maurice Griffin in Lake Forest, Cynthia Jones in Arlington Heights, Micah Nathan in Deerfield, Paul Reider in Naperville, and Matt Schultz in Skokie all promoted to first vice president of investments; Elias Friedman and Amy Garcia, both in Itasca, and Mark Murphy in Woodstock each promoted to vice president of investments; and Naveed Ahmed in Itasca promoted to associate vice president of investments.

•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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