Chester Matusek of Algonquin is 91 and perhaps the oldest and longest tenured employee of the former Motorola Inc. and now Motorola Solutions in Schaumburg. The metal mold maker has worked on the company's most legendary products, including its first DynaTac cellphone and other products.
The former World War II private, who had served under General George S. Patton, is now repairing Motorola's walkie talkies from back in the day.
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"At the metal shop, we were involved in everything at Motorola," Matusek said. "I really liked working on the DynaTac. That was an interesting job. Right now, I am repairing World War II walkie-talkies, because people like to talk on them when they visit our museum (the Innovation Center). I like to keep them up and running. It's not easy getting them up and running, but it's pretty amazing that the quality was there so many years ago that we still can get them running."
Matusek started at Motorola in 1955, by accident. On the day he quit his job at Nuclear Chicago, he and his wife, Helen, were driving on Augusta Boulevard when they saw the sign for Motorola.
"I told my wife, I need to go in and see if they have any openings," Matusek said. "I walked in, waited an hour and then chatted with Ernie Thileberg Sr., manager of the model shop, and within 15 minutes I had a job. I walked to the car and told my wife that I report in 2 weeks. I wanted to finish my vacation before I started."
Matusek said he didn't intend to become a machinist. When he finished elementary school, he had to determine which high school he wanted to attend.
"I decided on Washburn Trade School in Chicago," Matusek said. "When I went to sign up, I signed up for an electrical course, because I wanted to be an electrician. I sat down in the classroom on the first day, and the teacher came in and canceled the class because not enough people signed up. So I went to the machine class. That's how I started my career, by accident."
He said he's been happy at Motorola and intends to stay as long as possible. His positions included key operator, group leader, then foreman of production tooling. He is now a restoration, duplication and conservation archivist.
"Motorola was an up and coming company, there was a lot of history there," he said. "I was and still am happy working here. The innovation has kept me interested."
While his wife passed away in 1980, the couple had a son and daughter. Matusek now lives with his son, who is married. Matusek also has three grandchildren. So what are his plans now?
"Just keep working," he said "I am not quitting. No sense in sitting home in the rocking chair. As long as I'm able to, I'm going to keep on working."
Army general on Lemko board
Former Major General David A. Morris has been appointed to the advisory board of Lemko Corp. in Itasca. Morris was commissioned as an infantry officer from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1975. He then served nine years on active duty, in infantry and Special Forces assignments, including in El Salvador. As an Army reserve officer, Morris served with the U.S. Special Operations Command and other Special Operations units. He commanded a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq, and later the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command Airborne. He finished his army career as director of the Joint Irregular Warfare Center.
Sahoo leads with awards
Sanjib Sahoo of Naperville and chief technology officer of OptionMonster Holdings in Chicago has been selected as the 2013 CIO of the Year award presented by the Executive's Club of Chicago. He's helped to build tradeMONSTER trading platform. His team also recently won the Illinois Technology Association's Citylights Award for the Best Technology Team.
Brennan a two-time winner
Scott Brennan, owner & president of CMIT Solutions Fox Valley North in Algonquin, received the 2013 President's Award, a national away presented during the recent CMIT Solutions annual conference in Miami, which included CMIT Solutions franchise partners from around the country. CMIT Solutions of Fox Valley North, an IT services provider, is the first two-time recipient of the President's Award.
Longtime broadcaster Merri Dee of Barrington launches her book, "Life Lessons on Faith, Forgiveness and Grace" on June 5 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. ... Steve BeLow of Naperville was among 30 financial advisers for U.S. Bancorp Investments Inc., who earned the 2012 President's Club Inner Circle Recognition Award. BeLow is a financial adviser at U.S. Bank in Naperville. ... Accountant Brett Mathieson, manager at Mathieson, Moyski, Celer & Co. LLP in Wheaton, received the Top Young Professional of the Year award from the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce at its annual Gamon Awards He's also the chamber's treasurer.
Terrance Collins has been appointed as senior vice president of human resources for Lincolnshire-based Zebra Technologies. ... Jason Mitchell is manager and Uli Perez is training manager of K1 Speed's new Buffalo Grove Racing Center with electric karts. ... Justin Eggar, owner of the Eggar Insurance Agency in Geneva, said the agency ranked in the top 3 percent of all Allstate agents nationwide. It also was awarded the title of "Premier Service Agency" for consistently delivering accessible, knowledgeable and personal customer service.
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Steven Zandpour of Glenview has been appointed as market president for the North Shore Market of the Chicago Metro North region at BMO Harris. ... Marty Manning of Glenview and former president of Advocate Physician Partners, has joined Health Directions, a health care consulting firm in Oakbrook Terrace, as executive vice president.
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