2014 readers choice results
Article posted: 8/26/2013 5:00 AM

Culver's manager, WWII vet friendship may lead to Honor Flight

George Houchin of Waukegan and Culver’s General Manager Jesse Jarrett in Zion.

George Houchin of Waukegan and Culver's General Manager Jesse Jarrett in Zion.



COURTESY OF CULVER’S  Culver’s General Manager Jesse Jarrett in Zion talks with longtime customer George Houchin of Waukegan.

COURTESY OF CULVER'S Culver's General Manager Jesse Jarrett in Zion talks with longtime customer George Houchin of Waukegan.

COURTESY OF MICHAEL WEBDELL/AMERICAN MASS MEDIA Hardcore Pawn: Chicago stars include Nathan Cohen (Wayne’s Son), from left, co-owner Randy Cohen, co-owner Wayne Cohen and Elyse Cohen (Randy’s daughter).

COURTESY OF MICHAEL WEBDELL/AMERICAN MASS MEDIA Hardcore Pawn: Chicago stars include Nathan Cohen (Wayne's Son), from left, co-owner Randy Cohen, co-owner Wayne Cohen and Elyse Cohen (Randy's daughter).

Diane Osgood, from left, Tom Eckels, Doug Bosco, Jim Berg and Gregg Szulczynski, all from the Prairie State Canoeists, helped to clean up the Fox River.

Diane Osgood, from left, Tom Eckels, Doug Bosco, Jim Berg and Gregg Szulczynski, all from the Prairie State Canoeists, helped to clean up the Fox River.

Roger Brimmerman

Roger Brimmerman

Ashley McCarthy

Ashley McCarthy

John Shearer

John Shearer

Dan Milus

Dan Milus

Jake West

Jake West

 1 of 9 
text size: AAA

Jesse Jarrett, general manager of the Culver's restaurant in Zion, became friends with longtime customer and World War II veteran George Houchin of Waukegan.

"George has been coming to our restaurant for the last six years or so, even after his wife Lola passed away about a year ago, he continued to come," Jarrett said.


The team at Culver's always had Houchin's two-piece chicken dinner ready when they saw him coming, Jarrett said.

So when the Culver's corporate program to support the Honor Flight Chicago came up, Jarrett immediately thought about Houchin. The one-day trip to Washington, D.C., offered World War II veterans a chance to visit the memorial accompanied by a family member, in case they needed assistance or someone to share the experience.

Culver's recently aimed their philanthropic efforts toward Honor Flight Chicago and had raised more than $33,000 for July's flight. Since then, Culver's team members have still been getting the word out and working to sign up as many vets as they can find, a company spokeswoman said.

So Jarrett stopped at Houchin's home, dropped off some paperwork related to the flight, and encouraged Houchin to think about the trip.

At first, Houchin didn't want to relive D-Day or his wartime and discouraged the idea. But a few days later, he came into the restaurant with his daughter and handed in the completed paperwork, said Jarrett.

Houchin would go in October, but on one condition -- if Jarrett accompanied him. Jarrett agreed.

"He's very excited, but I have the biggest honor," said Jarrett. "I've always supported our veterans and this will definitely be one of the highlights of my life."

A family that pawns together ...

A special episode of truTV's "Hardcore Pawn: Chicago" that aired on Sunday had the episode take place in the basement of star Randy Cohen's Glenview home and featured the Ides of March with Jim Peterik of Burr Ridge. Other episodes feature transactions in the Chicago store with Randy's brother Wayne Cohen, Randy's daughter, Elyse Cohen, and Wayne's son, Nathan Cohen.

Davies marks 80th year

Harry Davies began Davies Molding in 1933 with only seven molding presses and three punch presses in downtown Chicago. He made knobs, handles, cases, ashtrays, and custom plastic components and continued to grow during World War II and later expanded its products and capabilities. The company, which just marked its 80th anniversary, is now in Carol Stream and led by President Derran Smith.

Shafer top scientist

Warren E. Shafer of Libertyville was recognized with the career achievement award, Outstanding Industry Scientist, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science in Palm Desert, CA. The award recognizes a horticultural crops scientist working in the private sector who has made outstanding and valuable contributions to horticultural science. Shafer is the vice president of research and development and regulatory affairs for Valent BioSciences Corp., a Libertyville-headquartered subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. based in Tokyo.


George Stenitzer, a spokesman for Naperville-based Tellabs Inc., was part of a team of volunteer kayakers and canoeists who helped clean up the Fox River. The annual event includes 20 to 40 people and is hosted by the ECO Commission of Oswego and Prairie State Canoeists. Some are in boats, others walk along the shore. Other items they found included a hopper from a manufacturing plant, the most unusual item retrieved. They also pulled about half a ton of garbage out of the Fox, including tires, plastic bags, beverage containers and a TV, he said.

Layne Pollard of Gurnee is the new owner of Gurnee Central Bark Doggy Day Care. After 23 years in the watch manufacturing business, he wanted a career change and decided on this franchise based on his love of dogs. ... Roger Brimmerman is Judson University's new associate vice president for development, serving as the chief fundraising strategist with a significant role in major gift fundraising for the Elgin institution. ... Naila Babar is the owner of the recently opened Ibrow Threading in Mundelein.

Scott Imhoff has been appointed as vice president of product management at Cambium Networks, a wireless broadband access an network solutions provider in Rolling Meadows. ... Bill Forslev is now the administrator of professional services at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. ... Todd Shelton has been appointed to senior vice president and chief financial officer of United Stationers Inc. in Deerfield. He replaced Fareed Khan, who resigned for another job. ... Michael L. Scudder, president and CEO of Itasca-based First Midwest Bancorp, was a speaker at the Raymond James 2013 U.S. Bank Conference in Chicago last week.

Peter R. Florek, vice president of MAGA Ltd., a family-owned and operated insurance agency in Riverwoods that focuses on long-term care insurance, ranked third nationwide on the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance 2013 sales achievement listing. MAGA President Brian I. Gordon ranked 6th nationwide. The 12th annual awards program recognizes leading LTCI professionals working with consumers.

Obstetrician/gynecologist Robert J. Hartman joined Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group in Lake Forest and will continue to see patients at his office in the Hunter Center for Women's Health at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

Ashley McCarthy, a partner with Tom James Clothing Co. in Downers Grove, has earned a spot with the company's President's Club. This award is based upon building a clientele that does $500,000 of business in a one-year period. She received stock and cash bonuses and a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Also, new partners in the firm include Dan C. Milus, who is responsible for Naperville growth; John D. Shearer targets Schaumburg and Itasca areas; Jake M. West focuses on the Oak Brook area.

Greg Werner, vice president of Mortenson Construction in Chicago, said his company was involved in the upgraded locker room, expanded weight room and updated dining room with an outdoor patio for the Chicago Bears headquarters in Lake Forest.

Chairman and CEO Sam K. Reed and Chief Financial Officer Dennis F. Riordan of TreeHouse Foods Inc. in Oak Brook will be presenters at the Barclays Back-To-School Consumer Conference in Boston on Sept. 4.

•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.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
Business Video
Area Business Calendar


Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.


Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad


    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North