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Article updated: 10/22/2013 7:43 AM

Skies, open road lure Naperville banker

By Anna Marie Kukec

Don't define Lou Petritz by his new position as president of First Community Financial Bank-Naperville. For someone with a pilot's license and a love for motorcycles, he doesn't exactly fit the conservative banker mold.

"I like machines that move the body and the spirit," the Naperville resident said. "There's something so refreshing and exhilarating and yet very practical about taking these methods of transportation."

He also didn't start out in banking. Instead, he was a repo man with a consumer financial company where he learned a lot about business.

"For a twenty-something, it was a good job," Petritz said. "It gave me a lot of time out of the office, too. That's where I learned a lot about business and about people. It even taught me how to look someone in the eye and decide if they're telling me the truth."

He later attended night classes, earned his MBA and went into banking as a career. He held leadership roles at American Chartered Bank, U.S. Bank and Gary-Wheaton Bank of Fox Valley before replacing J. Patrick Benton at First Community in Naperville.

"This was a good opportunity to continue in banking. It was the right job at the right time," he said.

When he's not in the office, he loves to hit the road ... or the sky.

When he was about 40, he took flying lessons at an airport in Bolingbrook and eventually earned a pilot's license.

He'll rent a Cessna 172, a single-engine plane with four seats. He and his wife, Judie Caribeaux, take trips around the Midwest, a nice perk for pilots, he said.

"There's a joke among pilots about the $100 hamburger," he said. "You fly somewhere just for the day and have lunch and the hamburger costs you $5, but the fuel costs are $95."

"There's something about flying an airplane that it's like a brain flush. You can't think of anything else at the time and you must focus on what you're doing."

He also owns two motorcycles, a Yamaha V-Star and Honda Shadow and he often goes on road trips with one of them. But he doesn't drive them to the office.

"My suit would get tattered," he joked.

Cooper among business leaders

Batavia resident Donna Cooper, president, of Dreyer Medical Clinic, is among a group of business executives featured in Chicago United's newest Business Leaders of Color publication. The business advocacy group highlights exceptional corporate and civic leaders. An affiliate of Advocate Health Care, Dreyer is a multi-specialty group with 255 providers and 1,100 associates in Batavia, Aurora, North Aurora, St. Charles and Yorkville, among other locations. Tenny helps travelers after storm

Debbie Tenny, a corporate travel agent for Options Travel in Des Plaines, was honored by the American Society of Travel Agents for the work she did on behalf of one her clients during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the New York-New Jersey area on Oct. 29, 2012. Over a three-month period following the Sandy disaster, Tenny was hit with challenge after challenge in booking over 5,900 room nights in the middle of a disaster area for one of the leading salvage auto auction companies in North America. Her client was faced with identifying, evaluating, hauling, storing and disposing of about 40 percent of the estimated 230,000 automobiles damaged during the storm. The firm needed to get their employees into and out of the area over and over again to deal with the massive job.

Spice store owner grinds it out

Marlena Jayatilake, owner of Highland Park-based Love That Spice, can be seen grinding spices on site as well as delivering products to local customers. The store opened on Oct. 14 and sells exotic spices, herbs, spice blends and cooking sauces. She also offers regular classes and events to encourage the use of new spices and spice blends in home cooking.

FastTrack

A. Denise Farrugia, youth services manager at the St. Charles Public Library, was inducted as an Illinois Library Luminary by the Illinois Library Association. ... Anna Morgese is the new life care navigation manager at Visiting Angels of South Elgin. ... Melissa Mrkvicka was promoted to Life Management Services program manager at Lisle-based Pact Inc. ... Laura Mullen of St. Charles is the new account manager at Martinez Creative Group in St. Charles. ... Glen Malan is the new vice president and chief information officer of the Arlington Heights-based Northwest Community Healthcare.

Teresa Mackintosh is the new president and CEO of CCH Tax & Accounting U.S., part of Riverwoods-based Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, a global provider of tax, accounting and audit solutions. ... Joseph L. Weidenbach, senior vice president, Chicago region head for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, has been elected to the board of trustees of The Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

Sue Miller, managing broker with Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in McHenry, received the Illinois Association of Realtors 2013 Distinguished Service Award. It honors individuals who have provided outstanding contributions and service to the Illinois Association of Realtors and their local communities.

Sports Physical Therapist Michael E. Kordecki, principal at Praxis Physical Therapy in Vernon Hills, said he invented a new shoulder pad system that increases the ability of medical personnel to treat players with potential head and neck injuries. Kordecki literally designed the pads by trial and error with parts bought at local hardware stores while working in his basement. He spent about 2 years perfecting the system and working with medical and athletic professionals to develop and ultimately license the design.

Steven Hoeft of Naperville is being honored with a 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award from North Central College. He graduated from North Central in 1973 with a degree in both English studies and political science. Hoeft and six others will be honored during the college's homecoming convocation at 4:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. in Naperville. Hoeft specializes in construction and real estate litigation at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Chicago.

Jennifer Fisher has opened Jen Fisher Books in Roselle, fulfilling her dream of owning a bookstore, despite the digital world. ... Jeremy Cai and Peter Bernardi, 2013 graduates of Hinsdale Central High School, have launched a startup company called Sprout Bin, an innovative approach to composting. They focus on the Bokashi method of composting through fermentation, which is faster, has no rotting or greenhouses gases and no smells.

Rhonda Jordan, a veteran of Kraft Foods Inc. in Northfield, has been appointed to the board of directors starting Nov. 1 at Westchester-based Ingredion Inc., a global provider of ingredient solutions to various industries.

ŸThere'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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