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updated: 2/17/2014 5:19 AM

Lincolnshire entrepreneur tees off with new TeeOff.com

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  • Gary Cohen

      Gary Cohen

  • Kathy Berger

      Kathy Berger

  • Lakshmi "Sue" Veeramasuneni

      Lakshmi "Sue" Veeramasuneni

  • Roz Iaccino

      Roz Iaccino

  • Beth Marchetti

      Beth Marchetti

  • Lindene Patton

      Lindene Patton

  • Kathryn E. McGough

      Kathryn E. McGough

 
 

Gary Cohen of Lincolnshire isn't much of a golfer. He just dabbles, he says.

But that hasn't held him back from taking on the CEO position at EZLinks Golf in Chicago and relaunching an upgraded TeeOff.com to provide discounted tee times.

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The website offers reservations at about 1,250 golf courses nationwide, the Caribbean, Mexico and elsewhere. From that group, about 100 courses are in the Chicago and suburban area.

"It was a little difficult to find great tee times online before, so we were trying to make it easier for people to golf locally and find great discounts," said Cohen, 52.

Cohen has been with EZLinks since August 2012 and jokingly said the website's launch happened during the Polar Vortex about a month ago. But that didn't stop some duffers from reserving times in Hawaii, Mexico or other warm areas. The company also provides an answering service for those golf courses.

The New York born-and-raised Cohen came to the Chicago area to earn his MBA at the University of Chicago in the late 1980s and then plunged into the entrepreneur's lifestyle.

He cofounded Cruise Technologies in Arlington Heights and then MusicNow, which was later sold to Circuit City and then to AOL, he said.

Just before joining EZLinks, Cohen was senior vice president of marketing and customer experience at Oakbrook Terrace-based Redbox.

So how did he go from movies to golf? It's all part of the entertainment experience.

"There was a great opportunity here with a dynamic, growing technology company," he said.

And like Redbox helped to change the DVD industry, he aims to help EZLinks change the golf booking industry, he said.

"I'm the type who spends more times behind the scenes to help build businesses and focus on the consumer," he added.

Zurich exec in D.C.

Lindene Patton, chief climate product officer for Zurich Insurance in Schaumburg, testified last week in front of U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs at a hearing on "Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared." Zurich is committed to creating sustainable and resilient communities and Patton shared with the committee an insurance industry perspective on the current state of our nation's resilience to extreme weather events and the economic importance of investing today in improving resilience.

Restaurant owner to mark 50

Edward Wolowiec will mark 50 years this June for his Port Edward Restaurant on the Fox River in Algonquin. The restaurant has been featured in the past by "Check Please" and "Best of Chicago" and received the "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence."

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• 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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