Rae Martin, co-owner of Russell Martin Carpet & Rugs in Naperville, has always wanted to go to Scotland. Her husband and co-owner, Dave Martin, has always wanted to go to New Zealand. But with a sore knee, she put off any trips for a while until Dave said he would take her on a trip of a lifetime after her knee replacement.
She had the surgery and Dave surprised her with tickets -- to New Zealand.
"At first I had to grow into the idea," Rae admitted with a laugh. "But once we got there, it was the most beautiful place on earth."
After a 13-hour flight, they took a few days to adjust and then they began their monthlong journey mixing fun with business, a firsthand look at the wool industry.
The couple visited three sheep farms and were hosted for a few days by Ross Townshend, CEO of Wools of New Zealand. It helped them to learn how sheep are raised, sheared and how the wool is selected for carpets.
"The CEO had his own helicopter and asked us if we wanted a ride," she said. "He took us for a ride over Hamilton and we saw the countryside and we also noticed a lot of people here had their own planes and helicopters to get around."
In fact, she said Townshend was planning a trip to Shanghai in a few days.
"They travel a lot. It's exhausting," she said.
Then Dave was given the chance to watch how sheep are shorn and was invited to do some.
Dave took the shears in hand and started on one leg of a sheep. The rest was done by a professional hand on the farm.
"The sheep survived," Rae laughed.
About 300 to 400 could be shorn in a day, she said.
They hold the sheep back toward the worker, and once off their feet, the sheep go limp and can be quickly shorn, she said.
"The sheep really don't like to be shorn," Rae said. "But it takes about 3 minutes and when they're done, it's like they hop, like they have springs on their feet,"
While their business portion of the trip lasted a few days, the memories will last a lifetime.
"I'm still trying to convince him we're not moving there," Rae said. "We have three grandchildren here, we're not moving there."
But she' still waiting for tickets to Scotland.
Author, author for new books
Alex Bratton, founder of Lextech Global Services in Lisle, is an entrepreneur and wrote the new book, "Billion Dollar Apps: How to Find and Implement a Winning Mobile Strategy." It walks readers through the process of identifying wasteful workflows, applying mobile apps that streamline processes, and measuring the effectiveness of the mobile strategy. The print book can be purchased from amazon.com, and will be available soon as an e-book on Amazon and an iBook on iTunes. ... And speaking of books, Ray Wisbrock, principal consultant for Wisbrock Communications in Palatine, published his debut fictional novel, "Line of Succession," now available as an e-book via Amazon.com.
Santacrose new Tecta CEO
Mark Santacrose is the new CEO at Tecta America Corp., a commercial roofing company in Rosemont. He had been Tecta's CEO from March 2000 to December 2011 and then continued on the company's board of directors. Brynne Smith was CEO from November 2011 to July 2013, but he left the company when Oaktree Capital Management LLC, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, bought Tecta in July 2013. Mark Gaulin, former Tecta America COO and former NRCA president stepped in from July 2013 to this month as interim COO.
Mark D. Schwabero of Naperville is the new president and chief operating officer, reporting to Dustan E. McCoy, chairman and CEO at Brunswick Corp. in Lake Forest. Schwabero, most recently president of Brunswick's Mercury Marine engine segment, will be succeeded by John C. Pfeifer, who had been vice president of global operations for Mercury Marine.
Katherine Konkel, performance coach at Elite Athletic Development/CrossFit Arlington Heights, passed the National Strength and Conditioning Association certified strength and conditioning specialist exam. The credential is required to work with collegiate and professional sports teams, and is one of only 13 health and fitness programs from thousands offered across the country that is accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies. She is the fourth performance coach at Elite Athletic Development/CrossFit Arlington Heights to earn the credential.
Peter Hahn was appointed as the head of predictive analytics at Schaumburg-based Zurich North America. ... Attorney Robert S. Medansky of Fox River Grove joined Franks & Rechenberg P.C. in Lake in the Hills. ... Alan Phelps of Gurnee and L. Kate Watson are new environmental project engineers; Meghan O'Leary of Crystal Lake is a marketing assistant; Brandon Pakosta of Naperville is a systems integrator; and Samuel Demokvich of Crystal Lake is an IT support technician now at Baxter & Woodman Inc., a consulting engineers firm in Crystal Lake.
Peter Brennan, president of Hinsdale-based Foxford Communities, said sales have started for the second phase at Hawthorn Trails, a community of custom and semi-custom single-family homes in Hawthorn Woods. ... Gary Mattes, CEO of Lagrange-based Boomm Marketing and Communications, collected the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts' 2014 Silver Communicator Award in the Integrated Business-to-Business Campaign category.
CPA John Maduros of Lemont has taken the newly-created position of chief operating officer/chief financial officer at Bridge Development Partners. ... Monica Kogan, a board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeon, with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, has expanded her practice to Prairie Medical Center of Westchester. ... Downers Grove resident Jim Lipuma is the first chief sales officer for Chicago-based Kapow Events. He formerly was the head of U.S. sales at AOL/Patch. He joins Kapow co-founder and CEO Marc Halpin and co-founder and COO Dan McCormick.
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