Aurora company makes mark saving lives in Afghanistan
The Nosek family behind Keson Industries didn't think that starting the business in their home in Berwyn more than 40 years ago would one day save the lives of our troops in Afghanistan in the 21st century.
But chalk has a way of doing that.
Back up to 1968 when Roy Nosek started Keson and eventually produced a variety of measuring and marking tools including chalk products, that help contractors, carpenters and other do-it-yourselfers mark straight lines for cutting or other necessary measurements. Today, the company has settled its headquarters in Aurora, employs 48 workers and provides its products to Menard's, Sears, Amazon.com, Grainger, and other building supply stores, said Ron Nosek, 66, of Elmhurst.
When his father, Roy, was declining with Alzheimer's disease and eventually died, Ron Nosek eventually left his solo practice as a criminal trial lawyer and former DuPage County assistant state's attorney to become the company's chairman. While he remains as chairman, his sons Aaron of Naperville and Jude of Oak Park, along with nephew David of Elburn all help run the business.
But the family got a call more than a month ago that actually made their tagline, "Make Your Mark" mean something more.
They heard that the troops in Afghanistan needed something, like a powder, to help mark "improvised explosive devices," buried bombs that could kill troops or locals who accidentally walk or ride over them.
"We've always had a philosophy of strong community involvement," said Ron Nosek.
The family worked with TroopsDirect.org in California to arrange for 1,300 pounds of colored chalk to arrive in Afghanistan. It was shipped courtesy via Roadrunner Transportation Services. And it's now being used by a battalion of about 1,000 service members there.
"This American-made product will leave its mark in a hugely effective way halfway across the globe," said Nosek.
Give her a hand: Heather Kinsley of Algonquin, who was a human resources consultant, has opened her own business called Hand & Stone, a massage and facial spa in Algonquin. It's part of a franchise that plans to expand, with 20 more locations around Chicago and the suburbs.
Rolling out the red carpet
Jeanne Varwig of Barrington, heads a committee that includes Kathy Bay-Lichte of Crystal Lake, Ed Tolle of Huntley, Bettye Traylor of Lincolnshire and others are working on the Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital's annual Red Carpet Ball, which is set for Oct. 1. The gala has raised more than $1.3 million in the last five years.
Want fries with that? The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shari Baum along with Sugar Grove village President Sean Michels and other local officials will join franchise owners Ed and Richard Schmitt to cut the ribbon for the McDonald's open house on Tuesday at 523 N. Route 47, Sugar Grove.
Oak Brook-based Crowe Horwath LLP, a major accounting and consulting firm, has hired several new workers, including Thomas Hagenberg of Oakbrook Terrace in Risk Consulting; Christopher Behof of Arlington Heights in Audit and Financial Advisory; Tracy Delgado of Hoffman Estates, as senior staff in Performance; Mark Bellich of Clarendon Hills on Audit and Financial Advisory; and Brenda Mast of Waukegan as manager of Performance. ... J. Thomas Futrell of Wheaton has been hired as senior portfolio manager of Performance Trust Investment Advisors LLC in Chicago. He'll be serving individual and institution investors and focus on the municipal bond market. The firm also hired John Wilhelm of Woodridge as portfolio manager and also will focus on the bond market.
Financial Advisor Patrick C. Schiltz of Arlington Heights and branch office Administrator Manu Denk-Liniewski of Streamwood, both of the Edward Jones office in Streamwood, were ranked within the top 25 percent of the nation for excellence in client service at Edward Jones.
Batavia-based Aires Consulting Group Inc. has Abigail Wilkins of Batavia as environmental consultant, Carol Frye of Batavia as señor safety consultant, and added Geoffrey J. Bacci II of Chicago as director of engineering and environmental services, ... Shaunese Teamer of North Chicago is the new executive director of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce. ... Jennifer Segur of South Barrington is the new vice president/online channel manager at MB Financial Bank in Rosemont.
• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people who make business work. Send news about people in business to email@example.com. Follow me on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.