Geneva entrepreneur aims to help here, abroad

  • Joel Petersen

    Joel Petersen

  • Renee Trikolas

    Renee Trikolas

  • COURTESY OF CHRISTINA CURRIE EVENTS Award winners for the Christina Currie Events Inc. in Inverness include, from left, Char Miller, Beth Bauer, Christina Currie, Britini Wilkens (the bride), Michelle Fawcett (mother of the bride), Susan Buerckholtz, Lauren Debrauwere, Diana Raedel and Jessica Burke.

    COURTESY OF CHRISTINA CURRIE EVENTS Award winners for the Christina Currie Events Inc. in Inverness include, from left, Char Miller, Beth Bauer, Christina Currie, Britini Wilkens (the bride), Michelle Fawcett (mother of the bride), Susan Buerckholtz, Lauren Debrauwere, Diana Raedel and Jessica Burke.

  • Andrew Szafran

    Andrew Szafran

  • Aaron Zorn

    Aaron Zorn

  • Mark P. Klein

    Mark P. Klein

  • Chuck Middleton

    Chuck Middleton

  • Paul Petrillo

    Paul Petrillo

  • Jane Robins

    Jane Robins

  • Teresa Mackintosh

    Teresa Mackintosh

  • Laurence Dry

    Laurence Dry

Updated 4/23/2012 8:04 AM

Joel Petersen of Geneva and his wife Jeanie own Hemisphere Recruiting in Geneva. He also owns Despite running two businesses, he still has time for something he feels is more important -- volunteering to help orphans overseas.

Petersen saw a notice for a mission at his First Baptist Church of Geneva about a mission to Tsyurupinsk Orphanage in Ukraine. The orphanage has about 170 kids and work was needed to accommodate those who have disabilities. So he and fellow church member Ralph Wilson of Elburn plan to participate in the mission July 24-Aug. 5, hosted by New Mission Systems International.

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"God gave me the 'mission itch' so I had to scratch it," Petersen joked. "I was looking to do a mission and was originally thinking of our church's mission trip to Appalachia in Kentucky, but then this opportunity caught me."

Petersen said he's done other missions, including six international missions, the most recent being in Turkey about 2 years ago. He's volunteered on five missions to Mexico. The Ukraine mission involves building a handicapped accessible playground/physical therapy area. The orphanage has a small playground now, but it is all basic steel swing sets and not handicapped accessible.

"To me it is not so relevant where these kids are -- Ukraine, Mexico, the Fox Valley, Haiti or wherever," Petersen said. " But there are certain places in the world that need more help than others and Ukraine is one of them. I guess you could say that I didn't find the mission. The mission found me."

Petersen believes missions are important to help fellow human beings, especially children. So others could consider volunteering, say, at Lazarus House in St Charles, or as a bell ringer for Salvation Army, or earthquake relief in Haiti or building a better existence for handicapped kids in Ukraine.


"I have many, many failings but I try my best to be a good example for others but especially my children," Petersen said. "We want to help these kids have a better, easier and more fulfilling life. They have already been dealt a bad hand and if I can help make a difference I will."

For more information on New Mission Systems International and the Ukraine mission, see:

Jewel of her eye

Bracelet designer Renee Trikolas, owner of Kildeer-based Isabella Rose Designs, made her TV debut a few weeks ago on VH1's "House of Consignments." She worked with Chicago fashionista Corri McFadden to place some of her pieces on auction and they've been seen on actress Drew Barrymore. BTW, Isabella Rose Designs is named after Trikolas' daughter and the jewelry is available at Trump Tower, trunk shows and private viewings.

His highness cuts the ribbon

Niles-based MFRI Inc. CEO David Unger said his company's Perma-Pipe subsidiary held a grand opening of its new manufacturing facility for pre-insulated pipe systems in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province. The ribbon cutting was performed by His Royal Highness Prince Muhammad bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, governor of the Eastern Province, and Tawfig Al Rabiah, minister of Commerce and Industry. The event was attended by about 500 people, the company said.


They really like her

Christina Currie of Inverness, owner of Christina Currie Events Inc., and her team have won two awards for creating a fabulous environment for a wedding that cost more than $75,000. The honors were presented during the NICE Awards gala last week at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn. The gala combines both the National Association of Catering Executives and International Special Events Society. The high-end wedding was in Inverness where the bride wanted to get married at her grandparent's estate. After the ceremony in the front yard, guests had dinner poolside in the back. While they were eating, the front yard was turned into a nightclub.


Wilmette resident Andrew Szafran is the new chief financial officer at Naperville-based Tellabs Inc. He'll will be responsible for all of Tellabs' global finance operations, including finance, accounting, treasury, audit, financial planning, risk management, tax and investor relations. He will report to CEO Robert W. Pullen.

Aaron Zorn of Bartlett joins Tubelite Inc., which provides glazing contractors in the Chicago area with storefront, curtain wall, entrance and daylight control systems. ... Mark P. Klein has been promoted to vice president of domestic sales for Lincolnshire-based Klein Tools. He's been with the company for about 9 years. ... Roosevelt University President Chuck Middleton had his contracted renewed for another five years, through June 30, 2017. Besides the main campus in downtown Chicago, he oversees a campus in Schaumburg. ... Darren Sloniger, managing director of acquisitions for Naperville-based The Marquette Companies, said the firm is debuting 10 luxury rental penthouses, including five already rented, at Trio, a new apartment in downtown Chicago.

ComEd construction and maintenance crew member Kevin Miller, of Lakemoor, was driving a company truck on May 8, 2010, when he saw a car that was forced off the road by another vehicle and became submerged in water. Miller and his crew member called 911, ensured the victims' safety and created a safe zone on the shoulder for emergency personnel. In the interim, the crew maneuvered the utility truck's bucket into position to reach the car and rescue the passengers, ComEd officials said. He just recently received the Midwest Energy Association's Life-Sustaining Award for his efforts.

Former IBM information management expert, Mike Lamble, becomes the new president at Schaumburg-based XtremeData. ... Paul Petrillo of Palatine, a financial consultant with the Northwest Suburban Group of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, has qualified for Sierra level for 2011 for sales and service. It's one of three major levels in the organization. He was recognized by his peers at Thrivent Financial's recent sales conference. He has been with Thrivent Financial for 20 years and has been recognized for his performance 18 times. ... Jessica Jabcon, senior marketing manager at Schaumburg-based Thermos LLC, said the company is launching a new decorated line of Thermos Foogo Phases drinkware and accessories for children ages 6 months and older.

Jane Robins of Palatine is the new senior director in the Industrial Brokerage Services Group at Cushman & Wakefield of Illinois Inc. in Rosemont. She was the former vice president at Arthur J. Rogers & Co. ... Wilmette resident Liz Kirscher, president of the data division, is leaving Chicago-based Morningstar Inc. in June. After 17 years, she decided to spend more time with her family, travel and do some work in the community. ... Jason Rosenblatt has joined the Chicago team as design director for Nelson, a firm specializing in interior design, architecture, strategic planning, engineering and other services.

John Schneider, owner/sales specialist at Elk Grove Village-based 520 Machine Sales LLC, said technology is boosting production, and sparking a rise in machine-tool sales, which is leading to demand for manufacturing jobs in this sector. ... Teresa Mackintosh has been named executive vice president and general manager of tax at Riverwoods-based CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business. ... Downers Grove resident Laurence Dry, vice president of Support and Ambulatory Services, has been promoted to vice president of Strategy and Operations for Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin.

•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 Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.


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