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posted: 12/31/2012 10:37 AM

A look back at inspiring people in the suburbs

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  • Terry Howerton

    Terry Howerton

  • Joel Petersen

    Joel Petersen

  • Robert W. Pullen

    Robert W. Pullen

  • Cary Chessick

    Cary Chessick

  • Peter Caliendo

    Peter Caliendo

  • Curtis Cribben and Emily Hagen

    Curtis Cribben and Emily Hagen

  • Eduardo Conrado

    Eduardo Conrado

  • David L. Crane

    David L. Crane


On the cusp of the New Year, here's a look back at the people we featured who have inspired us in some way.

Inspiring:Terry Howerton, founder of the Illinois Technology Association, who took in his sister's children after she died of cancer. ... Joel Petersen of Geneva and wife Jeanie, owners of Hemisphere Recruiting, who helped an orphanage of about 170 kids in Ukraine by adapting it for those who have disabilities. ... Robert W. Pullen, a telecom veteran who lead Naperville-based Tellabs Inc. while battling colon cancer. ... Cary Chessick, former founder and CEO of Arlington Heights-based, creates, an employee training program along with its philanthropic arms ScoreForeward and Score It Forward where they provide soccer balls, footballs and basketballs to children. ... Hoffman Estates resident Peter M. Caliendo, president of Schaumburg-based Caliendo Sports International, became head of a baseball team in Grosseto, Italy. ... A native of Germany, Volle Halthen, founder of Volle's Bridal & Boutique in Lake Zurich, marked her 90th birthday.

Overcoming the odds:Camille Caffarelli of Lake in the Hills lost her eyesight, but she had the vision to raise her family and start her own business, Horizons for the Blind in Crystal Lake ... North Aurora resident Lloyd Roin, the only hearing member of his family, was inspired to start E-View Connections in Des Plaines, a smartphone app for the deaf. ... Glencoe resident Michael Alter had dyslexia as a child and grew up to be president and CEO of SurePayroll and won the CEO of the Year Award from the Illinois Technology Association's 13th annual Citylights Awards.

Bitter sweet: Chef Alain Roby, owner of All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva, who creates beautiful sweet desserts while memories persist of him being taken hostage while serving as a private pastry chef of the shah of Iran in the late 1970s during the revolution. ... Richard Honquest, longtime owner of Honquest Furniture for Living in Barrington, retired. ...

Good sports: Former Chicago Bulls center Bill Cartwright partners with wife Sheri and Sandy Downs to lead CartwrightDownes Inc., a private investigations firm in Park Ridge. ... Former Chicago Bears safety Brandon McGowan and wife Ranee McGowan, opened a new spa called Venus vs. Marz Luxury Spa Lounge in Vernon Hills. ... Former Chicago Bears tight end Desmond Clark partnered with his girlfriend Maria McDaniels to work at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Libertyville.

A helping hand

Brian Wiborg, vice president of marketing for The RoomPlace, aka Harlem Furniture, saw a recent Daily Herald article about a single mother in Roselle who was affected by a fire in her newly furnished home. Wiborg attended a fundraiser for her and presented Donna Rozycki with a $1,000 gift card to The RoomPlace.

Popping the question

Burr Ridge resident Emily Hagen, a nurse at Adventist LaGrange Memorial Hospital, was surprised by her boyfriend of 6 1/2 years, Curtis Cribben, who was sitting on a patient bed with a dozen roses and a box on a nearby table. The box contained an engagement ring and he got down on bent knee to pop the question. As the couple left the patient room, Hagen's family and nurses were in the hallway, applauding and taking photos of the newly engaged couple.

Restaurant remake planned

Restaurateur John des Rosiers plans to reopen the former Moderno Italian restaurant at Renaissance Place in Highland Park by early January and rename it Royce. Christiane Fischer, general manager of Renaissance Place, said the new restaurant will feature American cuisine using locally grown organic and sustainable ingredients.


Deer Park resident Eduardo Conrado, chief marketing officer for Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions, serves as chairman of the global Business Marketing Association through June. ... Research In Motion Ltd. CEO Thorsten Heins is expected to introduce the BlackBerry 10 operating system next month. RIM has operations in Rolling Meadows and Lincolnshire. ... P. David Kuhl has been appointed as a director of Waukegan-based Northern States Financial Corp., holding company for NorStates Bank.

Hinsdale-based Adventist Midwest Health President and CEO David L. Crane has been re-elected to the Illinois Hospital Association's board of trustees as an at-large trustee. Crane will begin serving his second three-year term on Tuesday. ... The American Land Title Association President Frank Pellegrini, an Oak Park resident, and Michelle Korsmo, the association's CEO, met last week in Washington, D.C., with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. ALTA, the national trade association of the land title insurance industry, wanted to discuss the development of the association's title insurance and settlement company best practices and mortgage disclosures, and continue the relationship between the land title industry and the bureau.

• 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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