Robert J. Mueller of South Barrington was part of the Emery Air Freight team in the 1970s when it won a presidential award. Now more than 40 years later, his own company, Roselle-based RIM Logistics won the same E Award, given by the President of the United States for exporting service excellence. It dates to World War II when "e pennants" were presented to companies in recognition of production excellence.
"At the time, I thought it was great being part of that team," said Mueller. "Now it's 50 years later. Life goes by fast."
Mueller started the company in 1997 at his home after his children graduated college and he had his family's blessings. "It was scary, but fun," he said.
During those early days, his wife Debbie also gave him a card that illustrated the train that could, "I think I can. I think I can." And she told him, "I know you can." So he saved that card. Later, she had it framed.
Today, the company has 250 workers and continues to grow. And the Presidential E Award just capped that decision made more than 15 years ago.
Last week, Mueller sent the company's Vice President of Global Accounts Sheila Serafin and Export Compliance Manager Matilda Vazquez to Washington, D.C. to accept the award at the Department of Commerce. Mueller was meeting with another president, one from a company based in Germany. RIM Logistics, which is unrelated to Blackberry maker Research in Motion, was one of 57 companies that received the award.
The award is now hanging in the lobby of RIM Logistics, which works with companies to import or export items for them to ensure they meet all local, federal and international laws and to streamline the process.
That business has become especially important since 9/11 when packages are held under tight security and scrutiny, especially those traveling to and from foreign countries, he said.
While he cannot disclose how they screen such packages, he noted one recent development that gave everyone pause. One package was found to have explosive residue on it, so all workers were evacuated and authorities were called in to their Roselle headquarters.
Apparently, the customer used some type of material to etch into the package, but didn't clear off the residue properly. Nothing dangerous or illegal was ultimately found, but "it shut us down for a day," Mueller said.
Saleswomen earn all pink
Patty Bojan of Island Lake and Deborah Bailyeof Algonquin have earned the use of the well-known Mary Kay pink Cadillac. Both women, who sell Mary Kay cosmetics, have chosen the Cadillac SRX model, and picked them up at Motor Werks in Barrington. This is Bojan's fifth pink Cadillac and Bailye's eighth.
Helping needy kids with sports
Warren Bruhl is the new executive director of Northbrook-based Gear for Goals, a humanitarian project of nonprofit Dreamweaver International that brings sports gear and hope to underprivileged children globally. Since it was founded last year, Gear for Goals has provided about 3,500 pieces of sports equipment and uniforms to children in need in Kenya, Cuba, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic, and in the United States.
Execs break bread for cause
Doug Cygan, vice president of grocery merchandising at Jewel-Osco in Itasca, was chairman of the second annual A Taste That Matters at Drury Lane Oak Brook. The event raised $369,036 to help Northern Illinois Food Bank provide hundreds of thousands of meals to people in 13 counties. More than 800 executives from Jewel-Osco, Dominick's, Fifth Third Bank, Hillshire Brands, Meijer, MillerCoors, PepsiCo and Tate & Lyle tasted foods from 25 local restaurants.
Speaking of Jewel-Osco, Pete Fetzer, director of the Bartlett store, and Jim Blindauer, director of the Bolingbrook store, were among seven store directors presented with Street Dreams Program awards for helping troubled youth in Cook County. ... Stephanie Hastings is the founder and CEO of loyalty business, Loyal Joe, just hosted a launch party at the Ashbury Clubhouse in Naperville. ... Donald L. Hower of Naperville has joined Rabjohns Financial Group in Chicago as a financial representative and focuses on insurance and investment needs. ... James P. Bar of Buffalo Grove is the new vice president of account management and sales operations for HR Plus, a provider of solutions for employment and background screening in Chicago.
Anna Zimmerman is the new mortgage loan originator at First Community Financial Bank in Naperville. ... Tom Minichiello of Naperville, vice president of finance and chief accounting officer at Naperville-based Tellabs Inc., is acting chief financial officer, replacing Andrew B. Szafran of Wilmette, who resigned for personal reasons unrelated to Tellabs operations, financial reporting or business outlook, the company said.
David Raye has been appointed as treasurer for Hindustan Bible Institute in Third Lake. He has owned and operated The Goddard School in Third Lake since 2004. ... George J. DelGiudice is the new Wayne Hummer Investments vice president and is based at Wood Dale Bank & Trust. ... Courtney Boyers of Wheaton joins Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in Lombard. ... Greg LaMirand, global business development manager for Lisle-based Molex, said the company has earned recognition as a partner-level supplier for 2012 in the John Deere Achieving Excellence Program, Deere's highest supplier rating.
Pam Sharar-Stoppel is now president of Wheaton Bank & Trust Co., which is based in Wheaton with locations in five towns, including Glen Ellyn and Naperville. ... Bill Kozek has been appointed as president of Lisle-based Navistar's North America Truck and Parts business. He succeeds Jack Allen, who was promoted to chief operating officer last month. ... Bruce J. Aderman of St. Charles is the new project manager and Brittany C. Lefton of Naperville is now project engineer at Engineering Enterprises Inc. in Sugar Grove.
Amy Kruger of Schaumburg has become an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple Inc., which sells easy-to-prepare foods. ... Gus Abello has been promoted to senior vice president and regional manager at Chicago Title Insurance Co. He was previously vice president and area manager and was based in Vernon Hills,
• 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 email@example.com. Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.