Accident leads to new road in life for executive

  • COURTESY OF DAVE SILBAREric Blaskey, a fitness coach at Midtown Athletic Club Willowbrook helps Erin Doyle of Downers Grove during a workout.

    COURTESY OF DAVE SILBAREric Blaskey, a fitness coach at Midtown Athletic Club Willowbrook helps Erin Doyle of Downers Grove during a workout.

  • Michelle Ferraro

    Michelle Ferraro

  • Kenneth Banas

    Kenneth Banas

  • Jeanette A. Press

    Jeanette A. Press

  • Chris Rosenthal

    Chris Rosenthal

  • Brenda J. Casanave

    Brenda J. Casanave

  • Dr. John Prunskis

    Dr. John Prunskis

  • Joanne McInerney

    Joanne McInerney

Posted12/15/2014 6:11 AM

In the blink of an eye, or a text of a word, the world of Erin Doyle of Downers Grove changed forever. But she's still eager to keep changing to make her future brighter.

Doyle, a senior manager of specialty implementation at Deerfield-based Walgreens, endured a horrific car accident about five years ago and has since rebuilt her life and brain to almost return to where she was.


"I am excited about the future and all that I am able to continue to accomplish both personally and professionally," Doyle said. "What happened to me in the blink of an eye back in 2009 influences who I am today, but more importantly inspires me to continue to do even more. Perspective is everything -- everyone owns their perspective and how they choose to leverage it in shaping what they may accomplish in the future."

In 2009, Doyle was alone and driving her car in Wauconda when a semi truck slammed into her car and another car. She learned later that the truck driver had been texting while driving.

"It was like someone hit the dimmer switch," she said about what happened after the accident.

She was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. She was treated at a hospital and released to what turned into years of physical, occupational and speech therapy followed by more exercise in a nearby gym, she said.

She didn't remember what happened, but could only piece together what she could.

Physically, she had problems with her vision, speech, balance, walking, and physical weakness. Emotionally, she kept wondering what would have happened if she had left her home 5 minutes later on that fateful day. She even experienced traumatic stress syndrome, with fears of getting back into a car and driving again. But she met others along the way who inspired her, she said.

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"For me, I am in continuous awe of people's stories," she said. "Everyone has one and it has been such a privilege to hear so many that have shaped them into who they are today. Mine has taught me what it means to really, truly have strength, persistence, determination and the right support system in place."

She also joined Midtown Athletic Club Willowbrook to work further on her physical health, she said.

She has been "achieving so many of my post-accident goals -- from movement and posture to significant weight loss, down 20 pounds in the past two years, being able to run again and even participate in my first 10 mile Tough Mudder event back in May," she said.

Tough Mudder is a 10-to 12-mile obstacle course that challenges strength, stamina, teamwork, and mental grit.

In addition, she became a certified traumatic stress consultant, provided by the Institute of Traumatic Stress.


"I benefitted from programs that helped to propel me to become a consultant and I know how to help and support others," she said.

Spa owner plans to expand

Vas Maniatis of Highland Park and CEO of Seva, said the company is planning to expand and open Sevas outside of their Walmart spaces. Maniatis got the idea to open a fast-casual spa after visiting Devon Avenue with his future wife to get her eyebrows threaded. In 2010, he signed a deal with Walmart to open his first Seva salon. Although it was a one-time deal, it was successful enough to do multiple agreements. Now there are more than 100 Seva salons in Walmarts nationwide, including Lake, Cook and DuPage County. He now is exploring plans to open salons outside of Walmart around the Chicago area.


Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Joseph Henning has been named the 2014 Illinois Chamber Executive of the Year by the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Henning, who lives in Aurora and has served as CEO since 2005, was recognized for his long-term professional achievements and a career hallmarked by professionalism, leadership and ethical conduct. ... Mark McCullough has been promoted to managing director at Weiss Rohlig USA LLC, a logistics and transportation company in Elk Grove Village.

Michelle Ferraro is the new sales manager and Johanna Quarz is the new sales and services coordinator at the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau, based in Oak Brook. ... USG Corp. in Chicago made several announcements including: Lisle resident Kenneth Banas was promoted to vice president and treasurer; Lisle resident Jeanette A. Press, was promoted to vice president and controller; Naperville resident Chris Rosenthal was promoted to vice president of compensation, benefits and corporate services; and Round Lake resident Srinivas Veeramasuneni was promoted to vice president of corporate innovation center.

Entertainment law, media and sports attorney Brenda J. Casanave will head up the new Entertainment, Media and sports Group at Elgin-based CPA and management consulting firm Mueller. She will be based out of both the Elgin and downtown Chicago offices as she counsels clients across the country. ... John Prunskis, the medical director of Illinois Pain Institute in Elgin, was invited by the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society to speak at the 2014 Winter Scientific Seminar in Lombard, attended by osteopathic physicians from around the Midwest. Dr. Prunskis spoke on reflex sympathetic dystrophy and chronic regional pain syndrome.

Marilyn Steben with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage's Lombard office has earned the Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation by the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the National Association of Realtors. She joins more than 16,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the designation. Joanne McInerney of the same firm also was awarded the Seller Representative Specialist designation provided by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers and is an official credential of the National Association of Realtors.

Telecom industry veteran Jay Sinder has been elected to the board of directors of PCTEL Inc. in Bloomingdale. He has served as chief financial officer of Focal Communications and other positions with Telephone and Data Systems, IBM, MCI, Ameritech. ... Robert Sevim of Chicago has been promoted to executive vice president and co-head of the Chicago office along with Eric Feinberg of Glencoe, who has been promoted to senior vice president at Savills Studley, a commercial real estate services firm, in Chicago.

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