Machining executive turns to podcasts to boost industry
When Jim Carr of Inverness decided to enter the family business, Carr Machine & Tool Inc. in Elk Grove Village, it took him in an unexpected direction in the machining industry.
After years of working his way up the ladder, he turned to social networking and new technology to help boost his business and industry colleagues.
He co-created and co-hosts a weekly podcast called MakingChips directed to machining executives. He and co-host Jason Zenger, owner of Zenger's Industrial Supply in Melrose Park, interview other machining executives and feature such topics as "grow or die" your business, how social media works, the power of networking, among others. The shows have downloaded about 20,000 times since the podcast debuted in January, Carr said.
"I'm having the time of my life right now with this," Carr said of the podcasts. "At 55, it's kind of ironic because I have all of these learned skills and a library of knowledge. And with these podcasts, I'm able to use that library to elevate it and bring it to our community."
Carr was born and raised in Oak Park before his family moved to Mount Prospect in the 1960s. By the 1970s, they moved to Kildeer. After high school, Carr did an apprenticeship program with the Tool and Die Institute and worked with the family business from the ground up. His father is Barrington resident Richard Carr, 86, who founded the company, he said.
After years of working for his father, Carr decided to take the helm, and bought out his sister in 2004.
"I was learning to make the business my own," Carr said.
Part of that leadership process included pushing himself "out of my box," he said. So he got more involved with networking and marketing, and enjoyed meeting various people and learning about trends. He also became active with the Schaumburg-based Technology & Manufacturing Association in Illinois. He is in line to become chairman of the group next year.
He also met and became friends with Jason Zenger after they were featured on a radio show. About a week after that program, Zenger called Carr about podcasts.
"We talked about it and realized there's a void in our industry regarding podcasts," Carr said.
They identified about 50 topics, researched them, and began putting together a professional team to produce MakingChips. This included voice talent for the introduction and editors to edit the raw video.
They wanted to reinforce that it wasn't their father's machine shop anymore, Carr said.
"We took about 12 months to plot everything out and wanted to do this with quality," Carr added. "We're already working on our vision of making it into a marketing company," he said.
Harding takes home some wins
Kaili Harding, president of the Schaumburg Business Association, earned first runner-up for the top spot in the recent Ms. Galaxy pageant. The Elmhurst resident was previously crowned Ms. Illinois Galaxy and qualified for this international pageant, similar to the Miss Universe pageant. Galaxy features women who are 30 and older and are divorced, widowed or single.
"It was really amazing to meet the women from all over the world, literally, there were ladies than came to compete from Australia," Harding said. "It was really interesting to see that though everyone came from a different country, or area of the U.S., we all have similarities, struggles and goals that link us."
In addition to the runner-up position, she received the Best in Swimsuit in the Ms. Category.
Also, she earned the Couture Award, which means the best in fashion as well as displaying an enthusiastic attitude during the whole pageant week in all four categories, she said.
"It was really nerve wrecking to be one of those two girls that hold hands and whisper platitudes as you await the final announcement," she said.
Raising hope for hot dogs
Mike Paribello, senior director of marketing at Nathan's Famous, wants a new emoji for the hot dog. Nathan's Famous, owned by Smithfield Foods with offices in Lisle, wants you to help create a hot dog emoji by signing a petition at www.HotDogEmoji.com. Petitions are also on Facebook, Twitter and at www.NathansFamous.com. They've received about 1,000 electronic signatures so far.
"The petitions might not be necessary, but we want to show our friends at Apple and Google just how much support is out there for this emoji from hot dog lovers," Paribello said. "Once we feel that this campaign has a strong amount of support, we will submit a collective request to Apple and Google for consideration."
Nathan's doesn't have a specific number of signatures in mind, but they are looking for a "groundswell of support," he said.
Jared Claude is the new executive chef at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer. He was the executive sous chef at Conway Farms for 2 1/2 years. ... Lifelong Fox Valley resident James Holbrook has been named the executive director of GreenFields of Geneva, a retirement community.
Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions Inc., will be heading to New York on Wednesday to speak at the Citi Global Technology Conference. ... Cary Wood, CEO of Schaumburg-based Sparton Corp., will head to New York on Wednesday to speak at the Sidoti & Company Emerging Growth Conference. ... Michael L. Scudder, president and CEO of Itasca-based First Midwest Bancorp Inc. will speak at the Raymond James 2015 U.S. Bank Conference on Wednesday in Chicago.
Jeff Biegel, owner of Fish Window Cleaning in Northfield, was recognized for top sales at the annual Fish Window Cleaning Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. He was recognized for adding about 500 accounts to his customer base in 2014. ...
Christopher Gearhart of Vernon Hills, has received Chick-fil-A's $1,000 Leadership Scholarship. He was nominated by Beth Dahlenburg, operator of Chick-fil-A in Vernon Hills. Gearhart has worked for Chick-fil-A for nearly two years. He is going to Taylor University this month and will major in computer science.
Lawrence W. Lobb of St. Charles and Carolyn D. Jansons of Elburn, both attorneys with Batavia-based Drendel & Jansons Law Group, have become officers of the Kane County Bar Association. Lobbs is the new first vice president and will become the bar president in June 2017. Jansons begins as secretary/treasurer and will become the bar president in 2018.
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