Melaniphy, group pave way for S. Korean ties
John C. Melaniphy III, Wheeliing's economic development director, never took lessons in the martial arts.
So he was as amazed as anyone when, after spending some 12-hour days drumming up import-export interest during a mission to South Korea, that he was suddenly on stage there during a Taekwondo demonstration.
He was asked to break a 6-by-6-by-2 inch solid wooden block by either kicking it or hitting it with his bare hand.
"I hit it with my hand way harder than I should have," he said.
He broke the board and, luckily, nothing else.
The experience was all part of how Melaniphy, Congressman Bob Dold and their delegation of about 30 from Wheeling endeared themselves to the business executives, local authorities and others in South Korea. The group also included some executives from Keats Manufacturing and Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies, both based in Wheeling. The trip, paid via fundraisers from the Korean Cultural Center in Wheeling, was Oct. 11 to Oct. 19.
Wheeling is among the major manufacturing centers in Illinois and it was important to nurture international trade, cultural exchanges and tourism. It also brought Wheeling to the global forefront, Melaniphy said.
"We started a relationship," Melaniphy said of his first trip to South Korea. "I don't know what this will provide, but it gave our manufacturers contacts and we need to pursue this."
The group met with local government officials in various towns and with the Korean Research-based Pharma Industry Association, he said.
Some of the strongest leads, he said came from their tour of the Hyundai auto plant, which produces about 6,000 vehicles a day. They walked down the production plant and talked with top executives, he said.
"This certainly has raised our profile," he said.
Sweet position at resort
Erica Tomei is the new pastry chef at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center in Oak Brook. She will head dessert and bakery operations for the resort's catering functions, restaurant outlets and retail shops. Executive Chef Sean Patrick Curry said he recruited Tomei from the Chicago Marriott Naperville, where the two previously worked together.
Maintenance engineer honored
Bilphi George, maintenance engineer at Gurnee-based KeyLime Cove water park resort, was honored as Maintenance Employee of the Year from the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association. It was presented during the 18th Annual Stars of the Industry Regional Awards Program and Stars luncheon on Oct. 30 where more than 500 employees were nominated in 11 categories. George now will compete at the state level on Dec. 17 and winners move on to the national Stars of the Industry awards, presented by American Hotel & Lodging Association in Washington, D.C., in the spring.
Victoria Braund has been appointed medical director for Brandel Health & Rehab, a rehabilitation center affiliated with Covenant Village of Northbrook, a senior living community. ... Robert F. Krug Jr. and Raymond M. Rudnick, formerly of Chicago-based Carponelli & Krug, have joined the business and estate planning law firm of Kelleher & Buckley LLC in North Barrington. Krug was a founding member of Carponelli & Krug. ... Co-Founders Angelika Babich and Maggie Pawelko, co-founders of Swapadventure in Mount Prospect, were featured on NBC5 last week. They talked about how their company helps to recycle children's toys and other items.
Joshua Anderson has been appointed associate vice president of operations at Covenant Retirement Communities in Skokie. He will oversee the company's 12 continuing care retirement communities in eight states, and ensure the campuses model operational policies and practices. ... Erin Bremen of Deerfield was promoted to executive vice president of asset management and due diligence; Graham Grochocinski of Wheeling was promoted to senior vice president of brand, creative and omnichannel marketing; and Conor Bossy of Clarendon Hills was promoted to vice president of acquisitions at Pine Tree Commercial Realty LLC in Northbrook
Ann E. Ziegler, senior vice president and chief financial officer at CDW Corp. in Vernon Hills, will be in New York Tuesday to speak at the RBC Technology Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference. ... Chris McCloud, president and CEO of South Elgin-based McCloud Services, a pest management company, was honored with the Crown Leadership Award at the National Pest Management Association's annual PestWorld conference recently in Nashville, Tenn.
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.