Theater, restaurant work help shape executives skills at Libertyville's MBX

  • Jill Bellak, president of MBX Systems, second from right, talks with workers at the Libertyville-based company.

    Jill Bellak, president of MBX Systems, second from right, talks with workers at the Libertyville-based company. COURTESY OF MBX SYSTEMS

  • Jill Bellak, at right, is president of MBX Systems and talks with another worker at the Libertyville-based company.

    Jill Bellak, at right, is president of MBX Systems and talks with another worker at the Libertyville-based company. COURTESY OF MBX SYSTEMS

  • Jill Bellak

    Jill Bellak

  • Susan Okuno-Jones

    Susan Okuno-Jones

  • Kyle Welte

    Kyle Welte

  • Joanne Marie Rogers

    Joanne Marie Rogers

  • COURTESY OF DREAMMAKER BATH & KITCHENMichael Aukerman, left, Doug Dwyer, president of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen; and Jason Derouin pose together as Aukerman and Derouin opened a DreamMaker franchise in Vernon Hills.

    COURTESY OF DREAMMAKER BATH & KITCHENMichael Aukerman, left, Doug Dwyer, president of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen; and Jason Derouin pose together as Aukerman and Derouin opened a DreamMaker franchise in Vernon Hills.

 
 
Posted6/12/2016 1:00 AM

Before Jill Bellak became president of Libertyville-based MBX Systems, she worked her way up the ranks of the company, which is common for executives.

But before that, she learned the basics of hard work, discipline and team work outside the corporate world -- at a restaurant and in community theater.

 

While growing up in Des Plaines, she acted in community plays, appearing in "Peter Pan" and other shows, she said.

"It teaches you how to work with other people and about teamwork," Bellak said.

Bellak, 52, joined MBX as vice president of sales and marketing in 1999 and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2006. She became president in 2012. MBX, which designs and produces custom computer servers for software companies, has about 140 employees. The company is expected to hire more workers over the next year or so as business increases, she said.

As a manager, she said she has been able to coach other people using some of her experiences as a youngster in theater.

"I keep things separate from work. At home, things ebb and flow and you deal with things in our lives," she said. "Theater helps you to separate that in life."

She also learned the value of business and teamwork while working for a bar and restaurant owned by her parents in Chicago. She did a little of everything, from the kitchen to bartending, she said.

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"I loved it," she said. "We were busy all the time."

She worked her way through high school and it taught her the value of hard work, how to price your product and how to treat other employees, she said.

And all while dealing with the growth of the company, Bellak remembers what she has learned in her earlier years at the restaurant and in community theater.

"These are all qualities that are critical to our approach now and how we serve our customers," she said.

FastTracks

Susan Okuno-Jones has been appointed vice president of patient care services/chief nurse executive at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital effective June 27. She is currently the vice president of nursing professional practice and innovation at Advocate Health Care's Downers Grove headquarters and is a 29-year veteran of Advocate Health Care. ... Pierre Adam is the new regional vice president for the central region at Henkels & McCoy and will be based at the company's Batavia office.

RE/MAX Action broker/owner Gary Jacklin marks the 20th anniversary of his office opening in Lisle. It started with 11 agents and now has more than 100. ... St. Charles resident Kyle Welte, a licensed engineer and certified public infrastructure inspector, has been promoted to senior project engineer II at Engineerign Enterprises Inc. in Sugar Grove. ... Michael Aukerman and son-in-law Jason DeRouin, are the new owners of a DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen franchise in Vernon Hills. Michael has been in the auto industry for about 35 years. Michael's wife Debbie, and Jason's wife Dana, are also part of the business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Valerie and Lee Roesti, owners of Insty-Prints Business Printing & Marketing Services in Arlington Heights, were honored with the 2015 Operational Excellence Award from marketing, print and graphic communications franchise network, Alliance Franchise Brands. ... Joanne "Jody" Marie Rogers has become a partner at Nielsen, Zehe & Antas PC law firm in Chicago. She joined the firm in January 2003. ... Sean E. O'Dell will lead the newly formed Civic Innovation & Infrastructure Group at Baxter & Woodman in Crystal Lake.

Kevin Slawin, managing director of Black Diamond Advisory Services, has been elected to the board of directors of Trustmark Mutual Holding Company in Lake Forest. ... Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer S. Biff Bowman and President of Corporate & Institutional Services Michael G. O'Grady of Northern Trust Corp., will speak at the Morgan Stanley Financials Conference on Wednesday at the Waldorf Astoria New York City. Norther Trust has offices in Oak Brook.

• 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 akukec@dailyherald.com. Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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