Woodfield's new GM aims to keep mall the country's top shopping destination
When Kurt Webb bought a house in West Dundee, his wife and four children had not seen it yet.
But he knew what she liked. Besides, he already accepted a job as general manager of Woodfield Mall, without first seeing the country's top shopping destination in Schaumburg.
"When I first walked into the mall, it just blew me away by its sheer size, the renovations, the brightness and openness of the center court, and walking on different levels. It was all very cool and I became very excited," said Webb, 34.
Webb recently took over for David Gott, who left after about three years to manage a larger mall in Sunrise, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale. Gott had been Woodfield's first general manager under new owner Simon Property Group.
Webb, a graduate of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, started his career by managing an apartment building. His older brother suggested he also look into management of shopping malls, which piqued his interest, Webb said.
Webb now has worked for Simon for about six years and has managed its shopping centers in Washington, Texas, Florida and, most recently, California.
After working at various malls for Simon, Webb was immediately attracted to Woodfield, when he heard there was an opening for general manager a few months ago.
He accepted the position before coming to Schaumburg in June to look at the property. Woodfield includes about 300 retail stores, including anchors Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Nordstrom, J.C. Penney and Sears, along with various entertainment and restaurant sites.
He is responsible for mall operations, tenant relations, leasing, marketing, business development, security and customer service.
He's also used to renovation projects, similar to the recently completed $13.9 million facelift at Woodfield, with the other malls he has managed.
Besides getting to know the mall tenants, he's been in the community meeting officials and other business leaders, including those with the Schaumburg Business Assocation.
"This is one of the biggest malls in the country and with its
See Kukec on Page 2
recent renovations, it allows us to be a top tourist destination," Webb said.
Mike and Jennifer Dallas, founders and owners of Scorched Earth Brewing Company in Algonquin, will host an event Thursday with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Office of Tourism. Officials will announce "Illinois Made," a program to highlight locally made items and their creators.
Eve Feinberg is the new medical director of Northwestern Medicine Fertility and Reproductive Medicine Services Highland Park. The new north suburban clinic will include a full staff and is an extension of the Northwestern Medicine infertility care from downtown. She also delivers "Worth the Wait" onesies to new babies of her former patients.
Francesca's Executive Chef Dan Harris received a new Rational oven, which happened to be the 750,000th unit manufactured in Landsberg, Germany, and provided during a National Restaurant Association show in Chicago. Those on hand to celebrate the milestone sale from Rational's Rolling Meadows office include Markus Glueck, executive vice president for Rational North America; Joe Taylor, director of operations for Francesca's, among others. Francesca's Restaurants Group, which has restaurants in St. Charles, Elmhurst, Naperville, Lake Forest, West Dundee, Barrington, Northbrook, Arlington Heights and elsewhere.
Frank Mariani, CEO of Mariani Landscape, is hosting the grand opening Wednesday of the Design Studio in Lake Forest, an expansion of his company services. ... Nick Merker, a partner in Ice Miller LLP's Chicago and Lisle offices, has joined the board of advisers of the Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center for the Illinois Institute of Technology. The center offers supportive services for startup and existing small businesses in and around the Illinois Institute of Technology. ... Kari Bush is the new sales executive for the Northeast region for TrueAssure Insurance Co. in Naperville.
Anthony Riscili, a financial adviser with The Prudential Insurance Company of America's Chicagoland Financial Group in Downers Grove, has qualified for membership in the Million Dollar Round Table, one of the life insurance industry's most prestigious organizations.
Suzanne DeRosa has joined Associated Bank as assistant vice president/branch manager at the Glenview location. ... Karine Bauch is the new director of education at Water Street Studios in Batavia, where she will lead the organization's School of Art and Art Outreach programs. ... Erin Coupe of Northfield is the new vice president of occupier advisory and transaction services at CBRE in Chicago. ... Daniel J. Schmid joined Trustmark Voluntary Benefit Solutions in Lake Forest as regional sales vice president for its western region.
• 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.