Radio producer turned businessman now an exec at Klein Hall

Radio producer turned businessman now an executive at Aurora firm

  • Neil Sant, second from left, with daughter Julia, from left, wife Liz and son Evan.

    Neil Sant, second from left, with daughter Julia, from left, wife Liz and son Evan. COURTESY OF SANT FAMILY

  • Neil Sant

    Neil Sant

  • Danny Bonaduce arrives at the PRISM Awards held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in this April 27, 2006, file photo in Beverly Hills, Calif. Bonaduce worked for years with producer Neil Sant, who now lives in Hinsdale.

    Danny Bonaduce arrives at the PRISM Awards held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in this April 27, 2006, file photo in Beverly Hills, Calif. Bonaduce worked for years with producer Neil Sant, who now lives in Hinsdale. ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

  • Cindy Tomei

    Cindy Tomei

  • William Santulli

    William Santulli

  • Thomas Moran

    Thomas Moran

 
 
Updated 12/26/2016 9:56 AM

Neil Sant of Hinsdale recently started as chief operating officer of Klein Hall CPAs in Aurora. While he will be overseeing the firm's operations, he's not a certified public accountant.

Yet, he undoubtedly will be relying on his organizational experience from his earlier work at various companies, including his days as a radio producer for child-actor-turned-DJ Danny Bonaduce.

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"Being a part of that was just the best," Sant said. "I'm still friends with many of the producers and that's a bond that lasts," said Sant, 50.

He added that his interest in business started at a young age, as evidence by writing his first business plan -- in crayon -- when he was 10.

"I wanted a car and wanted to earn enough money to get one," he said.

He cut lawns and other jobs. By the time he was 15, he paid cash for a 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle.

"I still have it today. It's part of the great American ownership. It's the first real goal I achieved," he said.

After he earned a bachelor's degree in communications at Columbia College, he worked at WFPS-FM in Freeport and then at age 25 went to Chicago's WLUP-FM, known as The Loop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

He began as a producer for Danny Bonaduce, who became famous as the mischievous young son on "The Partridge Family" and then later transitioned into radio.

"It was a dream job, and he was one of the most creative forces in the country," Sant said.

He also worked among other greats, including Steve Dahl and Garry Meier. Sant did everything he could, from editing to running for coffee.

When he first starting producing for Bonaduce, he said they "immediately connected."

Sant always seemed to know what Bonaduce needed to do on the air and made sure he had whatever material he needed.

Sant provided details or comedy bits to help him on air. But then there was a serious situation that occurred when a caller from Canada threatened to kill himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We talked to him on and off the air and got the police. He was serious about doing it and the whole thing made the international press," Sant said.

Sant stayed at The Loop from 1992 to 1995 and that's when Bonaduce's career advanced.

Bonaduce did a talk show and Sant followed him to Hollywood. There were 22 new TV talk shows on at the time.

Danny's show, which aired on WMAQ-TV in Chicago at the time, lasted about six months.

Since then, Sant handled Bonaduce's business matters. But when Bonaduce got other DJ gigs in Detroit and New York, Sant decided to stay behind.

"I didn't see a future moving from place to place," Sant said. "I had just gotten married and decided we would move on."

Sant worked for other companies as a consultant while raising two children. But he missed being a part of a larger company and "having an impact," he said.

That's when he decided to take a job with Klein Hall in November.

"Business and entrepreneurship is in my DNA," he said.

FastTracks

• Justin Roach will start Jan. 3 as the director of sales at the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau in Oak Brook.

He recently served four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force as an airborne operations technician aboard the E-8 Joint STARS aircraft supporting troops and coalition forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He had three deployments and 64 combat missions and is the recipient of three medals for meritorious success. After completing his enlistment and being honorably discharged, Roach returned to the classroom and received his degree in sports management from North Central College in Naperville.

• Cindy Tomei is the new vice president of membership and marketing at the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. Tomei most recently served as the president of the Valley Industrial Association, a regional trade association in the Fox River Valley.

• Tim Jackson, executive vice president and chief technology officer, will retire on March 31 after 18 years with Lake Forest-based Tenneco Inc. Ben Patel, Tenneco's vice president for Clean Air global research and development and systems integration, will be promoted to the role of chief technology officer.

• Raj Rai, CEO of Lake Forest-based Akorn Inc., will speak at the 35th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Jan. 9 in San Francisco, California.

• William Santulli, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Downers Grove-based Advocate Health Care, is the new chair-elect of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association's 2017 board of trustees. Santulli will assume chairmanship of the board in 2018.

• Libertyville resident Thomas Moran and CEO of staffing firm Addison Group, said Odyssey Investment Partners has made an investment in Addison Group. This will help Addison Group grow nationally, he said.

• Nathan Goldberg, an optometrist, just opened Focused Eye Care at 45 N. Buffalo Grove Road in Buffalo Grove.

• Amanda Gosnell has been appointed executive director at The Holmstad, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia.

• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people who 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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