Glen Ellyn's Cardona surfs into Le Meridien

  • Paul E. Cardona

    Paul E. Cardona

  • Paul E. Cardona, below, who grew up surfing in Hawaii, is the new general manager of Le Meridien Chicago-Oakbrook Center.

    Paul E. Cardona, below, who grew up surfing in Hawaii, is the new general manager of Le Meridien Chicago-Oakbrook Center. COURTESY OF LE MERIDIEN CHICAGO-OAKBROOK CENTER

  • Paul E. Cardona, who grew up surfing in Hawaii, is the new general manager of Le Meridien Chicago-Oakbrook Center.

    Paul E. Cardona, who grew up surfing in Hawaii, is the new general manager of Le Meridien Chicago-Oakbrook Center. COURTESY OF LE MERIDIEN CHICAGO-OAKBROOK CENTER

  • COURTESY OF LE MERIDIEN CHICAGO-OAKBROOK CENTERPaul E. Cardona, who grew up surfing in Hawaii, is the new general manager of Le Meridien Chicago-Oakbrook Center.

    COURTESY OF LE MERIDIEN CHICAGO-OAKBROOK CENTERPaul E. Cardona, who grew up surfing in Hawaii, is the new general manager of Le Meridien Chicago-Oakbrook Center.

  • Leslee Cohen

    Leslee Cohen

  • Aaron Krupp

    Aaron Krupp

 
 
Updated 2/13/2017 7:21 AM

Glen Ellyn resident Paul E. Cardona, the new general manager of Le Meridien Chicago-Oakbrook Center, can easily surf a high wave. Surfing isn't something suburban people often think about, but Cardona grew up in Haleiwa, on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Hitting the waves was second nature for kids there.

"You can compare it to other single sports, like golf, where you are constantly striving to improve your craft and the competition is actually with yourself," said Cardona, 44.

 

Cardona knows about competition, especially in the hospitality industry. He worked at several large hotels in the last 22 years, including the Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts, Soho House & Co., Miami's SLS Hotel and the Park Hyatt Chicago.

Born in Texas, he earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Texas Tech University. He wanted to be a doctor, but while working his way through college as a bartender and server, he opted for the hospitality industry. He worked his way up through the hotel industry, and met his wife, Tina, along the way.

When the former Le Meridien general manager took a position with a hotel overseas, Cardona replaced him. Cardona now aims to nurture the hotel's relationship with the community and area businesses to ensure more of a neighborhood feel. "As a local resident, I look forward to truly embracing the vibrant communities surrounding the hotel through Le Méridien brand's hallmark of providing personalized service by showcasing our location and culture."

Doctor in Guatemala

Dr. Charles Graham Woodward of St. Charles was honored by Northwestern Medicine with the 2017 Humanitarian Award for his work with Healing Hands Mission, a not-for-profit organization he founded to provide medical assistance to those without access in Guatemala. Healing Hands provides medical services to several small villages in remote regions of Guatemala with a volunteer team that includes physicians, nurses, a dentist, an optician, physical therapists and medical students.

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On a recent mission, Woodward and his team treated about 1,000 patients in four days. They provided 100 referrals for follow-up care with providers in Guatemala City, 400 pairs of prescription glasses, 75 teeth extractions and other medical work. Healing Hands also helped expand emergency care in the village providing advanced respiratory equipment, burn care packs, suture trays and obstetrics packs.

FastTracks

• Aaron Krupp was named director of Therapeutic Area Policy/Corporate Affairs at Astellas in Northbrook. He will lead policy management and analysis and set policy strategy and priorities for entitlement reform, quality, Affordable Care Act policies and regulations and health technology assessment. Krupp, who earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, also earned his law degree from John Marshall Law School and a master's in health law from DePaul University College of Law. He is not a practicing attorney.

• Linda Friedman has been promoted to executive vice president/general counsel at Astellas effective April 1.

• Leslee Cohen of Deerfield and a partner at Hershman Cohen LLC, a business law firm, was named one of the 2017 Top 10 Super lawyers in Illinois.

• Sue Miller of McHenry, was named the 2017 Illinois Realtor of the Year by the Illinois Realtors. She is the managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in McHenry.

• 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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