Dancer takes studio, students in new direction
Martin Bronson comes from a family that has owned or taught in dance studios for years. So it wasn't surprising when he bought Millennium Dance Center, a dance instructional center in Carol Stream, about a year ago.
He had taught there for about eight years when the previous owner had approached him about buying it. The studio has seven instructors who conduct classes for about 100 dancers, ages 2 to adult.
Besides continuing with classes, he wanted to add another component. He wanted to teach students about giving back to the community.
The young dancers performed in places like retirement homes and a library. In their first fundraising program, they raised about $3,000 to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities in Winfield.
"I'm so proud of our dancers for jumping into this project with energy and compassion for others," Bronson said.
Bronson himself knows about hard work as a dancer. Born and raised in High Ridge, Missouri, Bronson settled in Chicago because of his love of tap dancing. He performed with Diva La Tap in St. Louis, Chicago Tap Theatre, co-founded The Tapmen tap company and served as rehearsal director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project's BAM!
"I'm very interested in education and making a difference in the world," he said.
Oval opens new round
Wheaton resident Kevin Kozlowski, founder and owner of Glendale Heights-based Oval Brand Fire Products Corp., a fire equipment and safety startup, said the company is seeking money during an equity round to grow the company, introduce new products and expand its North American sales and marketing campaigns.
Matt Brown of Arlington Heights was one of two people nationwide honored with the National Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Employee. Brown, who was honored at a gala in Washington, D.C., is the senior director of product approval and compliance in CNO Financial Group's Chicago office. He was honored for his longtime support and commitment to the Alzheimer's Association. Brown also has been involved in various fundraisers, including "Ales for Alzheimer's" which combines his passions for cooking and brewing beer with his vision for a world without Alzheimer's. He is also a regular volunteer in the fundraiser called, Bankers Life Forget Me Not Days.
• Paulette Peiffer, longtime operations manager for Re/Max Excels in Geneva joined Hank Erwin as a co-owner of that brokerage. Peiffer, a resident of Batavia, purchased the ownership interest of Chris Hansen, who along with Erwin acquired the office in 1999. One major change that the new ownership team is pursuing is a potential move to a new and larger office.
• Corey Williams of Glenview was promoted to vice president and regional director of Combined Insurance's Great Lakes Region, which includes Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan. Williams was previously the market director for Combined's Chicago market.
• Stratos Athanassiades of Naperville was hired as Money360's regional director of the Midwest region.
• Caroline Walkinshaw was promoted to executive director of Market Intelligence and Analytics, Marketing Strategy; and Jacquelyn Bonnell was promoted to national vice president of oncology sales for the U.S. Commercial organization at Northbrook-based Astellas.
• Velvet Voelz is the new director of asset management, Jim Domencich joins as the director of finance and Trevor Curry is the new director of engineering at Deer Park-based PureGen Power LLC, a solar power asset development company. The company was formerly called Entelek Power.
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