Barrington businessman's side gig reuses old baseball gloves

  • Russ Riendeau of Lake Barrington uses baseball gloves to create wallets, business card holders and other accessories.

    Russ Riendeau of Lake Barrington uses baseball gloves to create wallets, business card holders and other accessories.

  • The O'Hare oasis glass pavilion will be demolished later this year as part of the Tri-State Tollway expansion.

    The O'Hare oasis glass pavilion will be demolished later this year as part of the Tri-State Tollway expansion. Daily Herald File Photo

Updated 7/16/2018 9:58 AM

Russ Riendeau of Lake Barrington admits he stops at every garage sale he sees. He does not stay long and always asks the same question, "do you have any baseball gloves?"

Riendeau, an avid baseball fan, searches for old leather gloves and then turns them into accessories including wallets, phone cases, business card holders and Big League Chew pouches.

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"They have some neat character," he said of the gloves that he reconstructs as a hobby when he is not running his full-time business, New Frontier Search Company, an executive search firm. "I have always enjoyed leather products. I also was the person who liked fixing up the little red wagon," said Riendeau, who is also a behavioral psychologist.

Riendeau said he has created about 100 pieces and that they will be sold in Riendeau said he hand sews and glues everything himself in his free time. The pieces sell for between $70 and $200.

Riendeau, who grew up in Rolling Meadows, creates the products under his side business, Lucky Savage Leather Goods, something that may occupy his time down the road when he retires.

The president of Everything Baseball is looking forward to the new partnership with Riendeau. "Everything Baseball is always looking for new and unique baseball products and the Lucky Savage line is both new and unique," said President Mike Hurm. "We're excited about joining forces with Lucky Savage and we know our baseball customers are going to enjoy their handmade, one-of-a-kind accessories."


Riendeau, 60, has always found creative projects to keep him busy. He has created 15 sculptures, including a massive easel that he donated about two years ago to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington. It weighs more than 1,500 pounds and is about 15 feet tall.

He has also written several books, including "The Big Swing," a book that involves baseball and business.

"What the Chicago Cubs are teaching business leaders about capitalism, commitment and culture," is the subtitle and sums up the idea behind the book available on Amazon Kindle. It features about 70 short vignettes, scattered with humor, addressing an array of topics including goal-setting, leadership, sales and marketing, accountability, time management, health and wellness, sleep management, game plans and practice routines. All of these are needed to transform a sports franchise and an organization, Riendeau said. Over the years, Riendeau said he has worked on more than 6,000 search assignments and hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, as well as emerging private and private equity-backed firms. Early in his career, Riendeau spent many years in construction management with one of the largest homebuilders in Illinois.

New manager named

Vail Resorts said it appointed Peter Disch as general manager of Wilmot Mountain, where he will oversee all ski area operations.

He brings more than seven years of resort operational experience at Keystone Resort in Colorado, where he most recently served as the senior manager of product sales with oversight of ticket and pass sales, ski and ride school sales, ticket scanning, and the activities and dining call center. Prior to joining Vail Resorts, Disch gained invaluable experience in the food service industry and looks forward to building upon Wilmot Mountain's focus on high-quality dining in locations such as Walt's Tavern.

"I am thrilled to join the team and local community at Wilmot Mountain," he said. "I look forward to driving continued success as we build upon Wilmot Mountain's recent $13 million transformation, working with the incredible resort team, and enhancing the employee and guest experience."


Disch will relocate to the Wilmot, Wisconsin area with his wife. The move will be a bit of a homecoming for him, as he is originally from the Midwest -- having learned to ski at Afton Alps, which is also part of the Vail Resorts family. In his free time, Disch enjoys hiking, camping, skiing and adventuring in the outdoors with his wife and two dogs.

For 80 years, Wilmot Mountain has offered its guests a destination for snow sport activities. Glass O'Hare oasis coming down

Better savor that latte and broccoli beef now. Marni Pyke, Daily Herald transportation writer, says that later this year, the glass-framed O'Hare oasis on the Tri-State will become the second Illinois tollway rest-stop to disappear.

The agency is widening the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and needs to remove the glass pavilion over the eight lanes to accommodate more.

The gas stations and 7-Eleven shops are expected to remain in place, officials said.

The tollway also intends to take down the Hinsdale oasis' glass pavilion to make way for Tri-State improvements later; the village of Hinsdale had objected to the move because it would mean significant losses in sales tax.

The tollway demolished the Des Plaines oasis pavilion in 2014 when it widened the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) but kept the gas stations and convenience stores. That project cost $4.8 million to remove the structure and improve parking.

The tollway also paid leaseholder SFI Chicago Tollway LLC $9.3 million for termination costs.

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