2019 C-Suite Award honorees

Updated 1/26/2020 1:23 PM

Alona Anspach, Managing Director with Sheridan Road Advisors, LLC, Northbrook

Nominated by Kim Brisky with the Small Business Advocacy Council

Alona Anspach
Alona Anspach

Alona Anspach has been a financial planner since 1983 and is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others.

She strives to make financial planning and investments relatable by educating her clients and developing their knowledge base from which they can form realistic expectations and a disciplined investment program.

Additionally, she provides clients with the most comprehensive investment service possible by working collaboratively with a large network of CPAs and attorneys that help her deliver a tailored planning experience.

Jean Carlson Vice President of Human Resources, RTC, Rolling Meadows

Nominated by Linda Ballantine, Executive Director of Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce

Jean Carlson
Jean Carlson
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Jean Carlson has been with RTC in the Human Resources Department for a number of years. She is always looking to learn and improve for herself and company. This is an amazing asset for a company leader -- especially when overseeing recruitment.

With Jean's support, RTC takes an active role in promoting and supporting social responsibility. Ongoing programs focus on ethical labor practices, environmental efforts and service to the communities where we work. They continue to expand these programs on a global basis, and regularly coordinate with clients to support their social responsibility initiatives.

Carlson is highly respected in her field by employees and colleagues.

J. Lyell Clarke, President and CEO, Clarke, St. Charles

Nominated by The McGowan Group

Lyell Clarke
Lyell Clarke

Lyell Clarke's family-owned business was established nearly 70 years ago in the Chicago suburbs as a mosquito control company. Today, it's an international expert in controlling vector-borne diseases like West Nile virus and the Zika virus with a growing expertise in management of aquatic environments.


Clarke has been with the company for over 30 years, taking over as president and CEO of the family business in 1996. In 2007, he led the company in a re-visioning of the company based on a platform of sustainability. His personal passion for what sustainability can mean, propelled Clarke to redefining itself as a company with greater purpose. Significant goals were set and achieved, enabling three sustainability reports to be produced to Global Reporting Initiative criteria and review.

His vision is creating a new perspective on the role and change that a small to medium size company can make in society.

Austin Dempsey, CEO, BEI Properties. BGtavkia

Nominated By Megan Freitag

Austin Dempsey
Austin Dempsey

Austin Dempsey is the broker and owner of Batavia Enterprises Real Estate, LLC. He is a 10-year veteran in sales and leasing commercial/industrial/retail properties in Michigan and Indiana, the Chicago area, the Fox Valley and Northwestern Illinois. His focus is on property representation for entrepreneurial and regional business owners.

Team leader, coach and quarterback, he wear a lot of hats. Every task is important, but building the team to service their clients' needs and managing their "commitment to excellence" is his joy. He has a passion for family, the company and volunteering to make their community a better place.

He cares about making it better for the future.

Robert Dold Jr, President and COO, Rose Pest Solutions, Wheeling

Nominated by Norman Roth from Roth Sales Enhancers

Robert Dold
Robert Dold

Robert Dold Jr. is a former U.S. Representative for Illinois's 10th Congressional district during 2011 to 2013 and again from 2015 to 2017. Since then, he has taken on the role of president and COO of his family business, Rose Pest Solutions, which was founded in 1860.

Dold comes from a long line of business family members. He understands the world around him and applies that knowledge to broad business experience to make for a dynamic business leader.

His depth of energy and natural warmth allows for him to share his talents with many in our industry.

Kornel Grygo, CEO, Tasty Catering, Elk Grove Village

Nominated by Steve Bernas with Better Business Bureau

Kornel Grygo
Kornel Grygo

Kornel Grygo was promoted to CEO in 2016, but his career at Tasty started out as a brand ambassador, where he quickly became a top performer for high-profile deliveries and running large events. He has strongly advanced the catering industry within Chicago by encouraging innovation among his team, fostering multiple successful startups such as Nuphoriq. In addition to running Tasty Catering, Grygo and his team have developed a connected nonprofit, Tasty Cares, which is a group of Tasty Catering employees seeking to better the lives of Tasty Catering employees, their families, and the community through charitable activities, including volunteering and outreach.

Paul Kaufmann, President, Shred Spot, Northbrook

Nominated by Dmitry Faybysh, Bankcard Analytics LLC

Paul Kaufmann
Paul Kaufmann

Paul Kaufmann started Shred Spot in 2009 in order to create a Self-Service Paper Shredding Kiosk that would be placed in office buildings. While working on the kiosk, they built a full-service document destruction company serving businesses and consumers. He is very active with the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce, having been a member since 2012. Kaufmann also volunteers with the Northbrook Civic Foundation, Hunger Resource Network and is a Co-Founder and Board Member of North Shore Helpers, which helps those in underprivileged areas.

In addition to his two undergraduate degrees and MBA, in 2017 Kaufmann completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. This intensive, 16-week program helps business owners dig deep into their company to improve their skills and create a growth plan to significantly increase revenues.

Zac Larson, Founding Partner, Wealth Advisor with IntentGen Financial Partners< Naperville

Nominated by Kylie Knur with JJR Marketing Kylie Knur

Zac Larson
Zac Larson

Zac Larson has been with IntentGen Financial Partners for 15 years and specializes in retirement income planning, investment management, wealth transfers as well as tax efficiency strategies.

His focus is always on delivering value to the client and having a process that supports what people need with respect to their finances. This focus is helping IntentGen Financial Partners adapt quickly to the needs of clients and also stay ahead of industry trends.

Larson earned the financial planning industries most recognized certification, the Certified Financial Planner designation in 2004. And although there are other certifications he's earned since then, the learning now comes through the coaching they utilize and conferences they attend. He has learned to continually learn and implement new ideas that make the difference.

Olivier Leonetti, Chief Financial Officer, Zebra Technologies, Lincolnshire

Nominated by Therese Van Ryne

Oliver Leonetti
Oliver Leonetti

Since being named CFO in 2016, Olivier Leonetti has contributed to the team effort leading to an appreciation of the company valuation of more than three times to $13 billion since joining. He and his team have established a strong relationship with its investor community, leading to the IR function winning the No. 3 position for best IR team as mid-cap institutional investors.

Leonetti and his team are involved in driving support of the communities, especially through his board position with Junior Achievement of Chicago, an organization that coordinates volunteer-driven educational programming for kindergarten to 12th grade children in the areas of work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

He is a UK qualified accountant and holds three master's degrees in economics, internal audit and business administration from the IAE of Aix Marseille in Grenoble, France.

Chris Lesner, Founder and CEO of Project World Impact, Wheaton

Chris Lesner
Chris Lesner

At 26, Chris Lesner has helped create a company that partners to help over 100,000 nonprofits across the U.S. while also having over 10 million people use his site to find nonprofits.

Whether you're a local nonprofit seeking to eradicate hunger in your local community or an international organization supporting clean water initiatives around the world, Project World Impact wants to supply you with a platform to significantly increase your fundraising, improve your visibility, and further your mission.

Lesner has been nominated to Forbes 30 under 30 for 2019 has been given the Lausanne Movement award. He has also been recognized by many as a key speaker and has shared stages with the likes of Tim Tebow, Mark Cuban, and many others at conferences and various private events.

Chip Miceli, CEO with Pulse Technology, Carol Stream

Nominated By Jim Farrell with PR First

Chip Miceli
Chip Miceli

Chip Miceli has been in the document management/managed print services business since the 1970s and in a leadership role as co-owner and president of this more than 60-year-old business since the late 1980s, when he and his brother Vic took over the business that their father, Vince Miceli, started in 1955.

Miceli's professional advancement comes through his membership in numerous industry organizations, and through both taking and offering advanced education courses. He has presented before a number of groups on topics of managed print, managed network, family business, and branding and rebranding.

Within the business community, Miceli's company mentors new employees. Their firm is supportive of a number of local charities throughout Indiana and Illinois.

Dave Petersen, CEO of NAI Hiffman, Oakbrook Terrace

Nominated by Whitney Kannaka

Dave Peterson
Dave Peterson

For more than 30 years, Dave Petersen has continued to thrive as a leader and has grown his passion for commercial real estate that began in the 1980s. With a personal and professional mantra and vision of "Trusted to do what you say you will do", Petersen lives his life and leads the team under the same philosophy; his success in both is immeasurable. Since joining the firm in 2006, he has led the company from a 65-person organization managing and leasing 6.4 million square feet of industrial, office and retail assets for private and institutional owners, to more than 100 million square feet today, and a team of more than 200 and growing.

Today, Petersen leads the company's client-focused service strategy and provides direction for the firm's brokerage, management and capital markets groups.

Jeff Reiter, CEO, RWK IT Service, Frankfort

Nominated by Kyle Knur with JJR Marketing

Jeff Reiter
Jeff Reiter

Jeff Reiter has helped create a team of diverse and driven professionals working at the pace of innovation. At RWK, they have had a 20-year obsession over empowering organizations to do what they do better, and after all of this time they find themselves more obsessed with that mission every day.

Reiter has been engaged with an industry peer group called ITNation, which has a worldwide footprint. He has had a passion for building his business and continues to keep abreast of the fast-changing profession of IT services by acquiring certifications with cloud providers such as the recent Amazon Web Services.

Laurette Rondenet, CEO, Edlong, Elk Grove Village

Nominated by Rod Sowders with Synergy Flavors

Luarette Rondenet
Luarette Rondenet -

Laurette Rondenet started her journey at Edlong in 1993 through customer service and sales positions followed by leadership roles that expanded her experience across the multiple functions. She was named president in 2001, and subsequently CEO in 2008.

Under her leadership, Edlong has experienced unprecedented growth in the highly competitive flavors category. She leads the organization with a commitment to nurturing long-term, integrated relationships with both customers and employees, and in bringing value to the customer with innovative products and attentive service that truly differentiates Edlong.

She is an active member of many associations and has been the recipient of many awards within her industry.

Jeff Schmitz, Chief Marketing Officer, Zebra Technologies, Lincolnshire

Nominated by Theresa Van Ryne

Jeff Schmitz
Jeff Schmitz

Since earning his stripes by joining Zebra in 2016, Jeff Schmitz has led multiple successful endeavors. He has been vital to the establishment of a formal Corporate Social Responsibility program. Zebra's environmental, social and governance initiatives include operating in an ethical manner, protecting the environment through eco-friendly design and manufacturing of products and solutions, adoption of sustainable measures in services and supply chain operations and investing in the communities where Zebras live and work.

Schmitz is taking marketing to a new level. Based on strategic research, data-driven planning and under Jeff's direction, Zebra marketing's influence on revenue is already exceeding set goals.

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