Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?
I’ve been working in Libertyville since 1999. I began my career as a customer service rep at Domino’s and moved my way to GM and then partnered up with my brother to purchase half the business in 2008 and in June 2019 we took full ownership of the store.
Do you have child(ren)? Age(s)
I have 3 wonderful boys! Well two of my own and one elder pup. My oldest son’s Name is Benny, he’s 9. My youngest is Liam, he’s 6. Our pup is named Homer and he is still going strong at 15 years old.
What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?
I might not live in Libertyville, but I can honestly say I grew up here. We love going to Independence Grove to hang out or rent a paddle boat. Hands down our favorite restaurant for date night or to take the boys out to dinner has to be Mickey Finns!! I love their pizza, wings and my favorite beer is their 847.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor or in the corporate world? Please share!
I began my career at Domino’s in Mundelein in 1997 and moved to my current location in Libertyville in 1999. From the beginning I fell in love with the community and its people. I saw myself being involved with our community even at the age of 18. Being here for the better part of 21 years has helped me develop a lot of relationships with schools, churches and non-profit organizations through pizza. I love being to help raise funds for any school or organization through donations or pizza sales. It helps me give back to a community that has given myself and staff a lot of business and support, especially during this current environment.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Throughout our economic ups and downs Libertyville and its residents have not only stood by us, but many have allowed their children to work for us. Many LHS students have started their working career with us and this has allowed us to operate our business. Sometimes the best help one can give a business is their time.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Most people when they come in ask me if I get tired of eating pizza since I’m around it 6 days a week, and to be honest, I grew up eating Domino’s and to this day I still eat it 2-3 times a week! It surprises people that after 23 years in the pizza business I still enjoy our pizza and many other pizza places around Lake County.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another Mom?
Growing up with a single Mom I tended to gravitate to father figures I watched on TV while my mom was at work. One of them was Bill Cohwer, the former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, my favorite sports teams. In interviews Bill talked a lot about accountability and the fine line he had to walk with his players when it came to cheering them on and also not being afraid to set them in their place if they were not doing their job to help the team. Tom Waddle of the Chicago Bears, as a fan I saw how him being undersized and slower than the rest of the receivers on the team didn’t stop him from his goal to play in the NFL. Waddle showed me that if you work hard enough anything is possible.
What are your favorite places to travel near and far and why?
Which podcasts and/or TED Talks inspire you the most?
I love listening to Joe Rogan, most people think he’s a know-it-all, but in reality he tends to have guests that help him learn things he might not know, or further his knowledge of subjects he finds interesting. I had the pleasure to meet Joe in Vegas a few years back and couldn’t have been any nicer. Jon Taffer had a huge influence on me as a business owner and I love watching his show “Bar Rescue” and listening to his Podcast.
Tell me about your favorite book/s. I love receiving fiction and non-fiction recommendations!
I’m not much of a book reader, but at our Domino’s owners rally we had Simon Sinek as our guest speaker and he blew me out of the water with his speech and notes from his book “Start with Why” from then on I searched for as many interviews he had done. He spoke a lot about finding a purpose besides just working to earn money, but to motivate and to help others through your work.
What is next for you?
This pandemic has thrown a curve ball at all of us, especially in the restaurant business, lucky my stores haven been as effected as full service restaurants, but it has forced my brother and I to take a step back and maybe not group our number of stores as quickly as we wanted to prior to Covid-19. I hope in the next couple years to payoff as much of our business debt as possible and building my forever home with my wife. We also would like to travel more once things get back to normal.