March 14, 2019 · 8:01 pm
I’ve asked it before, “The way you conduct business—is it meaningful to those left behind?” Is it?
I’m here at the Levy Entrepreneurship Group, talking with some of the most brilliant business minds in Chicago. This group’s been meeting for over 60 years. It’s the genius of Joe Levy, the prolific entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist—the son of a south Michigan Ave car dealer. Joe was an endless entrepreneur—constantly learning, constantly experimenting—the quintessential gentleman who gave everybody an at-bat—who spoke quietly but directly and told the truth as he saw it. He pushed people off the bag. “You’re lousy at this. What are you good at? Contribute. Help somebody.” People found inspiration and hope. Never a disparaging word about Joe. “If you don’t have a satisfied customer, you’re compromising your future.” He was the original automobile mega dealer, angel investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. “God put me on this earth to produce, not to consume.” Joe Levy is dead at 92. Continue reading →
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Death, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Giving, Influence, Relationships, Startup Companies, Startups, Story, vc, venture capital
Tagged as Death, Entrepreneur, Father, genius, horse racing, investor, joe levi, joe levy, landlord, levi, levy, Life, mastermind group, mentor, philanthropist, playwright, racetrack, salesman, teacher
December 22, 2017 · 10:30 am
by John Jonelis
“Tell me a story, Uncle John!”
“A story eh?” My pal Loop Lonagan got in big trouble telling stories to Jim Kren’s little girl. “Y’know, Princess, in this case, maybe discretion’s the better part of valor.”
“But I always get a bedtime story. I can’t sleep without a bedtime story. Please, Uncle John! Pleeeeeeeeeze!”
How can a guy turn this kid down? “Okay Princess, just lay back and pretend you’re sleepy.”
“Make it a Christmas story!” Continue reading →
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Death, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Faith, Giving, High Tech, Jim Kren, Relationships, Startup Companies, Startups, Story, vc, venture capital
Tagged as avarice, Bible, Christmas, envy, Gift, Greed, hate, Holy Bible, Jesus Christ, loose living, lost son, love, Parable, the return of the prodigal son, waste
March 25, 2017 · 11:42 am
by John Jonelis
What happens when you give kids—kids gifted in math and science—a real chance to bust out with their God given talents and excel?
- What if you trust them to lay their greasy little hands on equipment normally available only at elite universities?
- What if you allow them to direct their own time?
- What if you challenge them to construct their own goals and learn by themselves how to accomplish them?
- What if you dare them to build real startup businesses at such a tender age?
- And what if you throw them into a competition against a panel of critical judges from the real private equity world?
What happens? Good things! Good things happen! They happen here at IMSA – the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. I’ll give you an intimate peek at the inner works of this educational powerhouse so you can see for yourself what makes this one of the biggest success stories in the country. Continue reading →
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Giving, High Tech, Startup Companies, Startups, vc, venture capital
Tagged as college prep, competition, education, engineering careers, genius, gifted school, high school business, high school businesses, management careers, pitch competition, preparation for the world, preparing for college, preparing for the world, school for the gifted, science careers, Social venture, STEM, student entrepreneurs, student pitch competition, student startup companies, student startups
December 22, 2016 · 7:00 am
by Mark T Wayne
“Whaddaya think is da best Christmas gift o’ dem all?” Loop Lonagan puts this puerile question in a peculiar verbal form he calls the American language just as Donatis Ludditis and I innocently raise a Christmas toast at that notable Chicago landmark, Ludditis Shots & Beer. The place offers several distinct advantages. Our host never presents a bill for our proclivities and the back room houses our magazine offices.
“I got best gift! Is this!” Ludditis states his case in his Lithuanian accent, and passes fancy boxes across the table. “This one for you, Mr. Wayne. Is Christmas!” Continue reading →
Filed under Characters, Conflict, Faith, Giving, loop lonagan, mark t wayne, Relationships, Story
Tagged as best birthday gift, best christmas gift, best fishing, best gift, best honeymoon, best vacation, best wedding gift, canada, canada fishing, canadian fishing, cree, cree indians, cree reservation, first nations, Fish, fishing, flin flon, man's favorite sport, north woods, northern pike, northwoods, walley, walleyed pike, wild, Wilderness
February 27, 2015 · 10:25 pm
By Nick Arvis
“Why am I doing this?” That’s the question dominating a President’s Advisory Committee board meeting (PAC). None of the members—all business owners—intend to give or sell their business to their children. Instead, in a reversal of traditional social norms, all of them plan to use their wealth to empower their children on whatever paths the kids happen to choose.The members range in age from early forties to mid-fifties. Each of them has done very well. Their children range in age from the early grades to out-of-the-nest adults.
. Continue reading →
Filed under Conflict, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Giving, High Tech, Low Tech, Relationships, Startup Companies, Startups, The Economy
Tagged as business owner, ceo, Entrepreneur, founder, hiring your children, hiring your kids, nepotism, PAC, president, President's advisory committee, social change, sociology
December 22, 2014 · 10:16 pm
This is outrageous. I’m concentrating on my computer screen when a huge mitt grabs me by the back of the belt and plucks me from my chair. Next thing I’m dangled high over the desk, arms and legs flailing till I steady my balance and end up nose-to-nose with Big Bill Blair, our urban Paul Bunyan.
“‘Scuse me, Mr. Jonelis,” he says in a slow polite rumble that carries with it a stale smell of corned beef and cigar.
Big Bill slowly chews gum. Looks disinterested. Acts like nothing’s unusual. Continue reading →
Filed under Characters, Conflict, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Faith, Giving, Poverty, Relationships, Startups, Story
Tagged as blond, cheer, Christmas, Christmas ornaments, Christmas party, Christmas presents, Christmas tree, Christmastime, dancing, fist fight, good times, hard times, Holiday, Holiday season, prayer, santa claus, street people, stretch humvee, swedish massage
January 20, 2014 · 8:53 pm
TechBash – Part 4
I‘m at Chicago’s premier social incubator – i.c.stars. Fresh faces of their current crop of interns rim this boardroom-sized table. All neat. All professional. As the tea makes its rounds, I hear well-crafted introductions. Mannerly. In-depth. Heartfelt. Spoken by people who have known each other during months of intense struggle. It’s more like introducing family than business associates. Continue reading →
Filed under Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Giving, High Tech, Influence, Startup Companies, Startups
Tagged as accelerated learning, committment, developers, hard work, high tea, high tech, honor, learn by doing, learning fast, personal relationships, Pride, programming, real jobs, real life, Second chance, seize the day, seize the opportunity, seizing the opportunity, trust
January 11, 2014 · 12:58 am
Techbash – Part 3
VERBATIM – John Jonelis
This is a story of high expectations, high reality, and high energy. I may as well give it to you straight, because Loop Lonogan would want it that way. He’s in the lockup. Too much hard partying on Twelfth Night. His guests spilled into the street and all kinds of trouble erupted—part of it involving a policeman he knocked cold. So I’m here at i.c.stars headquarters. Here to finish Lonagan’s series of articles. I’m talking to the president and co-founder, Sandee Kastrul. Continue reading →
Filed under Conflict, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Giving, High Tech, Influence, Low Tech, Poverty, Relationships, The Economy
Tagged as adversity, bad neighborhoods, civics, Crime, Digital Boot Camp, fertile ground, gangs, giving back, hidden talent, hottest recruiting ground., IT training, job training, leadership training, learn fast, learn on the job, learn while doing, learning a skill, learning technology, learning to program, no hope, overcomers, overcoming, perseverance, reciprocity, resiliency, rich soil, rough neigborhoods, school of hard knocks, self taught, social entrepreneur, social incuabator, Social venture, teaching a skill, teaching technology, technology education, technology training, The Apprentice, vocation, vocational training
December 29, 2013 · 3:04 am
TechBash – Part 2
by Loop Lonagan
as told to John Jonelis –
Seems to me Christmas is all about givin’ to other people and I say we keep it that way. I love Christmas. Ever’ year I start my celebration on Thanksgiving and don’t take the tree down till January the Fifth. That’s Twelfth Night fer youse guys that don’t know. That night I throw a big party, hire cooks, a piano player, ‘n’ ever’body burns a branch from the tree before they leave.
There’s an outfit right here in Chicago that keeps the spirit o’ giving alive all the yearlong. They find people with talent, creativity, intelligence, hard knocks ‘n’ plenty o’ moxey. Then they pay ‘em to train fer big-time jobs. That’s one o’ the nicest gifts you can give a person with them kinda attributes—a chance to use what they got inside themselves. Think about it—all that potential just waitin’ to burst out so bad a guy could explode. Continue reading →
Filed under Characters, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Faith, Giving, High Tech, Poverty, Startup Companies, Startups
Tagged as big corporations, computer programming, doing well by doing good, giving back, IT professionals, IT training, job training, Jobs, professionals, Social Enterprise, social entrepreneur
December 19, 2013 · 2:46 am
TechBash – Part 1
By Loop Lonagan,
as told to John Jonelis –
I feel the bite of Christmas in the air. It’s the season o’ giving. I’m here at TechBash coverin’ fer Da May Report but I never seen an event like this before. Right away, I get hit with pounding music, flashing lights and maybe a couple thousand er more people. Place is fulla bigshots. So many C-level execs at one party—mosta them CIOs o’ big corporations. And the food and open flowing bar. I mean, this is a HUGE party that puts Dennis Koslowski and Tyco to shame—but this one’s legit. Lemme tell you about it: Continue reading →
Filed under Characters, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Giving, High Tech, Poverty, Relationships, Startup Companies, Startups
Tagged as community leaders, finding talent, giving back, helping people, high tech, Inner city, IT jobs, job training, Jobs, nurturing leaders, nurturing talent, self-sustaining social enterprise, slums, Social Enterprise
August 26, 2013 · 4:00 am
John Jonelis – I knew something outstanding was going on, but when a friend raved about it, I had to stop procrastinating and find out more. Continue reading →
Filed under Biography, Education, Entrepreneur, Giving, Influence, Poverty, Relationships
Tagged as busy, Do for others as you would have them do for you, finding jobs, Generosity, hard work, helping people, kind, learning skills, perseverance, selfless
March 12, 2013 · 5:00 am
Impact Engine – Part 5
Verbatim transcript from a special correspondent
Loop Lonagan back at Impact Engine Investors Day. The Chase auditorium’s packed with angel investors and venture capitalists AND philanthropists that’d rather invest in self-sustaining ventures than just dump their money down the old rat hole. Continue reading →
Filed under Characters, Entrepreneur, Giving, New Novel
Tagged as bob hope, Charity, costs of a charity, crowd funding, giving, impact investing, NGO, overhead of a charity, percent giving, the lemon drop kid, the nellie thursday home for old dolls