Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BizPics: Headshots for Business shoot at Creative Coworking, Sunday, July 9

If you need a new headshot for your book jacket, press kit, website, for LinkedIn, other social media sites or other purposes, I'd love to make it for you. My next BizPics shoot is at Creative Coworking on Davis next Sunday, July 9, 2017.

If you find the prospect of getting your portrait made daunting, this is the shoot for you. My shoots are fun, a cross between a fashion shoot and a party. Come for some smart pictures and a good time. In fact, consider bringing a friend or loved one. 
Dr. Susan Becker Doroshow

This in from dentist, Dr. Susan Becker Doroshow, about BizPics: The business portrait that Karen made was literally the springboard for a revitalized practice image, new marketing materials, and a clear brand that truly resonates with my patients and staff. I never knew that a photograph could accomplish so much. Karen is an artist and creative genius!

From my non-profit executive Thomas Applegate: I finally took advantage of the opportunity with...BizPics to get new photos for use online at Linkedin, Facebook and all of the rest. A great current photo is essential for my professional and social image online.

Karen and her crew are great to work with at the shoot. Even though I wasn't nervous about having my picture taken, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was. Karen...made it fun and easy. I met other professionals while we waited for our turn and that casual conversation helped my photos look relaxed and natural. The process from sign up to selection of my favorite shots was quick and easy.

My only regret is that I waited so long to sign up for a shoot.

Registration and details about next Sunday's shoot are up at

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Anchors Aweigh! Sometimes the riskiest bet is playing it safe

by Jennifer Alice Jackson

Last week I was enjoying an Honest Tea (my sugar splurge when I don’t feel like drinking plain water) and found this quote under the bottle cap:
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
                                                                          ~ John A. Shedd
Nautical sidebar for land lovers like myself: Generally speaking, harbors are safe places for ships. But when a hurricane or major storm comes, the harbor becomes a stationary battering ram that ships are tossed against by huge waves. When the storm comes – the best bet for survival is to head for open sea and outrun the storm. But if you’re caught in the storm, you steer the ship to take the waves head-on because that’s what ships are designed to do. They’re meant to slice through the water under their own power, not be knocked about by wind and wave like a piece of driftwood.

Now back to the bottle cap and why it resonated with me. When you spend the first half of your life in hard core overachiever mode, running plays that were designed long before you were born (good grades, good schools, good job…good life), there comes a time of reckoning. A time when you re-evaluate your life’s trajectory and question if it’s what you want. Really want. Like wish on a star/blow out the birthday candles/throw a penny in the fountain want.  If you find yourself staring into your future, not smiling, but grimacing with feelings of dread or despair--staying the course is not an option. Even if the course entails the good job, good check and good life you’ve worked really hard to obtain.

So I tested the waters by telling my inner circle of family and friends that I, MIT graduate in the high-potential program at one of the Big Three car companies, really wanted to run a professional dance company. The most common response was some version of 1) [sound of crickets], 2) cocked-head stare of a confused puppy, then 3) “are you out of your %$#& mind?!?!”  Now I know these reactions came from a place of love, of wanting me to be safe and a stable as an engineer. Wanting me to be a ship in harbor, anchored by benefits, vacation time and a safe, predictable future.

Thankfully there were a few whose reactions were more along the line of [giant grin with twinkling eyes] “that’s perfect for you!” This precious inner circle was encouraging me to be a fully actualized, gloriously in motion, ship at sea. I’m proud to say that I took a chance to be what I was built for, and have been embracing new goals ever since.
Anchors aweigh!

So are there areas in your life where you’re playing it safe, but you know in your gut that’s the wrong move? Are you floating along like driftwood instead of setting your own direction? My example revolves around career, but these situations can be in any aspect of your life that requires you stand for yourself and what you need.
Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios? You have a friend you’d like to ask out on a date, but instead you wonder “what if” while you eat dinner alone. There’s a new dance class or sport you think you’d love, but you tell yourself you’re too heavy/not good enough yet--so you go home, turn on the TV and eat a donut. Are you holding your tongue about something that really bothers you instead of having a difficult conversation to broker a solution? If so, your ship is stuck in the harbor of doubt and fear.

The world needs you to be you--fully, unabashedly, brilliantly you. Every time that you deny your gifts, your intuition, your desire to be your best--you diminish the impact you can have on the world and become a little bit more mediocre.     

The world won’t end if you opt to maintain the status quo instead of taking a chance on yourself every now and again. But if that’s your only course of action--if you always stay in the harbor when the sea calls--you are living small and curating a life of regret. So please go try. And occasionally fail. And try again until you’re satisfied you’re living your life, the best way you can. That’s what you were built for.


Jennifer Alice Jackson, the Career Pivot CatalystTM, is an artsy nerd, entrepreneur and a master at making career pivots. Her 25+ year non-linear career spans engineering, management consulting, arts management, diversity and entrepreneurship. She provide guidance to professionals who are ready to change careers, but don’t know their answer to “what next?” She also coach clients to efficiently navigate the personal, professional and financial hurdles that stand in the way of realizing their new career goals. If you’d like to join her tribe of career changers, please check out the Career Tectonics website and join her mailing list.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Carbs for a Cause: PizzaFest Tuesday, May 16

It's May, so it's PizzaFest time.

Always a lot of fun, the Rotary Club of Evanston has organized this annual all-you-can-eat pizza and pop extravaganza for more than 30 years. Proceeds will be spent on projects and initiatives vital to the well-being of Evanstonians and other neighbors, especially kids.

Tickets are on sale at Dick Peach’s Dempster Auto Rebuilders, Gail Jones’ Saville Flowers, Elio Romero’s Chef's Station, online and at the door. (Getting tickets before you get to the door will save you a few bucks, but given that proceeds are going to some worthy non-profits, maybe paying more is okay.)

This year's servers will include Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty; Alderman Peter Braithwaite, Evanston Community Foundation's Monique Burson Jones, possibly some NU coaches and a lot of Rotarians.

This year’s PizzaFest collaborators include:

The Moran Center - Formally called the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, the Center provides Evanston youth and their families with integrated legal and social work services to improve their quality of life at home, at school, and within the Evanston community.

The Ridgeville Foundation - The foundation supports participation in Ridgeville Park District’s camps and classes and provides free and accessible cultural programming such as Shakespeare on the Ridge and the annual 4-on-4 soccer festival.

Mudlark Theater - The theater takes children seriously as artists and creates vibrant, funny, compelling theatre that blurs the line between youth and professional theater.

It's always a good time. I hope to see you there. I'll be making pictures.

The Rotary Club of Evanston, informally called Evanston Rotary, is kind of special. Besides bringing together some of the most interesting, civic-minded and generous people in the area under the banner of "Service Above Self", our club is unique for a couple other reasons. We meet at Rotary International's headquarter's conference center, a perk for both our club and RI. On any given Thursday, we serve as host to many Rotarians coming from out-of-town to do business at RI.

If you'd like to know more about our club, you can check us out online or club president Dave Stumpf before June 30. As of July 1, Dick Peach will serve as president again.

More about this year's PizzaFest is up on Facebook.

Tickets. Get your tickets here --> TICKETS.


Heck, yeah. I’m a Rotarian. Since 2010.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Our lake is great. Show her you care. April 23

Revetment Splash by Ted Glasoe

Pitch #1: What have you done for our Mother Earth lately? This Sunday go to the beach and clean her up a bit. She'll take care of us, if we take care of her.

Pitch #1.5: Saturday is Earth Day. It comes every April. Do your Earth Day observance at Evanston's Lee Street Beach this Sunday.

Pitch #2: This Sunday you can go to the gym to bend, stretch and walk or you can go to the beach to do all that, plus get some vitamin D in the process, while hanging out with some very fine people and helping the health of our planet.

Pitch #2.5: Forget the gym. Go to the Lee Street Beach this Sunday.

Pitch #3: Have you met environmentalist/photographer Ted Glasoe yet? Nice guy, and talented, too. He'll be cleaning up Lee Street Beach this Sunday from 9-11 a.m. In case you need a reason to go to the beach on a partly sunny day, meeting him and other lovely people is a good one, plus bags will be provided to help with some beach cleaning as long as you're there.

Pitch #4: Got kids? Looking for something worthwhile and low-cost to amuse them? Take 'em to Lee Street Beach this Sunday. There will be things to look at, collect and catalog on the beach.

Pitch #4.5: Free fun at Lee Street Beach this Sunday.

Pitch #5: Want to influence policy and strategy for reducing pollution and keeping the water clean, clear and safe? Join Ted Glasoe and cool neighbors for some beach clean-up and cataloging at the intersection of Lee St. and Lake Michigan this Sunday.

Pitch #5.5: Spend time with Lake Michigan and some nice people, while influencing policy at Lee Street Beach this Sunday.


The weather is predicted to be nice on Sunday.

A series of Chicago-area Earth Day events start on Thursday.
Chicago Parent has a nice list of Earth Day events.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Evanston's Entrepreneur and Leadership Women’s Conference a hit

Hewn's Julie Matthei and Ellen King

Dr. Robert C. Wolcott

Marketing Intelligence on Demand's
Tricia M. Spellman

Journalist and author
Maudlyne Ihejirika


Enjoyed Evanston's first annual Entrepreneur and Leadership Women’s Conference organized by Evanston Woman Magazine. Kudos to Linda Del Bosque and the conference sponsors.

The intimate conference, held on Monday, April 10 in the Holiday Inn-Evanston's Ridgeville Room, included no more than 35 women, which surely contributed to the feeling of camaraderie among participants.

Julie Matthei and Ellen King, co-owners of Hewn Artisan Bread Co., talked about growing their business from Ellen and her family personally delivering bread to customers to a recently expanded brick-and-mortar shop on Dempster St. with a parklet and a church pew, transparency with their clientele, and brave decisions.

Dr. Robert C. Wolcott, co-founder and executive director of Northwestern University's Kellogg School Innovation Network, discussed growth, innovation and change management.

Tricia M. Spellman, founder and chief of Marketing Intelligence on Demand
talked about smart planning and patience when it comes to marketing.

City of Evanston’s Economic Development Manager Johanna Leonard reminded us about what the city is working on to spur economic success in the city and introduced the final speaker. 

Sun-Times columnist and author Maudlyne Ihejirika closed the conference with a presentation about her family's flight from Nigeria as refugees in the late 1960s, a story recounted in her mother's memoir, Escape from Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War. It's good she closed. She inspired tears.

The half-day conference was covered by the Daily Northwestern's Maggie Burakoff.

I covered it with my camera primarily for y'all who could not be there. More pictures are up on Facebook.


Maudlyne Ihejirika talks to Daniel French and I in January on WCGO's Everyday with French and Friends show.

Dr. Wolcott participated in a TEDx talk at University of Chicago in 2011.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Where, oh where to eat on Easter

You're not up for cooking yourself, so...decisions, decisions. Want to stay close to home? Check out these offerings.
Found, 1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-868-8945; Celebrate Easter Sunday with spring-centric, family-style menu, available from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Chef Nicole Pederson offers kale and swiss chard salad with cranberries, candied nuts and seeds, as well as pan-roasted salmon with crispy polenta, arugula and Meyer lemon. The family-style brunch menu is $38 for adults and $18 for kids. The standard a la carte dinner menu also will be offered from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with certain specials available.

Pete Miller's, 1557 Sherman Ave., Evanston, 847-328-0399; Listen to live jazz music by Nicole Kestler (10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) and Jeannine Tanner (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) while you enjoy a buffet featuring carving and omelet stations, a seafood and raw bar and a sweets table. Admission is $46.99, $23.50 for kids ages 6-10 and free for kids younger than six and entitles you to a two-hour reservation.

Hearth Restaurant, 1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston, 847-570-8400; 
Start your meal with complimentary freshly baked breakfast breads, then order a la carte. Dishes including cinnamon roll pancakes, skirt steak benedict and avocado toast. Mimosas, bloody marys, bellinis, fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee and tea are also available. Brunch is served from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Stained Glass, 1735 Benson Ave., Evanston, 847-864-8600; Enjoy made-to-order omelets and eggs benedict, carved leg of lamb with mint pesto and ham with pineapple chutney, and other fare including doughnut French toast, tomato mozzarella salad, and scones. Brunch is $32, half-price for kids ages 4-12 and free for kids under age 3. Adults get a complementary mimosa or bloody mary. The buffet is available from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Ten Mile House, 1700 Central St., Evanston, 847-905-0669, Brunch will feature brisket and ribs, house-smoked salmon, pastries and eggs made to order, and more, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $32 for adults, $15 for kids.

The Barn, rear of 1016 Church St., Evanston, 847-868-8041, The Barn is offering a special three-course brunch with options such as Soup de Poisson ($9.95); Little Gem Salad and Creamy Dijon Salad ($11.95); The Grand Central Caviar Sandwich ($18.95); a choice of Prime Heritage Angus steaks, Za'Atar Roasted Half Chicken ($22.95); and more.

Convito Cafe and Market, 1515 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, 847-251-2654, Easter brunch includes grilled rack of lamb, honey lavender roasted ham and convito hash will be offered with the regular menu from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Restaurant Michael, 64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-441-3100; A three-course menu offers a choice of starters such as a duo of chilled jumbo lump crab and crab cake with sweet pea sauce. Entrees include rack of lamb and grilled garlic lamb sausage and a dessert such as strawberry soufflé with candied kumquat. Brunch is $54, $26 for kids younger than age 10 and reservations are available every half hour from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Bar Louie at Holiday Inn Skokie, 5300 Touhy, Skokie, 847-763-3068. The Easter brunch buffet is spread out and includes cold and hot food tables; carving, pasta, waffle, omelet and dessert stations and a bakery corner. The $26.95 tab for adults includes a choice of champagne or mimosa; children aged 5 to 12 are charged $14.95. Service goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The weather forecast expects no rain for Sunday and to get as warm as 61 F with some clouds, some sunshine. If you’re in the mood for a drive, consider these places.

Maya del Sol, 144 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, 708-358-9800, Bring some Latin fare to your celebration, with a brunch buffet featuring tilapia ceviche, chipotle-marinated skirt steak, vegetable enchiladas and sweet corn tamales with poblano cream sauce. Brunch runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and costs $29 or $14 for kids ages 4-12. Kids younger than age 4 eat free.

Rob Roy Golf Course, 505 E. Camp McDonald Rd, Prospect Hts., IL 60070. 847-296-4653. This River Trails Park District golf course club house offers Easter champagne brunch buffet on Sunday. First seating: 9:30 a.m – 11:30 a.m. Second seating: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.. Bill will be $24.95 Adults, $14.95, Children 4-12, Free, Kids 3 and younger. Let them know you're bringing kids so the Easter bunny can deliver a special gift. Reservations required: 847-296-4653 x6.

Magnolia Café & Bakery at Lambs Farm
, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville, 847-362-4636; A buffet offers carved meats, classic breakfast fare, fresh fruit and vegetables and bakery treats. Reservations are available at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. and the meal costs $24.95 or $10.95 for kids ages 2-12. Kids younger than age 2 eat free.

Chicago Botanic Garden, Nichols Hall, Regenstein Center, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-5440. Easter brunch menu includes breakfast pastries, turkey and glazed ham from a carving station, a spring vegetable quiche and vanilla french toast bread pudding among other dishes. Bloody Marys, Mimosas and champagne cocktails are available for purchase. Tickets are $32 for adults and $24 for children 3 to 12 years old; members get a discount. After brunch, stop in the Rose Garden for an Easter egg hunt.

Allgauer's on the Riverfront at Hilton Chicago/Northbrook, 2855 N. Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook, 847-664-7999, Choose from more than 100 items offered at this champagne brunch including oysters on the half shell, dozens of fresh salads, peel & eat shrimp, snow crab, hand-carved beef, made-to-order omelets, kids items and desserts. The Easter bunny will also make an appearance. Brunch is served from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and costs $42 or $18 for kids ages 4-12.

Monastero's, 3935 E. Devon Ave., Chicago, 773-588-2515, Champagne brunch will take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Entrees begin at $22, with a children's menu starting at $16. Cost includes choice of entree; soup, fruit or salad; dessert trip, coffee, tea and choice of a glass of champagne, orange juice or mimosa.

Cafe Touche, 6731 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago, 773-775-0909, Full brunch offerings available between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Lucky Monk, 105 Hollywood Blvd., South Barrington, 847-898-0500, Easter brunch entrees will include corned beef hash, short rib benedict, stuffed French toast and chicken and waffles. Kids eat for $8.95, which includes an ice cream sundae station. Brunch begins at 10 a.m.
Good idea for big families…

White Eagle, 6839 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, 847-647-0660, Seatings for a family-style menu including bread, soup, roasted chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, beef brisket with gravy, Polish sausage and sauerkraut, pierogi, Honey-baked ham and dessert, will take place from noon to 6 p.m. with a cost of $27.50 per person. A buffet-style menu will be available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a cost of $29.50 per person and feature a breakfast station, fish station, carving station, Italian station, Polish station and a dessert station.

White Pines Golf Club & Banquets, 500 W Jefferson St., Bensenville, 630-766-0304. The Easter brunch, a family event, has a lineup that will include traditional favorites as well as some culinary surprises from Executive Chef Rich Mancini. The tariff for adults is $35.95 and for children 5 to 10, $15.95. Seatings run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bloody Mary and champagne bars are available at an additional cost.

Hyatt Regency O'Hare
, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont, 847-696-1234 Ext. 4602. This popular brunch is designed to offer something to appeal to a broad spectrum of diners as they stop at buffet stations highlighting seafood, breakfast fare, waffles, Italian specialties, sushi, carved delicacies and desserts – including many gluten-free choices. Prices are $48 per adult and $26.50 for children aged 5 to 12. Seatings will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sources: Skokie Review, Skokie Patch’s bulletin board, Northbrook Star