The youngest of three boys.
I grew up the youngest of three boys in Glencoe, Illinois. Glencoe is a suburb of Chicago, so naturally I grew up loving Lake Michigan, the Art Institute, and (of course) the Chicago Cubs.
My folks set the bar VERY high. My dad is an immigrant’s son who worked his way up from the bottom to become a successful steel executive. My mom is an educator who earned a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, law degree, and a PhD — all while raising a family. (No one’s really sure how she did it.) My parents’ integrity, empathy, curiosity, and work ethic inspire me to this day. I’ll admit it: I’m still trying to impress them!
From my earliest days, I’ve been an entrepreneur.
As a kid, I worked every job I could find or dream up: I sold sand candles that I made, cut meat in a butcher shop, shoveled snow, cleaned pools, bagged groceries, waited tables, worked at an animal hospital. And early on, I developed skills I still use today – how to anticipate a customer’s needs, how to forge strong relationships, how to make a sale.
I went to college at Syracuse University — and kept working hard.
I studied history, political science, and business. Meanwhile, I worked at JCPenney as Brown Badge Associate #174 in Dewitt, New York. I was top seller of sporting goods, hardware, and hunting rifles. I also sold storm windows door-to-door. And washed dishes for a sorority. And was a bouncer at Faegan’s Bar (where I gained a healthy appreciation for the power of verbal persuasion).
After college, I returned to Chicago and found my calling.
I graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, passed the Bar Exam, and started working as a commercial litigator for the firm Katten Muchin & Zavis. And then, a little less than two years into my legal career, I realized it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t a desk jockey; I wasn’t a library guy. I was a person who had to be DOING things. So when I heard that one of my clients was selling a little Chicago-based packaging business, I saw my chance. I couldn’t have known what that little company would become — but I knew it could be something special.
I know I’ve been blessed.
I have an amazing family: a wife, three daughters, two sons, and two grandchildren I adore. I run a business I love that just keeps growing. I’m part owner of the Chicago Cubs and full owner of the South Bend Cubs. And because I know how lucky I am, I’m committed to paying it forward through my community and philanthropy.
My life truly is a testament to the idea that “Anything is Possible.”