Our next Meet the Member post is with Garett Skiba of Four Footed Alpha & Analytics. He is a member of our Chicago West Loop shared office space.
Four Footed Alpha & Analytics is a holding company for two different operating companies that Garett manages. Here’s how Garett explains the two companies:
“The first business involves working with start-ups or early stage businesses helping them with finance and accounting issues/day-to-day. I will also do direct investments in those Co’s that I work with or through Angel networks which I am affiliated with. The second business is a bit more non-traditional as I have models and algorithms built to play horse races and daily fantasy sports. I invest primarily my own money, but do have a couple LP’s as well that have invested. Of course with the Kentucky Derby around the corner, let me know if you need a Derby horse!”
I’m a big list maker. Every morning I review my long term list and then create a list for that specific day of the tasks I am trying to accomplish. It really helps me stay focused on the most important tasks.
From the Blue Line to the Metra, the transportation options are great and being outside the loop allow for easier travel to meetings in the West Loop & River north area. I have yet to find a great happy hour spot, but have always been a big fan of Al’s Beef for a great Chicago Style beef sandwich.
First of all, having someone like Kerry to turn to for any issue that come up has been amazing, she is the best!
Beyond that, I enjoy the energy and the fact that people are here because they want to be here and not just “punching the clock”.
I think try is the key word here, but every day I do try and exercise, get 8 hours of sleep and spend at least a hour of device-free time with my boys.
I love the flexibility and the fact that there is no ‘typical day’. Of course that can lead to some ups and downs, but it beats monotony.
I have two young boys (3 and 5) so my free time is usually spent at hockey or baseball practice. They do a great job of making sure my free time is limited!
“Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You cant buy what is popular and do well”.
I’ve always been a contrarian investor, so I’m always looking to find overlooked sectors/ideas when investing. While not direct advice, this quote by Warren Buffett really has stuck with me throughout the years.
Our next Meet the Member post is with Bob Sherik of Sagefire. They are members of our Minneapolis shared office space.
Foundation Business Systems is a Veteran Owned Small Business and provider of MyPermiTrack.com, the permit management and environmental compliance suite. Sagefire is the consulting arm of FBS and specializes in system integration and staff augmentation services focused on Business Intelligence, Data Governance, GIS Services, Location Analytics, and Regulatory Compliance.
Bob Shevik is a senior business consultant experienced in multiple industries and a variety of management and executive management positions. Bob has expertise in project and program management, strategic planning, operational planning, information analysis, modeling, facilitation, and structured system development methodologies. He was an intelligence collector and crypto-logic linguist for the National Security Agency and was the author of the Partitioned Model Management information management strategy.
I like to start every weekday at Lifetime Fitness. A little cardio, weights and 10 minutes in the sauna is the only way I can get moving!
You can’t go wrong with the fish & chips at O’Donovan’s or the chili at the Loon Café. Happy hour outside at Kieran’s Pub makes for great people watching!
Energy and Relationships. It is a huge advantage to keep the energy level high in the office. With a small firm your “wins” come a little less frequently. Being able to share the energy and develop relationships within a shared office space can really help lift the valleys in your regular business cycle.
Solving problems. Whether it is business or technology related, I enjoy finding the right solution for a client’s specific situation. And “right” is always the most value at their most affordable price.
I’m a bit of a DIY guy. Home or car, I like to tinker.
Learn more about Sagefire at mysagefire.com.
Our next Meet the Member post is with Doug Bouton, President & COO of Halo Top Creamery. They are members of our Chicago Gold Coast/Old Town shared office space.
The ice cream brand, which is marketed as containing less sugar, fewer calories and higher levels of protein compared to standard regular ice cream, was founded in 2011 by former lawyer, Justin Woolverton. Woolverton, who had hypoglycemic diet restrictions, began making ice cream in his own kitchen. The company is currently run by Woolverton and Doug Bouton, President and COO. Woolverton met Bouton, another former lawyer, in a Los Angeles lawyers’ basketball league.
Halo Top launched in Los Angeles on June 15, 2012, and is currently sold throughout the United States and Australia. Over the past year, Halo Top has quickly become one of the nation’s top selling ice creams, generating a strong market following and devoted fan base, due to its unique marketing approach and brand. The company has aimed to make its ice cream the first ever “lifestyle” ice cream that can be eaten daily without overwhelming a typical caloric intake diet.
As President & COO, Doug oversees, among other things, Halo Top’s sales and operations departments. Before Halo Top, Doug worked as an attorney in the Corporate Department of Proskauer Rose LLP. Doug received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Mathematics.
Cup of the Mighty Leaf African nectar tea that Melissa stocks.
Velvet Taco or anything in Old Town on Wells.
The community and human interaction. Working from home can be very isolating and it’s easy to get “cabin fever.”
Autonomy – working where I want, how I want, when I want.
Learn more about Halo Top Creamery at their web site, halotop.com.
Our next Meet the Member blog post is with Phil Kluesner, Senior Vice President at Carlson Commercial. They are members of our Minneapolis shared office space. Carlson Commercial is a tenant/buyer advisory firm dedicated to serving clients with their lease renewal negotiations or purchase/relocations. They provide services for office and industrial users.
Reading the news paper with a cup of coffee on the front porch.
Proximity to downtown is fantastic and FreeHouse is a great watering hole
Activity level in an around office.
Exercise, read paper, hug my wife.
Mentally commit to working 10-12 hour days for 3 years, fear is a motivator and detriment – balance fear, have fun.
The different types of industries we get to understand. Some very interesting companies doing amazing things out there.
Tennis, golf, biking, hiking, exploring – anything outside.
Learn more about Carlson Commercial at www.carlson-commercial.com.
Our next Meet the Member blog post features Mikey Abts of Caden, members of our Minneapolis shared office space. Caden was founded as a boutique private investment and development firm in May of 2016. Their strategy focuses on the Alternative Energy and Healthcare/Litigation Finance industries.
Caden invests their own capital as a principal in concert with capital provided by a private network of co-investors. Their team is made up of a diverse mix of business and investment professionals with the common objective of superior risk-adjusted returns.
Mikey’s primary focuses at Caden are strategic asset allocation, new markets, and litigation finance.
Prior to joining Caden, Mikey was the co-founder of Connectago, a software company, and Integrity Leadership, a communications company. He also worked as a freelance consultant and writer for various Fortune 500 companies. Prior to that, he was a patent lawyer at Fish & Richardson, the number one ranked intellectual property law firm in the world.
Mikey graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School and summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin, and is a former editor of the Minnesota Law Review. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN.
Every morning, I immediately go to the kitchen and make a shake. This shake is life-changing… Everyone in America should start their day with it.
Here’s the recipe for 2 people:
– 12 Ounces of Coconut Milk
– 6-8 Ounces of Cold Press Coffee
– 5 Ice Cubes
– 2 Bananas
– A Huge Handful of Baby Spinach
– 5-10 Cashews
– 2 Spoonfuls of Cocoa
– 1 Heaping Spoonful of Peanut Butter
I love Assemble’s close proximity to the Minneapolis club… it’s one of the best places to grab lunch or a drink in the city. For those looking to meet entrepreneurs in the city, I highly recommend joining.
My main hobby is writing and producing music. Check out my group Hungry Man Fun Man on Soundcloud.
“Happiness is not something you can pursue – it is the byproduct of doing the right thing. We get so tripped up thinking that happiness is an end goal, and then get frustrated when it slips through our fingers.”
Learn more about Caden at their web site, www.caden.co.
For our next Meet the Member blog post we talk to Joel Onyshuk of Redzone Production Systems, members of Assemble’s Minneapolis location. Redzone exists to to unlock the power of the manufacturing plant floor workforce through mobile-social technology, combined with continuous improvement coaching. This frees the workforce to reach their potential and in turn the manufacturing plant’s potential. This creates a culture of improvement from the bottom up, resulting in top class efficiency and plant profitability.
Joel works for Redzone as an Enterprise Software Sales Executive, working closely with the mid-tier food and beverage companies in the Midwest. Born and raised in the Twin Cities (Skol Vikings!), Joel travels significantly for work, but always come back home appreciating the Minneapolis and St. Paul area more every time. It truly is a wonderful place to live. In a few years, his next career goal as a sales professional will be to work with a sales team as a Director or VP of Sales to coach them to success and build a reputation as a thought leader in the sales profession.
As much as I hate mornings and love staying up late, when I get up and out of my house by 7:30am my day is always more productive.
Minneapolis is truly a Midwest tech-boom location on the rise. Plus, the combination of young professionals, bustling music scene, trendy restaurants, and vibrant craft beer and upscale bar culture makes for a very exciting place to live. Pair all those things with the relatively high income opportunity meshed with lower cost of living makes Minneapolis a great place to live and work. My personal favorite place to eat is Parlour (known for the best burger in the region, and the number one entrée in Minneapolis in 2014. For drinks you have to go try Marvel (if you can find it!), a local speakeasy with many original cocktails and spins on classic originals.
Having a home away from home truly increases my productivity, and I say that as someone who previously wrote off co-working spaces as a waste of money and time. Getting out of my house and into a fun office atmosphere full of like-minded professionals, local coffee, bi-monthly happy hour networking sessions, and much more really has a huge value for me and truly increases my ability to consistently deliver results at work.
Working closely with the folks who make the food and beverages I eat and drink every day is an absolute blast. Watching my long-time favorite candy be made at Pearson’s Candy Company (those Salted Nut Rolls are to die for!) was a particular highlight. And knowing that I have helped deliver software and services that truly make their companies run more efficiently and deliver six-figure or even seven-figure savings year over year is truly rewarding.
Although I travel for work a lot (84 flights last year), I enjoy travel when I can get away from the daily grind and take a vacation. I’m always drawn to places with warm weather and great food!
Best advice? Well, there are a lot of options for that, but since we are in a professional co-working space I’ll choose, “Your net worth isn’t how much you own, but who you know.” It’s so true, and networking and building your personal brand cannot be more important in today’s day and age.
Learn more about Redzone at www.rzsoftware.com.
For our next Meet the Member blog post we talk to Karen Thomas, a senior project manager at Ware Malcomb. Karen and Ware Malcomb work out of Assemble’s Chicago West Loop coworking space.
Karen is responsible for helping manage and grow the Interior Architecture and Design Studio at Ware Malcomb. Karen is joined by interior designers, Stacey Paul and Caroline McNulty.
Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is an award-winning international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, branding and civil engineering services to commercial real estate and corporate clients. The Downtown Chicago office is Ware Malcomb’s second location in the Chicago market and is one of a total of 22 office locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Panama.
Karen brings over 20 years of experience of interior design, facility planning and construction development for over five million square feet. Karen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture from Northern Illinois University and is NCIDQ Certified.
A good run or workout…and coffee!
I love the laid back feel, less congestion, more neighborhood. Who doesn’t love Lou Mitchell’s!?
Meeting new people.
Work hard, stay positive and make someone smile.
All of the above.
Meeting new people and being proud of your work.
My kids. They are my free time and I love every minute of it.
Work smarter not harder.
Learn more about Ware Malcomb at their web site, waremalcomb.com.
WeCo is a UX-based digital accessibility consulting firm which works with private and public organizations to verify their websites and software are accessible people living with a wide range of disabilities. They seek a wide variety of individuals, representing all types of disabilities and computer-use capabilities, to work as usability-focused Certified Test Consultants. Their test consultants assist their clients in fully understanding real-life accessibility from the user’s view. WeCo also employs a team of technical professionals who also live with disabilities, to work as Accessibility Specialists to develop and deliver accessibility testing and training products designed to ensure the most comprehensive user-experience testing results for their clients.
Working with WeCo provides individuals who are often overlooked by traditional work environments with the opportunity to deliver powerful user-experience based testing services to our clients. It also helps these individuals to grow as confident, effective professionals. Whether they choose to remain with WeCo as Test Consultants or Accessibility Specialists, to go on to start their own business enterprise, or move on to another work place, the skills individuals obtain from working with WeCo can equip them for fulfillment in a variety of business environments.
Lynn founded WeCo (The Wehrman Collaborative, LLC) in 2011 with a group of individuals living with disabilities who worked with her on the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan digital efforts. As one of the first State of Minnesota employee to pioneer accessible digital document and website processes, she’s watched both government and private industry struggle to respond to the growing demand for digital accessibility. Realizing that the user living with disabilities was often left out of the process, Lynn envisioned a company that would help the digital professionals access the user as a subject matter expert and result in a professional career opportunity that is often denied people who live with disabilities.
A practice I learned as a very young direct sales person early in my career: selecting the 6 most important things I am going to do today in a separate list from my project management software and following it. Accepting that you will never completely climb the mountain of tasks it takes to run a business, is also part of keeping my daily sanity.
Being a mega extravert, I love the community of people I run into in the skyway every day. For lunch, I tend to gravitate towards Sprout or Freshii. For dinner or happy hours, I like the old classics, Oceannaire Seafood Room or McCormick’s and Schmick’s.
More than 90% of our staff live with a disability that has resulted in many of them being overlooked in the employment process. Often times these very bright people acquire advance degrees, simply because they need something to challenge their minds and stave off the boredom of existing at home while living on entitlement programs. This means that we have a highly intelligent, very educated work force that has also been socially isolated for at least a portion of their adult lives. Assemble, like our previous collaborative office space, Joule, exposes our staff to variety of people with varying professions and backgrounds. They make friends, go out to lunch and happy hour, and really grow in ways that would be more difficult if our group rented an isolated office space. It has worked so well for us that we often wonder if we could do without it. Also, it’s very common for digital marketing firms to realize what we do and run to us when a client comes to them with a request for Section 508 or Americans with Disabilities Act compliant software or website. Doing business with our office mates has also been another big plus.
Breath, slow down and look around and make a difference.
You are your own biggest hurdle to success. Stop being afraid and move forward, even if you aren’t 100% sure of where you’re going.
Watching the magic that happens when a client realizes that they are totally capable of making their digital venue accessible. Watching this happen while they recognize that people living with severe disabilities are people, just like them, and also a subject matter expert they can depend upon, is the cherry on top.
At this level in our company growth, I work very hard to not work on the weekends. I’m a closet jazz pianist and vocalist, love camping, hiking and running.
A sales director I used to work for used to say, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.” Our own failure, and success, pretty exists only between our ears. Though these can make success happen faster, it’s really not a matter of money, education, connections or intelligence. Once I understood that, I got over it and got on with it.
Our latest “Meet the Member” is with Paris312 Founder and Creative Director Niku Ghalkhani. Paris312 works out of Assemble’s Chicago Gold Coast/Old Town location.
Paris312 is a party planning company specializing in Party Boxes wrapped in a bow and shipped to you. They have simplified the tedious task of event design into a 4-step process providing all your party essentials wrapped in a box and shipped to you. By combining artistry and elegance, they have created alluring product lines meant for effortlessly chic celebrations. Leaving you to #partylikeaparisian.
Getting to the office before the rest of the team is the best way for me to get ahead with my work. Once everyone has arrived, I like to take advantage of their presence to discuss, have meetings and brainstorming sessions.
I like that the neighborhood is very accessible, easy to commute and close to great restaurants and shopping nearby. I also have memberships to a couple of yoga and barre studios in the area. All this convenience helps me make the most out of my day. I can get workouts in, run errands before heading home, and there are plenty of spots for the team to meet with each other or clients.
For meals: Goddess and the Grocer and Tavern on Rush.
For happy hour: Nico Osteria.
Being surrounded by other enthusiastic, ambitious people always helps is great! It gives you energy especially when business gets tough. I used to work from home and it became very lonely and draining.
Having management that takes care of maintenance or IT issues and other services allows me to concentrate on my team and my business.
The boardrooms and kitchen space have coffee and tea available, so they are great for when vendors or clients visit.
1. Meet with the team
2. Work out
3. Scratch off 5 things of my to do list (it’s harder that it sounds)
Never, or rarely, say no. As a luxury party goods crafters and retailer, we are closely associated to the event planning and networking industry. These are people and word-of-mouth based industries and you never know where each opportunity may lead you. Some of our greatest partnerships came from unexpected connections.
Product development. Making new collections and products is a wonderful way of mixing combining the creative talent and analytic minds of our team.
2. Exploring the city on foot (walking is my meditation)
3. Reading interior design magazines
Learn more about Paris312 at their web site, paris312.com.
Paul Vogelman was born in Madison, WI where he went to college. Paul is Caviar’s Chicago Metro General Manager, overseeing all Caviar operations in the Chicago area. A true believer in Caviar’s mission to partner with the best restaurants and to deliver the highest-quality meals to customers, Paul has made it his personal mission to ensure each and every Caviar customer has a tremendous experience. A former Bain & Co. management consultant, Paul holds an M.B.A from Wharton and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Overview of Caviar:
Caviar’s mission is to make delivery easy for customers and businesses everywhere. We work with America’s best restaurants to offer quick and reliable local delivery service, enabling businesses to reach more customers, grow their sales and expand their reach. With Caviar, customers can count on enjoying great meals no matter where they are; in their home, office or on-the-go. Caviar works closely with restaurants across the country to offer delivery for individuals as well as catering for groups and events. We hand-curate our restaurant partner list to ensure that customers have the best meal, every meal. Caviar features photos of each menu item, making ordering fast, easy and intuitive.
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The Gold Coast is well located for restaurant meetings, which is an integral part of my job. Favorite local spot: Velvet Taco or Blue Door Farm Stand. The salad bar at Treasure Island is surprisingly delicious and affordable.
Not having to worry about chores (taking out the trash) or having to invest in start-up costs like the printer or furniture is a huge plus. Even though we’ve been here for about 18 months, we love the month-to-month nature of it. Lots of flexibility.
Every single day I ask myself, “What did I do to make Caviar grow today?” If I can’t specifically mention something, it means I didn’t try hard enough. There is literally something I can do every single day to help our business grow.
I love the combination of working for a larger company (Square) but having the independence of a start-up. Caviar is a lean, scrappy team in Chicago, but with smart, hard work we are growing the business one day at a time.
Work? I think I always work. But, it’s ok because I love my job and my company – my favorite job I’ve ever done.
If you are going to jump through a hoop, make sure you actually want what’s on the other side of it first.
Learn more about Caviar at www.trycaviar.com.