Calling all literary and book lovers! Chicago Tribune’s annual Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest, drawing more than 125,000 book lovers and featuring over 250 authors and 150 booksellers, is approaching June 8 – 9! The event’s success relies on over 200 volunteers and we need your help!
This is Chicago’s biggest literary event of the year and a chance to get exposed to some of Chicago’s best literary figures. Help continue a Chicago literary tradition by signing up to volunteer today! Follow @PrintersRowFest for festival updates and become part of the conversation.
- Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Team
Tags: Art Spiegelman, authors, cartoonist, celebrity chef, Chef Rick Bayless, chicago festivals, chicago tribune, Chicago Tribune’s annual Printers Row Lit Fest, Chicago’s biggest literary event, education, free outdoor literary event, Judy Blume, Lit Fest Volunteer, literary festivals, Midwest festivals, volunteers
Where are all my eco-friendlies at?! Sammi, here to talk nothing other than the Green Festival coming to our beautiful windy city on May 18th & 19th at Navy Pier. Let’s kick off this spring weather with one the largest (24,000 participants in 2012) and most diverse festivals including education, shopping, food and loads of fun activities!
At the festival expect to experience everything green including: a vegan and organic food court, the Sierra Club Green Cinema, fashion exhibits, workshops, music, dancing, yoga, an organic beer and wine garden, speakers, educational activities and so much more! Green Festival will also feature the Green Marketplace, where you can buy goods and services from our local Chicago businesses.
Not only are you able experience all the fun, but also you don’t have to worry about making a carbon footprint by negatively impacting the environment as a result of the event. While the Green Festival is working towards a zero waste event, they have a 90% Resource Recovery Rate. All vendors practice these standards to ensure sustainability; food vendors use composting for scraps. Expect to see resource Recovery Stations with volunteers to answer any questions you may have.
Tickets range from $10-$32 dollars, but if your 18 or under or bring four cans of food to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, expect FREE admission! Check this out for more ticket information.
Last year, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. spoke at the event and left us with these wise words, “Green Festival is not an event. It is a lifestyle.” On that note, see you all there!
Tags: 2013 festivals, 90% Resource Recovery Rate, an organic beer and wine garden, buy green goods, chicago festivals, composting, dancing, diverse festivals, eco-friendly, education, environment, fashion exhibits, food, greater chicago food depository, green, Green Festival, Green Festival Chicago, Green Marketplace, green services, green vendors, Local, local Chicago businesses, Music, navy pier, organic, Recovery Stations, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., shopping, speakers, sustainability, the Sierra Club Green Cinema, vegan and organic food court, workshops, yoga, zero waste event
Handlebar, Magnum P.I., Easy Rider? What’s your mustache poison? Starting today, men all over the world unite to grow magnificent mustaches and raise money for men’s health initiatives such as prostate and testicular cancer every year during the month of November. This phenomenon is deemed “Movember” and adds a fancy little spin to the widely recognized and female adored “No Shave November” and has been sparking the interest of facial hair Aficionados everywhere.
After deciding to shed the scruff and join the initiative by heading to www.movember.com the quest begins for Mo Bros to gain support of sponsors and Mo Sista’s (their individual female support team) to raise funds for men’s health care issues that, you could say, have often been ignored.
At the end of November, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas come together at events all over the world to show their final hairy products of creation and celebrate a charitable cause that gives men suffering from health issues all over the world hope for a cure. All funds raised in the United States benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG Foundation to raise awareness and promote education, survivorship and research exertions!
Movember has seen success all over the globe, in addition to our fabulous Red, White and Blue country, the charitable cause has encouraged “1.9 Million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Czech Republic.” (Movember.com)
Over $126 MILLION was raised in 2011 alone with a whopping $300 million gathered for benefitted initiatives since Movember got it’s start in 2003. Pretty amazing if you ask me – the power of mustaches is undeniable, get on the mustache train everyone and put your facial hair growing abilities to good use!
Check out this video to learn more about Movember, and keep a ‘stache that’s both legal and incredible sexy!
I’m sitting at O’hare waiting for my flight to Asia (follow me on twitter & facebook to see what I do there!) realizing that recently I’ve been asked a lot of questions about how I got to this point, and how education, going back to school, taking classes, learning in general, has helped me along the way.
Well, long story short it’s meant everything, but I don’t want to go on about my life here (if really interested in my backstory here’s a couple articles http://bit.ly/dXhtgL & http://bit.ly/gyIyCo), but I’d love to highlight a chicago education related program I just heard about that I think is super cool & will make a huge impact in many other lives!!!
It’s about what the Get Schooled Foundation with AT&T, def jam raptor, and viacom is up to with the Get SchoolED challenge to get 25 schools in 11 cities across the u.s. (6 in Chicago!) to improve the attendance rates at their school. The schools in Chicago that are taking part are Chicago Academy High School, Collins Academy High School, Eric Solorio Academy High School, Kenwood Academy, Orr Academy High School, and Wendell Phillips Academy High School.
The school that shows the greatest improvement in their attendance rates over the five week period of February 14th to March 18th will receive college scholarship dollars for students, free access for every student for one year of official sat online courses, a new college-counseling library from the college board, and a visit to their school from a get schooled celebrity education ambassador! Get schooled has worked with celebrities like Trey Songs, Jesse McCartney, and Big Boi.
So how can we help? we can like the get schooled Facebook page and give shout outs to the schools in Chicago, have students submit a performance to the def Jam Rapstar video contest, or share a story about what or who motivated you to stay in school (you will see what motivated me in the articles above, I too need to share here). the challenge ends march 18th, so get your stories, votes, and students’ submissions in!
You can find more information about the get schooled challenge here.
You all remember anna from “my girl” back in the day… she also has been on a ton of shows lately like “30 rock” to landing a cool new gig w/ bbc films called “in the loop” w/ james gandolfini… but I think she is cool because of her positive energy and excitement she shows for her hometown of chicago! I also think it’s pretty cool that she went to university of chicago, one of the hardest schools in the country.
Speaking of education, If know me, you know I always preach about the importance of educating ourselves constantly and continually. You may also know how passionately I feel about learning social media & interactive marketing, just read my blog about it last week. Well, with that I got some of my readers 20 tix for “the chicago tech expo” on oct 1st, which is a great way for managers, business owners, staff… to learn the latest in technology from over one thousand local business owners there to help.
I know it will be great because the organization behind it, the Dept. of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection, has been very passionate about the initiative, and has worked very hard on the event. I have watched the work go into it as I have been volunteering as co-chair of their Education, Communications & Technology Committee on their Hospitality Industry Advisory Group, in effort to give back and share what I have learned over the years… and it is very obvious to me that they are very committed to helping.
Anyway, the tix are on me for those who best comment below about why they need to be at this event, and share which celebrity olympic video has been their absolute favorite. we will pick 20 winners by next weds to each take a ticket on me, to go, learn, explore & enjoy!!!!! (and make sure you hit me on twitter and/or facebook to let me know how it went!) For more information, details & reasons why you should attend, visit www.chicagotechexpo.net.
Tags: 2016, 30 rock, anna chlumsky, bbc, chicago, chicago 2016, chicago 2016 olympics, chicago tech expo, communications and technology committee, dan aykroyd, department of business affairs and consumer protection, education, hospitality industry advisory group, in the loop, james gandolfini, my girl, olympics, taste of chicago, university of chicago, washington park, world's fair
From Crain’s Chicago – Business of Life – August 6th, 2007
Billy Dec is looking for more than a good time.
The ever-smiling king of Chicago’s club scene is on a self-improvement kick. He’s studying management at Harvard Business School. He’s making connections on the city’s civic and political scenes. He even bought a suit.
At 34, Mr. Dec is no longer content to mingle with post-graduates until the wee hours.
Now, he mixes with the gray-hairs at charity balls and political fundraisers.
As president of Rockit Ranch Productions, his role has been to generate the buzz that attracts hordes of twentysomethings to the company’s Underground nightclub and Rockit Bar & Grill. But playing the hipster frontman while Rockit Ranch CEO Brad Young and Chief Operating Officer Arturo Gomez ran the company behind the scenes wore thin. Mr. Dec wants a bigger management role and some respect as a businessman.
“I know all there is to know about marketing a company, but I’m going to Harvard because I want to learn how to manage the company better so it will grow. It’s something I needed to do,” says the 1994 economics and pre-law graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The question is whether his quest for respectability will compromise the hipness that brings crowds to Rockit Ranch’s clubs. Mr. Dec says he’s schooling underlings in the promotional role he has played up to now.
“The functions I did as a promoter are now done by younger people who I’m coaching,” he says.
Mr. Dec straddled both worlds on a recent Friday night.
Early in the evening, dressed in a navy work shirt, jeans and his ever-present Rockit baseball hat, he mingled with a middle-aged crowd at a fundraiser for Piven Theatre Workshop at Rockit restaurant. Guests in suits and cocktail dresses sipped wine and martinis and chatted over subdued background music.
An hour later he bolted for Underground. Techno pop thumped as twentysomethings in T-shirts and mini-dresses danced on couches and shouted for beer and well drinks.
Mr. Dec says he’s cut his clubbing to three nights a week from seven. He spends most of his time overseeing the company’s marketing and consulting arm and working on new restaurant and nightclub ideas.
Last year, he started Harvard’s three-year non-degree program for business owners. He spends one month a year at the school in Boston, taking classes from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Real estate developer Albert Friedman, who owns 50 buildings in the River North area, including those housing Rockit Ranch’s restaurant, nightclub and corporate offices, has noticed changes in Mr. Dec since their business relationship began five years ago.
“He came to me as a quarterback. He was highly skilled — especially in marketing — but he couldn’t always put all the plays together. Now he’s able to do that,” Mr. Friedman, 58, says of Mr. Dec’s improved skills at managing employees and working with investors.
Mr. Dec (who also holds a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, but never practiced) and his partners also have learned some lessons the hard way. Rockit lasted only a year promoting two restaurants at the Hard Rock Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“It wasn’t managed well because they weren’t there enough,” says Richard Tavano, 36, a partner in the venture who says Mr. Dec didn’t have the same cachet in celebrity-studded South Florida that he has in Chicago.
Mr. Dec disagrees. “We did well when we went out there. But what happens at home then slows down, so we realized that wasn’t consistent with our mission statement (to grow entertainment in Chicago).”
That’s why earlier this year, the company backed out of a project to build a Rockit Ranch restaurant in Las Vegas — for which they had raised $13 million. “When it came down to who was going to move to Vegas, none of us wanted to,” he says. “We realized we wanted to stay here.”
| Above: In June, Billy Dec joined actor Jeremy Piven, left, and his mother Joyce Piven to host a benefit for the Piven Theatre Workshop. Below left: In January, singer Ryan Cabrera joined Mr. Dec at an event to promote the film “Smokin’ Aces.” Below right: Mr. Dec and actress Sophia Bush at a North Avenue Beach promotional event.
Mr. Dec’s latest project is a yet-to-be-named Asian fusion-themed restaurant due to open next year and expected to push Rockit’s annual revenue to $20 million. Research for the project took him to Cambodia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
“I wanted to discover great things that Chicago hasn’t been necessarily exposed to,” he says.
Mr. Dec is finding his promotional skills come in handy in raising his profile in new realms. He’s showing up as a guest speaker at organizations like the Young Professionals Club. He’s also hosting fundraisers for cultural organizations, like the Piven Theatre event and another for the Lookingglass Theatre Company.
Shrewdly, he’s parlaying his reputation as pied piper to Chicago’s young adults into political connections that can advance his business ambitions. He calls Mayor Richard M. Daley “my hero” and hosted a campaign event for him during the last election.
“He’s very much in touch with Chicago’s young professional crowd. That’s a desirable group from a political standpoint but also for consumer retailers and business people,” says Peter Thompson, Mr. Daley’s nephew and former campaign finance director, who’s now CEO of money manager Chicago Asset Management Co.
That explains why Gov. Rod Blagojevich invited Mr. Dec to the signing of the new state law banning smoking in public places. The club impresario’s imprimatur provides Mr. Blagojevich with some political cover for a measure unpopular on the city’s night-life circuit.
He’s also thrown fundraisers for Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. The Obama event in June raised $25,000 for the Democratic senator but also served as a coming-out party of sorts for the new Billy Dec.
In his suit — a dark gray number tailored for him in Vietnam — he introduced the guest of honor to a crowd of 1,000 at Union Station.
“I’ve had other suits but didn’t like them because they never seemed to fit,” Mr. Dec says. “This one feels right.”
Full article: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20070804/ISSUE03/100028237/the-education-of-billy-dec#ixzz1G8nkN53k