Francine Knowles
post image

With its unusual workplace perks — and forward-looking name — one could mistake New Age Transportation for a hot-shot startup. But the third-party freight broker, based in Lake Zurich, is nearly a quarter-century old. Among the work-life benefits at New … Continue reading

post image

Bral Spight is focused on helping businesses shift out of low gear. He’s executive director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses education initiative in Chicago. The program, launched to stimulate economic growth and create jobs, has graduated more than … Continue reading

post image

While research shows roughly two-thirds of family-owned businesses don’t survive into the second generation, Chicago-based Shoreline Sightseeing is sailing through its third. The 74-year-old company is known for its architecture river and Skyline lake tours, fireworks cruises, walking tours, and … Continue reading

post image

A few years ago, Gerry Alvarado worried about meeting payroll at his commercial janitorial service company when, in the midst of the economic downturn, his lender pulled his line of credit. Today Geralex, which provides services at O’Hare airport and … Continue reading

post image

Michael Golden and Thaddeus Wong saw opportunity knocking when the real estate market crashed. Defying conventional wisdom, they decided it was the right time to expand. Today their 13-year-old company, @properties, is the No. 1 Chicago real estate broker by … Continue reading

post image

Kenneth Gray lost his wife to cancer, and three months later was downsized out of his job as senior carrier account manager at AT&T. That was two years ago, and the 59-year-old is still unemployed. Deborah Britton was making $21 … Continue reading

post image

For child care providers like Ninva Concepcion, founder of Lincolnwood-based Little Kid N Me Learning Center, it has been a tough year. She and other providers have felt the pain of state budget cuts to early childhood education and higher … Continue reading

post image

Workplace safety and immigration reform are among issues that keep Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez up at night. The head of one of the largest labor federations in the country, with representation from 320 local unions that represent … Continue reading

post image

Advice from their parents to get health insurance gave former college roommates Clint Jones and Brandon Cruz the prescription for launching a fast-growth technology company. Their Chicago-based GoHealthInsurance.com, a free online exchange for consumers to compare health insurance quotes, attracted … Continue reading

post image

Thirteen-year-old Ryan Smith wore a smile as he joined several eighth-graders gathered around mini roller coasters they had designed and built. They demonstrated how one of the colorful construction-paper coasters worked, placing a marble at the top, which traversed several … Continue reading