How CDW execs help tsunami victims
May 30, 2005
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
Saturday, K.C. Tomsheck,
senior director of IT operations at Vernon Hills-based CDW Corp.
turns over the keys of a new house to a family in Lake County.
is the third Habitat for Humanity house that CDW coworkers have
built since John Edwardson took the helm as CEO. Tomsheck worked
on all three. The next stop for Tomsheck and nine other CDW coworkers
is Khao Lak in the coastal region of Thailand, 50 miles north
of Phuket. They'll spend two weeks in July building homes in the
is Edwardson's brainchild. The CEO offered coworkers a deal: Contribute
whatever you wish to tsunami relief, no matter how small. Edwardson
pledged to match employee contributions. CDW's founder, Michael
Krasny weighed in, agreeing to match as well. Together, CDW brass
and staffers raised $322,000 for tsunami relief.
Edwardson offered to draw 10 names from the contributors' list
for a two-week, expense-paid mission to Thailand to restore damaged
my family the day John Edwardson made the announcement that if
I got selected, I would go," said the 41-year-old Tomsheck.
for this project is different from Tomsheck's typical IT assignments.
He received vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, measles, tetanus,
yellow fever and typhoid. He also must take malaria medicine before,
during and after the trip.
On this Memorial
Day, it's good to know there are tech workers like Tomsheck willing
to give back to the global village. It's also good to know there
are CEOs like Edwardson mobilizing community spirit while still
delivering stellar financial results to shareholders.
is moving its headquarters from San Francisco to downtown Chicago.
The move announced last week was first reported in April by SunTimes
Business staffer Sandra Guy.
GNX CEO Joe
Laughlin said, "Chicago is the best location. It's a great
transportation hub, and the cost of doing business is much more
favorable than San Francisco."
global customers in the consumer products and retailing industries
such as Carrefour, Coles Myer, Diageo and Metro Group as well
as American stalwarts including Kroger, Ace Hardware and Sears.
The move means
100 new jobs in Chicago. GNX is leasing 28,000 square feet at
200 W. Monroe. The state of Illinois is providing $50,000 in employee
training assistance to GNX as part of the relocation deal, according
Chicago's diverse labor pool as an asset. "We need people
who are sensitive to the multiple cultures and languages where
our customers do business," he said. He praised Paul O'Connor
and Dan Lyne from World Business Chicago for identifying the benefits
of Chicago for GNX.
had no problem finding talented software architects and developers,"
Challenge Pays $50K
founder Ed Kaplan bankrolled the University of Chicago Graduate
School of Business New Venture Challenge. A total of 59 teams
of aspiring entrepreneurs participated this year.
squared off presenting business plans to a panel of judges including
some of the nation's top venture capitalists and entrepreneurs,
$20,000 top prize goes to PrepMe.com, a high tech college-board
test preparation service. PrepMe.com uses online content and coaches
to prepare high school students for the SAT.
not just PCs. It's iPods, cell phones and IMs," said founder
Avichal Garg. "We want to educate using tools 16-year-olds
sign up? Consider Garg's cofounders, Karan Goel and Joseph Jewell.
Goel finished college at the University of Chicago in just three
years. Jewell is a Rhodes Scholar. They clearly know something
about achievement. I think they'll impress the parents.
second prize winner is F2, which offers a proprietary real-time
system for optimizing Internet advertising. Medical-device provider
RheoxTech and child health-beverage maker Crazy Waters split the
$10,000 third prize. The remaining five finalists divided the
last $5,000 in prize money.
was one of our best competitions," said U. of C. Professor
Steve Kaplan, who chairs the New Venture Challenge. "These
are strong companies that will be funded."
Krauss is a Chicago-area tech writer and consultant.