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Business Profiles

Aquatica

There are very few shops in the Chicago area where you can buy a live, three-foot shark. Then again, there are very few shops where the owner can definitively say, “This stuff is like a drug. Once customers are hooked, they are in my store every day.” The drug Mario Rubino is talking about is saltwater fish, and the store he’s referring to is Aquatica in Tinley Park. Ten years ago, Rubino took a leap of faith and pursued his passion. “My family has a grocery store, Rubino’s Italian Imports in Tinley Park, and I used to work there with ...

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Public relations pro Bernie DiMeo

We’ve all heard it said that, to succeed in business, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” For marketing maverick and public relations pro Bernie DiMeo, it’s a combination of the two. DiMeo has the pleasure of running not one, but three, businesses right now. Bernie DiMeo Communications is a public relations firm, Rocco Shirts sells novelty custom-made apparel on-line while Hot Sports Grills sells football and baseball shaped charcoal grills. Why three different businesses? It stems from an entrepreneurial gene shared by his forebears. DiMeo grew up in a Rogers Park two-flat in an Italian household that ...

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Ron and Amy Lemar

Gildo Mazzolin clearly knew what he was doing when it came to taking care of business as well as his family. The trail he blazed as a successful manufacturer, banker and community leader is one that his daughter, Amy Mazzolin, and his grandchildren, Ron, Gil and Amy Lemar, have closely followed. The founder of Rex Carton Co. and former owner of Capital Bank, Gildo Mazzolin was a co-founder of Casa Italia, and Man of the Year at the 1989 Italian Cultural Center Gala. A former officer at Capital Bank, Amy Mazzolin was the chairperson of the event honoring her father. ...

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Cobblestone Development

“I was putting siding on a house and I took a piece of plywood and put my phone number on it, and that was that!” So says Bill Conforti of 773-929-9275, the telephone number that has connected homeowners with Siding-1 Windows-1 Exteriors for more than a quarter of a century. Conforti launched the company and still maintains a small roll in it. But he’s now concentrating most of his energies on Cobblestone Development Inc., a commercial and residential remodeling company he formed 20 years ago. Conforti has covered a lot of ground in the intervening years, but it was those ...

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Caporale Realty

It’s 8:30 on a Thursday morning, and the ageless tables are already filled with regulars. Walking into this Oak Park diner, you see a distinguished man with papers spread out around him. He’s talking to a man standing over the table as if the guest were paying homage. A handshake accompanies a warm smile while the next person waits to say hello. That person would be this journalist. “Hi, Gabe,” I say with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Hey, Lis,” Gabe Caporale says. “How’s ma?” Gabriel James Caporale’s grandparents emigrated from Italy in the 1900s. His parents, ...

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