Lou Carlozo

Lou Carlozo is award-winning journalist who spent 20 years reporting for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chicago Tribune. He began writing for Fra Noi in 2007, and claims maternal and paternal southern Italian lineage. The monthly Lou&A columnist and a music reviewer/writer, his work has appeared in Reuters, Aol, The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor and news outlets around the world. In 1993, he was a Pulitzer Prize team-reporting finalist for his contributions to the Tribune’s “Killing Our Children” series. He resides in Chicago with his wife of 21 years, a hospital chaplain, and their teenage son and daughter.

CARSTAR Scola’s Collision Center

It’s not unusual to hear business owners boast that they’re the best. But it’s another matter entirely to prove it as Luigi and Anthony Scola have done — winning an award in June for the nation’s best CARSTAR auto repair franchise. “It was a real surprise when it happened,” says Luigi Scola, who co-owns CARSTAR Scola’s Collision Center in Brookfield with his brother Anthony. “We go to the CARSTAR conference every year, and there are 440 nationwide stores. It makes us feel very prestigious and very proud that we won it.” Franchisee of the Year is the highest award in …

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Di Giacomo & Somers L.L.C

While divorce usually involves enlisting a lawyer, it need not descend into the kind of backbiting and mayhem often seen in Hollywood films (or Hollywood marriages for that matter). In fact, a few lawyers specialize in Collaborative law — a powerful, voluntary alternative to traditional divorce litigation where the parties and their attorneys work together as a team to achieve a fair outcome for all. “Although my firm does a significant amount of litigation, we are more oriented toward Collaborative law and alternative dispute resolution,” says Carol Di Giacomo of Di Giacomo & Somers L.L.C, a Northfield-based law firm that …

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Elevator Inspection Services

When Anthony DiBiase and Frank Cervone bought an existing elevator inspection business in 2002, little did they know they’d shoot straight to the top floor of their field. Today Elevator Inspection Services Co., Inc. in Burr Ridge handles a combined 8,000 inspections a year in Chicago and the surrounding municipalities. To put it in perspective, that’s an average of 22 elevators a day, with the safety of millions riding on the work these men and their team do, day in and day out. “In the past 11 years, we have grown the business by 75 percent,” says DiBiase, whose parents …

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Attorney/CPA Anthony B. Ferraro

As Baby Boomers move into their senior years, and families prepare for the road ahead, there’s too often a tragic disconnect between the planning they do and the planning they need. As an attorney who specializes in elder law, and a CPA with a master’s degree in taxation, Anthony B. Ferraro of Rosemont says that the best of intentions don’t necessarily add up to the most sound of strategies. “We deal not only with what happens when you pass away, but what happens when you don’t,” says Ferraro, who has spent nearly four decades helping his clients prepare for all …

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Montclair-Lucania Funeral Home

In 1933, a pair of young Sicilian brothers — the oldest not even 21 — decided to start a business, unaware they’d create a legacy as well, and touch countless Italian Americans in the Chicago area. Vincent and Joseph Lucania opened their first funeral home in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood at 409 W. North Ave. The business grew, and Vincent moved west in the 1950s, following the migration of other Italian Americans to the area. He opened Montclair-Lucania Funeral Home’s current location at 6901 W. Belmont Ave. in 1957, and there it stayed. The venerable funeral home marked its 80th …

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Morizzo Funeral Home

Walk into Tony Morizzo’s new business in Hoffman Estates, and you’ll encounter abundant sunlight flooding an impeccably appointed lobby as a glass-enclosed fireplace blazes away. It’s the kind of setting you might mistake for an inviting-yet-dignified inn, unless you read the sign out front. The Morizzo Funeral Home is a true milestone for Tony, representing the life’s work of a man who has built a family business based on four simple-yet-solid cornerstones: family, friendship, relationships and giving back. His brother Dan and son Ross join him in the third-generation enterprise. Morizzo’s new facility opened in November after 11 months of …

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Season Comfort Heating & Cooling

Everyday conveniences have changed so much over the last couple of generations, including many that we take for granted, but depend on night and day. Nowhere is this truer than in heating and cooling, where Season Comfort owner Vito Palella has a unique double distinction. He stays on top of the latest advances in his field, yet has more than 30 years experience in helping customers spend smart now and save for years to come. “Because the technology has changed so much over the years, we can almost always help people save money and energy,” says Palella, a native of …

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Speed-O-Lite Printing Center

When Dominic Verlotta goes to work at Speed-O-Lite Printing Center in Franklin Park, he carries more than a mental list of upcoming print jobs. Working 60-plus hours a week, he lives out the lessons passed down by his Italian parents, who hailed from the Campania region. “When you’re family, you’re really family,” says Verlotta, who’s been in the printing business since 1975. “You help each other out, and that’s what it’s all about.” Others invoke family in the abstract, but for Verlotta, it’s as close as the front counter. His wife of 29 years, Marketta, handles a wide array of …

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Wine Sergi Insurance

As the child of Italian-American parents of Calabrese descent, Dan Sergi grew up in Villa Park watching his folks not only preach the gospel of hard work, but live it as well. He remembers working electrical jobs from an early age with his dad, who rarely took vacations or time off while supporting his family of six. “The most important thing they taught us was to live your life with integrity,” says Sergi, president and CEO of Wine Sergi Insurance in Naperville. “You witnessed it every day in what they did.” You also can see it in Sergi’s quest to …

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Conductor/Pianist Francesco Milioto

As a six year old, Francesco Milioto remembers walking into his bedroom, finding his desk moved, and seeing an upright piano where none had stood before. “It was not something I had asked for. But my father had decided I would take lessons” — and as it turned out, from someone who’d never given lessons before. The gambles of such hopeful parents often end in failure or a child’s disinterest. But in Milioto’s case, it definitely resulted in huge win. Growing up Toronto, he studied his craft extensively at the Royal Conservatory, University of Western Ontario (where hearted a top …

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