Robert Camastro

Robert Camastro was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side and spent his younger years as a professional musician. He was later employed for 19 years by United Airlines, where he worked his way up to directing planning and development for the airline’s worldwide call center and ticket off operations. After leaving United he became the founder, partner and operating manager of Virtual Agent Services — a call center handling reservations and customer service for 26 hotel brands. Throughout his business career, he continued performing music in Chicagoland. He is now retired but continues working as a studio musician and writer/reporter for Fra Noi. He divides his time between his homes in Florida; Illinois; and Umbria, Italy.

Undefeated: Nick and Marc Buoniconti

NICK BUONICONTI JR. Undersized for a linebacker, he dominated the NFL gridiron for 14 seasons before making a name for himself in the fields of law, business, broadcasting and medicine. The hardest thing about profiling Nick Buoniconti Jr. is having enough space on the page. The man accomplished more in one lifetime than most talented people could accomplish in 10. Let’s start from the beginning. Nick was born on Dec. 5, 1940, in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti Sr. and Pasqualina Mercolino, both of whom traced their roots to Naples. Nick Sr. married into a family that owned an …

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Music industry dynamo Don Markese

Music is everywhere in our lives, from commercial jingles, movie soundtracks, radio playlists and television programming to the melodies that waft through dining areas, offices, lobbies and elevators. But who exactly is creating all of that beautiful sound? Beyond a relative handful of superstars, most of it comes from anonymous musicians known as sidemen: a misnomer that implies that they’re only minor contributors. In reality, sidemen are the heart and soul of the music industry, and you need look no further than Don Markese for proof of that. A second-generation Italian American from Franklin Park, Markese traces his Italian roots …

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