New Beginnings

Innovation. It’s one of those words that means something different to everybody. As summer fades and days become cooler and more colorful, this issue of SW Lake Lifestyle explores some of the innovation that’s happening all around us.

Here in SW Lake, friends gather to brew some of the tastiest beers you’ll ever sip. As shown on the cover, Jason Vucic and Phil Castello, along with co-owner Brittany Barth, transformed a former dive bar into a comfortable place with a hipster vibe. Side Lot Brewery–next door to Wauconda’s renowned Slyce Pizzeria and across the street from Lindy’s—is where innovation fills a pint glass for SW Lakers looking to meet old friends or make new ones.

Innovation is, of course, how you get ahead in business. Pete Wodarz of North Barrington had a cathartic moment when studying to be an architect years ago. He realized natural materials and the environment were more to his liking, so he pivoted to landscape architecture and hasn’t looked back as a managing partner of Milieu Landscape Design. With more of a technology bent and hailing from Lake Barrington, 23-year entrepreneur Graham Blus leads start-up company Rovely with a totally different take on social media, especially as a way to help small businesses get the word out. Both Pete and Graham’s stories are in this issue.

In Hawthorn Woods Kelli Schulte says she has the best job in the world. She helps people realize their full potential with her upbeat disposition and professional approach to counseling as a life coach. She shares inspiring advice on how to unlock innovative thinking on the back page in “Parting Thoughts.”

Finally, you may be wondering “Who’s the new guy at the top of the page?” I recently took over ownership of SW Lake Lifestyle, and am having the time of my life steering this enterprise down a more innovative path. The October issue is our re-launch. In the coming issues, we’ll write the articles, share the stories and shoot the photos that are inspired by you: the residents of SW Lake County. To that end, there are really only two simple goals for SW Lake Lifestyle:

• Tell the stories inspired by the people in the wonderful communities we call home in SW Lake.

• Help our valued business partners achieve even greater financial success.

Backing me in this effort is an incredibly talented team. You can read who they are in the right hand column on this page. You are invited to share your thoughts, suggestions and ideas any time you want by sending me an email.

Thanks, and we’ll see you around town.