Chicago Bullish for Businesses


Chicago is a great and dynamic city. It has always been the center for business and industry. At one time you could say that all roads lead to Chicago. In the westward movement of our country, covered wagons went through Chicago. Business was centered in Chicago. Now the Chicago airport is a central hub for the United States.

Chicago has been a hub for business and finance in the United States for more than a century. Chicago has a thriving tourism and real estate market. One of the things that Chicago has really done well is to encourage small business owners and young people to open new businesses and keep them local. There are many grants and programs sponsored by the State and the City which promote the growth of the local economy. While starting out as a very industrial city, Chicago has changed with the times to become a center for technology and a variety of industries. Manufacturing is still important to the local economy but it is not the only important industry.

Chicago once had many industrialists who build huge estates and created an enormous amount of wealth. Unlike other cities which have seen their wealth decline, Chicago has channeled its resources into new and exciting endeavors.

When anyone thinks of Chicago, they think of art. Chicago houses one of the finest art museums, the Joffrey Ballet makes its home in Chicago. There are many theaters and there is always the Chicago Symphony.

Tourism is now a very big industry in Chicago. Many people come from all over the world to visit the city. There are large and beautiful hotels as well as fine dining restaurants for the connoisseurs. For families with kids there are great museums, attractions and sporting  events.

Recently, there have been new initiatives to promote Chicago’s women in business. Women are taking the lead forming new companies and rising in the ranks of established ones. Notable women have been making a difference by offering programs to talented young women who are up and coming. This has made Chicago a leader in equality and opened up the talent pool considerably.

Chicago is home to Soldier Field which holds sporting events and music concerts. Soldier Field is a premier location for most large bands. It is a huge venue and an attraction to people from all over Illinois.


Cristaux International is a wow! They are cutting edge creative using avant-garde techniques, materials, and concepts to develop innovative conceptual objects. Cristaux designs, develops and executes creative objects that promote the clients business and their individual staff’s accomplishments. These includes trophies and awards of all shorts, including sculptures that commemorate an event or accomplishment. Cristaux work collaboratively with their clients and evolve creative products that exemplify the client’s abstract ideas and goals. It is the evolving of an abstract idea to a physical object.

A client comes to Cristaux International with a task. A typical client is someone who wants to give awards to individuals in their company who have completed a realistically difficult task. The employee’s accomplishment is outstanding and the client wants some way of expressing gratitude for the good work done. Other times, there are groups of individuals working on challenging tasks, and the group should be recognized with an aware at a commemoration. The client is good at their own business, but they really do not have the expertise to innovate and create a unique statement in arrays of materials that express their gratitude to their staff. The client needs help.


What does Cristaux do? Cristaux is specialized in creating Employee Recognition Awards. They take the time to explore with the clients what all possible options might be for this creative product. This is a transformation from a concept, an abstract idea with a goal to a finished product. Cristaux attracts the brightest and best creative minds as staff to serve their clients. Chicago provides a pool of the brightest of the bright and the most creative people who become Cristaux International’s staff. Cristaux’s staff can guide and educate clients to help them achieve their goals. When the client begins the journey, and evolving a creative award is a journey, the client has an idea of what they want. But the client is limited in terms of what they know. The client will benefit from being education and enlightened to the many options in terms of materials, manufacturing and producing awards.

Cristaux stands apart in that they bring the abstract to life. The client can expect to get, for the final product, the most outstanding piece of art. At each stage of development along the journey, staff challenge themselves and their co-workers to render the piece in such a way as to advance the goal of the client. Cristaux International achieves client’s satisfaction with extensive effort at every step of the journey and process. Often exceeding the client’s expectation to point of a wow experience.

The journey begins as a joint effort with the Cristaux staff and the client. Staff begin with pencil and paper. This is a back of an envelope drawing, and this is how it starts. The mind has to be completely open to new ideas. The client can go anywhere and get an ordinary product of some sort. The client comes to Cristaux for something special. At the beginning of the process, there is only one thing that is certain at Cristaux, and that is that whatever the client thinks that the product will be in the beginning, the end product will be entirely different and better.

Meetings between can be anywhere. Often it is good to meet in a wine bar or its equivalent. Offices with a great deal of equipment and busy people running around can be inhibiting and a little intimidating. The creative process benefits from a calm quiet relaxed setting between Cristaux staff and the client. Other times, it is best to meet in the offices and view the initial design and materials. Several environments enhance the creative experience.

During the evolving process of creating the piece, the client open his or her mind to all kinds of possibilities. While it is important to keep the end goal in mind, the process of creating the truly innovative and outstanding piece requires examining many possibilities. Mock drawings and models can expand the vision of the client. As part of the work of the Cristaux staff, they educate the client of the possibilities that the client would never have imagined.

Educating the client includes teaching the client about the array of materials that can be used. Cristaux does not expect the client to guess as to what the end product will be. Cristaux has an inventory of possible examples of pieces as well as carefully producing models of new pieces for the client to view. Staff begin by matching the individualized goals of the client with the available materials and concepts. The staff present at least 10 different substrates of materials. If Cristaux does not have the materials needed, they will search far and wide to obtain the exact material that is needed. The right material makes the difference between an ordinary object and an outstanding piece of art.

The creative staff will always be tweaking the product in terms of materials, color, design and methods of production. Yet, at some point, the creative staff or the client may have an aha experience! Something better, far better, has come to mind. It is back to the drawing board or even back to the back of the envelope stage. This is not bad. In fact, this is great. If the goal is to achieve an outstanding product, then an emerging innovative idea is excellent. Cristaux is about excellence, so the creative staff will take all the time and make all the effort necessary to produce something exceptional.

Creative people feed off each other, and that is how it is at Cristaux International. The client may be working with a designated designer, but others on the staff will have the opportunity for input. In terms of creative idea, the more the merrier is always the best. The more the merrier extends to the client and their peers and Board funding the project. The client will bring their peers along on the journey. There will be no surprises in the end. All will be on board for the journey. The aware of the past is long gone.


No longer will an award be a plastic object mounted on a wooden base. Cristau International is the madcaps of custom design and manufacturing. Now award products are the height of art at Cristau International. These awards reach the status of sculptures and are at the height of avant-garde techniques and concepts. Every piece of art that Cristau produces is unique and individualized to each client, and represent the essence of accomplishments of the awardees.

Jellyvision Lab has their offices in Chicago. They are considered one of the best businesses to work for. They employ a group of very talented people who work together well and support each other. It is important to work well with others. Stress is a major problem in the workplace. Learning to relax and being able to trust your co-workers goes a long way in reducing stress.

Hoopies is a financial service firm. They hold happy hour for new training classes. This is a means of creating a leadership team at the Metropolitan. The company allows for employees to create their own schedule. This is very appealing to young people who want to work at various times. Some young families are struggling with two parents working. Being able to set your own schedule makes it much easier. There are times that a child may be sick and cannot go to day care. At Hoopies, the employee can either work from home or wait for his/her spouse to come home from work and then go into the office. Hoopies promotes creativity and independent working. The freedom facilitates employee’s most productive work.

Microsoft is one of Chicagos best companies to work for. They have a policy of having employees volunteer at schools as a way to say that the company cares. It is always great to work for a company that cares about the community. You are able to be proud that you help make the community a better place. Education is critical in creating a successful next generation. Helping in school systems is an excellent way to improve the talent of the next generation.

Imagine a company that has Zumba classes. SWC Technology Partners provides their employees with free exercise classes. These classes include Zumba classes. The company is concerned about the health of their employees. They also provide nutrition classes and demonstrations showing employees how to cook well balances and nutritious meals. Staying healthy begins when you are young. Learning to eat well and exercise pays off as you age. If you have exercised when you were young, you will always have those muscles that you developed. As you age, you can continue to maintain those muscles. If you have never exercises, it is far more difficult to develop muscles. Eating well is important throughout your life. All the organs of your body benefit from eating well.

Assurance Agency in an insurance brokerage firm. These firms are known for the stress and demands of the job. At Assurance Agency, the company has employee happy hours five times a year in the office’s penthouse. These happy hours help reduce the stress of the job and increase the socializing of the employees. Who wouldn’t want to relax at the end of the day with a glass of wine and a magnificent view from the penthouse?

There is a new word to the English language, Hackathon. Factset Research Systems is benefiting from having their employees get together once a year and participate in a Hackathon. A Hackathon is a 24 hour event where employees have the freedom to work on any project that they choose. It promotes creativity and innovation. Factset Research Systems award trophies for the “Most Innovative” and “Best in Show.”

McTigue Financial Group promotes employee training and mentorship. Employees can grow in their jobs with guidance that comes with having a mentor. Lectures are informative and help employees as they are developing their skills. McTigue Financial Group expanded offices and doubled their space so that they could provide training and mentorship to their employees.

It is inspiring that NetApp promotes employees adopting needy children. NetApp will pay adoption expenses for families to adopt children from China. This is an admirable benefit for working for NetApp. Families are stable and companies want a stable workforce. It actually can benefit the company to promote adoption.