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Hometown Profiles

Community Trust Credit Union

ommunity Trust Credit Union has
been a staple in the Gurnee community for 84 years. A charter was issued on July 19, 1933, and the initial field of membership was any person living and working in Warren Township, along with their family members. The first two locations of the Credit Union were 4555 and 4247 Grand Ave. in Gurnee. In 1973, with 627 members, the credit union was moved from Jay McCaughey’s home on Emerald Avenue to 4236 Grand Ave., Gurnee. In 1978, the Newport Township Credit Union merged with Warren Township Credit Union and the name was changed to Warren Newport Credit Union. Having outgrown the office at 4236 Grand Ave., the credit union moved to 4628 Grand Ave.

In 1980, the credit union started a checking program and converted their system to real time, and the rest was history. Growth of the credit union exploded and membership and assets continued to grow quickly. In 1984, the credit union broke ground on their first facility in Gurnee. After many additions and remodels, the credit union still calls this location home at 1313 Skokie Hwy.
In 1997 the credit union changed its name to Community Trust Credit Union and the growth continued. Membership opened to anyone who lived or worked in Lake, McHenry or Kenosha County or any family members. Over the next two decades, the credit union added Visa cards, 24-hour loan services, debit cards, real estate loans, online banking, mobile banking, remote deposit capture and text banking.

The growth and the technology of the credit union is jaw dropping for those who have been members over the years. “To go from hand-processing every type of transaction to completely electronic banking is amazing!” said Dorothy Bodner, McCaughey’s first employee and longtime member.

One thing hasn’t changed at the credit union over the last 84 years and that is putting its members first. From the first president, Jay McCaughey, to the newest president, Mike Mallow, the philosophy is the same: the credit union would not exist without its members and, it will help each member achieve their financial goals. Board members volunteer their time to assure that the credit union continues its mission of “people helping people.”

The credit union has always been a large part of the communities it serves. The staff volunteers for several civic organizations, participates in community events and has been known to throw candy at a parade. The credit union can also be found in local schools teaching about banking and budgeting or just participating in school job fairs. The credit union enjoys its time in the community and its board and staff are committed to making a positive impact on as many organizations and individuals as possible.

If you are currently a member of the credit union, thank you. If you are not, stop in, get to know the staff and services. The credit union offers all the same products as the larger financial institutions but with the same personal touch that its members have been receiving for over 80 years.

Excellence in Dentistry, LTD.

Excellence In Dentistry, Ltd. is where you’ll find Drs. Howard I. Cooper and Kate E. Limardi. The practice has been located in Gurnee, at the corner of Washington and 21 in Saratoga Square,
for 25 years. Over the years, they have completed three additions, and now occupy the entire northwest section of the Office Centre.

Patients feel right at home in this state-of the-art facility. Dr. Cooper has been treating patients since 1991 and Dr. Limardi joined the practice in 2011.

The doctors believe that education is the key to a beautiful smile – continuing their education, as well as educating their patients. Drs. Cooper and Limardi continue their education by attending meetings and lectures to achieve a much higher level of patient treatment. They have taken over 3,000 hours of continuing education, which allows them to not only treat their patients better, but also educate them.

Informed and educated patients will be able to increase their home care and achieve better results in creating a healthier smile. The doctors are also concerned with patient health as a whole, and as such, they always examine patients’ medical history and overall health. They perform oral cancer screenings to find lesions early, in the very treatable stages.

The Excellence In Dentistry team also treats their patients as family. They consider seeing patients return year after year the ultimate success. In fact, the practice sees three generations of many families on a regular basis.

Whether you are bringing your kids to the office or if you are coming for yourself, the staff always treats you with the utmost care and respect. They say they “cater to cowards” and pride themselves on treating the “frightened child” in everyone. The biggest reward is taking a frightened/phobic patient and transforming them into a patient who truly enjoys coming back to the office.

The entire team of assistants, hygienists and dentists are dedicated to creating a wonderful atmosphere where patients can relax and receive quality dentistry at affordable prices.


Momcorn is a family friendly, quick casual restaurant dedicated to bringing authentic foods from Mexico and Latin America to the Gurnee/Grayslake area. Its quick casual ambiance makes it convenient for people to enjoy an eclectic mix of street and market foods and select items from other Latin countries. Founded by Sergio Rivera and Kathy Ross, this restaurant is a Gurnee favorite. It offers the convenience of dining in, take out or delivery. Momcorn has earned awards for authenticity, rave reviews online, including two Trip Advisor Certificates of Excellence.

Most foods at Momcorn are gluten and allergens free. The care taken in ingredient selection and preparation has earned their customer’s loyalty, gluten free diet or not.
Momcorn was created to serve natural, healthy and authentic Mexican food. Instead of Tex-Mex or the highly-commercialized fare served in most Mexican restaurants in the in the United States.
Once in Illinois, Sergio missed the market and street foods; simple, but full of wonderful flavors.

After a 40-year career in education, Ross decided a new career might be just the adventure to start her “retirement.” So, she joined in partnership with Sergio and Momcorn was born.

With its “open kitchen” design, customers can see their food being prepared. Each dish is prepared to order, which allows for adjustments to meet the customer’s taste. Many of the dishes have a vegetarian option and can be made vegan on request.

Opened May 2012, the restaurant offers tacos, tortas, quesadillas, burritos, flautas, sopes and signature dishes available nowhere else in Lake County.

The kids’ menu features kid-friendly dishes and characters with corny but cute names such as Cornelius, Cornrad and Corntney, created especially for Momcorn.

The Momcorn name is a pun on popcorn, and its tamales are available at Marcus Cinemas. Now you can have popcorn and Momcorn at the movies.

Momcorn offers delivery during the lunch and dinner hours. Watch for the Momcorn van making deliveries in your neighborhood. A catering menu and online ordering are available on the website, and via Grub Hub and Yelp.

Momcorn believes in giving back to the community. Mention this article when you come in, and 10 percent of your check will be donated to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

If you haven’t been to Momcorn yet, you owe yourself an A-maize-ing meal. Listen to the jingle on the website, or search for “Momcorn ad” on YouTube. You too will be singing this catchy tune along with your friends and neighbors.

James D. Smith – RE/MAX Showcase

Finding the right home in the right location, selling a cherished family home for top dollar or analyzing potential investment property values requires special expertise and knowledge.
Helping people through the process, making connections and making a difference are all part of the job description for James D. Smith, an established broker/associate with Re/Max Showcase.
“Being a broker is so much more than buying and selling homes,” said Smith, a Lake County resident whose 27 years experience and familiarity with employment, transportation, demographics, residential, investment and commercial properties make him an award-winning specialist in the field with an average 40-plus home sales/closings annually.

Affiliated with Re/Max for more than 24 years, Smith said the signature Re/Max hot air balloon isn’t his only tie to the Gurnee community. His established longterm relationships with community residents, leaders, developers and businesses is a true barometer of professional success. Potential buyers and sellers appreciate his vast referral network of appraisers, contractors, builders, architects, home inspectors, movers, attorneys, mortgage lenders and others within the community.

As a youth, Smith moved to Lake County with his dad, a construction worker, and mom, a meeting planner at Underwriters Labs. He took classes at the College of Lake County, initially worked in the film processing industry and in the 1970s worked as a Gurnee firefighter/EMT. Today he lives in Gurnee with his wife, Wen Yi, a popular Chinese singer/songwriter who performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His growing family includes three adult sons and four grandchildren.

“I’ve seen Gurnee grow from 3,300 in the 1970s to more than 30,000 residents today, applaud the growth of our business community and booming tourism industry, and love helping wherever I can,” noted Smith, who is affectionately known for his collection of cartoon character ties.

A Lake County resident since 1959, Smith maintains prominent affiliations with the Mainstreet Association of Realtors, Member of Senior Services committee & is 2016/2017 chairman of the Lake County Government Affairs lobbying for homeowner rights in Springfield, a member of the Small Business Advisory Council and the Greater Waukegan Area Development Coalition incubator group for small business.

He is a specially designated MPR Military Relocation Professional and SRES Senior Real Estate Specialist for those age 55 and older. Other areas of specialization include designated professional endorsements for distressed properties, short sales and foreclosure resource certification.

Strategically located just off the I-94 interstate between Chicago and Milwaukee, Gurnee’s real estate offerings include condominiums, townhouses and single-family homes – many of the ranch, contemporary, Georgian or Colonial styles. Located on lots up to an acre in size, some offer scenic water views or golf course frontage. Newer assisted living facilities, empty nester developments and meticulously renovated older homes also are available in today’s Gurnee’s bustling real estate market.

“The healthy economy and ideal location of Gurnee continue to attract individuals, families and businesses alike,” said Smith, citing a tourism-fueled and sales tax support of tourist attractions like Six Flags Great America amusement park and Gurnee Mills, a shopper’s paradise, keeping Gurnee real estate taxes at bay.

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