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Business Profiles

Lake Cook Exteriors

Lake Cook Exteriors, Inc. has been a fixture in Palatine for 30 years, since late 1987.

They are well known in Lake and Cook Counties as an installation company providing entry doors, windows, siding, gutters and downspouts on any style homes that could use a facelift.

Lake Cook Exteriors was started by Bill and Karen Sheetz of Palatine.

“Bill had always dreamed of having his own company and he was a natural-born salesman. Bill’s experience as an installer and his success at in-home remodeling sales eventually lead to the idea of establishing our own company,” Karen recalled.

“Being involved in a family business was second nature to me since my parents opened a retail business in Arlington Heights when I was growing up. So I was more than willing to pursue our goal,” she added.

The Sheetzes opened Lake Cook Exteriors in late 1987 and their current location is at 50 E. Palatine Rd. Today Bill serves as the firm’s president and Karen as its general manager. They have two other employees: their son, Nolan, and their salesman of 13 years, Don. Installations are handled by skilled contracted crews.

In the early days, Lake Cook Exteriors focused on gutters and downspouts for homeowners and for custom homebuilders. Once the recession hit in 2008, however, things changed.

“That was when we expanded our product lines for exterior work in demand by residents,” Karen said. “We install beautiful front doors, upgraded windows, gutters and downspouts and siding. We always give our customers personalized service so many customers call us a second or third time and want the same person who helped them before.”

Lake Cook Exteriors has been a member of the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce since 1988. While not extremely active in the Chamber during their early years, the Sheetzes’ son, Nolan, is now an active member of the ExecNet networking group, a mentor for students in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy group and one of the organizers of the November Business Expo & Community Showcase event.

Lake Cook Exteriors is a regular participant at Chamber events and is a sponsor of Palatine Park District’s Battle of the Bands.

“Being involved in a Chamber is all about the long game. You have to show your fellow members your value and once you do, there are generally lots of opportunities for business because members often share contact information and try to help each other,” he said.

Salon Lorrene

Once they find a wonderful hair salon and spa, most women are willing to drive an hour or even slightly more to patronize it and get their hair styled just the way they like it and to enjoy their favorite spa services.

Salon Lorrene at 833 N. Quentin Rd. in Palatine has built up a strong and loyal following of clients from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since it opened in 1998, under the watchful eye of Lorrene Stuchl-Conino, owner, master stylist and the Palatine Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leader of the Year in 2016.

“I was in the beauty industry for 15 years before I opened Salon Lorrene. I wanted to own a suburban salon that offered all of the services anyone could want and I wanted to train my own staff, and that is what I have done. We now feature approximately 4,000 square feet of salon and approximately 38 full and part-time employees,” she said.

Women from Chicago to Crystal Lake, Lisle and southern Wisconsin, as well as everywhere in between, regularly flock to Salon Lorrene to enjoy hair and nail appointments, as well as facials, massages, chemical peels and waxing appointments. A large staff of stylists, nail technicians, estheticians, a massage therapist and many auxiliary assistants work together to give each client the exact services they envisioned.

“Our customers love to spend time here and my staff thoroughly enjoys what they do,” Stuchl-Conino said. “We have a really good team and an amazing facility.”

“Our goal is to make sure that every client is satisfied and happy, so we spend a lot of time on in-house training classes, customer service training and even shows like America’s Beauty Show, held each April at McCormick Place,” Stuchl-Conino said.

In addition to acting as treasurer for the Cosmetologists Chicago organization that puts on America’s Beauty Show, Stuchl-Conino is a member of the board of directors of “Celebrating All That Is Feminine,” a collection of professional women who believe in paying it forward by pooling their energy and resources to celebrate, inspire and support women and children in need. The organization provides funding for established organizations whose very nature is to empower and give a hand to help these populations find happiness, stability and security in their lives. Based in Palatine, it was founded in 2009.

“I love being in Palatine and working with the Chamber, through which I can network with so many different groups,” Stuchl-Conino said.

Knupper Nursery & Landscape

Today’s homeowners long for colorful yards and gardens and beautiful lawns. Condo and apartment dwellers want color for their porches, patios and decks. Few have the time or expertise to get their outdoor living spaces exactly as they want them without “a little help from their friends.”

“Most people today are working more hours and are more time sensitive than in previous years” said John Heaton, the owner of Knupper Nursery & Landscape who has been running the garden center since 1968. “So, here at Knupper’s, we listen carefully to our clients’ ideas and then work to solve their problems and help them find the best way for them to put their thoughts into action. Our staff has a tremendous amount of knowledge – about plants and color and design – that they are happy to pass on to interested clients.”

Some families these days enjoy planting in containers instead of feeling they need to tackle the whole yard. They plant annuals and perennials, sometimes even roses and shrubs or trees, in their planters for their porches or decks. Some like adding a birdbath or a bench and a birdfeeder to an existing area.

Heaton sees Knupper’s mission as working to help Knupper clients get whatever it is they want – a great lawn, a butterfly garden, a formally landscaped back yard, information on the best fertilizer for roses, or a planter by the front door.

While the bulk of Knupper’s business is done in the spring, the nursery is open 12 months a year. Knupper’s has an awesome collection of pumpkins and mums and bales of straw for fall decorating. For the holiday season Knupper’s offers everything from all sizes of seasonal porch pots filled with fresh greens to ornaments and gift items and fresh Christmas trees.

Knupper’s organizes fundraisers for local school bands and sports teams. Poinsettias and hanging baskets are top money-makers for these groups. Free gardening seminars are held weekly year-round, and a variety of workshops are offered for those wanting a more “hands-on” experience.

The record for “Oldest Chamber Memeber” belongs to Knupper’s. They have been a member of the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce for over 45 years, since 1970. “We are proud to be celebrating 85 years of business here in Palatine” Heaton said.

The city, as well as its residents, are proud, too!

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