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updated: 5/4/2016 7:18 AM

Vernon Hills business keeping score of insurance policies

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  • Independent insurance broker Glen Nielsen, who works as a high school referee on the side, recently wrote a book about the insurance agency.

    Independent insurance broker Glen Nielsen, who works as a high school referee on the side, recently wrote a book about the insurance agency.
    courtesy of Glen Nielsen

  • The Oak Park Economic Development Corp. is proud of its plans for the District House, a mixed-use project that will be the gateway to Oak Park's Hemingway District.

    The Oak Park Economic Development Corp. is proud of its plans for the District House, a mixed-use project that will be the gateway to Oak Park's Hemingway District.

 
 

Independent insurance broker Glen Nielsen says he realizes the health care industry can be complicated and is making it his mission to simplify the maze for individuals and small business owners.

Working in the industry for about 10 years, he said he saw "bad things happen" when people did not have the correct insurance coverage.

Nielsen, who runs his business in Vernon Hills, recently wrote a book, "Unvarnished Truth: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Insurance Industry."

Specifically, Nielsen is working to advise small businesses on the 125 Wellness Package, which provides employees with resources to aid them in taking steps toward wellness, such as exercise programs, nutrition consulting and smoking cessation, among other initiatives.

He said the wellness package is free along with conventional insurance plans that cover accidents. He added that the plan is partially a product of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, he said, employees would have to pay for a program like the 125 plan.

Nielsen also spends a great deal of time working with seniors to make sure they have the right health insurance as well as assisting business owners to find ways to reduce their payroll tax.

He suggests in his book that customers make sure that their insurance is with an A-rated company and not a substandard firm.

Nielsen, 44, said "there are many people out there who are overwhelmed with all the insurance options out there." He plans to write additional books that look at other insurance policies including life, auto, health and homeowners.

Growing up in Chicago, Nielsen started his career as an elementary Catholic schoolteacher. He taught in Chicago for 10 years before joining a marketing firm. He then sold health insurance for another company before launching out on his own about three years ago.

And when Nielsen is not working selling insurance, he can often be found in high school gyms and sports fields where he works as a volleyball, football and basketball referee.

Industrial work

Morgan/Harbour Construction in Woodridge announced that it has been selected by Zilber Property Group to construct a 257,344-square-foot warehouse/distribution facility in Elgin.

The development is located on a 17-acre site at 2650 Automall Drive. "We are pleased to have been selected for this speculative development on behalf of developer, Zilber Property Group," said Brian Smith, project executive for Morgan/Harbour Construction. The precast and concrete project is scheduled to break ground next month and will include 32-foot clear heights and 24 exterior docks and four drive-in doors.

The company will also construct parking for 213 cars and 68 trailers. Cornerstone Architects Ltd. is providing architectural services and Pinnacle Engineering Group LLC is providing the civil design. The new industrial development is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.

Creativity

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce recently selected Naperville-based creative agency, Paul Gregory Media, to develop a comprehensive rebranding strategy for its organization. This initiative will encompass all aspects of the chamber's visual identity, as well as a new tagline.

"With new leadership and a new direction for the chamber, our branding must clearly tell that story," explained Nicki Anderson, president & CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. "In the ever-changing world of technology and innovation, we have to keep up."

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce formed a committee that participated in the selection process for this undertaking. As a longtime member of the chamber, along with 40 plus years of brand strategy experience, Paul Gregory Media was ultimately approved by the chamber's board of directors.

Luxury option in Oak Park

The Oak Park Economic Development Corporation announced plans for the District House, a mixed-use project that will mark the gateway to Oak Park's Hemingway District.

The $17.1 million five-story development, located at 702-708 Lake St., will feature 28 condominiums, 38 parking spaces and 4,500 square feet of divisible retail space just blocks away from downtown Oak Park.

Headed by Ranquist Development and Campbell Coyle Real Estate, District House features a distinctive design from Seattle-based Miller Hull and Chicago-based Northworks. The project's architectural design incorporates a symbolic nod to the village's famous prairie-style architecture, while incorporating key design elements that function as sun shades to help the project achieve LEED certification.

Once approved, the development will join three major mixed-use commercial real estate projects that are set to elevate Oak Park's skyline to new heights, while redefining the suburb's urban appeal. Within the next several years, the four mixed-used development projects, with a combined cost equal to $274.1 million, will add 796 luxury residential units and 67,865 square feet of retail space to the Village's vibrant downtown and surrounding business districts. The projects are also expected to generate an estimated $4.1 million in annual property taxes.

At this time, all four projects are tentatively scheduled to be completed by fall 2018.