Alexander J. Barton, President
As President, Alexander is primarily responsible for the management and recruitment of all talent related to events. This includes project oversight for all creation and production, business development and onsite logistics fulfillment as well as revenue and visitor promotions for events. Alexander also oversees all digital and print advertising plans including social media. Alexander writes a monthly column for a magazine along with a supporting blog and has been responsible for the editorial, graphic design, layout, printing, and mailing of many different trade publications. These duties include managing the various units of a production team, market research and publicity.
Alexander is a Dean’s List graduate of the University of Wisconsin (Madison) with a degree in Life Sciences Communication from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He also played Big 10 football for the Badgers.
Other career highlights:
- Member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the Sierra Club, Chicago Area Clean Cities and the Knights of Columbus
- Creator of The Green Zone tradeshow pavilions for the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA)
- Internationally published writer for Harley-Davidson’s Enthusiast magazine which has a circulation of 1,000,000
Richard L. Barton, APR, Chief Operating Officer
As Founder and COO, Richard brings 40+ years of experience in publicity, event marketing, project coordination, and client service. His background includes years as a newspaper reporter, Bureau Chief for the Daily Herald (Arlington Hts., Ill.) and owner/operator of a foreign auto parts business.
He has been a national director of sales/marketing, public relations, and communications for a variety of corporations and professional societies. He has been responsible for a wide variety of newsletters, journals, and society publications for several national associations.
Richard has a degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University and was honored as Author of the Year by Convene magazine, the official journal of the Professional Convention Management Association. He has also been awarded for publicity and special event projects that have received national attention.
He works with a variety of clients to market tradeshows, events, products, and services. Although working in a variety of markets, he has expertise in marketing to seniors, working with government units, creating community events and fundraising.
Other career highlights:
- Founder/President of Winner’s Circle Auto Parts
- Marketing Consultant to Toyota Motor Company and Ford Motor Company
- Founder/President of Barton Marketing Group, business consultants/sales reps.
- Past President Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce. 2013 President’s Award winner and 2014 Community Star Award winner.
- Park Ridge Park Commissioner and later Board President. Founder/Chair of Environmental Impact Task
- Force which created several citywide initiatives.
- Publicity Chair for The Taste of Park Ridge
- Founder of the Historic Tours of Park Ridge
Bob Dudycz, Event Manager
He is best known for his event organizational abilities as demonstrated when he chaired the successful Taste of Park Ridge and coordinated the Swing into Spring Senior Expo for the past decade. Bob has achieved a successful 25-year record in retail and wholesale management with local and large businesses, and 10 years with local governments and non-profit organizations.
Bob has worked in the local public service sector in Northwest Cook County, was a member of the Park Ridge Center of Concern Advisory Board and the District 63 Education Foundation Board. He has received many awards that included the 2004 “Community Star” award from Maine Center and “Supervisor of the Year” award from the Township Officials of Illinois.
A former small business owner and a U.S. Army veteran, Bob graduated cum laude from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Liberal Arts and minoring in Political Science.
Karen Larsen, Editorial Associate
An award winner in the National School Public Relations publications competition, Karen Larsen contributes the writing and editing skills honed over a career that has included newspaper reporting, editing, feature writing and public relations for several nonprofits as well as more than14 years as Director of Public Relations for Maine Township High School District 207. Her extensive writing experience includes work in the areas of agronomy, the arts, developmental disabilities, legal matters, senior and retirement issues, and small businesses where clients have appreciated her ability to translate specific technical knowledge into user friendly language that communicates. Lead event docent for Park Ridge Historic Tours, she was recognized as a “Community Star” by the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce for her efforts in a grassroots community wide campaign spearheaded by The Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge which saved Iannelli Studios Heritage Center in 2011. A graduate of the University of Illinois earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Communications with a minor in history, she has done graduate work in public relations at Roosevelt University.
Sue Kirchner, Social Media Associate
Our Content and Social Media Manager, Sue Kirchner, is an event marketing and brand strategy expert who has helped large and small trade shows successfully identify their unique brand and increase sales for over 20 years. She has unique expertise in qualitative brand research, brand and marketing strategy development, as well as content and social media marketing campaigns. She speaks for numerous organizations and has taught MBA classes on branding, marketing, social media marketing, entrepreneurship, and international business topics.
Jeff Rogers, Creative Director
As creative director, Jeff specializes in understanding client strategic goals for an event by offering out of the box ideas combined with innovative solutions to deliver award winning results across the continuum of the communication including pre, post, and virtual. Jeff is also a professional Emcee, Cable TV Host, Amazon Best Selling Author, Award-Winning Writer/Director, and Keynote speaker with 25+ years engaging audiences.
As the second youngest performer behind John Belushi to be hired at the renowned Second City theater, Jeff performed with Steve Carell from The Office, Stephen Colbert from Late Night With Stephen Colbert, 30 Rock star Tina Fey as well as the core writing staff for Conan O’Brien Show: Kevin Dorff, Brian Stack, and Brian McCann. He also performed on the Second City resident stages in Chicago with Nia Vardalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
While at Second City, Jeff was instrumental in building Second City Communications (now Second City Works) as a Performer, Writer, Director, and Creative Director. As a Creative Director, Jeff’s responsibility was in translating Second City’s improvisational techniques and comedy into relevant training and content for communication initiatives across all mediums.
As our preferred musical talent, Hoodoo Brown features Chris Castelli on Lead Guitar and Vocals with his brother Pauly Castelli on Drums/Vox. They are accompanied by Ian Kahrilas on Bass/Vox and Ryan Wayne Tedder on Keys/Sax/Vox. Hoodoo Brown plays an assortment of classic rock, blues, soul, and funk covers as well as original music. The Castelli brothers have shared the stage with such acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Heart, The Original Wailers, and Rusted Root. They have also had the honor of recording with legendary producer Bob Ezrin, who has produced epic records for bands such as Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Phish and countless others.
Working for months with one of the greatest producers in rock history and present took the brothers to a new level in their approach towards music. Since that time, they have done much touring, writing and recording; their original music has been played on Chicago’s 93.1 WXRT, WGN 720 AM, Fearless Radio and they have performed live in the studio on Chicago’s Q101 radio and WGN TV/Radio.
For over 10 years, we collaborated on projects that enhanced the standing of the Summit of Uptown in Park Ridge and the local area. With their intimate and thorough knowledge of the senior market, local media and organizations, and ‘who’s who’ of influential citizens, the Barton team was instrumental in positioning Summit of Uptown as a strong Park Ridge community partner.Irene Sawka