The Chicago Journal

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Marie S. Hall on Helping Children and Adults Transform Their Lives through Storytelling and Mentorship

Adversities and obstacles are always a part of one’s journey in life, but one’s reaction to the difficult moment determines success. Marie S. Hall is a woman who has taken a few nasty hits from life, but she didn’t stay down. Instead, she stood and learned to thrive, changing the trajectory of her life to become more intentional, understanding her words’ power, and valuing her self-worth to move from her fears to faith. Today, Marie is the founder and C.E.O. of RubyMac Learning Academy and Myrtle Tree Publishing. She is also an author, a transformational speaker, and a change agent, assisting others with becoming the best version of themselves.

Growing up, Marie experienced many childhood traumas, from molestation, domestic abuse, low self-esteem, and self-worth, to name a few. Still, instead of staying down, beaten, and broken, she stood tall, choosing to learn from her experience rather than letting it define her. Having overcome her traumatic experiences, Marie wanted to help others like her. Through firsthand experience, Marie understands that trauma can affect children’s academics and performance in school, deeming them at-risk youth.

She used her ministry, business, and educational background to weave in storytelling to deliver captivating tales to inspire others to triumph over their trials.

“As an educator and minister, I encounter people of all ages and walks of life that have experienced many different adversities, too. For example, some have experienced abandonment, abuse, and low self-esteem. These issues can manifest into feelings of unworthiness and become blockers in building trusting relationships. I knew that something had to change. Those issues can cause an individual to lose hope in their dreams. I’ve had many children and adults tell me they hated their lives and wish they could die, that they feel useless,” she explained.

Marie Hall works with children and individuals to develop their confidence, strengthen their knowledge and amplify their skills to impact the world. She began writing children’s books that would inspire and encourage African American children. In addition, her workshops focus on children’s social and emotional skills, time management, goal-setting, emotional intelligence, and other areas where there may be deficits. She also provides training and development for organizations that want to improve performance by building employee capacity.

Furthermore, she has had the privilege to impact many people’s lives through her ministry for over a decade. Marie has done transformational work with teens and young adult girls in group homes, mentoring adults living in shelters transition back into the workforce and has cultivated and mentored youth groups. “It’s a beautiful blessing to see God moving in the lives of those that I can touch. I love to empower people. I find joy in educating people as I help them find the strength to move from their fears and into new life. It’s all God guiding me as I provide the tools that will elevate them to their purpose,” she shares.

In the coming years, Marie S. Hall wants to continue using her voice and skills as a powerful tool to educate, elevate and empower children, teens, and other individuals, helping them transform their lives. She wants to own a state-of-the-art educational facility that will be the training grounds for educators and school districts and build capacity within organizations. The facility will also house an innovative, world-renowned private school focusing on developing globally-minded children to thrive and impact the world.

To learn more about Marie S. Hall and her learning academy, visit her website.

Dr. Clarice Kavanaugh Helps Companies Level Up Through The Kavanaugh Group

Business companies are constantly faced with the need to innovate, elevate, and improve their performance to stay ahead of the game and deliver services that are commensurate with their vision and commitment to the public. The responsibility to motivate employees to continue to perform excellently falls heavily on company executives who, at some point, run out of valuable ideas on how to keep their people inspired and productive. This is where performance coach, workshop facilitator, and motivational speaker Clarice Kavanaugh, PhD, MBA comes in with her unique brand of team-building workshops, one-on-one coaching, and organizational leadership training. 

With more than 30 years of awe-inspiring experience as a company executive specializing in sales and marketing, she has a wealth of experience not common to women executives in her industry, making her one of the most sought-after speakers and trainers in her line of expertise. Prior to her so-called retirement, she worked for a pharmaceutical firm. Her supposed retirement, however, did not come to complete fruition as she decided to dive into a new adventure – teaching in the university and training people and organizations through The Kavanaugh Group. 

Dr. Clarice Kavanaugh helps companies create a better working atmosphere that promotes productivity and camaraderie, one that will allow employees to grow professionally while meeting the expectations of their supervisors. Her consulting firm has served the needs of various A-list clients, and she has been extremely helpful in guiding her clients. Some of her specialties include executive coaching, performance coaching, conflict management, compliance training, racial inequity, diversity, and team building, to mention a few. 

Apart from her impressive work experience in the corporate world, Dr. Clarice Kavanaugh has an MBA in International Globalization and Business Marketing. She also has a doctorate degree in Business Psychology and Organizational Leadership, making her highly qualified to groom university students for their corporate and entrepreneurial pursuits in the future. 

As the business world continues to recover from the blows of the pandemic, Dr. Clarice Kavanaugh wants to share her insights with organizations on how they can move forward confidently and face a future crisis such as this without compromising the overall health of their business. Thought times call for tough leaders, and she aspires to be instrumental in creating a new generation of prime movers who are not afraid to face crisis head-on. For her, every problem is an opportunity to shine if company leaders see it from the right perspective. Empowering them to see problems as learning opportunities is of utmost importance to her work as a performance coach. 

Apart from running The Kavanaugh Group and her teaching job, Dr. Clarice Kavanaugh is also a best-selling author. She also hosts her own podcast called The Pain of Change, where she features interesting discussions with epidemiologists and university presidents, among others. In the coming years, she hopes to expand her reach by catering to the needs of other industries that are looking for ways to improve their productivity. 

Discover more about Clarice Kavanaugh, PhD, MBA and The Kavanaugh Group by visiting this website. Connect with her on Linkedin for updates on her latest projects.

How To Avoid Financial Regret As A Physician With Dave Czarnecki, CFP® Of Northwestern Mutual

As a physician, it’s likely you’ve accumulated student loans from paying for medical school. Then, you take on more loans as you start your career. Before you know it, you’re swamped with debt and don’t have a solid plan to get out of it or to save for your future.

That’s why a certified financial planner who specializes in working with medical professionals is your best bet. They can help you with budgeting, loan repayment strategies, disability income insurance, retirement, investment planning and many other strategies to hit the ground running as you start your career.

Here are 5 things you need to know to avoid financial regret in the future:

Create a plan for student loans

You most likely have debt from undergraduate and medical school. Once you’ve completed medical school and are entering residency, you’ll need to have a plan to pay off your loans.

It’s important to pick a repayment plan that’s right for you. Physicians starting residency can take advantage of several different repayment plans. To learn more about repayment options, visit the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Protect your paycheck

If you fall ill or suffer an injury, it can limit your ability to practice. To ensure you still have money coming in to pay your expenses under these circumstances, check your employer’s group disability insurance coverage and what it does and doesn’t cover.

It may only cover a portion of what you earn. There may be supplemental insurance options that can help you in the case you get sick or hurt.

Be sure you understand how the policy defines total and partial disability.

Stick to a budget

This is financial planning 101. You can start practicing good financial habits while you’re in training. Track and control your spending using the following guidelines:

• 20 percent for savings and investing

• 60 percent on essential expenses

• 20 percent on discretionary expenses

As your income grows, monitor things and adjust. Sticking to a budget now will benefit you in the future.

Build an emergency fund

Everyone should have money to fall back on in case of an emergency, and physicians are no exception.  Unexpected expenses that can’t be budgeted for monthly happen all the time and there needs to be cash on hand to pay for things that come up.

Make it a top priority to accumulate a minimum of 3 to 6 months of expenses in an account that’s safe and quickly accessible.

Save and invest for retirement

There are a few ways you can prepare for retirement, even while you’re in training.

You can benefit from contributing now to different accounts that have tax advantages that you can down the road.

• 401(k) or 403(b)

• 457(f) or 457(b)

• Traditional or Roth IRA

If your employer offers to match a percentage of your retirement contributions, set aside enough to obtain the full employer match at a bare minimum.

Diagnose Your Financial Health with A Professional

Dave Czarnecki is a certified financial planner (CFP) located in Milwaukee, WI that works with clients all over the country leveraging technology.

As the husband of a health care professional and father of three, his approach not only stems from his extensive training but also personal experience building financial safety nets for himself and his family.

Czarnecki specializes in providing financial expertise and services to physicians, business owners and those aspiring to retirement.

At Northwestern Mutual, expert financial planners are dedicated to diagnosing their clients’ financial health and finding a sustainable cure.

The company provides access to a network of advisors and specialists across the country. Advisors work with clients to find complementary and flexible solutions that align with client needs and goals.

It’s never too late to get in good financial health. If you’re a physician in need of a financial planner, contact Dave Czarnecki at Northwestern Mutual for a free consultation and grab your free Residency Financial Planning Checklist. 

Leadership Coach Nick Jiles on Helping People Perform Better

There comes a time in a person’s life when they must step in to take charge. To become better leaders, individuals need to improve several skills. And while there are people who can learn these skills on their own, it is often better to work with a coach who can help them step into their roles as solid and reliable leaders. This is where a person like Nick Jiles comes in. This certified transformational life coach has over a decade of experience and has helped thousands of people achieve their goals.

Nick Jiles is the founder of 180 Leadership Coaching, which provides coaching for people who want to improve their leadership capabilities, management skills, career or life. With over thirteen years of experience as a facilitator, coach, and speaker, Nick Jiles is an expert at helping people find their strengths and maximizing them.

Before pursuing a career in the coaching space, Nick Jiles served in the Air Force for 21 years. During his time there, he served as a Military Training Instructor.

“I helped over 15,000 military personnel learn leadership skills, effective communication, team dynamics, how to work efficiently even under stress, establish a healthy work-life balance, and how to lead organizations effectively,” Nick recalled. 

Additionally, he also served as an Inspector General Superintendent. Nick said, “In that position, I was tasked with advising top military leaders on organizational impact, positive influence, and leadership development.”

Over the years, Nick Jiles worked to improve performance and operations in the military through assessments, surveys, and organizational restructuring. Even before he was in the coaching space, Nick was slowly accumulating skills that would help him guide people to become better leaders.

After retiring from the Air Force, Nick Jiles set to begin the next phase of his life. But it was not as easy as he hoped. “I applied to a lot of jobs,” he shared, “But I experienced rejection after rejection.” But rejection did not deter Nick from pursuing his next passion. “Closed doors only served to inspire me to keep going. I knew I would find the path meant for me,” he said.

Nick Jiles was indeed successful in his pursuit. Today, he is a successful and highly sought-after leadership coach who helps people overcome barriers to success. The skills and practices Nick learned from his time with the Air Force came in handy for this next endeavor. He proudly shared, “I have 13 years of face-to-face experience. I have trained over 15,000 personnel, worked with hundreds of teams, and advised leaders and managers through complex situations. My considerable experience means that I have trained diverse groups of people from all ages and walks of life.”

At 180 Leadership Coaching, Nick Jiles offers individual and group coaching to enhance a variety of skills. These include managerial skills, effective communication, and team dynamics, among others. Nick can also customize programs to better suit an individual or an organization’s needs. Aside from training, Nick can also administer DISC assessments to help companies, business owners and individuals identify their blind spots, current communication style, and stress response.

“I know what it’s like to feel stuck, to feel as if you can’t find your next step. And I am here to help others succeed when they find themselves between a rock and a hard place,” Nick Jiles said. He spent years of his life in service, and he continues to serve people, albeit in a different way. “Being a good leader takes a lot of dedication and commitment. It’s not as simple as being the head honcho. I can help people learn the skills they need to be the best leaders they can be and take them to the next level.”Nick Jiles is an experienced leadership coach and founder of 180 Leadership Coaching. To learn more about his work, you may visit this website.

GoHealth: A Pathway to Better Healthcare through Insurance

Since 2001, GoHealth has been at the forefront of delivering improved healthcare as a marketplace for Medicare plans and other insurance plans. GoHealth is a digital platform changing how people access health insurance. Through its platform, people can access individual health insurance and short-term health insurance. The company is headquartered in the River North area of Chicago, right outside the Chicago brown line.

The company was established by Clint Jones and Brandon Cruz after personally experiencing the frustration of getting health insurance. The two founders thought that they needed to find a better way for insurance to be easily accessible in the healthcare industry. They founded GoHealth, which was named “Norvax, Inc.” at the time. In the beginning, the company’s primary services were creating websites and lead management software for insurance brokers before its almost two-decade-long series of evolution.

In 2004, the company developed a real-time quoting technology that helped brokers show their customers more insurance choices more quickly and efficiently. In 2008, it began to offer online comparison health insurance shopping and changed its name to GoHealth from Norvax the following year in 2009. Northwest Equity Partners invested $50 million into the company in 2012. By 2013, GoHealth partnered with the federal government to handle the enrolment of eligible residents from 36 states for subsidized health exchange-based plans. The Obama-led administration facilitated this partnership under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In the same year, GoHealth expanded its Chicago locations to four by purchasing a 90,000 sq. ft. in Merchandise Mart.

With 500 local employees and 3000 global employees, GoHealth has locations in Charlotte, Utah, North Carolina, Slovakia, and Bratislava. In 2015, GoHealth partnered with ADP to enroll employees who did not have employer health insurance coverage for subsidized health plans. After President Obama’s tenure ended, the company focused on Medicare, and in 2016, it opened its North Carolina location. It opened another location in Lindon, Utah, in 2018, and Centerbridge Partners came knocking in 2019 with a majority stake investment in the company, which was valued at approximately $1.5 billion at the time. This investment became the largest investment any Chicago-based technology company ever received in the five years before that time. Northwest Equity Partners held on to their stake while co-founders Cruz and Jones held substantial equity stakes. In 2019, more than 3more than 378,000 people submitted their Medicare Advantage policy through GoHealth, which is a remarkable milestone in the company’s history.

GoHealth’s evolution over the years has seen the company serve its customers better, expand its services, increase its locations and workforce. In June 2020, despite the raging pandemic, the company announced its plan to file for IPO, which would give the public the chance to buy stakes in the company. Chicago is known for many things, and GoHealth is proudly one of them, and it is diligently revolutionizing how people access health insurance to ensure a healthier America. GoHealth has an excellent rating, and the company continues to grow in leaps and bounds.



Chicago White Sox in High Spirits as Tim Anderson hits a Grand Slam

Source: Wikipedia

The Chicago White Sox are in celebratory mode as Tim Anderson hits a grand slam, winning 7-3 against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, May 1, 2021. The grand slam was Anderson’s second hit off Triston McKenzie in a 5-0 lead in the second inning. The White Sox had struck out nine times in the nine out and had only one hit holding a four-run advantage allowed by Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie.

Club’s manager Tony La Russa, was full of praises for Anderson and commented on his committedness to bringing his absolute best to the competition. As one of the top leadoff hitters in the game, Anderson maintained a streak of 15 straight solo homers before the blast in a game against the Angels on September 6, 2019.

Cleveland catcher Austin Hedges also commented on Anderson’s skill on the pitch. He admitted that Anderson is an outstanding hitter with no holes, as he was able to get a good swing as the Cleveland Indians attempted an attack. Anderson’s 388-foot drive came right after Leury García drew a walk to force in the first run reinforcing his expertise as a top-notch student of the game.

When on the field, Anderson maintained a safe hit in 12 of his last 13 games with three home runs, eight RBIs and 12 runs. As explained by Anderson, the player added three slick defensive plays at shortstop, helping out teammate Lance Lynn and Michael Kopech, who threw three scoreless innings in relief. Anderson’s commitment to making the game fun is in place with his dedication to becoming one of the game’s best players. 

The White Sox is having an overall good season as Lance Lynn, sidelined since April 17 for a right trapezius strain, returns to the pitch. In his return, Lynn, who made history on his previous two outings as the first pitcher in the club’s history to strike out ten or more and walk none in consecutive starts, again made three runs over five innings. Michael Kopech, who started and struck out 10 Rangers over five innings last Sunday, also allowed one hit. 

Although the Cleveland Indians out-hit the White Sox in the recently concluded game, the White Sox benefitted from all eight walks, with six scorings. Three of the scores were behind Anderson’s blast, rounding off the White Sox game to a 6-2 record on this nine-game homestand and 15-11 overall. 

As the team continues its celebration, outfielder Luis Robert is still on the injured list since Tuesday in a precautionary move after he reported feeling flu-like symptoms. General manager Rick Hahn announced that the team could only await test results to ascertain Robert’s condition. The 23-year-old has one home run and six RBIs in 21 games, finishing a close second in the voting last season. Until his test comes back negative, the White Sox recalled right-handed pitcher Alex McRae and outfielder Luis Gonzalez from their Schaumburg, Ill., training facility.

To know more about the Chicago White Sox, its players, game schedule and latest updates, visit its official webpage.