Elmhurst University junior wins business proposal contest

• Elmhurst University junior Angel Garcia, of Rolling Meadows, took first prize at the Fall 2022 Bluejay Tank Pitch Competition with his proposal to launch a program that would prepare high school students for greater success in college.

Garcia won $1,500 for his pitch, “Bluejay Hatchlings: The Elmhurst Experience.” Bluejay Hatchlings is Garcia’s idea for a nonprofit organization that would host summer programs for high school juniors and seniors from underserved communities.

The programs would improve the students’ college experience, leading to higher graduation rates and greater employment success.

“Having a program like this on campus is conducive to inspiring students’ creativity and entrepreneurship, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it,” Garcia said.

Jessica Pavliukovecas, a junior from Des Plaines, won second place and $1,000 for her pitch, TuneUp. Her car service app would keep up with a vehicle’s health by giving reminders for regular services, diagnosing problems and finding the best repair shop in the area.

The app would be free, but would offer premium services, like access to a 24-hour representative, to subscribers.

Six business concept pitches were given by seven student entrepreneurs during the most recent Bluejay Tank competition. The students vied for $3,000 in prize money and real-world business advice from a panel of Elmhurst University faculty and working entrepreneurs.

Representatives of Vista Health System receive the Best Friend of Illinois Parks Award. The Waukegan Park District nominated Vista Health System for the award, which is presented by the Illinois Association of Park Districts.

Representatives of Vista Health System receive the Best Friend of Illinois Parks Award. The Waukegan Park District nominated Vista Health System for the award, which is presented by the Illinois Association of Park Districts.
– Courtesy of Waukegan Park District



Nominated by the Waukegan Park District, Vista Health System was honored by the Illinois Association of Park Districts with the Best Friend of Illinois Parks Award. The award recognizes a business or corporation that has demonstrated exemplary support of a local park district, forest preserve, conservation, recreation, or special recreation agency.

Vista Health System, a local health care provider with a network that includes Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, has been a supporter of the Waukegan Park District for more than 20 years as a sponsor of various park district events, including the Fishing Derby, American Independence Parade, Touch a Truck, Halloween Trick or Treat Trail, and Turkey Trot.

The generous financial support from Vista Health System has helped the Waukegan Park District expand offerings at these special events, while maintaining a free or low-cost registration fee.

“The Waukegan Park District’s positive relationship with Vista Health System is a prime example of a public-private partnership that benefits the community,” said Jay Lerner, executive director of the Waukegan Park District.

“The Waukegan Park District is grateful for their financial support and partnership throughout the years.”

• Wheeling Police Department’s Deputy Chief Michael Conway received the prestigious Public Safety Executive Leadership Award from Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety. The award was presented at the center’s School of Police Staff and Command 531st graduation ceremony at Chandler’s Banquets in November.



By successfully completing the center’s sequence of management programs, Conway has demonstrated a commitment to delivering the best, most professional service to his community. He was nominated by Chief of Police James Dunne of the Wheeling Police Department.

The Northwestern University Center for Public Safety was established in 1936 to expand the scope of university-level education in traffic safety. Since that time, the center has broadened its offerings to include police operations and management.

Law enforcement agencies have also come to depend on the center for university-level research programs, technical assistance and conferences on crucial and timely issues.

Attorney Griffin Flais, associate, Lavelle Law, Schaumburg.

Attorney Griffin Flais, associate, Lavelle Law, Schaumburg.
– Courtesy of Lavelle Law

Attorney Griffin Flais has joined Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law as an associate. His focus will be on litigation, family law and a variety of business law matters.

“Griffin’s background is consistent with many of the attorneys who have helped build our practice in that he is well-versed in a variety of areas of the law,” said Managing Partner Ted McGinn. “He has been put right to work in several of our busiest practice groups.”

Flais received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he served as articles editor for the Law Review. His undergraduate degree in economics, also cum laude, was awarded by Ohio State University.

While in law school, he also served as a teaching assistant for legal writing and analysis, and introductory advocacy classes.

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