WRITERS

Welcome—welcome to Ludditis Shots & Beer!  We’re just under the ‘L’ tracks and often as not, somebody from the magazine team is here. C’mon in back where you find Chicago Venture Magazine’s offices, so visit us whenever.

There’s plenty o’ room and the best potato pancakes in town. And if Ludditis says, “Sveikas!” – that means he’s offering a toast and the beer is free.  The best news is he says it a lot.

Ludditis Shots & Beer

I’m Joe Perogi. They asked me to tell you who you’re likely to meet, so listen up: Summa these guys use their real names.  Summa the names is changed to protect the not-so-innocent:

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Albert Einstein

Donatas Ludditis – Our host – Don grew up in the old Lithuanian neighborhood on Marquette Park.  That place changed—when I was young everybody still spoke the language.  Cripes, even the street sign says The Lithuanian Plaza.  But Don never changes.  Gonna talk like an immigrant if he lives past a hunnert.

The Lithuanian Plaza - Chicago

He hates technology but carries two smart phones, so go figure. “Is wonderful,” he says. “So small—carry in trousers. Not stuck at desk—hate desk! No lug briefcase like some bean counter. It make me happy!”

The thing about this guy is his huge arms. Still cracks walnuts with his biceps. In his younger days he worked as a bouncer—some say enforcer—but he’s legit now.

With his smiling face and wild white hair, he looks kinda like Einstein—doncha think?

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Loop Lonagan Private Equity Investor– Loop’s a man-about-town and a big-time money guy—private equity mostly now that he ain’t a floor trader no more. 

Maybe his Chicago accent gets too heavy sometimes. And yeah, he’s an opinionated SOB that loves to use his fists. 

Clamps, our Office Manager

Clamps

Hey, the guy grew up on the street, so whadaya expect? But he’s got a soft underbelly—loves animals—even keeps a sweet 85-pound Bull Terrier named Clamps.  Clamps is our Office Manager ‘n’ sometimes helps Ludditis out front with unruly bar patrons too.

Loop graduated with a degree in finance from the University o’ Chicago. And he knew Howard Hughes—personal-like.

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Mark T WayneVery Special Correspondent – Cranky old goat.  They say it’s just his dry sense o’ humor but he uses it like the crack o’ the whip.  Widely published, they tell me.  I guess we’re lucky to have ‘im.  But I dunno.

Mark T Wayne

Some advice—don’t take ever’thing he says at face value—at least not all of it.  Any one of us could spend a long time tryin’ to catch on to what he’s really drivin’ at.

Funny thing—he’s partial to white suits. And that humongous mustache!  I don’t know how he shovels in the food.

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Bob Jonelis

Bob Jonelis – IT Guru – Terrific storyteller who can probably explain calculus to an eight-year-old kid.  Always keeps the computers running around here.  Helps the rest of us understand whatever stuff’s got us stumped—and I mean any subject at all.  Hey, he ain’t here just ’cause he’s family.  No, this kid brings the whole package—a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics too. 

Bob’s a good kid. Taught Physics and Algebra. Founded Avogon Consulting. Programmed automated futures trading platforms like some kinda magic. Now he works at AMS, makin’ all them wonderful automated machines for industry when he ain’t hangin’ around here.

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Moises Goldman PhD – Resident Scientist

Moises Goldman PhDMoises is the real deal—Scientist, MBA, Serial Entrepreneur, VC, MIT Alum with awards stacked to the sky. 

Here in Chicago, we’re real happy to have him around.

Check him out on LinkedIn.

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Terry Flanagan – Consultant at Large – Storyteller of the highest degree.  An encyclopedia of business knowledge and a whole lotta help around here.TERRY FLANAGAN

He specialized in advising C-level execs. Hell, Terry was a C-level himself—for thirty years. Specializes in manufacturing and service industries, especially chemical.

Check him out on LinkedIn.

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Jeff SegalMessage Therapist Creator of the wildly successful column, We’re Not Expecting Any Surprises.

Jeff Segal

Here’s what he does: He crams the full impact of some complex notion into a teeny-weeny message. As he puts it, “A message cuts through the clutter.” In other words, this guy’s a real writer. He was also Content Manager for Kauzu and an Options Floor Trader before that. So he knows his way around.

Check him out on LinkedIn, too.

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Tom Lemanski Creator of Edu-tainment

Tom Lemanski CaricatureHe serves as one o’ them executive coaches and he’s a trusted advisor to alotta successful Chicago area executives – at least them that’s driven to be more successful. This is one o’ the real smart guys in the industry.

Read his column SMART Leadership

Check out his website .

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JOHN JONELIS

John Jonelis – Editor – This guy actually believes that investors have enough imagination to fill in the blanks in your business plan if you can just get ’em emotionally involved.  Here’s a quote:  “We experience story at the gut level.  We visualize it.  We understand and remember it.”  Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Strange checkered past: Kellogg MBA and a Fine Arts degree. Published all over the place—even a novel. (It ain’t trashy, neither—so now maybe you don’t wanna read the thing, right? Such is life.) Here’s another one o’ his quotes: “Fiction gets me deep inside another’s biases, beliefs, and rational process.” I guess that makes some kinda sense but I ain’t figured it out yet.

Guy’s a Futures Trader and Investor, which makes him a bum. Designed the Revelation suite of trading algorithms, seven patents, corporate boards, blah, blah, blah. Get a life! So now he keeps his battered WWII Air Force desk in the backroom of Ludditis Shots & Beer. Guess that makes it our corporate headquarters er somethin’. You can see the whole mess on LinkedIn or one o’ his other sites.

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The Business Plan Police – Yeah, they’s gonna regulateBusiness Plan Police private equity investing from now on. It’s all part o’ The President’s Business Plan Initiative that got set up ‘causa the Solyndra fiasco.  These guy’s is all dressed up in them snazzy swat team uniforms with nice M-16 rifles.  They show up at yer business meeting without so much as an invitation and haul da speaker out the door like a sack o’ stale potatoes.  There ain’t no tellin’ where you end up.  Maybe Gitmo, some chain gang down south, er one o’ them Federal pens—nobody knows!  So make sure yer balance sheet is balanced.  And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Joe PerogiStoried Business Consultant – Hey, that’s me! My real name is J. P. Pierogiczikowski but nobody calls me that for one reason or another. People say I come off as rough around the edges—some say a dummy—but I like ‘em to think that. I coached plenty o’ startups to big-time success by takin’ the back seat.  Think o’ me as a regular guy—like that character on the radio.

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Bill BlairePrivate Equity Investor – A scary-looking boilermaker out o’ the bowels of Local 1, who retired and made a fortune as a cement contractor. Gigantic frame and a butt that laps across two seats. It’s hard to get all o’ him in a photograph.  You don’t wanna sit behind this guy at a ball game ‘cause you ain’t gonna see nothin’. Hairy fingers the size of sausages. Yellow teeth. Face even worse. He traded in his coveralls and almost always wears the same cheap blue sport jacket that looks to me like it’s goin’ on five years without pressing—unless he’s off huntin’ or fishin’.  Call him the Paul Bunyan of Chicago.  

I guess he’s a smart guy—maybe cunning is closer to it. He hides it so well that people tell him things they might hold back from others. Knows the top and the bottom of business and he’s on the loose as a qualified investor with an instinct for picking winners. I think he found his nitch, neesh, Nietzche—whatever.

Canada 2014-8592p Bill Blaire SMALL A

Jonelis with Bill Blaire (right) in camo

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Alexander Harbinger PhD – The Professor – Alex touts three PhDs but he’s an accomplished boxer, so I guess he’s okay.  That six-foot-six gaunt frame don’t hurt none. Stiff kinda guy, though. Talks really cultivated till he gets worked up, then his German comes out strong.

You can depend on Alex for an academic point of view. I trust his judgment and believe what he says. He once challenged Loop Lonagan to a duel, right in our office.

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Warren D MinkFinancial Specialist – Articulate and educated and he’s all numbers. You should see this guy take apart a financial projection. Used to be a VC and he loves coaching startups.

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Ethan SobrietyGlobal Correspondent – This kid’s an International Currency Trader who grew up in England, Asia, and Africa. Ethan is intensely polite. He likes to cover global affairs and stuff like that.

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Loren BukkettThe Prophet of Pekin – He’s not one o’ the staff, but Loren contributes a lot—especially rides on his Gulfstream. When he passes judgment on a company, I take it as final.

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Jim KrenAssistant Editor – He seems like just an average family man.  College educated. Wears nice suits.  Shows people respect.  Don’t drink.  Don’t smoke.  Eats with a knife ‘n’ fork.  Even showers every day. Nice little guy.  But don’t get him mad.  First, there’s that twitch at the corner o’ his mouth—that’s the danger signal.  When he scrunches up his face like a piece o’ rotten fruit and sticks it in yers, it’s just too late fer polite conversation.  Kinda shakes a guy up.  But I ain’t complainin’.  He keeps the wheels turnin’ ’round here ‘n’ does ever’thing that needs doin’.  Maybe Jonelis hired him as his hatchet man, I dunno.  I guess somebody’s gotta keep these no-hopers in line. 

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