About Stuart Meyer

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WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF NAPERVILLE 

Like many young adults who migrate to the big city of Chicago for its action-packed urban landscape, I found myself at an unavoidable crossroads back in 2003.  I was married with one child and we were about to outgrow our 2nd story Roscoe Village flat which we adored on Chicago’s Northside.  I found myself a matter of blocks from the fabled Wrigley Field living just off of Addison.  I was pursuing my dreams of composing music and writing songs for independent films closing in on the arts scene. 

With an increasingly inconvenient landscape for a fast moving 2 year-old and a desire to take the next step of the epic American dream in purchasing a home before our second little guy would come along, we were faced with the choice of staying in the city and settling for a small condominium or taking the same money to the “S” place to buy an actual house with some land.  Yes, that’s right… suburb city. 

I had convinced myself the only way I would go to the suburbs would be kicking and screaming.  After all, in 1998 I moved to Chicago from Kentucky to be in the city, not the suburbs.  Nonetheless, once I accepted my fate, I became focused on finding the perfect suburb that would combine the best of all worlds.  I wanted to combine the cherished small town Main St. feel of my childhood in Kentucky with big city amenities.  I wanted a place where I could live out my dreams community activism in playing a role which would help shape the future of my new hometown.  I was in search of a vibrant community spirit with strong pride.  A place in which I would feel a strong sense of passion and desire to be a part of.  I found that and so very much more in a place I’m extremely proud to call home… NAPERVILLE.

I consider myself and my family to be NEW NAPERVILLE, which can be characterized by those who hold the city in their hearts not because they were born here, but because the actively chose to live here in the same way Joe Naper and Naperville’s early pinoeers traveled their way west from Chicago to settle Naperville amidst challenging circumstances, the least of which was the necessity of a fort to protect themselves from the original natives of the DuPage and Fox River Valley. 

Nowadays, I’ve emerged into such a Naperville geek that my friends and family refer to me simply as Mr. Naperville for the way in which I’ve learned about the history of my new hometown, stay up-to-date on local issues through the Naperville Sun, have already gotten involved in the community in a number of ways and my constant attempts to coerce everybody I know to come visit, or better yet MOVE, to Naperville.  

This BLOG is dedicated to what I call the WORLD OF NAPERVILLE.  It’s all about the experience of living in what CNN/Money magazine has called the second best place to live in America in 2005 (only because the categories were merged from the previous year when we were first). 

The WORLD OF NAPERVILLE is about the history, the happenings, the people, the places, the opportunities, the amenities, the arts, the experience, the attractions, the politics, the future, the spirit, the pride and the perspective of life in this charming little town in a big city through my eyes.

I invite you to look around, share your thoughts and hopefully come visit us here in Naperville. 

 My Story

I grew up in the modest town of Elizabethtown, Kentucky (yes, the same town as the 2004 Cameron Crowe film “Elizabethtown”).  Aside from dreams of playing for the University of Kentucky basketball team growing up, my deep love for art emerged very early in my life with music being a constant.  Unfortunatley, with a limitation of artistic outlets in my hometown growing up, music always remained in the background as I settled for playing football in high school instead of basketball, which clearly dashed my childhood fantasies of playing for the UK Wildcats.

Toward the end of my high school days, I became very interested in politics and ended up working on Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 1992 in New Hampshire, Maine, the campaign convention office in NYC and back in Kentucky for general election.  

After my political hiatus, I went on to graduate from the University of Kentucky cum laude with a bachelors in political science and was a brother at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

Upon my graduation, I immediately went to work on the Lt. Governor Paul Patton’s first campaign for Governor in Kentucky back in 1995.  Upon a successful bid, I went to work in Governor Patton’s transition office and then in the administration with stints in Boards and Commissions as well as the Chief-of-Staff’s office.  

After a couple of years in the Governor’s Office, I decided to go law school.  However, prior to starting my first year, I faced losing my mother to terminal brain cancer.  I started law school anyway, but by the end of my first year I was exhausted with grief and re-evaluating all of my decisions in life based upon contemplations of our short visit on this earth.

After another political stint as House Caucus Director for the Kentucky State Democratic Party in 1998, I had originally decided to move to Nashville to finally pursue my dream of music and songwriting.  As the story goes, something happened on the way to that place and I, instead, decided to move to Chicago to seek new professional opporutnities and to live closer to my sister. Not too long thereafter, I began to fulfill my dream of composing/recording music for independent films in Chicago.

At the same time, I ended up working at the American Bar Association between 2000 and 2005.  I made numerous trips to California for film work and to produce some talented vocalists.  I understand that both have signed with major labels, but I chose to not pursue that road full-time as I was losing my ability to freely express myself through music.  Further, I questioned whether I wanted to endure a full meal of industry after the brief taste I got.

I settled down and married my wonderful wife Shelby and lived in Chicago for another year, after which time we made the move to Naperville which is documented in my welcome mesage and a great love was born for my new hometown, which almost brings us to present day.

After over 8 years as an association executive, four of which heavily involved in social media, in July 2009 I launched my own Naperville-based social media consulting firm, Social Frequency Media Communications, geared towards all types/sizes of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.  My dream of working in Naperville and running my own business has come true.  

My move has also made it possible for me to devote more time to my creative passion for composing and documenary filmmaking.  My most recent project is Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story of which I would personally like to invite you to  join the official film Facebook group.  There you can find my production diary, production photos and even some music clips from the film.

You can contact me directly at stuart@socialfrequency.net

15 responses to “About Stuart Meyer

  1. Pingback: Welcome NCTV 17 Viewers to the World of Naperville « World of Naperville

  2. Catherine Rittmueller

    I stumbled upon your site after searching for Naperville blogs. The reason I am writing to you is to tell you about an upcoming event in Naperville, the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk on September 30th. This is the first year that a Walk is being held in Naperville, so I am making every effort to get the word out!

    If you would like additional information or could provide me with any advice on getting info out to the citizens of Naperville (local publications have been sent info), let me know (I am a Villa Park resident). Here’s a little info about the event

    Naperville Riverwalk, Grand Pavilion (736 West Jackson Avenue)
    5K Walk
    Sunday September 30, 2007
    Check in at 8am, walk begins at 9am
    Breakfast snacks, post-walk refreshments
    Festivities include musical entertainment and face-painting
    Route is wheelchair and stroller accessible
    Dogs on leashes welcome

    Thanks,

    Catherine Rittmueller
    Volunteer, Greater Illinois Chapter Alzheimer’s Association

  3. Hi Stuart,

    I’ve been a subscriber of yours for quite some time. I’m a life-long Wheaton resident and alumni of North Central College. I work in marketing for XNet, a business-to-business Internet and data center provider just across the border in Lisle.

    I admire your over-the-top enthusiasm for Naperville.

    Have you had much success finding local area business blogs and bloggers? I’ve been searching for a handful of area businesspeople to follow and build up relationships with, especially in technology.

    You’re welcome to visit our blog at http://blog.xnet.com. My desire is to start writing more about local/regional business, connect with these area people and raise the profile of west suburban tech-savvy businesspeople for mutual benefit.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    -Tim

  4. Lowell Schwartz

    Stuart,

    Funny I was looking around the web while in India and I found this. Great site.

    If you have a chance please E-mail me at Lowellhays1971@yahoo.com with your new address so I can send you a postcard.

    Cheers to everyon there,

    Cousin Lowell

  5. Hi- I came upon your site while trying to find out info on Naperville (jackpot!) for my brother who is about to move there for work from out of state with his wife and 3 kids. I’d love to know your thoughts (having just gone through a house hunt!) on affordable but cool neighborhoods with good amenities (walkable, parks, etc.) in good school districts. I gather there are over 100 neighborhoods in Naperville, so any guidance much appreciated (I think they wanted to be in the 204 district?) Thanks! -Nhadine

  6. Hi Nhadine. If it’s Naperville insight you need, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to send you an email seperately with some additional questions which will enable me to provide the right perspective. SM

  7. Stuart,
    Read your post in Naperville Examiner and love your photos on your photography website. I can see that you’re a terrific people watcher and would like to suggest a great place to do that in downtown Naperville — the Nichols Library.

    In fact, you can even take your son, along with your camera, to enjoy this activity. On Tuesday evenings at 7 pm in the summer the Naperville Public Library sponsors the program, “Evening at the Riverwalk.” It’s great fun for the kids and great people watching. Added bonus — you get 45 minutes of quality time with your son.

    OK, full disclosure, I work for the Naperville Public Library, but the Riverwalk Amphitheatre program reall would be fun for both of you.
    Susan Greenwood
    Naperville Public Library

  8. Busted! :-) Thanks for the comment Susan. I can’t say enough wonderful things about our top ranked Naperville Public Library System. My family and I know how wonderful our libraries and how hard the staff works. My hope is that anyone reading this comment or other references I’ve made throughout the past couple of years regarding the library will take advantage of the many wonderful programs.

  9. J.R. (Mind of J.R.)

    Naperville is ok. I’m from Elmhurst and I was there in the 80s, when we had drug houses on our street.

    Roscoe Village–Good area. I lived over there when I wasn’t welcomed at my parents house.

    Good thing for craigslist, I found a roomate, who turned out to be a prostitute.

    Zieg heil for Dupage County!

  10. J.R. (Mind of J.R.)

    Thats funny you are from Kentucky. I’m in Cincinnati now.

    Don’t you ever find Naperville, along with most Chicago suburbs, to be a cultural wasteland?

    To me, that whole city-state of Chicago is like a giant White Sox and Cubs cult.

    I’m really glad I’m from Elmhurst and not Chicago.

    BTW, I had a blog, which I deleted that hated on the Chicago area in general.

    I make certain exceptions for places, but generally Chicagolandopolis has become a cultureless cesspool of a traffic jam.

    Not to mention the city is pretentious for what it is.

    I don’t know. I guess its different from being from the area.

  11. Hi J.R. I hope you are enjoying Cincinnati. I miss LaRosa’s pizza and Kings Island. Per your thoughts, I would say no place is perfect nor does Utopia exist. I think where we choose to live is a highly subjective exercise in cost/benefit analysis based upon individual preferences. There are trade-offs everywhere you live. Even more, there are also undesirable people anywhere you choose to live as well.

    My second thought is that you cannot broad-brush any area as being “this” or being “that”. At the heart of Naperville is truly a small town spirit amidst the many different types of people who live here. The place has grown, but the prevailing mindframe among city leaders and activists is still decidedly small town.

    By the way, Elmhurst is a nice city. I was just there on the campus of Elmhurst College a copule of weeks ago shooting a segment for the documentary film I’m producing about Kenneth von Heidecke.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  12. Enjoyed reading about another good old boy from KY. We have a home in Mayfield and in Louisville, so we travel through Etown quiet a bit. I also love to BBQ and have tried the meat at Owensboro to Paducah. Enjoy your cooking and the Saturday with friends and family. We are in Venice, FL and have invited around 20 to our Derby Party of games, KY fried chicken, Derby Pie, Mint Juleps and good KY bourbon. Have a good day.

  13. Thanks so much for your comment Larry. My dad’s name was actually Larry. It’s great to connect with fellow Kentuckians past and present during this most important time of the year for us. I, too, hope your party and time with family and friends goes wonderfully on Saturday. Have you tried Willett Bourbon out of the Bardstown area? My grandmother was a Willett and it’s that same side of the family that founded/runs the distillery. Great bourbon!

  14. Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Thank you!

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