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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org