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Taking Names marks its 10th anniversary in print and online! 2

Taking Names turns 10

June 8th, 2017

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Taking Names, which appears in print and online in the Chicago Sun-Times and as a blog.

Taking Names debuted June 9, 2007, in Crain’s with a story about George Clooney holding a screening of “Ocean’s 13” to raise money for Sudanese refugees. Chicagoans who opened their wallets got a chance to meet Clooney and the film’s stars.

Donors included Neil Bluhm, Sam Zell and Mellody Hobson–they’re Chicago civic leaders and business personalities who have become fixtures in Taking Names.

It’s that intersection of business and civic interests that have remained  staple in the column, along with personality profiles and good-old-fashioned news scoops.

J.B. Pritzker mulling a run for governor was reported first in this column, for example. So was a far-reaching Illinois Supreme Court ruling on divorce and the break-up of a deal between businessmen Marcus Lemonis and Phil Tadros.

Taking Names has evolved over the years–often depending on my editors and their interests. Social media has had an impact, too. When Taking Names began, there wasn’t a CEO in town posting on Facebook. Now they’re sharing personal news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat–just like the rest of us.

Some other favorite Taking Names themes:

Scoops: Chicago restaurateur Kevin Boehm and his team served goat to Theo Epstein after winning the World Series.

Connecting the dots: Corporate Cleaning Services’ Neal Zucker and his friends have transformed a Chicago nonprofit.

Billionaires: Rishi Shah and the rest of the wealthiest in Chicago. 

CEOs making a difference: Tempus’ Eric Lefkofsky and Fifth Third Bancorp’s Eric Smith.

Drama: The brouhaha at Museum of Contemporary Art is a good example.

Divorces (big drama!): I’ve followed the ins and outs of some of the most notable in town, including Ken Griffin’s, Jesse Jackson’s and Patrick Arbor’s.

Weddings: Philanthropist Ann Lurie, financier Joe Silich, banker Alexi Giannoulias, nonprofit leader Lindsay Avner and media coach Kathryn Janicek all saw their nuptials featured in Taking Names.

I learn from and am inspired by every interview. I hope readers are equally informed and entertained.

When billionaire  Jennifer Pritzker opened up for the first time about her trans transformation she told me how she approaches the world. What’s most important, she says, is “living a productive life.”

Cheers to that.





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2 Responses to Taking Names turns 10

  1. Hi Shia, Happy Birthday….and many more…an informative and entertaining read…have been a fan since the Crain’s days..Helen Schubert

  2. Hi Shia, Happy Birthday, best wishes for many informative and entertaining read…have been a fan since the Crain’s days.

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