Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in the area? Tell us about your family.
I grew up just a few miles away in Norridge, IL and married my high school sweetheart. We initially lived in Norridge across the street from my in-laws then moved to Park Ridge when our second child was born. We have lived here for 30 years. Our house and backyard are a hub for many gatherings with family and childhood friends. We have four kids and are outdoor enthusiasts. We feel most refreshed when biking or hiking in the woods or mountains or boating and fishing at a lake. My husband and I are huge fans of ‘shop and play local’ and enjoy an array of Park Ridge amenities and events. We also have a few family traditions including Chicago Bike-the-Drive, Lincoln Park Run-for-the-Zoo, and seasonal Botanical Garden events. Our twin sons are businessmen with MBA’s, our daughter is an attorney with an MBA, and our oldest son is a board-certified Neurologist and Neurophysiologist. Both my husband and I have worked in healthcare for over 30 years. Jim’s worked in the corporate Pharmaceutical industry and my background has been in the physical medicine and rehabilitation industry.
Tell us about the events that led up to where you are now.
The bulk of my career was at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, now called the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, where I worked for over 30 years. I held a variety of leadership roles and led initiatives in patient and family education, outcomes research, customer service, and board relations. The pinnacle of my career was developing a family resource center to help individuals living with physical disabilities overcome challenges and make positive transitions in life. These experiences led me to form a consulting company and obtain added certification as a Dementia Care Practitioner, Montessori Dementia Care Professional, Professional Speaker, and Coach. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Illinois-Urbana in Therapeutic Recreation and I earned a Master of Science degree from DePaul University in Systems Design and Health Administration.
What is your business and how/why did you start your business?
I provide educational and business consultation to small businesses and individuals. My specialties include program development, project management and implementation, and process improvement for companies and community-based organizations that serve or care for older adults, individuals with physical disabilities, or other challenging health conditions. I also develop business continuity plans. In addition, I provide professional training to businesses, health professionals, and families in Alzheimer’s Disease and other related Dementias as well as other topics of team building, life enrichment, and family empowerment. Throughout my career, I have helped individuals overcome challenges and pursue their ambitions despite their circumstance. I started my business because of my passion to equip individuals and businesses with tools, skills, and knowledge so they can formulate a plan and achieve their goals.
What is unique about your business - what sets you apart from the rest?
I value collaborative work and listen to clients and their team to identify gaps and opportunities that align with their business model and needs. I facilitate client learning, draw upon best-practices, and provide tools for use and reference after our engagement ends. My person-centered and business-centered approach has been rewarding for clients and for me. I feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I have added value to someone’s business and life.
Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice (whether general or specific) can you offer to the residents?
We have all weathered a tough storm because of COVID-19. It is incredibly important to maintain a positive attitude and flexibility in our lives and business pursuits. Now is a great time to reassess your personal and professional goals and to focus on where you want to go or be in life. If you are not sure how to get from A to B, seek the advice of a personal or business consultant to help reengineer your plans. Remember that life is a journey not a destination. We all have the power to chart a new course.
What else we should know about you, your family, or your business?
Participating in activities that positively influence our future leaders - children, teens, and young adults – is important to me. I serve as the President of the Park Ridge Kiwanis Morning Club and lead efforts to support healthy development and leadership in children and teens. I am also an active member of Park Ridge Presbyterian Church and support its community and youth outreach activities. Throughout the year I volunteer at a variety of charity and community events. Each of these experiences add to my quality of life.
Business contact information
Kristine Cichowski, President & CEO
Power To Be® | 847.951.3365