Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welcome To Wisconsin!

Someone needs to make sure that representatives from the Lake Geneva Visitors Bureau, the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and the Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce read this blog. By doing so, they will become aware of the best advertising tool they could ever dream of. Seriously, this blog will bring to their attention the greatest destination-marketing implement they could ever hope for. Want to know what it is? I won’t make you wait.

It’s my friend Michael Chagdes from Lake Geneva.

You are probably asking yourself why some guy from Lake Geneva would be some a marketing boon for drawing people to America’s Dairyland. Let me explain by starting with a quick background of Michael Chagdes.

Michael hasn’t always lived in Lake Geneva, or Illinois for that matter. Up until last year he and had resided in Illinois all of his life, the last eight in the western suburb of Lisle.

He and his wife Rose, run Wacker Hardware Company located in Chicago on West Jackson Blvd. Michael is the President/CEO and Rose is the Vice President of this highly successful company that has been in business since 1936.

Wacker Hardware is the Midwest source for security hardware, locksmith supplies, and master keying specialties. The company not only serves locksmiths but also, hardware stores, industrial supply houses, building contractors, and many other types of businesses.

Michael is much more than an accomplished businessman. Although he is a self-proclaimed curmudgeon, he is also funny and a very straightforward kind of guy. What you see is what you get with Michael Chagdes.

I first met Michael and Rose on facebook a couple of years ago. I finally met them in person when they came to Sister Act Painting and Creative Treasures for my book singing this past July. You couldn’t ask to meet two more charming people.

Okay, now that you know a little a bit about Chagdes, chances are you are still wondering why he should be the Spokesman for the state of Wisconsin. Maybe these two quotes will help you see why:

“I’m 60 and have been in Illinois for 59 years and Wisconsin for 1 year. I have met more nice people up here in 12 months than in the previous state in almost 6 decades. Just sayin’…”

“I’d say it's a great day to live in Wisconsin, but then again, EVERY day up here is great!”

Both of those remarks were made on facebook when talking about how he liked living in Wisconsin. Most of the people he was talking with were from the Land of Lincoln.

Wait, it gets better. Not only has his residence changed in the last year, also has his sport allegiances. Oh, yes.

According to Rose, Michael has been a Cubs fan since he was 5 years old! After last season he had enough and decided to be a total Brewers fan. He has already bought hats and will assuredly be acquiring more Brewer items, as the season gets closer.

Not only has he converted to the Brewers, he is also a Packer fan. I bet you think he was a Bear fan, right? Wrong.

Recently, some of Michael’s Bear fan friends were giving him a hard time on facebook for cheering on the Green and Gold during their Super Bowl run. He responded with, “No “flipping” here. I have NEVER been a Bears fan and I most assuredly never will be.”

He went on to say, “I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys fan since 1967. I jumped on the Packers bandwagon this year mainly because it annoys so many Bears fans. But I really do admire the organization and my neighbors are happier when they win.”

There you have, Lake Geneva, Kenosha and Wisconsin Visitor Bureaus, a former Illinoisan who has nothing but wonderful things to say about our great state. He is a successful businessman, loves the Packers and the Brewers and genuinely cares about his neighbors. Michael Chagdes would be the ideal marketing tool, so feel free to use him and his wonderful quotes.

Until next time…from the booth.


J. Kwiatkowski said...

I like "self proclaimed curmudgeon" that's what I want to be when I grow up.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

You can do it, Julie!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good guy. Glad you were able to be a positive influence on him, Paul. The only thing I ever got out of Lake Geneva was trouble, but I can't go into that any further. I remember back in the late 70's when Fred went to the Sugar Shack with a bunch of girls on a Friday night and called me at 6 Saturday morning to tell me that she didn't know where she was and that the Pacer was out of gas. I think some tow truck driver found her in the Lily Lake area. She rolled in about 9. Tony and I had some bacon and eggs waiting for her. The gall of her, she didn't even eat them. Okay, I guess she got me on that one. That's about a thousand to one, on my side. Don't tell Leon. I don't want to ruin her image. You'll never get any false modesty from Clay Matthews, he has no modesty, whatsoever. I'm glad he plays for the Pack - he'd be so easy to hate, if he played for anyone else. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, my friend.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

You got into trouble, Kool Papa? I can't believe that. Mums the word as far as Fred's indiscretions in Lake Geneva.

What if the inevitable NFL work stoppage is a lengthy one? The PACK could the World Champions for a very long time…