News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Obituary: Marilyn Jean Shineflug of Lake Bluff

From Strang Funeral Home of Antioch

Marilyn Jean Shineflug (nee Swartz), 71 years old of Lake Bluff, IL passed away Monday, November 17, 2014 at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Lake Forest IL. She was born April 24, 1943 in Evanston, IL, the daughter of the late Thane and Rebecca (Hammitt) Swartz. Marilyn was a devoted and loving mother and grandmother, and a selfless and dedicated public servant. She was a former Village of Antioch Trustee from 1989-1993 and became Mayor in 1993-2001. She also was an active environmentalist, working tirelessly for the well-being of her community.

Survivors include two daughters, Karen (John) Moore and Joanne (Jeffrey) Harrison; four grandchildren, Nicholas, David, Marinda and Wesley; a brother, Douglas Swartz; her sister-in-law, Mary Ann Rodgers; and her former husband, Robert Shineflug. In addition to her parents, Marilyn was preceded in death by her brother, Wesley Swartz.

Memorial services will be held at 4PM Saturday, November 22, 2014 at the STRANG FUNERAL HOME OF ANTIOCH, 1055 Main St. (Rte. 83), Antioch, IL. Memorial visitation will be from 1-4PM Saturday. Those desiring may make donations to the Lakes Region Historical Society ( or the Lake Bluff History Museum ( in Marilyn’s memory. INFO 847-395-4000. Please sign our online guest book for Marilyn at

Memorial Visitation
Saturday, November 22, 2014
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Memorial Service
Saturday, November 22, 2014
4:00 PM

Strang Funeral Home of Antioch
1055 Main St.
Antioch, Illinois 60002

More Big News At GazeboNews: Expanded,& Rebranded to Launch Nov. 24

If you just want to get news about Lake Forest & Lake Bluff, just click on their link in the Daily North Shore navigation bar.

If you just want to get news about Lake Forest & Lake Bluff, click on the link in the Daily North Shore navigation bar.

Dear GazeboNews readers,

I have exciting news to share.

As you know, JWC Media purchased GazeboNews in August. I was part of the package, and together we have been building a new website called, which we will officially launch on Nov. 24.

Daily North Shore is a community news site covering the North Shore – it’s a redesigned, expanded and rebranded version of GazeboNews. I can’t wait to share it with you, but first I’ll explain why we are making these changes.

The main reason is that GazeboNews has made a difference in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff and it has the potential to have a similar impact in our neighboring communities. During the six years that I ran GazeboNews on my own, people often told me: “You should start a GazeboNews in Winnetka … or Wilmette .. or Highland Park!” This was always a dream of mine, but as a solo pilot I did not have the resources to expand.

Enter John Conatser, founder and CEO of JWC Media, which publishes Forest & Bluff and Sheridan Road magazines and The North Shore Weekend newspapers. Last spring John invited me to lunch and said: “GazeboNews is a great product; what do you need to expand it throughout the North Shore?”

I needed colleagues and resources, and JWC Media has both. It is a great place to work, staffed with talented editors, writers, photographers, designers and sales reps. I love going to work every day.

And I love the product that we are building, which is based on the GazeboNews editorial model of providing very local news and information in a timely manner, from a trusted source.

Daily North Shore is backed by professionals with deep experience in local media: I am editor in chief, bringing six years of hyper-local media experience as founder of GazeboNews. I work closely with David Sweet, editor of The North Shore Weekend newspapers, who previously was managing editor of the Lake Forester, Highland Park News and several other Pioneer Press suburban weeklies. In charge of advertising is Jill Dillingham, JWC Media’s Vice-President of Sales & Operations, who previously was Midwest Publisher at Patch.

So … what does this mean for you, the readers of GazeboNews? What is changing … and what is staying the same?

First, the similarities: Like GazeboNews, will be updated continuously throughout the week with original stories, photos and event listings as well as curated articles from around the web. We will continue to focus on local issues, people, businesses and events. We will keep reporting the big stories as well as the small stories that reflect the wonderful minutia of local life. We remain committed to covering “news and stuff from Lake Forest & Lake Bluff.”

Another thing worth noting is that if you just want to know what’s going in your own community, you can click on your town’s name in the navigation bar and you will be provided stories that are affiliated with that town.

And like GazeboNews, Daily North Shore has a morning email that will arrive in subscriber’s inboxes at 5 a.m. at least five days a week. If you are a GazeboNews subscriber, you will automatically start receiving the Daily North Shore email on Nov. 24. If you were not a GazeboNews subscriber but would like to get the Daily North Shore morning email, you can sign up on the DNS home page.

Now — what’s different about the new site?

  • A new name, Daily North Shore
  • Clean, simple and modern design that is mobile responsive. It was built and designed by ArtVersion, the same Lake Bluff-based web firm that was behind GazeboNews
  • Expanded reach: We are covering stories from our neighboring communities in addition to our tight focus on Lake Forest and Lake Bluff
  • Regional trend articles – we are writing stories that connect us to the people and towns nearby
  • Interesting features and social photos from JWC Media’s print products, including high school sports stories
  • A Master North Shore Calendar that will be a great resource when you are looking for things to do at home or up and down the North Shore, and which also will come in very handy for event planners who need to know what’s going on elsewhere in our communities before they commit to a specific date for their events. We encourage you to post events – both large and small – directly to the calendar, which remains free and is easier and more intuitive than ever
  • Crime Map: We are tracking the police beat with a Crime Map that will help our readers easily identify trends both locally and regionally.

I am very excited about Daily North Shore and am honored to have the opportunity to help create it.

And as always, I encourage and welcome your input.

Adrienne Fawcett

Gorton Community Center Kicks Off $6.5 Million Capital Campaign

Submitted by Gorton Community Center

A rendering of the John and Nancy Hughes theatre at Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest

A rendering of the John and Nancy Hughes theatre at Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest


Gorton Community Center has launched its Community Spirit Transformed Capital Campaign, which will revolutionize the historic building — converting it to a 21st-century arts, cultural and educational venue — while strengthening Gorton’s endowment.

“For more than 42 years, Gorton has had a rich history serving Lake Forest and Lake Bluff residents,” said Gorton Board Chairman Blair Nagel. “Our community center is thriving, and poised to grow our programming to create a destination for children and adults that will give them unprecedented access to the arts and let them share new experiences and connections in their own backyard.”

Gorton, a non-profit, privately funded community center, relies on the generosity of area residents and businesses to support operations. The $6.5 million capital campaign provides the resources to renovate the first floor and the theater to create a state-of-the-art center for performing arts, lectures, film and special events and a strong endowment to secure Gorton’s fiscal future.

Lake Forester John Hughes, film writer, director and producer, will always be remembered for hits such as Home Alone and The Breakfast Club, and now his legacy will live on in the heart of our community. The generous $2 million lead gift by Nancy Hughes, in memory of her husband, inspired the theater renovation with modern technology incorporating the warmth of the traditional theater.

To ensure the renovation meets the community’s standard of excellence, Gorton is working closely with the City of Lake Forest throughout the building process. The architectural plan was developed by Wright Heerema with renowned theater and light firm, Schuler and Shook, designing the cutting-edge technology for the theater space and Chicago projectionist, Justin Dennis, of Kinora, creating a digital cinema system specific to Gorton’s film needs. Construction by general contractor Bulley & Andrews began on November 10 and is expected to be completed late spring 2015.

“The new design creates airy, flexible spaces that will match the variety and caliber of our programming,” said Gorton’s Executive Director Brenda Dick. “Imagine enjoying Miracle on 34th Street with friends and neighbors after the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony or seeing your child perform their very first concert with state-of-the-art sound.”

Building upon the theater transformation, Gorton’s main hall will open into a stunning, light-filled reception area with an interactive media wall. The Solarium becomes a four-season gathering space for events and theater receptions. The Green Room, updated as a warm, inviting living room for the community, will flow into Gorton’s stately Stuart Room enhanced with modern sound/lighting/projection systems and improved acoustics to better accommodate business, social and entertainment events.

“The enthusiasm and support during the quiet phase of Gorton’s campaign have been extraordinary,” said Nagel. “We invite every resident to play a part in the campaign and at Gorton. It is amazing what this community can accomplish together,”

For more information or to donate to Gorton’s Community Spirit Transformed Capital Campaign, please contact Brenda Dick, Executive Director, at (847) 234-6060 or visit

Gorton Community Center is a privately-funded, not-for-profit 501c3 organization which operates in partnership with volunteers and the City of Lake Forest to enrich the lives of its residents through cultural arts, education and charitable service. Gorton relies on the generosity of residents and businesses to help fund programs, services and building improvements offered in the historic building owned by the city. The gathering place in the heart of our community where people connect, converse, learn, listen, play and perform.

Suzy’s Swirl Offers Black Friday Gift Card Bonanza

Sponsored Post: Suzy’s Swirl is making the holidays a little sweeter for customers with our annual Black Friday Gift Card Bonanza!

Suzy’s Black Friday specials are designed to help customers swirl frozen goodness year round.  We’ll be offering the following specials on Black Friday at both of our locations in Lake Bluff and Gurnee.

6 a.m. – 8 a.m. — Buy ONE gift card: Get ONE gift card of the same value FREE. Plus get a FREE CUP card valid Jan. 1st – Feb. 14th. For example – Buy a 10.00 Gift Card – Get a 10.00 Gift Card FREE – plus get a FREE CUP Card.

8 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Buy ONE gift card Get ONE gift card of 75% of value FREE. Plus get a FREE CUP card valid Jan. 1st – Feb. 14th. For example – Buy a 10.00 Gift Card – Get a 7.50 Gift Card FREE – plus get a FREE CUP Card.

10 a.m. until close — Buy ONE gift card Get ONE gift card of 50% of value FREE. Plus get a FREE CUP card valid Jan. 1st – Feb. 14th. For example – Buy a 10.00 Gift Card – Get a 5.00 Gift Card FREE – plus get a FREE CUP Card.

“Suzy’s Swirl gift cards are the perfect card for any occasion “ said Sue Tierno, founder of Suzy’s Swirl. “Over the years we have heard so many creative ways our customers have used their Black Friday gift cards!”

Suzy’s Swirl gift cards are great for friends, family and everyone that is special in your life. Gift cards are terrific for teachers, coaches, company events, friends in the neighborhood, men and women in uniforms and all those amazing people in your life that support you! The best part of Suzy’s Swirl gift cards is that you can swirl with them year round.

Suzy’s Swirl gift cards can be used for catering, birthday parties, to go orders and any special events when you want to celebrate with swirling goodness! Suzy’s Swirl gift cards are also terrific for boosting fundraisers, incentive programs and year round recognition events.

Suzy’s is open year-round and features gelato, Italian ice, gelati, sorbetto, old-fashioned custards, cakes, and pies. “Winter is one of our favorite times of the year” says Kathy Wood, founder of Suzy’s Swirl. “This is the time of the year we do so many fun indoor activities like FUNdraising, game night, kid’s craft night and several other fun events to warm up winter.”

Suzy’s Swirl is grateful for the amazing support from the wonderful and caring communities we swirl in daily. We wish everyone the Happiest Thanksgiving!

Canine Unit Called In For LFHS Bomb Threat

By Adrienne Fawcett

Lake Forest police are investigating the source of a bomb threat that was called into Lake Forest High School at about 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 17.

School administrators called police immediately after receiving a call that was from someone who, not surprisingly, did not provide an identity. The LFPD arrived shortly afterward and reviewed the situation with the school’s internal security team. With assistance from a canine unit, they swept the building for evidence of a bomb and concluded the threat was not credible, LFPD Deputy Chief Karl Walldorf told GazeboNews.

Many students had no idea what was going on; some who did see cops and canines thought their presence meant a drug investigation was occurring.

When asked about security procedures, LFHS Principal Barry Rodgers told GazeboNews that “We work with the police to go through a set of protocols. We do not publish the specific details of our safety plan. Please know that we work closely with local authorities in developing our safety plan and in the event of a potential threat or any type of emergency.”

In an email to parents on Monday night, Rodgers said, the building was carefully monitored throughout the day and that “in addition to our on-going security measures, we have and will continue to conduct thorough searches of the building, and there will be additional police presence at LFHS in the upcoming days.”

Rodgers also wrote:

Please be aware of the following:

  • All entrances will be closely monitored.
  • We are asking all staff and students to be more observant.
  • We continue to work with police to conduct an investigation. This is a criminal offense and not something that we take lightly. Please be assured that the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.

GazeboNews is following this story and will update it as more information becomes available. Here is the text of an email that Rodgers sent to parents and guardians on Tuesday evening:

Dear Parents/Guardians:

School and activities were conducted today, November 18, in the usual manner with the addition of increased security. Thanks to our students, staff and families for their support.

I would like to provide you with additional information regarding yesterday’s situation. Immediately following the disturbing phone call, which occurred mid-day, school personnel and police promptly evaluated the situation. There is a protocol that police use to determine the credibility of these sorts of communications. For security purposes we do not publish our plans or protocols, but be assured all threats are treated seriously and thoroughly investigated. We collectively did not feel the call warranted a school-wide evacuation.

As part of an ongoing investigation, police dogs were used as an extra security measure in the school last night. We can report that there was no additional evidence of a threat. We have great respect and appreciation for law enforcement, for the work they are doing to keep students safe and to determine who is responsible for the call.

The police are continuing to investigate the situation. A bomb threat is a felony. Our ultimate goal is to identify anyone who makes this type of threat and we will not hesitate to take action. If you have any information that can assist in the investigation, please contact the Lake Forest Police Department at 847-234-2601.

We appreciate your partnership. Be assured we regularly review and evaluate our security procedures. First and foremost, our school is committed to the safety and security of all our students and staff.

Barry Rodgers

Reader Forum: Bridging the Historic Gap on Lake Road, Lake Forest

Editor’s note: This Reader Forum article was submitted by Art Miller of Lake Forest. Reader Forum articles represent the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of GazeboNews. We encourage you to comment on this article, but please include your full name per the GazeboNews comments policy.

This photo by Art Miller shows the consistency of the west side sidewalk on the bridge and north, and the way the east side fits into the wall on the southeast.

This photo by Art Miller shows the consistency of the west side sidewalk on the bridge and north, and the way the east side fits into the wall on the southeast.

The City of Lake Forest, with funding from IDOT, the state’s Dept. of Transportation, seeks to replace the century-old bridge over the ravine near Woodbine and between 955 and 975 N. Lake Road with a new wider bridge with sidewalks on both sides, not just on one as presently is the case. The original bridge was built c. 1913-14, and may have been upgraded then by the new homeowners nearly, especially Clayton Mark at 999 N. Lake Rd. with the firm of his architect, Howard Van Doren Shaw.

The original 1857 plan for Lake Forest was innovative in many ways, one being “the boldly sweeping street plan [that] did not follow topography” (Philip Pregill and Nancy Volkman, Landscapes in History…, 1993, p. 479). What this means is that Almerin Hotchkiss’s 1857-registered plan had streets surf across the wide gorges near the lake, so that carriages would have the sensation of flying, as did the new railroad trains crossing valleys on bridges–as at Niagara Falls, 1855: The Lake Forest Association’s early minutes (LF College Archives) c. 1859-61 registered the complaints of lot owners who could not get to their properties, because the bridges were not ready. But later they were.

(Visit to see photos that help tell the story, including that the 1978 work probably already took away the historic under-structure. But the balustrades and the scale–one sidewalk width only–are crucial to the Lake Road streets cape.)

Why is all this relevant? These narrow bridges in the original 1,200-acre 1857 street plan are integral to the historic character of Lake Forest and its plan, arguably among the most important town plans in the state — and nation. The narrowness heightens the sense of flying or edginess, as on the Millennium Park/Art Institute almost transparent Nichols Bridgeway (I call it the Bridge of San Luis Piano, after Chicagoan Thornton Wilder’s 1920s novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, where a rope bridge in the Andes gives way, but here with a slight change for the AIC’s architect’s name):

This century-old bridge on Lake Road is historic and significant, perhaps also for its possible patron and design team (999 N. Lake Rd. homebuilder in 1913 Clayton Mark and his architectural firm, Howard Van Doren Shaw’s). But certainly it is significant for its classic treatment of this mid 19th C. illusion of flying over the gorge so close to the lake and with its view east to the water, not always possible on local streets near the lake.

The Lake Forest plan–with its lake front park, campus town center, and “boldly sweeping” street layout–was the first of its type in many ways. It had no businesses east of the tracks, it was almost gated in the 1850s, with all east west streets converging on the depot, it in effect was no growth (bounded by the lake, the tracks, and rounding out north and south) so development by the 1890s leapfrogged over the downtown to Green Bay Road (and led to Market Square later), was and is anti-urban, and–last but not least—was an is Romantic in its pursuit of sublime sensation on, especially its far east side, bridges and the implied defiance of gravity they brought to those who crossed them. The sense of danger recalls Asher B. Durant’s “Kindred Spirits” painting of 1849, showing friends, Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole and poet William Cullen Bryant, in the Catskills: This sublimity of the Catskills, very likely well known to New Yorker Hotchkiss, is here recreated in Lake Forest, the edgiest visually–most prone to visceral landscape sensation–of Chicago suburbs.

I hope the bridge can be saved, situated as it is near so many significantly historic properties (955, 975, and 999 North Lake Rd.), and so integral to the owners’ and our experiences of these from the street.

Messing with the configuration of the historic bridge, indeed, anything not preserving it or else completely replicating it, will be a devastating loss to the community, the state, and the nation. The need to widen it for bureaucratic imperatives should not be a defining choice by the City—which should oppose this restriction in this case, in effect, appeal it, and failing that find another solution, including fund-raising, to preserve this highly valuable local asset.

Arthur H. Miller
November 18, 2014

Lake Forest High School Receives Bomb Threat

Lake Forest High School received a bomb threat over the phone on Nov. 17 from an unidentified person. Principal Barry Rodgers said the administration contacted the Lake Forest Police Department to review the situation with the school’s internal security team. They swept the building for evidence of a bomb and concluded that the threat was not credible.

As a precaution, the building was carefully monitored throughout the day, Rodgers said in an email to parents and guardians. The email continued:

In addition to our on-going security measures, we have and will continue to conduct thorough searches of the building, and there will be additional police presence at LFHS in the upcoming days.

Please be aware of the following:

  •  All entrances will be closely monitored.
  • We are asking all staff and students to be more observant.

We continue to work with police to conduct an investigation. This is a criminal offense and not something that we take lightly. Please be assured that the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority.




Stephen Butzlaff of Lake Bluff Honored with USTA/Midwest Section Mel Bergman Award

INDIANAPOLIS, IND., NOV. 13, 2014 — Stephen Butzlaff of Lake Bluff, Illinois, will receive the 2014 USTA/Midwest Section Mel Bergman Award, the Section’s most prestigious award, at an awards banquet on Friday, December 5, during the 2014 USTA/Midwest Section Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.

Butzlaff has been helping grow the game of tennis as a volunteer for more than 15 years at the USTA National, Section and District levels. In his home-state of Illinois, Butzlaff served as the Chicago District Tennis Association President in 2003 and 2004. He also served on the Chicago Tennis Patrons Board and several Chicago District committees. Butzlaff co-founded the Shoreline Tennis Association in 1998 located in Waukegan, Illinois.

Butzlaff served as USTA/Midwest Section President in 2010 and 2011, during which his focus was growing the game among young players. He currently is Chairman of the USTA/Midwest Section Tennis Support Services Committee. He has been a member of several USTA/Midwest Section committees over the years including: Marketing, Hall of Fame, Investment, Budget, Tennis on Campus, and Nominating. Butzlaff also served as President of the Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation, charitable arm of the USTA/Midwest Section, in 2012 and 2013.

At the National level, Butzlaff is serving his first term as Adult Council Chair and is a member of the Advisory Group on Committees. In March of this year, the President of the USTA appointed him to lead a newly-formed study group charged with developing methods to increase tennis participation in the 18-40 age sector. He also is a member of the national Membership Innovation Study group, a team working to modernize the association’s membership model. Butzlaff previously served on the USTA Budget Committee, Community Tennis Association Committee, and Membership Committee.

During his years of dedication to tennis and outstanding service to several different organizations, Butzlaff has brought the sport to many underserved junior players and junior programs. In addition to his volunteer work, Butzlaff is an active tennis player. His list of awards includes: Chicago District Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013, Chicago District Volunteer of the Year in 2001, and Chicago District Family of the Year in 1999.

The USTA/Midwest Section’s most prestigious award, the Mel Bergman Award, is given in recognition of continuous and distinguished service to the USTA/Midwest Section in an unselfish, dedicated manner for ten years or more. Mel Bergman, an extremely dedicated volunteer, was a President of the USTA/Midwest Section who served on the USTA Executive Committee.

The USTA/Midwest Section exceeds 85,000 individual members and approximately 1,000 member organizations. It is the second largest section of the United States Tennis Association, the National Governing Body for tennis in the U.S. The USTA/Midwest Section consists of 13 Districts in the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin as well as designated counties in West Virginia and Kentucky. The USTA/Midwest Section offers recreational and competitive tennis for individuals of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit the USTA/Midwest Section at

Over The Lake and Through the Forest …

Lindy, Angela and Royce

Lindy, Angela and Royce

Submitted by Re-invent Gallery in Lake Forest

Nature in all its beauty and abundance will be on display at the Re-invent Gallery of Lake Forest this holiday season, featuring the works of three highly-regarded Michigan landscape artists.

Angela Saxon, Royce Deans, and Lindy Bishop – the latter formerly of Lake Forest – come to Chicago’s North Shore for a first-time collective show of their diverse works on a common theme of Great Lakes area beauty. Their exhibit will indeed transport art-lovers Over the Lake and Through the Woods – to the dunes, waters and woods where the three spend their days painting and drawing, creatively conveying and interpreting the colors and character of rural America.

New Exhibit by
Three Celebrated Michigan Landscape Artists
Goes to Re-invent Gallery This Holiday Season!
Opening Friday, November 21 thru December 31

Angela Saxon is a highly-regarded landscape artist, working in oil and acrylic, and drawings, too. Her works have been displayed in galleries and private/corporate collections nationally – and even as far away as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to Angela, “I work from the landscape, interpreting nature rather than rendering pure representation…sharing a visual language.”

Royce Deans studied art in Chicago before settling in Michigan to pursue a career in painting and drawing, focused most recently on landscapes with an abstract interpretation. His works hang in galleries, museums and private collections from Michigan to the Netherlands. In 2013, with Dutch/Israeli painter Tali Farchi, he founded the ArtisTTable, an international online art community. Royce noted, “In the last few years I have spent a lot of time immersed in abstract painting, and my landscapes are now in new ways more expressive and in tune with the essence of a subject.”

Lindy's forest painting

Lindy’s forest painting

Lindy Bishop, formerly of Lake Forest, moved to Michigan several years ago and has become a well-known Expressionistic painter and art curator in her adopted state – forging strong new bonds between the Michigan and Illinois art scenes through her Seed Studio and other ventures which bring the worlds of Midwest artists and art-lovers together. She notes that her paintings are about celebrating the land, what it grows and how it feeds us. Lindy explained, “As an artist in rural America, I feel my role is to cross-pollinate with the bounty of the area, taking it ever farther afield”.

Over the Lake and Through the Woods, featuring the landscape and figurative paintings and drawings of Angela Saxon, Royce Deans and Lindy Bishop, opens Friday, November 21, with an artists’ reception from 6-9pm, at Re-invent Gallery, 202 E. Wisconsin, Lake Forest, IL. Open to the public, freewill admission. The exhibit runs through December 31. Open Mondays through Saturdays, Re-invent is a 4000 square foot arts hub in downtown Lake Forest, featuring the main fine art gallery, an artisans’ gift shop, and studio/workshop space. Visit for details or call 224-544-5961.

Royce's painting

Royce’s painting

Angela's Elmwood stream

Angela’s Elmwood stream

Lake Forest’s Gruenes Receives National Award

Submitted by Northwestern Mutual

Gordon P. Gruenes

Gordon P. Gruenes

Lake Forest resident Gordon P. Gruenes, a Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Advisor based in Chicago, is receiving the company’s Emerald award based on an outstanding year of helping clients achieve financial security.

“We’re proud of financial professionals like Gordon who are helping so many people in their community to achieve financial security,” said Northwestern Mutual President Greg Oberland. “Our 2014 Planning & Progress Study shows that ‘personal finances’ is one of the top two priorities for Americans in 2014, ahead of things like ‘spending time with family and friends’ and ‘career.’ Many are seeking out professionals like Gordon to develop distinct financial plans that stand the test of time.”

Northwestern Mutual recognized Gruenes at its 134th Annual Meeting held in Milwaukee, Wis. Gruenes joins an exclusive group of financial professionals across the country who have achieved this recognition.

“I am grateful to my clients who have placed their trust and confidence in me,” said Gordon P. Gruenes. “I joined Northwestern Mutual’s McTigue Financial Group because it has a culture that lives up to values like accountability, integrity and growth, and exemplifies that by doing what is in the best interest of our clients.”

Gruenes joined Northwestern Mutual’s McTigue Financial Group in 1990 following a career in the accounting industry. A graduate of the University of Illinois in 1985, he also holds the Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Certified in Long Term Care designations.

He is a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.