Chicago-area business executives have hosted one fundraising party after another this election season. In recent days Fred Eychaner, J.B. Pritzker and Bill Farley have all opened their homes to candidates. Absent from the mix is Leo Melamed.
The chairman emeritus of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group and chairman of the Chicago-based Melamed & Associates consulting firm for years organized receptions at his Glencoe home for political candidates.
Not this year. That’s because Melamed and his wife, Betty, are trying to sell the spacious rambler.
“We’ve been here for over 30 years. We’re ready to move back to the city as so many of our friends have done,” he said.
GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Robert Dold were among the politicos feted by the Melameds over the years.
“And, of course, we’ve had a number of parties that had nothing to do with politics,” he said, recalling the 100 guests who would stop by each year for the family’s Hanukkah celebration.
Melamed talked about his home before heading to Beverly Hills, where he’s scheduled to speak at a Yom Kippur service.
The Melameds have been trying for three years to sell their home. They’ve dropped the asking price to $2.35 million.
The brick rambler has all the modern touches of a mid-century style home: large windows, exposed beams and brick, and spaciousness.
Along with having some political cache, the home is notable for being built by architect Edward Dart, who also built the Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue.
Genesis of “The Night Chicago Died”
With all the attention on violence in Chicago (thanks, Donald Trump), a Facebook friend mentioned that ’70s song, “The Night Chicago Died.”
I heard my mama cry
I heard her pray the night Chicago died
Brother what a night it really was
Brother what a fight it really was
I wondered if there was some real-life inspiration for the song, so I contacted Mitch Murray, the songwriter who helped write the catchy song that was picked up by British pop band Paper Lace.
“I can see the topical significance,” he responded by email, but the lyrics don’t have any meaningful connection at all — then or now.
“Writing about crime, war and bloodshed was a way of making our songs stand out from the lovey-dovey run of the mill,” he says.
How painting transformed this foodie CEO
Jeremiah Green, CEO of Eat Purely, a meal-delivery company, credits art with getting his business going.
He previously worked as a CPA at Ernst & Young and then as a consultant at KPMG, where he advised companies through restructuring and bankruptcy.
“I hated it so much I couldn’t fall asleep Sunday nights,” he says.
Green, a self-described foodie, quit corporate life and went to work for his dad, the late Edward Green, owner of Corky’s Catering.
He also took up painting.
“It gave me an outlet to express myself in ways that I wasn’t able to in the business world,” he says. So passionate for the hobby, Green rented a studio — down the hall, it turns out, from famed artist Hebru Brantley.
Invigorated creatively, Green tried his hand creating an app, eventually starting Eat Purely. Tech entrepreneurs Raymond Lyle and Dan Wetherald joined as co-founders. The company receives orders via the app and delivers organic, chef-made lunch and dinner in 20 minutes in Chicago and dinner in Evanston.
Green says he’s put the brushes away for awhile as his “creative focus” is purely on his business.
Cubs Corner: For the love of Section 527
Wrigley Field’s Section 527 doesn’t have the expansive view of a suite or the dusty action that Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts sees on the front row.
But season ticket holders in this upper-deck section are just as passionate about their high-altitude seats.
“It’s without a doubt the best section in all of Wrigley, from the price to value, the view and the people,” says Ashvin Lad, co-founder of Breakwater Chicago, the company developing a floating hospitality venue for Lake Michigan. He started sharing seats in the section 15 years ago and now owns them. The section is on the right-field side closer to first base. “I’ve seen kids grow up in my section. I’ve seen people move away and then come back to pay visits when they’re in town.”
Seat holders in 527 have their own @section527 Twitter account, which Lad manages. And on May 27 (5/27), when there’s a Cubs home game, they decorate the area and dine on “Cubcakes” that they bring in.
The section feels like home to Michelle Evans MacLachlan, a digital consumer manager at Euromonitor International, and her husband, Doug MacLachlan, a property insurance broker. The couple found love, in part, through the Cubs. They’re both fans, and he’s had season tickets in 527 since 1999. “I asked him earlier this year what we should do to celebrate our anniversary and he confidently said, ‘We are going to the World Series.'” Oct. 29, Game 4 of the World Series, is their anniversary.
Read more Taking Names at shiakapos.com.
Correction: A story in Monday’s column mischaracterized how Deryl McKissack knows Eric Whitaker. They are friends, not cousins.