Guest columnist: Jeff Metcalf

Posted On: October 2002

In all the doom and gloom in today's news, there are always bright spots. Sometimes you have to look a little harder for them. I was given this opportunity by the Elburn Herald to share my story with you.

I have lived in Elburn with my wife, Victoria, for nearly seven years now. We reside in Prairie Highlands. I am currently serving my first term as Elburn trustee. I also own and operate Record Information Services, Inc. a marketing data provider and research firm that I founded nearly 10 years ago.

We provide public record information to businesses and the government. We do everything from providing the Elburn Herald with recently closed real estate transactions to the tracking of home sales in the section called "Market Pulse," which appears every week in the Chicago Tribune.

Most folks in the downtown area could always recognize me because I usually had shorts and a T-shirt on in the summer and sweats in the winter. I also carried a bag with Jeff on the side. Because my company is so high tech, casual dress code for employees and myself has been the norm.

What makes this story unique and sad is that I recently had to make the decision to move out of our current location above Anderson's Grocery Store at 109 N. Main St. to new space which we fortunately were able to find in Kaneville. We had simply outgrown our office space and there was no other space available for our needs in Elburn.

When I worked out of my home when we first arrived, it was myself and a local lady who helped do my direct mail pieces each week.

Back in 1997, space came available next to Gliddon Drugs and I made the huge leap of commitment for that space. Those of you who own your own business, you know what type of leap that can be. I added one full-time employee and then added another for a total of three full-time employees, including myself. On and on I kept adding more people to the point that we were outgrowing that space. It was the year 2000 and the current tenant above Anderson's Grocery Store at that time; Mike Tirio who owns and operates Axis Bancorp, had secured space across the street. I jumped at the opportunity to grab the Anderson space. At that time it was huge, and we thought that we would be there forever.

As the next two years rolled by I added more and more employees as we grew. As of two months ago, I had a total of 15 full-time employees in that space. Might I add, all female employees excluding myself, and one bathroom. Need I say more?

I secured a new contract to provide data to a major corporation and had a need to add even more employees, and I was getting desperate for space. I wanted so badly to stay in Elburn, but office space for my needs was non-existent.

Then, an opportunity became available in downtown Kaneville at the old school. There lied 5,300 square feet of open office space. Double what we had. Men's and women's bathrooms, a lunchroom, plus much more. All the things that we had not had before. My employees, to say the least, were happy.

What's melancholy for me is that I had to move out of Elburn where I saw familiar faces every morning. Don't get me wrong, Kaneville is a wonderful community and everyone has welcomed us with open arms. I consider Kaneville a sister community to Elburn.

I am very proud to be a resident and a trustee in Elburn, and now a member of the business community in Kaneville. This is a story of hard work and having the best employees in the whole world.

In a time where layoffs are happening all the time and the economy is going through another cycle, I am proud to be able to say that I am hiring rather than laying off people.

Although it is very scary at times, I have an unwavering determination to make this next big leap for my company's success. I would like to thank Ken and Mary Gustafson, Almer Gliddon and Dave Anderson for the opportunity of renting their space as my company grew.

I will also miss all the folks I said good morning to in downtown Elburn. I would also like to thank Leon Gramley and the Kaneville trustees for the opportunity for the new space. I would also like to thank all the residents and businesses of Kaneville for giving us such a warm welcome.

God Bless America!

There are good stories out there folks. Sometimes you just have to look a little harder for them.

Elburn Village Trustee
business owner

Posted On: October 2002

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