Wintrust Business Lunch 3/31/20: Ways to keep employee morale up during the COVID-19 crisis, raising awareness for The Place for Children with Autism & more…

Wintrust Business Lunch

Ji Suk Yi hosts the Wintrust Business Lunch for Tuesday, March 31st.

Ji Suk Yi. (WGN Radio)

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Segment 1: (At 0:00) Jon Najarian, CNBC Contributor & Co-founder of Najarian Family Office, weighs in as U.S. stocks swing lower as the DOW heads for the worst ever first quarter as investors wrapped up a period of historic market volatility sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Najarian discusses the oil industry and shares his stock pick of the day. 

Segment 2: (At 7:00) Tom Gimbel, Founder & CEO of the LaSalle Network, checks in to discuss staff engagement and morale during the “work from home” mandate. Named a Fortune Magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For” Gimbel shares how his company has maintained its work culture even while everyone works remotely. Utilizing Zoom calls, they’ve scheduled daily town hall meetings, incorporating a “stand up” (in the morning priorities and roadblocks are addressed) and “wrap” (end of day check in on what was achieved). There’s also time for fun via Zoom, including happy hour, theme days, sunrise yoga instruction by a talented employee and even a virtual piano bar. Gimbel stresses this is a crucial time for CEO’s to step up, be present and to reach out to employees that may be having a harder time coping with anxiety and stress from the new normal under COVID-19.

Segment 3: (At 18:54)  Wintrust Community Leader highlights Daniel Blank, CEO/Founder of The Place for Children with Autism. The Place’s mission is to provide the highest quality level of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy to young children with Autism in underserved communities. A full-day program with individualized lesson plans that target a variety of skills is part of clinical deliverables in their 7 center locations in Chicago, one center in Cicero and one in Urbana. The centers are also a source of economic opportunity since they hire from the communities that they serve. Currently, due to COVID-19, the centers have shifted to Telehealth resources and are providing support to families through their Facebook page’s virtual parent support page

Segment 4: (At 26:50) WGN Radio’s Amy Guth talks about locally trending business stories. Today she highlights: Due to forecasts of a ventilator shortage many U.S. manufacturers are being repurposed in the fight against COVID-19. Ford Motor and General Electric are teaming up to build tens of thousands of ventilators. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a prototype emergency ventilator,  called the Illinois Rapidvent, that could fill the gap in the shortage of commercial ventilators. Based in Northfield, Medline Industries (the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies) is hoping to resterilize 100,000 health care workers’ face masks per week now that sterilization services are back online at its Waukegan facility after a shutdown over the concern of ethylene oxide emissions (a cancer-causing chemical). 

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