They thrive off the culture here and also help shape it, as they make everything from foraged beer to handcrafted furniture. See their stories and visit the places in Illinois that inspire them most.

Frank Sanchez – Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (520 N. Michigan Ave.) is excited to announce that it has appointed Frank Sanchez as executive chef. Formerly the hotel’s executive sous chef, Sanchez will oversee all culinary operations at the hotel and its F&B outlets, Harvest Restaurant and Rush Street Pantry, including management of the hotel’s rooftop garden and beehives. Frank has been with the company since 2010 and has demonstrated superior leadership in the culinary department,

Prior to joining the Chicago Marriott culinary team as executive sous chef in October 2014, Chef Sanchez led kitchen operations as executive chef at Coronado Island Marriott Resort and Spa and lead the banquet kitchen at JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. Before being hired by Marriott, he graduated with a degree in business management from the University of Arizona in 2005. Career highlights have included creating the first-ever beer festival on Coronado Island while at Marriott.

“I feel honored to be appointed executive at Marriott Mag Mile,” says Chef Sanchez. “I hope to continue to build the culinary program and provide guests with the instant gratification of a delicious, comforting meal.”

Master Woodworker David Stine – Handcrafted designs and techniques stand the test of time as they remind us of the way things used to be. David’s green philosophy is fully realized in the fact that he sustainably harvests and mills all of his own lumber. Deriving his creative inspirations from the forest itself, he reveals the wood’s inner beauty in each piece he designs. Employing old-school technology, David uses joinery and construction techniques that rely on his artistry rather than glues and nails and the eventual shortcuts that spelled an end to the way things used to be. Even his finishes are environmentally responsible. David’s hardwood creations reveal as much about the man as the wood reveals about responsible stewardship. One trip to his wood shop and studio, in the southern town of Dow, is a lesson about turning dreams into reality.

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VENICE in Concert

April 7/SPRINGFIELD  – 7 p.m. at the Legacy Theatre. After six sold-out appearances at The Legacy, the guys from California return! With a unique sound that mixes the rock of 70’s Aerosmith with the storytelling of James Taylor and harmonies reminiscent of the Eagles, an evening with Venice is an evening you won’t forget! Tickets are $40. Call 217-528-9760