11 People to Watch In 2011

There were a number of different ways I could have gone
about putting together a list of 11 compelling people in Chicago that are
making a difference in their respective fields. There were so many choices, so
many deserving nominations, so many ways to go. It would have been easy to list
all the people I know, because I think I have a wonderful group of friends. But
while compiling this list I wanted people I didn't know directly, I wanted to
listen to who was making a difference, creating trends, and moving their life
and business to a different level. So here goes, 11 people you should know in


Arturo Gomez  - Mover, Shaker,

Arturo Gomez is President of Rockit Ranch Productions, Chicago's premier
restaurant and entertainment development company, specializing in the creation,
marketing and management of some of the city's top venues including the New
Asian restaurant Sunda,
as well as the The
and the ever-popular Rockit Bar & Grill (with locations in River North and
Wrigleyville). Beginning his career in 1998 as director of operations for a
large Chicago nightlife company where he established his long-time association
with Billy Dec and Brad Young, Gomez later joined Rockit Ranch Productions as
director of operations where he led all aspects of operations and marketing, working
in conjunction with Dec and Young. Gomez was appointed chief operating officer
and partner of Rockit Ranch Productions in 2004 when he managed and oversaw the
development of Rockit Bar & Grill and in 2006, The Underground. In late
2008 he became president of Rockit Ranch Productions before opening Sunda in
early 2009. Less than two months later he opened a new location of Rockit Bar
& Grill in Wrigleyville. With partners Dec and Young, Gomez was presented
with the "Operator of the Year" Award at The Nightclub and Bar Convention in



 Denise Wynbrant - Making People
Beautiful, All Over The World

 If Prince wants you to do HIS hair, you must be good. That's how Denise Wynbrant got her start serving as makeup artist and hairstylist on the legendary "1999" tour. Since then, she has worked on over 40 film and
television projects such as "High Fidelity", "1408" and "Barbershop"
and has a bevy of print work, commercials, theater and live performances to her
credit. A-list actors John Cusack, Joan Cusack and Marisa Tomei are
among the many celebrities, athletes and politicians who request her by name for
her expertise. With equipment in hand she travels worldwide, taking projects
not only in the States but Canada, Europe and Asia, as well.  Check out her work at


Zondra Hughes  - Author, Editor, Blogger - Chief "Brown Chick"

Top Leaders in Business, (Chicago Sun-Times); 100 Women Making a
, (Today's Chicago Woman); and most recently, one of the nation's
Top Media Movers and Shakers (Monarch Magazine) and Top 25 Influential
Women in Chicago
(Rolling Out Magazine). Hughes, a member of The Author's Guild, made her literary
debut on the outrageous and over-the-top Wendy Williams smash hit, Ritz
Harper Goes to Hollywood!
(Pocket Books/Karen Hunter Publishing). Zondra
has recently been named Deputy Editor of
Rolling Out.  She is the
creator of SixBrownChicks
a ChicagoNow daily relationship blog for women, and a Social News
blogger for The
Huffington Post-Chicago


DJ Jazznois  - Listen, Learn, Like

DJ Jazznosis also grew up on Chicago's south
side in the South Shore neighborhood and is a 1988 graduate of South Shore High
School.  Earning a B.A in T.V.
Production from Columbia College in 1994,
DJ Jazznosis began his journey as both a professional DJ and self-taught
musician in 1997.  His accomplishments
include opening for Gza of Wu-Tang, headlining at Chicago's Looptopia festival
and serving as the official DJ for the city's annual H Games tournament, which
is hosted by Mike Adamle.  Just this
year he realized his long held desire to spin in New York City in the
@ Best Buy" series at Union Square on
Valentine's Day More big
things to come from this talented artist.


Mahlmann  - Party Man, With A Plan

Mahlmann leads Dime Promotions,
the Chicago club night VIP host;
promoting, branding,
marketing, booking, and hosting all of the best parties at all of
the most exclusive and hottest night
clubs in the city
of Chicago. But beyond hosting great parties,
Chris is a social media and marketing expert whose motor never stops. Dime has
been at the forefront of club, gallery and soon restaurant promotions. Chris is
just getting started.


 Kelley Moseley   -  Always "Fleye"

Since the inception of K~FLEYE designs in 2003, Kelley
Moseley captivated the attention of her audience with original jewelry designs
portraying the aesthetic quality often portrayed in museum quality sculptures
and high couture fashion.  The synthesis  of precious stones with
silver, gold, copper and brass display  Moseley's confident craftsmanship
and years of visual perfections & imperfections. Multi talented she has
modeled, appeared in films and even has a killer voice. but her art is her


Mark J.
Carter   -  If you Tweet Him , He Will Deliver

Mark Carter of Tweet Networking LLC helps companies and
non-profits bridge the gap between online AND offline marketing & cause
marketing (Also running events for entrepreneurs, non-profits and social
media). Helping those who need it develop a real brand. TweetNetworking offers events and seminars for  professionals to connect in person and then
build their respective businesses and careers both online and offline.
Non-profits (TweetNetworking "For A Cause") to raise money for and raise
awareness for their cause ,people that want to use Twitter and other social
media platforms to actively build their business and professional networks,
existing businesses that want an alternative to traditional marketing methods
(the usual press release, email blasts, etc) and are experiencing pain points
getting traction with social media , entrepreneurs launching businesses that
are experiencing trouble getting word of mouth marketing started, gaining
recognition and becoming a "brand" within their community/market and
building trust with referral sources and potential clients.  And that's just what he does before 8 AM...


Kayo Williams  -  The One Man Music Machine

 Kayo (pronounced Ky-Yo)Williams a 10
year Songwriter and Independent music producer. Established Kayquarii in 2003,
a professional, one-resource music production, publishing and sound design
company. They specialize in producing and composing music for Professional and
Independent Recording and Voice Over Artist, groups and bands; In addition he
writes, composes and scores music for Film, TV, Advertising, Animation, Digital
Media and Industrial use.


Estrella Rosenberg   -  Lifesaver

Estrella Rosenberg founder of Big Love Little Hearts an organization that
helps children with heart defects in developing countries get lifesaving
surgery. Working collaboratively with partner organizations, the organization
has saved more than 300 lives since its inception.  Passion, commitment and an innate desire to make a difference
make Estrella and her wonderful cause one to watch in 2011 and beyond.


 Brenda Taylor    - 

Brenda Taylor will probably punch me when she sees the title I gave her
entry, but I believe people should recognize their powers. The author, mother
motivational speaker and publisher has overcome some incredible obstacles to
get to this point in her life. Her book "Beauty For Ashes" a personal story of
her survival of teen parenthood, domestic violence and an attempt on her life
create the backdrop of an amazing must read. But its not what happened to her,
its what she's done with the adversity that makes her a truly amazing.


Chef Omar Martinez    - Creator of

Full Disclosure I partnered with Omar on Everything Chocolate as well as
other charitable endeavors. But If I only knew of him, or just sampled his
creations. I would still write about the founder of Dessert Concepts.  He is a masterful chef and a man with a
great heart. He wanted to create an organization that allows him to use his
culinary talents to provide aid to non-profits as well as friends and
associates. Look for a return to the Food Network in 2011 as well as more
amazing desserts. 




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  • Thank you Glenn, this is indeed an honor.

  • Anyone else check this article, making sure they weren't in it.

    It's cool Chicago. My shazam is still on the DL.

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    Thanks Glenn!

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