Kildeer resident shares her business sense
Kildeer resident Bonnie Conte shows of her Avalon Salon in Deer Park. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 16, 2013 8:30AM
KILDEER — It’s hard to imagine that Kildeer resident Bonnie Conte can find time to sleep.
Conte is currently the chief inspirational officer at the award-winning Avalon Salon and Spa in Deer Park, a coach and mentor for salon owners across the country with Connecticut-based company Strategies, and vice president of the Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce.
Conte’s devotion to leadership within the community earned her a nomination for the Barrington ATHENA Leadership Award in November. Conte’s relentless dedication to her salon’s staff and team members also prompted Salon Today Magazine to recognize Avalon as a Top 200 Salon in the country.
In January, she’ll assume the role of chamber president, and said she couldn’t be more excited to take on the new challenging role.
“I’m looking forward to it because I have grown close with so many business owners and leaders within the community, and I think it’s great how we support one another and have been able to survive the last four-and-half years, especially,” Conte said.
Q: Where did you grow up and go to school?
A: I grew up on the northwest side of Chicago, went to Resurrection High School and then Elgin Community College.
Q: Who do you live with in Kildeer?
A: I live with my husband, my youngest son — he’s 19 — and my two cats, Sake and Sushi.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in town?
A: That’s a hard one! I like them all, but if I had to choose, I’d say D&J Bistro because it has a unique ambiance about it and exquisite food. I also love Bacchus Nibbles in Kildeer and Julio’s Latin Café in Lake Zurich. We’ve got some fantastic restaurants around town!
Q: What’s your favorite entertainment venue in town?
A: I wish I could say it was live entertainment because I love that, but I do like Century Theatres in Deer Park. Just saw Les Miserables there on Christmas Day.
Q: What are your goals?
A: I would love to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. That’s something that takes a little time to get, but I think it’s worth it. Another goal I have is to be a good grandma, because I have two granddaughters.
Q: What else are you involved in that people might not already know about?
A: I have a part-time job in addition to Avalon; I’m a certified strategies coach with a company based out of Centerbrook, Conn., called Strategies. I coach other salon owners and kind of help guide them and help them because I’ve been there before, struggling. I have nine clients from around the country ... Strategies is where the idea for Avalon’s team-based pay came from. It’s very gratifying to be a part of.
Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: I love blues, classic rock and I have always loved the Bee Gees — whenever the Bee Gees come on the radio I get texts, because all my friends know that I love them. They were my first concert I ever went to, I got to meet them and I own Barry Gibb’s Mercedes ... we found out it became available in 2006, so we went down in February in the ice storm and drove it down!
Q: How did you spend the holidays?
A: We had our Christmas celebration on the 23rd. With four kids it’s hard to jump around, and you can really celebrate Christmas any day of the year, really, so I cooked a big dinner and had everyone over. Christmas Eve I worked at Avalon with the team, and then saw Les Miserables.