Member Spotlighting

Northing Bunt Cakes
6951 W. Grand Ave., Unit 10, Gurnee
(224) 637‑8444

The first Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery opened in 1997 in Las Vegas where two friends joined forces and recipes, sharing cake with family, friends, schools and businesses. Debbie and Dena met their goal of becoming a household name in Las Vegas, but they found it was not enough and so franchising began in 2007. There are now more than 300 bakeries nationwide, baking and frosting cakes as delicious as the original recipe and with just as much heart.  The tradition of engaging the community, spreading the joy, and helping others continues to be at the core of the Nothing Bundt Cakes brand.

Reaching Gurnee
Nothing Bundt Cakes opened in Gurnee, at 6951 Grand Ave., in January 2018 with the intention of helping guests “bring the joy” with cake and be the most memorable hosts and gift-givers.

The bakery is owned by longtime Gurnee residents Troy and Kathy Blair and is operated by Kathy, a former science teacher, and managed by longtime friend Stephanie Kalcic. The team loves sharing such an incredible cake product with so many. Seeing the reaction to someone’s first bite of Nothing Bundt Cakes never gets old. There are over 20 talented team members (bakers, frosters, crafters, and guest service representatives) ready to fulfill every celebration and gifting need.

Bakery offerings
The Gurnee bakery bakes on site every day creating ten flavors year-round, as well as a rotating feature flavor to keep things exciting.   There is also a Gluten-Free option.  The cake is available in four sizes and there are over 40 impressive, handcrafted decoration options for every occasion. The cakes are versatile and appropriate for any size of event and venue.  In the first year, Nothing Bundt Cakes has provided cakes for weddings, showers, company events and large celebrations. Delivery is available, and set-up is an option.

Outreach and accomplishments
Nothing Bundt Cakes is the proud recipient of the Pay It Forward Award for involvement and service to the Village of Gurnee. After a very rewarding and successful first year, the team is looking forward to what is in store for 2019.

Michael Darling Farmers Insurance
111 W. Maple Ave. B, Mundelein
(847) 984‑1575

Michael Darling, agency owner of the Michael Darling Insurance Agency of Farmers Insurance in Mundelein, is proud to be a community leader and entrepreneur. He champions the military and first responders by supporting their events, and his agency has awarded several grants to teachers to support their educational endeavors.

In addition, he shares his knowledge by teaching insurance classes to homeowners and prospective insurance agents. He has also taught as an adjunct professor and is an instructor for insurance licensure.

Darling has also been involved with several mentoring programs for young entrepreneurs and young men in the community to educate and train them on professional skills, business principles and practices. His agency has provided many summer interns with opportunities to develop their professional skills and understand the dynamics of being a business ownership and entrepreneur.

Community leader
He has strong commitment to seeing small and medium businesses be planted, grow and develop. He desires to connect business owners with each other as well as access to capital, information, professional development and other resources that can assist them in growing their business and wealth. We have to create and be the managers of our own economy, he noted. Darling lives by his personal motto of “Plan for your future today, so that it will be there when you get there.”

As the past Chairman for the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, he loved to develop and provide programming for business to assist in growing and become stronger. “As a community of organizations, we are stronger together.,” he said.

A family man
Darling loves spending time with his family, cooking, traveling internationally and reading. He and his wife of almost 30 years, Jacqueline, are active members of the Sign of the Dove Church in Waukegan, where he serves on the board and is a deacon. The Darlings are the proud parents of three daughters: Brittany, Kristen and Ashley.

Professional credentials
Darling holds his insurance licenses in three states: Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana to insure homes, autos, businesses, boats, motorcycles and recreational vehicles, and to provide life and health insurance. Other organizations he is active in include his homeowners association and professional and marketing networking organizations. Throughout the year, he facilitates numerous discussions on business strategy, growth, marketing and profitability.

YWCA Lake County
1425 Tri-State Pkwy., Ste. 180, Gurnee
(847) 662‑4247
Facebook, Linked In, Instagram @ywcalakecounty

YWCA Lake County has maximized community support and philanthropy to make a meaningful and enduring impact for 20,000 disadvantaged women, children and families in Lake County. Focus areas include healthy living, youth education, economic empowerment education and racial justice work that fosters resiliency.

YWCA Lake County transforms lives by offering health navigation, screenings and education that provide access to community resources to live active lifestyles and achieve wellness, leading to healthy outcomes:

  • 5,588 women, children and families gained access to health and wellness.
  • 3,964 community members received health education, fitness opportunities and supportive services that encourage healthy living.
  • The School-Age Program fosters healthy growth, academic enrichment and kindergarten readiness. The Youth Services Program provide STEM education and career mentoring for young children and teens to succeed in the classroom, workplace and the community.
  • 356 children and youth prepared for brighter and successful futures.
  • Economic Empowerment Training and Education, job coaching, professional guidance and workforce development help adults acquire skills they need to build confidence, and overcome barriers to find sustainable employment.
  • 2,644 individuals gained skills to overcome barriers to employment and self-sufficiency.
  • Child Care Resource & Referral and the Child Care Assistance Program provide essential child care referrals and consumer education to parents, training opportunities to child care providers toward improved developmental outcomes.
  • 3,315 child care professionals are trained to provide the highest quality of care and to support the needs of working families in Lake County.
  • 40,000 families were served and have gained access to child care financial support.
  • The Racial Justice Initiative supports equity, diversity and inclusion in all communities where everyone is valued and respected.

Embedded in YWCA Lake County’s four core programs, this initiative engages community members to participate in constructive dialogues and meaningful action to improve race relations and to find ways to promote racial justice.