Manager of Business Development in Homer Glen, IL.
Several years ago, Chuck Wenzel stumbled upon an intriguing article in his local newspaper about one of Homer Glen, IL’s hometown heroes — Robert Carr. The article included a review of Robert’s book, Through the Fires, which Chuck promptly obtained with the intention of reading “the first 20 pages or so.” However, he found the book so compelling he read it cover to cover and mailed Robert a letter expressing interest in working for him at Heartland.
A few days later, Robert personally reached back out to Chuck and invited him to Saint Francis University in Joliet, Il, where he would be presenting a $1 million-dollar check on behalf of Give Something Back.
“There were probably 50 students and school administrators who wanted to talk to Robert after his speech,” said Chuck, who stood last in line to make an in-person introduction. “Robert got back to me within 24 hours of that introduction and I truly could not believe that a CEO with a staff of 4,800 was that attentive to potential employees.”
Chuck, a former mortgage loan officer and newly hired Heartlander would later learn this was just what Robert did.
“He would text me solutions to all kinds of questions at midnight or 5 am. When I heard he was that accommodating, for years, while building a team of nearly 5,000 employees, I was pretty sure he was a benevolent vampire.”
After hearing Robert’s inspiring speech at Saint Francis, Chuck was pretty sure he wanted to be part of the Give Back organization too, and soon enough was recruited by Give Back’s Lockport team to mentor two high school students.
“I am very proud of those two kids, and impressed in seeing how they have hurdled obstacles,” he said.
At Give Back’s most recent student dinner in May, Chuck was recognized as an outstanding mentor.
“Chuck is attentive to the two young men he mentors and works hard at keeping in touch with them,” noted Kevin O’Donnell, Senior Director of Student Mentor Services. “One other thing we really appreciate about Chuck is that he drops by the Lockport office often and checks in. Now, he’s also in the area peddling Beyond to the other businesses in our office complex here, but it is great to have that connection with one of our mentors!”
Chuck said the partnership between Beyond and Give Back has certainly made closing the deal all the more meaningful.
“Clients, specifically those who have the Illinois Give Back office in their backyards, really love the idea that we are pursuing such a noble cause,” he said.
However, Chuck cautions it is imperative merchants in the Chicago market realize they are getting transparency and fair pricing from the outset with Beyond. “Give Back is something we can better address with detail after earning a client’s trust.”
And once they earn our trust and learn they can help promising young people in their communities go to college, how could they say no?