Walk into a conference room at American Litho in Carol Stream, Illinois and you’re just as likely to hear a breakdown of last night’s Hawks game as a discussion of what’s on the presses today.
Several of the company’s executives and sales staff played competitive hockey in their younger days and now spend hours at local rinks coaching and cheering on the next generation.
ALitho President Mike Fontana, who played for Addison Trail High School and went on to play in college, now coaches his son, Michael, who plays for the Chicago Blues U-18 youth squad. The Blues recently blew away the rival St. Charles Cyclones at the Fox Valley Invitational Tournament, Fontana reports.
Fontana’s colleague and company co-founder Chris Joyaux laced on his first pair of skates at age 5.
A youth hockey standout, Joyaux skated for Lake Park High School in Roselle. He now coaches the U-12 Chicago Bruins – that is, when he and his wife, Juanita, aren’t watching their three sons play in college and USHL games.
Christopher Joyaux, the oldest, skates for the RedHawks of Miami University (Ohio). His brother, Matt, is currently with the USHL Omaha Lancers and has just committed to play as a junior for Colorado College next year. The youngest, Michael, a student at Lake Park High School, plays for the USHL Chicago Steel.
Two years ago, Matt joined the British Columbia Hockey League team in Powell River, B.C. The Powell River Kings are sponsored by Catalyst Paper, a local business.
When Chris and Juanita visited Powell River, they fell in love with the area. Chris toured the Catalyst mill and discovered that the company made quality paper stocks ALitho customers might favor for their commercial printing projects. Since then, ALitho has purchased more than $400,000 in stock from Catalyst.
Another ALitho hockey dad is Sam Dentino of Bloomingdale, whose sons have both skated in youth leagues.
“It feels like I’ve spent most of my life at the rink,” Dentino says with a laugh. He began skating at age 5 in Burr Ridge, going on to play in youth rat and men’s hockey leagues from his teens into his 30s.
His youngest son, Joey, 14, attends Westfield Middle School and plays goalie for the Chicago Bruins youth team.
“Joey works hard and I’m really proud of him because as you move up, it takes more and more energy to balance school and athletics. But he’s proving he can handle it all and play like a champion.”
Joey’s older brother, Sammy, who played until age 14, attends Lake Park High School. “He is totally focused on his academics now, with the goal of attending a top-ranked university,” says Dentino.
ALitho’s love of hockey will play into the company’s community outreach campaign for 2015, says Mike Fontana.
“We recently announced our goal to raise at least $20,000 for the American Cancer Society this year,” he says, “and one of our ideas is to host a skating party right at the start of the youth hockey season in August. We hope to invite other businesses from the St. Charles, Bloomingdale and Carol Stream area to join us.”
American Litho is one of the area’s fastest-growing employers, with a staff of over 300 at its Carol Stream, Illinois plant and a sales-service team supporting customers in the Detroit area. The company provides a full range of commercial printing, direct marketing, warehousing, postal logistics, data management and digital marketing services for major brands across the U.S.