Schneider Colleagues Discuss Business Record
Democratic challenger to Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) turned around a family business.
When Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) ran for the House of Representatives two years ago, he presented his experience as President of his Rose Pest Control as a reason voters should send him to Congress.
Deerfield management consultant Brad Schneider, Dold’s Democratic challenger, is touting his business background as a reason the citizens of the 10th Congressional District should now send him to Washington instead.
Now independent expenditure groups wanting to assure Dold’s reelection and to some degree the North Shore Congressman himself are questioning Schneider’s business success. They base their criticism on Schneider’s refusal to release his federal income tax returns and information found in a disclosure statement he was required to file with the House of Representatives.
Those disclosure statements do show the Schneider family to be multimillionaires with investment income ranging from $200,000 to $550,000 a year.
Though the Schneider has chosen not to release his tax return because he does believes his wife, Julie Dann, is entitled to privacy and does not want to make her earnings public. “She is not running for Congress,” Schneider said. Dann is a managing director at Mesirow Financial.
The Schneider campaign was unwilling to give Patch much specific financial information about the candidate’s business success. It would only say he took over the Davis Dann Insurance Company in 1997 and turned it into a multimillion dollar business by the time he sold his interest in 2003, according to McCabe.
People familiar with Schneider’s work at Davis Dann also speak of his managerial skill. Marv Rotstein, now a senior managing director at Mesirow, tells how his former colleague came into the company knowing little about the life insurance business and made it a success.
“He reorganized the business and made it profitable,” Rotstein said. “He managed half a dozen people and sold a lot of life insurance even though it was new to him.
After Schneider sold his interest in Davis and Dann, he joined the strategic services department of Blackman Kallick returning to his business roots of helping primarily family held businesses transition from one generation to the next or move to a management model which was not completely family based.
“He could really bring people together and pull ideas out of them,” Barry Cain, who recruited Schneider into Blackman Kallick, said. “He had a classic head for business. He really helped grow this area (of the company).”
Working as a team, Cain and Schneider were responsible for bringing between $800,000 and $1 million of revenue into Blackman Kallick annually in the six-year period Schneider worked there.
Like Schneider, Dold was steeped in a family business culture before becoming a member of Congress. He has talks often about running an operation with approximately 100 employees and considers it an integral part of his resume.
“His background as a small businessman speaks to his understanding of what fiscal, tax, and regulatory policies are necessary to help create jobs and expand the economy,” spokesperson John McGovern said.
The Dold campaign was also unwilling to release specific information on earnings or job growth during Dold's time at the helm of the company. As a privately held concern it has no obligation to do so.