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Posted Daily Herald, Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Books help kids learn about friendship 

By Kim Mikus

The owner of a consulting firm that often works with executives recently switched her focus a bit when writing her first children’s book.

However, Mary Lou Décosterd said many parallels can be drawn from the basic lessons she tries to teach in her book.

Décosterd recently wrote “Magical Max Makes Friends,” the first book in a series that features the lovable puppy Max. It’s based on her own West Highland Terrier, Max. Designed to teach children about friendship, each book is geared to teach three valuable lessons, Décosterd said.

Décosterd, a developmental psychologist who has worked with children and families for more than 20 years, said she has seen how much children have to go through while growing up. “I wanted to provide something to help ground them,” she said.

The young readers of her books are the leaders of tomorrow, she added. She added that the children’s lessons are so easy to translate into the business world.

In the first book, one of the topic’s the author addresses is appreciating differences. She equates this children’s topic to diversity issues in her consulting firm where she talks to leadership teams about how to leverage diversity and how diverse teams are more effective.

She also addresses finding attitude and patience. “Everyone is so rushed. It’s such a fast-paced world,” she added. She jokes that we have a hard time waiting for the microwave to boil a cup of water for tea.

After spending years consulting for other companies, Décosterd started her own business, The Lead Life Institute, over two years ago in St. Charles.

It’s a research-based learning consultancy offering programs and services to help executives and their teams realize their potential and work through and become their best.

She said 70 percent of her clientele is made up of corporate executives, including many larger manufacturing clients, municipalities and non-profits.

The book is available at several local book stores as well as on the Internet through her Web site at

For more information, call (630) 377-6964.

Pizza pies: Lou Malnati’s recently opened its 24th pizzeria at 1048 Commons Drive in Geneva.

Carry out and delivery service are available at Lou Malnati’s, known for its Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

“After 35 years in business, we are still proud and excited to expand our family owned company,” said Marc Malnati in a news release.

Carry-out hours at the new location are 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.

New officer: Mary O’Brien has been named chief executive officer of Fox Valley Orthopaedic Institute.

The institute, with a staff of 12 orthopaedic surgeons is at 2525 Kaneville Road in Geneva.


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