Meet Malibu East director Carl Chadek

Posted on Fri, 05/01/2015 - 12:30pm

By Lori Ziesmer

Carl ChadekI have a lot of respect for the 12 people volunteering their time currently serving on the Malibu East Board of Directors. It takes a lot of time, talent, commitment and vision to be a successful Board member. I had been hearing about Carl Chadek, and the great work he has done as a member of our Board, for many months. I was excited to finally meet Carl and interview him for the Dialogue.

Carl welcomed me into his home with a huge smile. I could not help but notice right away the beautiful piano and the Lyon & Healy Style 23 Concert Grand harp both sitting in his living room. When I asked about his interest in music, Carl told me that he started playing the organ around age 8 in Milwaukee, where he was born and raised. He also plays piano and flute.

Carl has been a full-time musician for 35 years. For the past 12 years he has been the director of music at St. Hilary Parish on the North Side. However, music is his second career. Carl first made his living in the computer science industry but knew this was not to be his lifelong work.

As an adult Carl went back to school to study music and has a degree in fine art/voice (he is a baritone) and piano from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He spent many years making his living traveling as a singer, performing at the Madison (Wis.) Civic Opera and the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee, and once sang in the ensemble at the Chicago Lyric Opera. When I made a comment that he was using all of his brain between his two careers, Carl responded that music and math are related by analytics.

Carl first became involved in condominium boards when he lived in Milwaukee, where he served on the board of his condo association. He has lived in Chicago since 2001. This is his fourth address since relocating to Chicago. From his balcony he can see the other three buildings he previously lived in. When it was time to purchase his current home, Carl knew he wanted to live on a high floor in a well-maintained building and decided on Malibu East.

One of the reasons Carl wanted to get involved with our Board was to help foster change. The first time Carl ran for the Malibu East board, he was not elected. After the election he started going to the open portion of the Board meetings, and he met and developed a rapport with more residents. Carl decided to run again and was elected. He is now almost halfway through his second term, which ends in September 2016.

Being an analytical thinker from his computer science and music training, Carl was a logical choice to become part of the Architecture, Aesthetics, Building Maintenance & Services Committee during his first term. He sits on this committee with five others. When Maria Damp resigned from the Board and moved away, he became the chair of the committee, a position he has held since 2014. Carl is passionate about not only maintaining the building, but improving our overall living conditions at Malibu East. He gets excited when he talks about what has been accomplished and his hopes and vision for the future.

The Laundry Room project was very ambitious and became much more involved than expected once the flooring came up and the Board realized the plumbing needed to be replaced. Carl’s committee produced a survey to understand what our building residents thought were important features for the Laundry Room, and committee members visited several other buildings to see firsthand what the finished product might look like. While the overall project took longer to complete than originally planned, we now have a high-end product that should last 20-plus years.

Carl wrote extensively about the upcoming elevator project for the March 2015 issue of the Dialogue. After reading his article, we can all be confident that much research, thought and consideration went into selecting the vendor and the upcoming process for replacing each elevator once the project begins. The hope is to minimize the inconvenience for residents by doing some prep work on each elevator a few days a week before a car is taken totally out of service for the projected eight to 10 weeks per upgrade.

We will need a temporary set of rules for using the elevators once the renovation begins. When the service elevator is shut down for its upgrade, we will have to consider how best to accommodate dogs in the passenger elevators, move-ins and move-outs, as well as laundry baskets going to the Laundry Room. Carl and his committee are already thinking about all of these points.

I asked Carl about his vision for the future. He loves our building and wants any future planned upgrades to be in keeping with the style and aesthetics of the original design. Below are some of his ideas for possible improvements when I asked him about different areas of the building.

  • Façade: Currently the building tuck-points two tiers a year. His hope is this project can be sped up and we can get the remainder of the building done within five years.

  • Lobby: A design that would be timeless. Any upgrades would take into consideration the doorman’s station being moved to provide a better view into the atrium for better security, and the possible relocation of the mailboxes and the sitting area.

  • Residential floor hallways: His vision would include the replacement of the carpet, hallway baseboards and wall paint.

  • Fourth floor: Carl would like the floor to be thought of as one project and not broken up into many smaller projects for the Windjammer Room, Community Room and exercise areas. When viewed as one total project, walls could be moved to size these amenities correctly for the best use of each space.

  • Fourth-floor sundeck: The wind-breaking plexiglass screens outside the pool area are rusting and should be replaced. This area should be approached as a resort, which holds many possibilities.

  • Captain’s Walk: Replace the carpet and ceiling.

I asked Carl if he had any hobbies. He likes to cook and helped with the renovations of his kitchen by installing the steel backsplash board himself. He enjoys travel and told me about a book signing he attended for a book about Dorothy Parker at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Then there are the harp lessons he started taking after he purchased his magnificent Lyon & Healy instrument.

Carl Chadek is a busy man, but he finds time to do the things he enjoys and that are important to him. Lucky for all of us, one of those passions led to his current service on the Malibu East Board of Directors.