Caryn Lazar Amster
"Writing this book, I discovered
how our store benefited from good economic times in the '40s
and '50s and was at the center of sociological change as it came
to the inner city in the '60s. I started writing this book
about our toy store to tell my parents' story. I discovered
it was also a way for hundreds of customers to say, 'Thank
You, Mr. and Mrs. Wee Folks". Caryn
Caryn Lazar Amster, a Chicago
marketing specialist, grew up working side by side with her
parents in their Wee Folks toy store. "The Pied
Piper of South Shore, Toys and Tragedy in Chicago"
is her first book.
She is the elder daughter of a successful retailer with 15 years
experience in her family's business, Wee Folks. For the past
16 years she has been owner and CEO of a marketing planning,
and consulting firm.
She has over 25 years experience in management, marketing,
public relations, advertising and fund raising. She has 15
years of real estate experience in commercial property management,
marketing, public relations and advertising. Her shopping
center experience includes Manager, Marketing Director,
Corporate Marketing/Public Relations Director for strip
and enclosed shopping centers and mixed-use developments throughout
Illinois. She earned the Certified Marketing Director (CMD)
designation from the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Her fund raising experience includes Vice President &
Fund Raising Chairman for a national woman's organization,
Chicago Region National Foundation March of Dimes volunteer
chairman, Director of Development and Public Relations for
a rehabilitation center where she wrote corporate and foundation
She has also served as an Account Executive for a business-to-business
marketing agency, and a syndicated newspaper columnist/feature
writer. Caryn is a professional speaker, trainer and author of
nationally published articles. She has been Marketing Specialist
for a major Chicago hospital with full marketing and public
relations responsibility for the hospital's first satellite
facility. She has also conducted medical research in pediatric and
renal physiology research at three Chicago area hospitals.
Caryn is a 1996 Graduate of the Northwest Leadership Academy.
She is a past board member and Executive Board Vice-Chairman
for Greater Woodfield Convention and Visitor's Bureau where
she earned the Red Lantern Award in two consecutive years
for her outstanding contributions to area tourism.
She is President of CMA Marketing Group, Inc., and its divisions,
CMA Publishing and Custom Marketing Associates. Caryn lectures
and trains on many aspects of marketing for businesses and
As one of her company's major accomplishments,
Caryn assisted in the conception, marketing and production with
the Walt Disney Company of the grand opening of One Schaumburg
Place, a 100,000 square foot regional shopping center, attended
by over 100,000 people
Caryn Lazar Amster is a charter member and board member of the
Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce and a charter member of
the Schaumburg Business Association. She has served on the
Business Advisory Board for the Schaumburg Township District
The Business Ledger Newspaper awarded her the Excellence in
Business Award in the Small Business Category. Talking To The
Boss Newspaper honored her with the Top 100 Small Businesses
She attended Southeast Junior College and Northwestern University.
artist and illustrator
Mitchell A. Markovitz was born to Robert and
Jacqueline Markovitz on October 1st, 1950. He was raised on
the South Side of Chicago and graduated from Bowen High School
in June of 1968. South Shore has been a major part of his
life, from the South Shore neighborhood, South Shore Day Camp,
South Shore Temple, and finally, The South Shore Line.
Markovitz is a professional commercial illustrator and fine
artist based in rural Knox, Indiana. Mitch has recently unveiled
his "Starke Beauty" poster campaign promoting Starke
County in cooperation with the Starke County, Indiana Tourism
In 1996, he was engaged by the Northwest Indiana Forum to
be the Founding Artist and Art Director for the renowned "Just
Around the Corner" series of posters focusing on life
in Northwest Indiana. In connection with this project, Markovitz
illustrated and co-authored the book Moonlight in Duneland,
an anthology of the advertising art of the Chicago South Shore
and South Bend Railroad.
He served as the advertising director and chief illustrator
for the South Shore Railroad from 1984 to 2001. In 1990, Markovitz
was the first fine artist to exhibit at the New York City
Transit Museum with his "Subway Series." The series
is a collection of over a dozen works centered on the New
York City Subway and its environs.
Markovitz studied art at the American Academy of Art, Chicago,
and the Chicago Academy of Fine Art, with additional studies
at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Throughout his artistic life, Mitch has combined his art
career with his deep passion for railroading. After art school,
he worked for several Chicagoland railroads. He went downtown
to his father's studio on his layovers to do artwork. "They
paid me to commute," he said recently. His last stint
in railroading came when he fulfilled his lifelong dream of
being an engineer on the South Shore Line in Indiana.
Markowitz's works are featured in the corporate collections
of Walt Disney, Nsource, Inc, Lake Erie Land Company, Businessman's
Insurance Corporation, BP, Atlantic City Convention and Visitors
Authority, Valparaiso University. Markovitz is a Director
of Community Development of the Indiana Society of Chicago.
Special thanks from Caryn
This book was the inspiration for writing my book.
In the early 1950s, a photographer named Hugh Celander opened a small studio on 79th Street in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood. For the next twenty years he documented the people, places and events of the area. Today, more than 200 of these photos have been collected in a book, Chicago's South Shore by Charles Celander. Some of the oldest photos date from before 1900, some are from the 1950s and 60s, and others were taken in 1999. Altogether, a century of South Shore is represented.
"Midnight Flight: A story of white flight in Chicago"
South Shore News Spot
Poster and special editions
Full color lithographed posters (24 x 33) of the book
cover painted by Mitch Markovitz.
$29.95 plus $7.50 shipping
Giclee special limited (150) editions (20"x30") of the
79th Street scene without the book text - signed, numbered, certificate
Giclees at $450 plus shipping to be discussed with artist at time of purchase
ORIGINAL painting of the book cover (oil on canvas), 50"x33",
with book title lettering - $10,000.
Email Mitch Markovitz
Personally autographed books, posters and prints make great gifts!