Mickey Straub started his career in Washington, D.C. and was elected and re-elected Mayor of Burr Ridge, Illinois

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LOVE OF COUNTRY

Mickey Straub’s love of country and community germinated early while growing up in the patriotic and faith-based state of Pennsylvania. His father and two brothers served in the military and his patriotism was further fueled with his first jobs out of college at the U. S. Department of Interior and as a Special Agent with the U. S. Department of Defense.

Mickey started his career in our Nation’s Capital, then moved Los Angeles where he worked with dozens of former military intelligence officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As a federal investigator in the Reagan Administration, he was responsible for conducting background investigations on military and defense personnel applying for Secret and Top-Secret Clearances.

It was during those early years that his sense of patriotism really soared and what would eventually fuel his commitment to complete the 50 CAPITOLS IN 50 DAYS Trip in honor of Abraham Lincoln and our Veterans.

Nicknamed “Mayor Mickey,” he is a husband, parent, patriot,
God-loving businessman, devout Christian, keynote speaker and author.

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Nicknamed “Mayor Mickey,” he is a husband, parent, patriot, God-loving businessman, devout Christian, keynote speaker and author.

LEARN MORE

LOVE OF COMMUNITY

Mickey’s first foray into community causes was when he spearheaded the campaign to build the playground in 2002 at Gower Elementary School in Darien, Illinois, named in honor of its retiring principal, Emily Robertson. This was also where he coined the phrase “BIG GOALS, Short Deadlines”; the entire project, from conception and fundraising to construction and dedication, took only 49 days.

“I LOVE BURR RIDGE!” That is what Mickey kept hearing and sharing when he ran for Mayor of this Chicago suburb. Motivated by causes and goals, he ran to make a difference for the town that he loved in order to get the “one-of-kind” County Line Road Bridge re-built across I-55. Always a businessman with a penchant for marketing, he felt it would help spur growth for the new Village Center, put Burr Ridge on the map for the 180,000 cars that drive by daily, plus it would literally and figuratively unify the north and sound portions of the village.

Mickey was the underdog winner against an interim mayor with over 20 years of experience but beat the odds by utilizing his activity management skills and the 5 Habits of Success and a great campaign strategy and team. Burr Ridge saw tremendous progress since his terms, from the new Chase Bank, Crowne Plaza, Hampton Inn and five new restaurants plus dozens of new businesses, the annexations of over 100 acres, a village-wide waste hauler and a vibrant downtown. Along the way, the Village passed the milestone of having over 500 businesses and they added two second new senior living facilities (Harvester Place and Burr Ridge Senior Living), etc. To keep residents informed on village news, events and progress, he personally wrote and produced (at his own expense) 288 weekly updates called The FRIDAY WRAP. It was sent via email and posted to the Mayor Mickey website complete with pictures and, in most cases, a video.
Having accomplished and exceeded most of his goals including to open communication with the businesses as well as many ethnic and religious communities, Mickey recently opted to step down 18 months into his second term. He announced his retirement/resignation saying, “Five and a half (5 ½) years doesn’t sound like much, but it’s almost 10% of my life and I’m sorry, but I can no longer afford (or justify) spending 20-30 hours per week as Mayor for an annual stipend of $6000.” Citing economic, spiritual and patriotic reasons (He likes to call it “ESP”!), Mickey added, “I love Burr Ridge, but I need to spend my time building my business and finish writing the book about the 50 Capitols in 50 Days, i.e. The Lincoln Trip, to spread Love for God and Country.” It was no coincidence, that his last official day was November 19th, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

Known as “A Very Special Place”, the Village of Burr Ridge is an upscale, diverse suburb and just 20 miles from Lake Michigan. Blessed with an exceptional location between two international airports and at the intersection of two major interstates, Burr Ridge is financially sound and the home for corporate executives and numerous nationally known companies like, CNH Industrials, Personalization Mall and MARS Ice Cream (where all DOVE, Snickers and Twix ice cream bars are made) as well as many accomplished coaches, doctors and famous athletes, musicians and news reporters who Mayor Mickey can now call friends.

LOVE OF COMMUNITY

Mickey’s first foray into community causes was when he spearheaded the campaign to build the playground in 2002 at Gower Elementary School in Darien, Illinois, named in honor of its retiring principal, Emily Robertson. This was also where he coined the phrase “BIG GOALS, Short Deadlines”; the entire project, from conception and fundraising to construction and dedication, took only 49 days.

“I LOVE BURR RIDGE!” That is what Mickey kept hearing and sharing when he ran for Mayor of this Chicago suburb. Motivated by causes and goals, he ran to make a difference for the town that he loved in order to get the “one-of-kind” County Line Road Bridge re-built across I-55. Always a businessman with a penchant for marketing, he felt it would help spur growth for the new Village Center, put Burr Ridge on the map for the 180,000 cars that drive by daily, plus it would literally and figuratively unify the north and sound portions of the village.

Mickey was the underdog winner against an interim mayor with over 20 years of experience but beat the odds by utilizing his activity management skills and the 5 Habits of Success and a great campaign strategy and team. Burr Ridge saw tremendous progress since his terms, from the new Chase Bank, Crowne Plaza, Hampton Inn and five new restaurants plus dozens of new businesses, the annexations of over 100 acres, a village-wide waste hauler and a vibrant downtown. Along the way, the Village passed the milestone of having over 500 businesses and they added two second new senior living facilities (Harvester Place and Burr Ridge Senior Living), etc. To keep residents informed on village news, events and progress, he personally wrote and produced (at his own expense) 288 weekly updates called The FRIDAY WRAP. It was sent via email and posted to the Mayor Mickey website complete with pictures and, in most cases, a video.
Having accomplished and exceeded most of his goals including to open communication with the businesses as well as many ethnic and religious communities, Mickey recently opted to step down 18 months into his second term. He announced his retirement/resignation saying, “Five and a half (5 ½) years doesn’t sound like much, but it’s almost 10% of my life and I’m sorry, but I can no longer afford (or justify) spending 20-30 hours per week as Mayor for an annual stipend of $6000.” Citing economic, spiritual and patriotic reasons (He likes to call it “ESP”!), Mickey added, “I love Burr Ridge, but I need to spend my time building my business and finish writing the book about the 50 Capitols in 50 Days, i.e. The Lincoln Trip, to spread Love for God and Country.” It was no coincidence, that his last official day was November 19th, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

Known as “A Very Special Place”, the Village of Burr Ridge is an upscale, diverse suburb and just 20 miles from Lake Michigan. Blessed with an exceptional location between two international airports and at the intersection of two major interstates, Burr Ridge is financially sound and the home for corporate executives and numerous nationally known companies like, CNH Industrials, Personalization Mall and MARS Ice Cream (where all DOVE, Snickers and Twix ice cream bars are made) as well as many accomplished coaches, doctors and famous athletes, musicians and news reporters who Mayor Mickey can now call friends.

MY EXPERIENCE IN POLITICS

It was the honor of my life to be elected and re-elected Mayor and I don’t think anything else could have been more fulfilling over that 5 ½ year period! After several years of putting village work before company work, I finally asked myself “Why do I spend so much time being Mayor?” My immediate response was, “Because I enjoy doing two things: building relationships and solving problems.

Being in politics was a lot like parenting: the peaks and valleys were extreme, but thankfully, there is much less of the latter. You can never please everyone and sometimes you have to make tough decisions and administer tough love. The pros and cons abound, and it is not for the faint of heart, someone with a thin skin or one who can’t handle confrontation. In private industry, you have competitors, but in politics, they are called “opponents”. It is a different world and, though I struggled early on, I had to learn quickly. For a more complete list of my lessons, please see the list below.

My biggest eye-opener, though, came when I decided to challenge the twenty (20) year incumbent and Minority Leader Jim Durkin (and the Illinois Republican Party) in the Primary for Illinois State Representative to help save the state. I may not have been new to the political world, but I was naïve to think that friends in the party would not resort to outrageous lies, twisting of facts for personal gain and a smear campaign to retain their power, influence and money. And that they did! (Along the way, I also concluded that Illinois does not have the traditional blue and red political parties, it has TWO SHADES OF BLUE.)

I totally underestimated what it would take to win and was unable to put in the time or effort, but I was proud of our efforts and glad that my experience made the decision to leave politics for now (and disperse remaining funds to conservative and Christian organizations) that much easier. In many ways, I felt like I won by losing and now I get to finish what I started almost twenty-five years ago: Build a unique company that empowers sales professionals with the concept of Activity Management and equip them with world-class tools to build their business.

Mayor Mickey’s Top 10 Lessons…in Politics

  • You need to have a thick enough skin in politics to put up with it.
  • In private industry, you have "Competitors", but in politics, they are called "Opponents".
  • The best candidates don't always run, win or stay.
  • The best legislation doesn't always pass.
  • Your opponents will always attack you, no matter how noble your cause and you can't please everyone.
  • Some people will say and do anything to get what they want.
  • Some people will believe anything.
  • You can’t trust a candidate who relies on smearing their opponent instead of running on their own record.
  • If a lie is repeated often enough, some people assume it is a fact.
  • In politics, what is convincing is too often believed over the truth.

MY EXPERIENCE IN POLITICS

It was the honor of my life to be elected and re-elected Mayor and I don’t think anything else could have been more fulfilling over that 5 ½ year period! After several years of putting village work before company work, I finally asked myself “Why do I spend so much time being Mayor?” My immediate response was, “Because I enjoy doing two things: building relationships and solving problems.

Being in politics was a lot like parenting: the peaks and valleys were extreme, but thankfully, there is much less of the latter. You can never please everyone and sometimes you have to make tough decisions and administer tough love. The pros and cons abound, and it is not for the faint of heart, someone with a thin skin or one who can’t handle confrontation. In private industry, you have competitors, but in politics, they are called “opponents”. It is a different world and, though I struggled early on, I had to learn quickly. For a more complete list of my lessons, please see the list below.

My biggest eye-opener, though, came when I decided to challenge the twenty (20) year incumbent and Minority Leader Jim Durkin (and the Illinois Republican Party) in the Primary for Illinois State Representative to help save the state. I may not have been new to the political world, but I was naïve to think that friends in the party would not resort to outrageous lies, twisting of facts for personal gain and a smear campaign to retain their power, influence and money. And that they did! (Along the way, I also concluded that Illinois does not have the traditional blue and red political parties, it has TWO SHADES OF BLUE.)

I totally underestimated what it would take to win and was unable to put in the time or effort, but I was proud of our efforts and glad that my experience made the decision to leave politics for now (and disperse remaining funds to conservative and Christian organizations) that much easier. In many ways, I felt like I won by losing and now I get to finish what I started almost twenty-five years ago: Build a unique company that empowers sales professionals with the concept of Activity Management and equip them with world-class tools to build their business.

Mayor Mickey’s Top 10 Lessons…in Politics

  • You need to have a thick enough skin in politics to put up with it.
  • In private industry, you have "Competitors", but in politics, they are called "Opponents".
  • The best candidates don't always run, win or stay.
  • The best legislation doesn't always pass.
  • Your opponents will always attack you, no matter how noble your cause and you can't please everyone.
  • Some people will say and do anything to get what they want.
  • Some people will believe anything.
  • You can’t trust a candidate who relies on smearing their opponent instead of running on their own record.
  • If a lie is repeated often enough, some people assume it is a fact.
  • In politics, what is convincing is too often believed over the truth.
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