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Bradley Hilltopics

Spring 2010 • Volume 16, Issue 2  

Alumni Profiles

MICHAEL HANSEN ’83: Trigonometry? There’s an app for that! | NATALIE BARTUSEK BONETTI ’94: Bronze Star for Major Bonetti | DEAN BATOGOWSKI ’97: Recipe for success | After Hours barbershop quartet | JIM KELCH ’80: On air in Cincinnati | SUSAN FINN CARTER ’95: Top teacher | ANDREW NELCH ’05: Green engineer


Recipe for success

By Greb Forbes Siegman


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DEAN BATOGOWSKI ’97Every autumn at Bradley, DEAN BATOGOWSKI ’97 enjoyed a schedule familiar to millions of students. During the week, he attended class and studied. On weekends, he ate food and watched football. Thirteen years later, the enterprising alum has combined what he learned and what he loved into two budding businesses.

“One business revolves around sauce,” said Batogowski. “In college, I made honey mustard sauce for my buddies to put on sandwiches and french fries while we watched games. I didn’t know how to cook anything else, but everybody agreed the sauce was special.”

After graduation, the marketing major entered corporate America — but the temptation of starting a business to produce his celebrated sauce lingered.

In 2005, galvanized by his father’s passing, Batogowski took the leap and launched Dean’s World Famous (DWF). The 36-year-old native of suburban Chicago said, “Dad’s best days were when he went into business on his own. I wanted to do the same thing.”

The ties between Dean’s World Famous and Bradley do not end with the inspiration for Batogowski’s initial sauce. It was BILL MAHERAS ’98, owner of Olivia’s Market in Chicago, who first put the fledgling company’s product on his shelves. Batogowski’s sauces — DWF has since expanded with additional flavors created by friends or family members — are now in nearly two dozen stores and are available online.

“In a business class taught by Professor LARRY WEINZIMMER ’83 MBA ’85, we had to launch a profitable business using a team approach,” said Batogowski. “That’s when you learn nobody does it completely on their own.”

That team mentality guides Batogowski’s other business, too. JHB Sports in Chicago offers a team-based fantasy sports concept for football fanatics. Batogowski acknowledges the immense popularity of traditional player-based fantasy football, but he believes his service can fulfill an overlooked niche in the market.

He explains, “The zero-maintenance, team-based model is less time consuming and allows you to root for full NFL teams. It’s perfect for a social network, fans who have limited time, or ones who just don’t want to pull for specific players.”

Despite Bradley’s pronounced influence on Batogowski’s career, the school’s most lasting impact involves his personal life. During his junior year, he met TONIA LEOFANTI ’97. They are now married and have two children.

Batogowski jokes, “I make sauce, watch football, and spend time with Tonia. There are days when I feel like I’m still an undergrad in Peoria.”


Greg Forbes Siegman is co-author of The First Thirty and The Silhouette Man.