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Naperville Web Firm Designs Florida Island

Daily Herald I Posted: 7/22/2014 Vision Friendly Island

Naperville, IL -- VisionFriendly.Com has designed its own island, in Florida no less. Most likely this feat gives the Naperville, IL web design and development firm a worldwide first.

VisionFriendly.Com CEO Rob Wenz believes in doing things with flair. So when a Palm Bay, FL community Lakes at Waterstone wanted to construct an island in one of its lakes, Wenz's company created a splash, so to speak, by taking on the challenge of not only designing it, but also donating funds for its creation.

"Like our company's website designs, VisionFriendly Island is engaging, vision friendly and, most of all, easy to navigate – there are bridges on each end," said Wenz. To view a video of the island and its construction, visit The Lakes at Waterstone.

With their land/water adventure behind them, the VisionFriendly.Com team is already on to another lofty idea – treating customers to indoor skydiving.

Read the original article here

From the Top:

NapervilleSun I Posted: 8/10/2014 Rob Wenz

Rob Wenz is known for his listening skills. His company relies on them to create customers for life.

The Naperville business owner launched the Internet tech company during Christmas week of 1998. He moved it from Route 47 to the I-88 corridor in Naperville two years ago in June where, he says “all the action is.”

“We were located on the Route 47 highway, and it was difficult to find people and get larger customers, but now that we’re in Naperville, we’ve attracted quality employees and raised the level of businesses we deal with,” he said.

Gloria Stewart, CEO and president of Halogen Lighting Products in Kaneville, Illinois, has been a customer of Wenz’s for more than 15 years and said she “couldn’t speak more highly” about him.

“We deal with a lot of marketing people, and the thing about Rob and his company is that they listen carefully to the customer and understand the goals of the website people need,” Stewart said. “Rob’s company follows their value statement and gives you exactly that. A lot of other companies half listen and given you something foreign and don’t follow your thoughts.”

Stewart said she started with Wenz and his company at its inception and that it continues to offer “talented help that never says it can’t help you out.”

Ron Vogel, owner of the EDM Network Co. in Sugar Grove, echoes Stewart’s sentiments, and said his company has worked with Wenz “since he was renting space in a school house when the Internet was just starting.”

“The fact we’ve been with him for at least 15 years is a testament to his work, and they do beautiful web designs,” Vogel said. “We get about 80 percent of our leads from the web page, which is the cheapest and most effective advertising we do. We’re fortunate to have been with Rob along the way. The company doesn’t take advantage of people and, in my opinion, you get your money’s worth.

Wenz, 68, grew up in Minnesota and went to college at the University of Minnesota. He married and wound up living in New Hampshire for 21 years before moving back to Illinois. He said he worked for one of the country’s largest accounting firms, KPMG, and tried to convince management about the benefits of the Internet when it first launched.

“I tried to persuade them about using the Internet and to move in that direction, but they didn’t feel it was the time to do it,” Wenz said. “I wound up opening an Internet company in Elburn and doing it myself.”

Among VisionFriendly’s 800 active clients are both Aurora East and West high schools, along with Northwestern University, an account Wenz said he is proud to have.

“We also have developed 2,000 websites and manage 6,000 email accounts,” he said. “We’re constantly busy here, and I’m always looking for more people to take on some of the load.”

Like many others in their 60s, Wenz admits he was late to the party when it comes to computers and being Internet savvy, but his passion for it from the very beginning made him a quick study.

“I fell in love with it from the beginning, and when my kids were in sports, there was not a good way to connect with the teams so I started putting things on the web, and my love for it carried right on when my kids went to college,” he said.

Read the original article here

D131 Community Relations Dept. Wins Top Awards Thanks to VisionFriendly Studios

INSPRA I Posted: 09/23/11 D131 Community Relations Dept. Wins

(Aurora 2011) – The East Aurora Community Relations Department was honored with two awards of distinction at the annual Communications Awards Luncheon sponsored by the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) on Friday, September 23 in Oakbrook, IL.

INSPRA sponsors the only awards program in Illinois specifically honoring high quality school communications that promote the mission and message of the school district. Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit are presented to exemplary publications and other media communication.

District 131 received the Award of Excellence for the D131 In-Review Video that details the highlights of the 2010-2011 school year, and the Award of Merit for the Making Choices for Excellence brochure that features significant achievements throughout the school district.

Referencing the video, one judge stated, “This [video] is a beautiful piece. It is very well thought out and creative. It punctuates the message that this district is all about its students.”

Another judge simply stated, “What’s not to like?”

Each entry is judged by a panel of expert communications professionals from throughout the country who are veterans in their fields.

“We are very proud to know that our district is being recognized as one of the leaders in the field of community relations by the very people who set the standard for effective community relations,” said Clayton Muhammad, Director of Community Relations, who has also received two Distinguished Service Awards from INSPRA in the last five years.

The mission of the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association is to strengthen support for Illinois public schools and to improve education for students through responsible public relations.

The Ten Most Dependable Web Designers of the Central U.S.

Goldline Research I Posted: May, 2008 Goldline Research 2008 Selections

Island Designer

Balta Design: Island Owner

1998 Elburn resident Rob Wenz founded, a web design, development and marketing company. Then two years ago, he acquired Balta Design of St. Charles as a subsidiary, giving the combined company a strong presence in the Tri-Cities/Elgin area.

Balta Design had been known for its graphic designs and attractive websites. But when it merged with, the St. Charles company was able to expand the scope of its services, including improved customer support and a full Internet product line.

Today, Balta Design is a full-service web company, specializing in design, development, search engine optimization, e-commerce, web promotion, social media, video, and mobile solutions. It serves customers whose businesses tend to be between the bigger companies that cost more and smaller companies that can’t handle the various skills needed in today’s world of technology and the Internet.

Referencing the video, one judge stated, “This [video] is a beautiful piece. It is very well thought out and creative. It punctuates the message that this district is all about its students.”

Over the years, and Balta Design have developed 2,000 websites and manage over 6,000 email accounts. But more importantly, 15 years later it is still serving its first three customers. That is proof that Balta Design and are living up to their value statement: “Create customers for life by developing high value internet- driven solutions that enhance their business or organization.”

While the Wenz’s company is known for its eye-catching websites, VisionFriendly. com was in the news recently for taking on a rather unusual design challenge. Last year, designed its own island, in Florida no less, most likely a worldwide first for a web design and development firm.

“Like our company’s website designs, VisionFriendly Island is engaging, vision friendly and, most of all, easy to navigate, "there are bridges on each end,” said Wenz.

To view a video of the island and its construction,

Balta Design is located at 100 Illinois St. in St. Charles. For more info, contact Balta at (630) 492-0147 or

Award Winning Web Design - Rob Wenz

Rob Wenz, the web designer for the Kaneland athletic website located at, has earned three awards for his volunteer work on the site.

“I love the kids in the area, I love the sports and the technology. This has evolved into something really neat,” Wenz said of the site that takes about 20-30 hours per week to maintain.

The site was recently named by the Chicago Sun Times as the best high school website in Illinois.

“It was done during the football playoffs, and the way I found out was that somebody read about it in the paper and then told me about it,” Wenz explained.

The site also earned an award from Destination Illinois, who named the site as one of its “Sites of the Week” during the football playoffs.

“What happened with that one was somebody from Chester wrote me an e-mail congratulating me. I did not even know about until he told me,” Wenz said.

The third award Wenz earned was from, where people vote for their favorite site in the Fox Valley area. The Knights site was rated as one of the top 10 in the Valley.

“I’m real proud of it, I’m glad people appreciate the effort that has been put into this,” Wenz said. “The awards are nice, but what really makes me feel good is when the people in the community say ‘I just came by to say I really appreciate what you’ve done.’ That means a lot.”

Wenz has continued to work hard to keep on the cutting edge of technology’s website capabilities as he works on the site. After last week’s girls’ basketball conference championship, he combined a video clip of the post-game celebration with the game story.

“It’s a couple minutes of video, you can read the story and then click a button and see actual action. It’s pretty exciting stuff, and it’s just the beginning of the future of how people will get information,” Wenz explained. “We’ve had audio clips and a lot of pictures in the past, but this is the first attempt at video.”

The site came about three years ago when Wenz and Kaneland Athletic Director Jill Holmes sat down and discussed how nice it would be to create a site for Kaneland sports.

“I agreed to work on it and see how it worked out. At first, we just put up schedules and scores, and one day I walked in and said ‘Hey, we had 10 people visit.’ So, then we were pretty excited, and it has grown tremendously since then,” Wenz explained.

It has grown so much that Wenz said he thinks the site is getting close to having its one millionth “hit” or visitor. During this past November and December alone, the site recorded over 16,000 hits.

However, Wenz now says the increased attention has created a little bit of pressure.

“We had a game starting at 5:30, and it has been changed to 7 p.m., and we didn’t have it updated. I kind of feel like people look at this and rely on it, and it’s a concern that I’m not able to keep all of the sports updated. I’m concerned of that aspect. I hope that at some point, I’ll get more support on the site, because it needs more hours now to continue to grow and maintain what has already been established,” Wenz said.

Wenz, a full-time web designer, said that the site has grown to a point where it takes more time to maintain than what he is able to spend. All the work, he said, is done on a volunteer basis.

Even the space for the site is donated. Dan Graupman, owner of Electro Link, Inc. provides the space through elnet.

“I have asked for help or sponsors, who have, through the years, supplied information that helps update the site. This year, we had no coverage for wrestling, because nobody stepped up to help and I didn’t have the time,” Wenz said.

He gets much of his information from his attendance at the games, and also relies on the coaches. In the past, he has also relied on some of the athletes’’ moms to supply information. Despite the help he has received from various sources, Wenz said that he is not sure how much longer he will be able to maintain the site at its current level of involvement.

“I don’t know what the fate of the site is if more people don’t step up and support it. I have on son graduating this year and my daughter will graduate in a couple of years, and at that point will my interest dwindle? I don’t know, but I would say probably,” Wenz said.

His son, Shaun, is a three-sport senior athlete at Kaneland, and his daughter, Shari, is a three-sport sophomore athlete. Wenz’s wife, Sharon, works at the middle school. Between the four of them, Wenz said, “Our family’s life pretty much rotates around Kaneland.”

Our Reviews

Nicole S, Elburn - Chicago, IL
Posted: 07/20/2016

You guys did such a miraculous job with the vision of our website and we’ve always appreciated your speedy customer service.

Tom H, St. Charles - Chicago, IL
Posted: 11/18/2015

Wow! That was fast, you guys are like Jimmy Johns.

Christopher V. - Chicago, IL
Posted: 05/26/2015

Working with you both has been a huge help to my career. The CCTASP website helped me bring a lot of my ideas to life and demonstrate my value to the department. Honestly, MHJJ was a mess of a project until you came in and turned the website around. Your skills and work ethic are always consistent. I hope to collaborate with both of you in the future and bring in new business/projects as I continue to build my network in the health care industry.

Angela S. - Chicago, IL
Posted: 02/20/2015

Vision Friendly clearly has the ability to customize and meet the needs of a wide range of clients. We have always appreciated how responsive and supportive you have been throughout the years

A. Smith SD129

Vincent R - Highland Park, IL.
Posted: 9/18/2014

The folks at are knowledgeable, highly capable and easy to work with. I have had them design two generations of my website for me and each has outperformed the previous. But they are more than designers of sites. They truly understand marketing in the new age of social media particularly the very rapid changes necessary to keep a site fresh and available. The graphics in my site are eye popping, the design easy to navigate, and the whole presence particularly fun and light. One person who came to me through my site thought that my business was much larger than it really is. This is a tribute to professionalism.

I know that I can contact any of the team, Kristin, Eric or Bobby for fast help to make changes or give highly professional advice. I strongly recommend them.

Vince Racioppo
Center for Expert Performance

Greg M. - Chicago, IL
Posted: 9/01/2014

When I started my businesses I initially created my own web pages. They worked for the initial start-up phase, but we quickly outgrew them. I went to VisionFriendly on the recommendation of a friend, and I could not be happier with the experience. My web pages were created on time and on budget. The designers and staff at VisionFriendly took the time to understand my company, what we needed to accomplish with our page, and what we needed our web site to do. It has been a great experience and I would happily recommend to anybody.

Dorothy T. - Geneva, IL
Posted: 6/16/2014 is the best company we've every worked with on our website (, which we've had since 1996. They can design for any type of company, have very deep technical experts who liaison among themselves to solve any type of web issue, and come up with the type of easy for us to maintain solutions that only real experts can create. They charge fairly and work quickly.

Christie P. - New Lenox, IL
Posted: 9/15/2014

We sought out Vision Friendly as we needed to redesign our website, add features, and improve accessibility for visitors to the site. We initially met with Kristin and Erik and they did an excellent job listening to what our business was all about and the image we wanted to portray. Kristin was our designer and she was thorough, prompt, and creative, developing a site that represented who we are as a company.

Following Kristin, came Bobby. Bobby sat down with us (me and my husband) and walked us through the ins and outs of WordPress so we could effectively make changes to our website and blog.

Not only is our site amazingly professional and represents what we do as a company, but they have provided on-going support since completion of the site. My husband and I are technologically challenged and Bobby and Kristin have responded quickly, patiently, and thoroughly at every turn.

I would highly recommend Vision Friendly to anyone looking to portray a professional image at a reasonable price. If a company wants to get a return on it's investment, Vision Friendly is the right source for any and all website design and support needs.

Eric C. - Glen Ellyn, IL
Posted: 9/12/2014

I started my online business about 16 months ago. What I needed was a group that could put together both the marketing and sales sites and integrate them into my merchant account and fulfillment center.

I approached after doing some online research on local groups with those capabilities. We had a meeting and we discussed what the business needed and when it had to be done. They came back to me with some solid designs and plans to integrate the entire process. They executed our plan, built the site, integrated it with my other service providers and it has worked flawlessly ever since.

Kyle Lisson was and is my designer and Bobby Fisher does the SEO. Both are available when I need them to make whatever changes are needed.Eric Kinsey was my initial contact for the project. If any of these people are not available when I call there is always someone to pick up the ball and complete the task. Yes, I would highly recommend

Eric Coles,
Ph.D. and CEO

Sally J. - Glen Ellyn, IL
Posted: 5/19/2014

I talked with Keith from and he made the phone call pleasant and was very easy to talk to and understand. I didn't know anything about smartphones but Keith made the process very simple.

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