Food Bank’s Fundraiser Unifies Northern Illinois


Northern Illinois Food Bank

Willowbrook, Illinois, resident Eric A. Baumbach has displayed a commitment to his neighbors in a variety of settings during his collegiate career. In the professional context, Eric Baumbach served as a life guard at the Five Seasons in Burr Ridge, Illinois, where he taught young children how to swim and dive. He has also spent time providing food for people in need within his community through organizations like the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

As a member of Feeding America, the Northern Illinois Food Bank serves more than 71,500 people per week across 13 counties in Illinois. The organization tries to bring communities together through various innovative events. For example, the Northern Illinois Food Bank recently hosted A Taste that Matters for the sixth consecutive year. The event sold more than 1,000 tickets which raised enough funds for the Food Bank to serve roughly 3.4 million dollars worth of groceries to members of the region who experience hunger.


The Basics of Stir-Fry Cooking

Stir-Fry Cooking pic

Stir-Fry Cooking

A longtime resident of Greater Willowbrook and Burr Ridge, Illinois, Eric Baumbach graduated from Hinsdale South High School in 2013. He left the Willowbrook area in 2013 to study accounting and finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of the academic arena, Eric Baumbach is an avid cook who particularly enjoys making stir-fry dishes.

A successful stir-fry begins with a quality cast-iron or carbon-steel wok that is designed to distribute heat evenly. However, cooks who don’t own a wok can substitute a large and deep non-stick skillet.

Making sure to clean, slice, season, and marinate all ingredients ahead of time, cooks must preheat the wok or skillet at a high temperature before adding oil. Due to the high temperature of stir-fry cooking, oils with higher smoke points work best.

Adding ingredients in the proper order for ideal cooking time is perhaps the most important element of the stir-fry process. Cooks should add meat first to seal in its juices and maximize its tenderness. After subsequently adding onions, cooks should proceed to throw in other produce according to hardness, ending with soft vegetables, such as snow peas and bean sprouts. Sauces and pre-cooked noodles come last.

Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity

Alpha Phi Omega pic

Alpha Phi Omega

Now nearing completion of his studies in accounting and finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Willowbrook resident Eric Baumbach has served the public in several positions in Burr Ridge and Willowbrook. Eric Baumbach has also contributed data analysis and tutoring for his brothers at the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) service fraternity.

Incorporating many ideals of the Boy Scout movement, APO follows a twin mission of creating a service ethic and working toward peace. It also provides its members with resources for developing leadership skills they can take into the society at large.

One fraternal activity is APO LEADS. This program is built around its acronym of Launch, Explore, Achieve, Discover, and Serve, activities which describe components of good leadership. APO members and non-members alike may attend the event with the goal of becoming better leaders on campus or in business.

Enhancement of individual chapters is the goal of APO’s Membership Academy and Membership University. Both events deal with challenges of recruitment, planning, and improving situations with non-productive members.

Finally, the National Volunteer Conference offers assistance to APO alumni looking for increased involvement with the fraternity as a whole. Held in July 2017 in Dallas, the gathering will focus on sectional chair training, preparing for LEADS workshops, advising students, and networking.

Alpha Phi Omega’s Membership Academy


Alpha Phi Omega pic

Alpha Phi Omega

A student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Eric Baumbach of Willowbrook, Illinois, is pursuing a degree in accountancy and finance. Throughout high school and college he has worked in a variety of roles in the greater Willowbrook area, including a lifeguard position at the Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge. Also involved in community service, Eric Baumbach serves as data analysis chair for the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, which holds several Membership Academies throughout the year.

Alpha Phi Omega’s Membership Academy is a weekend course that helps chapters that have fewer than 75 members and are facing challenges with recruiting and retaining members. The Membership Academy helps participants assess and revise their membership programs through a five-step model that teaches participants how to increase and maintain interest in their fraternity.

Participants in the Academy enjoy the opportunity to collaborate not only with fellow chapter members, but also with fraternity members from across the country. Together, fraternity members participate in breakout sessions that promote critical thinking and build motivation.

The next Alpha Phi Omega Membership Academy will take place from June 2 through 4 in Philadelphia.

What Does an Accountant Do?


Accountant pic


The National Society of Collegiate Scholars recently accepted Eric Baumbach of Willowbrook, Illinois, into its membership. He has served as the data analyst chair of service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Among his various academic and career pursuits, Willowbrook’s Eric Baumbach has shown a special interest in accounting.

Public accountants perform many important financial services to individuals and companies. Perhaps the most important aspect of public accounting is auditing. In any given year, much of an accounting firm’s resources are typically devoted to performing audits of financial statements for private companies. These can provide up to half of the firm’s revenue.

Some accountants specialize in preparing income taxes for individuals and businesses. This route offers substantial job security, as accountants are often called upon to help navigate the ever-changing laws that govern taxation.

Public accountants offer a variety of day-to-day accounting services for clients as well. These can include maintenance of accounting records, reconciliation of bank statements, payroll, quarterly tax filings, and other services that may be too burdensome for businesses with limited staffing.

Data Analysis Skills Are in High Demand

Eric Baumbach, Willowbrook pic

Eric Baumbach, Willowbrook

Eric Baumbach of Willowbrook, Illinois, previously served a lifeguard in the nearby community of Burr Ridge. Currently, he is the data analyst chair of service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this capacity, Eric Baumbach of Willowbrook is responsible for conducting research on the fraternity and analyzing that research to determine any useful findings.

Data analysis is becoming a lost art. According to an article in the Journal of Accountancy, the skill is diminishing especially within finance teams. The article references a recent survey report conducted by Robert Half and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) that shows that only 46 percent of managers who regarded the ability to identify data trends as an essential skill for success said their teams had such skills.

By enhancing their data analysis abilities, finance professionals can improve their job prospects. Similarly, companies can increase their chances of hiring talented staff by adding data analysis skills training to their recruitment packages.

The Balance Sheet – A Snapshot of Quality

Accounting methods and analysis may provide many clues to the quality of a company. Having liquidity and being able to meet short and long term obligations is essential for any business. Lenders or investors should know that having enough working capital is essential for the success of any business.  Formulas may be used to determine a quick analysis.

For a company to meet short term obligations one might want to use the Quick Ratio:

Current Assets – inventories / Liabilities = Quick Ratio

The Current ratio helps analyze the ability of a company to cover short term obligations.  A current ratio of 2.0 or higher is generally considered attractive.

Current Assets / Current Liabilities = Current ratio

The Debt to Equity Ratio reveals the dependence on debt for the operation of the company.  Generally, the lower the number the less dependence the business has on debt for their operations.

Total Liabilities + Shareholder Equity = Debt to Equity Ratio

The cash conversion cycle (CCC) is useful to measure to view the company inventory and how it applies to production and sales and applies it to operations and terms from creditors.  A shorter work cycle indicates a better position of working capital.

Days Sayles outstanding + Days Payable Outstanding + Days Inventory Outstanding

= The Cash Conversion Cycle.

 A full understanding of the industry along with the individual business will make this analysis more useful. Using a combination of ratios may help a more complete understanding of the balance sheet and helps lenders and investors understand their risk.

A resident of Willowbrook, Illinois, Eric Baumbach is currently studying for a dual bachelor’s degree in accountancy and finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a member of the university chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, served as past director of finance and as a member of several committees. He also serves as a volunteer consultant for entreCORPS, an organization dedicated to developing and offering the best solutions to startups, municipalities and businesses.