Saturday, October 27, 2018

Types of Salt Used in Cooking

Robert Heist, a Chicago, Illinois-based attorney with nearly 30 years of experience, is owner and principal of R. Connor and Associates. Aside from his responsibilities as an attorney, Robert Heist has developed an appreciation for the culinary arts.

Experienced chefs agree salt is one of the most important ingredients in every dish. Salt plays a crucial role in heightening flavors, bringing life to a dish, and making food more appetizing.

There are several varieties of salt:

-Common table salt consists of very small, dense crystals that have been enhanced with iodine and anti-caking agents. Serious chefs don’t use it.

-Kosher salt, with its larger crystals, is best for everyday cooking. It is inexpensive and readily available. 

-Sea salt can be refined or unrefined. Unrefined varieties, such as fleur de sel or sel gris, are more expensive, but can add a finishing flourish to many dishes and desserts.

Chefs also can use cheese, pounded anchovies, olives, capers, bacon, and other items to increase the salt content and flavor of their dishes.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The NACD NXT Initiative

Attorney Robert Heist is owner and principal at R. Connor and Associates in Chicago, Illinois. Outside of his work as an attorney, Robert Heist is a Governance Fellow, certified by the National Association of Corporate Directors, an organization dedicated to equipping board directors to lead with confidence in today’s rapidly evolving business environment.

In collaboration with Deloitte, the National Association of Corporate Directors launched a new, multi-year initiative at its annual Global Board Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C., this past September. The initiative, titled NACD NXT, aims to equip board leaders to pursue innovation and diversity with an overarching goal of elevating overall performance.

The NACD NXT Recognition Gala, held at the Marriott Marquis on Sept. 29, recognized corporate boards that have successfully defined, developed, and demonstrated practices that led to diversity and inclusion on their boards. Winners included Newmont Mining Company, Foot Locker, True Blue, and Liberty Mutual Insurance. In addition to the awards presentation, gala attendees also heard from Josh Klein, who spoke about the evolution of the speed of disruption, and Janet Yellen, who covered macro trends that will shape economic policy.

As business environments change, the NACD NXT initiative seeks to provide case studies and tools to help board directors lead with confidence, ultimately preparing the next generation of leaders through education and scholarship.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NACD's Cyber-Risk Oversight Program

The recipient of a JD from The John Marshall Law School, attorney Robert Heist serves as the president of R. Connor & Associates, a law firm in Chicago. Supplementing his experience as an attorney, Robert Heist is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). 

NACD is recognized as the leading authority on boardroom practices. The organization empowers more than 19,000 directors through collaborative efforts with governance stakeholders and investors. 

NACD also offers a variety of continuing education programs, one of which is the online Cyber-Risk Oversight course. Available to both members of NACD and nonmembers, the security management program enhances the understanding of cybersecurity threats and board responsibilities regarding cyber-risk oversight. 

The course includes a cyber-crisis simulation and a series of exams. Upon completing the course, participants receive the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight from the CERT Division of the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. The course takes roughly 16 hours to complete.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Building a Fast and Powerful Tennis Serve

Illinois attorney Robert Heist, when not working with R. Connor & Associates in Chicago, enjoys golfing and tennis in his spare time. Tennis players like attorney Robert Heist need to have a solid understanding of how to serve in order to perform well, and a major component is serve speed.

While more than sheer speed goes into a good serve, great servers are chiefly evaluated on speed, as it renders balls much more difficult to return. Some of the speed of a serve comes from raw arm strength, but those who already have reasonable arm muscles should look to their technique to improve overall speed.

For a fast, flat serve, a player should toss the ball forward and slightly toward the dominant hand. Tosses should be at a height high enough to allow for full extension, but not high enough to stall the motion.

A good serve also requires extensive coiling of the trunk and shoulders. Players who are flexible enough to show their backs to the opponent during a coil should aim for this, but more generally, a serve should coil the body as much as possible. This engages more muscle groups and provides greater leverage, leading to a more powerful serve.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Appalachia Service Project - Home Repair for Low-Income Families

In his duties as lead attorney and owner of R. Connor & Associates in Chicago, Illinois, Robert Heist handles matters such as corporate litigation and general liability. As a philanthropist, attorney Robert Heist supports the Appalachia Service Project (ASP).

In 1969, minister Glenn “Tex” Evans saw a need for connecting young volunteers to poverty-stricken areas of Kentucky. ASP focuses on upgrading the substandard housing so common in Appalachia, and currently serves the mountain regions of North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Since its founding, ASP has brought in almost 400,000 volunteers to repair homes while building friendships across cultural and economic differences. The group has improved almost 18,000 homes, carrying out a variety of tasks such as fixing roofs, stairs, and plumbing. Other jobs include shoring up foundations and constructing flood channels.

ASP accepts volunteers with a range of work experience, matching assignments to skill levels. A typical week consists of devotions, meals, work, and evening entertainment. 

The project is open to anyone at least 14 years old, and 13-year-olds who have finished eighth grade. Volunteers may bring their own tools or use those provided by ASP.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Preparations to Consider for Summer Sailing

Attorney Robert Heist studied criminal justice at the University of Illinois prior to receiving his JD from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He then continued on to complete his MBA at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management as well as various corporate director programs at the Harvard Business School. In 2001 he founded the business law firm R. Conner & Associates, which he continues to oversee. Although Robert Heist is admitted to serve as an attorney before multiple Illinois courts as well as the Supreme Court of the United States, he still finds time to enjoy sailing.

Because sailing is a fairly complicated endeavor, up-to-date skills can make the difference between an enjoyable afternoon sail, and a frustrating one. A review of your current skills to be sure you are prepared may include the following:

1. Review steering with the sails. The unintended loss of your rudder can make the ability to steer your boat with the sails invaluable.

2. Practice setting a reaching, or outboard, lead. The jib sheet may lead you to a situation in which a reaching lead becomes necessary.

3. Practice hooking up to a mooring and also setting anchor, as free moorings may not always be reliable.

4. Review trimming sail to be sure you are comfortable slowing down when the wind comes up. Familiarize yourself with the tools at hand for sail trim.

5. Practice putting in a reef. It will make for a more comfortable experience for your onboard guests.

6. Review and practice how to furl your headsail, an important skill in keeping your boat upright.

7. Set up the whisker pole on a trial run before setting sail. It can be difficult, and so is more easily accomplished if practiced.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Brief Introduction to Divorce in Illinois

Over the course of his career as an attorney, Robert Heist has established himself as a skilled litigator in areas such as product liability, employment practices, and directors and officers liability. Since founding the Chicago, Illinois-based business law firm R. Connor and Associates in 2001, Robert Heist has expanded his operations as an attorney to include additional areas of law, including family law.

In the state of Illinois, individuals interested in quickly initiating marital dissolution proceedings can begin by filing for a no-fault divorce. While divorce represents a legally complex, emotionally trying time for the parties involved, no-fault divorces are relatively straightforward, particularly for spouses who have been living apart for a minimum of six months and who both agree upon the divorce. If only one spouse wishes to pursue a no-fault divorce, then that individual must have lived separately from his or her spouse for at least two years.

In certain scenarios, it may be more prudent for a spouse to state grounds for the divorce. Individuals should consult with a respected family law attorney in the state to determine whether a no-fault divorce is the better option. Legal professionals can also help spouses review the wide range of just causes for divorce, from felony convictions to knowingly exposing one’s spouse to a sexually transmitted disease. For more information regarding divorce in Illinois, please contact a family law professional.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Services Provided by the National Association of Corporate Directors

Since 2001, Illinois-based attorney Robert Heist has served as the president and chief executive officer of R. Connor & Associates, P.C. There, he provides legal counsel for corporate entities with a focus on negotiations, commercial litigation, and other workplace issues. In addition to his responsibilities as an attorney, Robert Heist has served as a director and manager with the Hershey Trust Company/Milton Hershey Schools and as chair of the nominating and governance committee. In order to better serve these roles, Mr. Heist holds membership in organizations such as the National Association of Corporate Directors.

The National Association of Corporate Directors works to empower and prepare directors to lead corporate boards in an effective and confident way. The organization offers a number of services to help boards achieve peak performance:

- Evaluations consist of reviews of a board and member’s core competencies. Critical insight, feedback, and data is presented. At the conclusion of evaluations, experienced directors offer recommendations regarding skill-building activities and board composition.

- Programs and consultation services cover a number of topics that boards can review together. Some topics include board effectiveness, dynamics, composition, culture, cyber risk, innovation, and strategic planning. 

- Benchmarking services help boards determine how they compare to their peers in governance. The benchmarks are for the purpose of strengthening the board, increasing sustainable profits, and driving shareholder value. Detailed reports are provided to the board that are specifically tailored to a company’s industry, size, and amount of yearly revenue.

- Board recruitment services are provided to help boards determine the type of candidate they need for open positions and to find the right individual to fill those positions.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Wrongful Termination of Employment in Illinois

As the owner and principal of the law firm R. Connor & Associates in Chicago, attorney Robert Heist represents clients in a variety of matters related to business. Focused particularly on employment law, Robert Heist frequently works with individuals seeking an attorney to help them with wrongful termination of employment and other employee rights issues.

Because Illinois is an employment-at-will state, an employer may terminate a worker for any lawful reason at any time. Lawful reasons typically include those that are not expressly prohibited under the law or under a contract with the employee.

An Illinois employer may not terminate an employee as an act of discrimination. Federal law prohibits organizations from ending employment relationships for reasons related to a protected characteristic, which includes disability, race, age, and country of origin. Illinois adds a number of other protected features, ranging from pregnancy to history of arrest.

Employers in Illinois are also not permitted to terminate for violations of public policy. Although the definition of this term is not explicit in the state of Illinois, there are regulations in place that protect employees who report illegal employer activity or file a claim for workers' compensation. Employees receive similar legal protection when they take time off for federally permitted reasons, such as military service or jury duty. 

Relatedly, employers in Illinois may also not terminate employment if doing so would constitute a breach of contract. Certain contracts guarantee that employment will continue except under specific circumstances, and these take precedence against the overall state policy of employment at will.