In 1973, Karen Madonia’s father purchased Illco, a Chicago-based distributor of parts and supplies for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration equipment.
Although the company now has 97 employees in 3 different states and generates $42 million in revenue, Illco was very small when acquired.
Consequently, it was Mr. Madonia’s hard work, time, and investment that enabled the business to grow to its current state. Today, Illco supplies hospitals, grocery stores, nursing homes, and schools in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana with vital pieces of equipment, effectively allowing these institutions to operate smoothly each day. As a result, it is imperative that Illco invests any extra income into improving and expanding its inventory.
While Ms. Madonia is not currently dealing with the estate tax, it is a constant burden on her decision-making. She serves as Illco’s chief financial officer, and she knows that if something were to happen to her father, she would need to begin shutting down branches, laying off workers, or liquidating inventory in order to pay off the bill. This imminent reality has caused Ms. Madonia’s father to spend hours figuring out how he can pass his business on to his kids without dismantling it.