San Jose Bankruptcy Attorney comments on Estelle Walgreen’s rise from the ashes of bankruptcy, losing her home, and a divorce, to launching a Hispanic new media company.
Estelle Walgreen has made headlines for much of her life. Once married to and now divorced from Charles Walgreen, an heir to the company fortune, Ms. Walgreen made headlines in 2006 when her three pet pigs she was raising on her Lake Forest estate became the center of a public policy controversy. She lost her multi-million dollar home when a fast-growing industrial firm she co-owned filed for bankruptcy. Now the mother of two has returned to her Hispanic roots, where she was crowned Miss Mexico of Chicago’s Mexican Independence Day festivities in 1981.
The former Estella Gonzales , a former investment analyst, is launching Hispanically Speaking News, a website targeting coverage of Chicago’s Latino community. The bilingual site will summarize news and sports, dispense financial advice, offer links to leading Mexican newspapers and track anti-immigration bills in U.S. legislatures. It will employ three barrio reporters in the city’s Hispanic neighborhoods, and she hopes the site is profitable within 18 months.
Ms. Walgreen’s descent into bankruptcy began with a company that supplied Harley Davidson and Motorola Inc. The company grew a hundredfold, but in 2006, it became one of the early victims of the crushing credit crunch that has crippled the U.S. economy. When the company filed for bankruptcy, it owed Lasalle Bank more than $6 million, all of which Ms. Walgreen had personally guaranteed. The ensuing bankruptcy negotiations cost Ms. Walgreen her beloved home.
But it is a new day in the Windy City. And Estelle Walgreen is hoping that her brand of ethnically-targeted news will allow her to put some of the past behind her.
News after swine, Crain’s Chicago Business, November 16, 2009
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