Welcome to Locally Grown! Locally grown introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Bob Welninski. Bob is the Owner of Soundwave Entertainment, a professional disc jockey service in Fox Lake.
Chances are, you may already be familiar with the voice and music of Bob Welninski, owner of Soundwave Entertainment in Fox Lake. For many years, Bob was a staple at the Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Great America, providing pool and “beachside” entertainment for crowds of children and adults. Now you will find him at many different Lake County locales providing DJ and entertainment services for a variety of private and community events, including karaoke, bingo, and party games.
Originally from Chicago, Bob spent his childhood in the northern suburb of Lindenhurst. It was here that his love of singing and acting flourished. His mother was integral in encouraging him to pursue his interests in the arts. Upon graduating from Antioch High School, he obtained a BA in directing from Columbia College in Chicago with a minor in sound production. Bob reminisces, “I was always behind the microphone from a very young age, whether it was at choir, making announcements for school, or participating in theatre. I was always meant to be a DJ.”
Soundwave Entertainment is a family-owned business. Bob’s wife, Jessi, also helps with the business, and they are raising three children, a daughter and two sons, ranging in age from 11 to 13. Bob lives and operates Soundwave Entertainment in Fox Lake, where he enjoys the small-town feel of the area, the wide-open spaces and natural beauty.
Bob says, “I am attracted to the safe-feeling that a smaller town provides, but I very much enjoy the natural resources of Fox Lake and Lake County. And I also like that we are located between two big cities: Chicago and Milwaukee. But Fox Lake is really a beautiful area.”
In addition to the area’s natural spaces, Bob enjoys the history of Lake County and the Fox Lake area. His interests also include prohibition-era buildings. “For example, The Minneola Hotel along the shores of the Fox Lake is very rich in history.” It is also the largest surviving frame building in Illinois. For those not familiar with the history of the Chain O’Lakes and Fox Lake, this area bustled during prohibition times, from 1900 – 1930.
Bob’s enthusiasm for his business is clear. Bob says, “I work a lot. Even after 22 years in this business, I still have the passion.” He is a long-standing figure at Kristof’s, where he has hosted karaoke and bar games bingo on a regular basis for the last 17 years. “It’s pretty much my second home,” says Bob.
But when he is not working, he enjoys riding roller coasters at Six Flags, attending the Lake County Fair, and enjoys eating out at Saluto’s and Portillo’s. Bob also likes to sing and spend time with his family in his free time, and is a garden train hobbyist. And if you enjoy driving around to see holiday lights, be sure to add Bob’s Fox Lake neighborhood to your list of areas to visit. He assembled a stellar light display at his home this year, and used his skills in lighting and technology to perfect it.
Little Lake County experienced firsthand Bob’s professionalism and love of music and sound at a our recent Back to Fitness event. His karaoke skills are first-rate, and our staff members and guests assumed he is a professional singer. According to Bob, “after 20 years of singing karaoke three to four days a week, you develop the skills. It’s mostly the result of lots of practice.”
Bob’s love for his family, his dedication to his business, and pride in Lake County really shine through when you meet this local business owner in person or even just talk to him on the phone. A self-described “all-around nice guy,” he truly enjoys his work and is invested in his business and the art of providing the best entertainment for his customers.
P.O Box 602, Fox Lake | (847) 973-9479
Disclosure: Soundwave Entertainment is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of a paid partnership with Little Lake County. Contact littlelakecounty[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series.