Louie joined the United States Marine Corps right out of high school. He served 4 ½ years on active duty as an aviation ordinance man on A6 Intruders. He was selected to the elite duty of Marine Security Guard where he spent his last 2 ½ years guarding American Embassies overseas. He was posted at Nicosia, Cyprus and then Paris, France.
Upon release from active duty Louie joined the Marine Corps active reserve program at Glenview Naval Air Station. He was assigned to HML-776 a helicopter squadron and became a crew chief and door gunner on Huey helicopters. His squadron was activated for Desert Storm and served 12 months overseas. Louie retired from the Marines after 20 years of honorable service.
In 1981 Louie started/opened Sharp Auto Body doing collision repair and restoration repairs on all makes and models of cars. In the mid 1990’s he started his towing operation and in 2000 he purchased the local auto repair shop adding mechanical repairs to the mix. He is currently writing an automotive blog for the Lake County Journal. He delivers his “Car Cents” power point presentation to local clubs, organizations and companies helping people save money on every aspect of their vehicles.
In 1999 Louie ran for and was elected village trustee in Island Lake where he successfully completed a 4 year term. He retired from political life to focus on his passion for music.
Louie plays guitar, harmonica and mandolin in a number of local bands including Stone Quarry Road and his local church band. He also performs solo acoustic guitar performances.
Around 1999 Louie started on a journey that would lead him to his newest company. It started with his doctor’s nurse suggesting he try yoga to lower his high blood pressure. The rest as they say is history. In 2009 he started Sharp-Skills, a company with a simple goal to help individuals and companies develop and achieve their full potential. In June of 2010 Louie successfully completed a year long training program under Jack Canfield. He is currently giving keynote speeches and training seminars around the country.
Some of his accomplishments include over 1500 hours of flight time in Huey helicopters. He is the past president of the Island Lake Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Island Lake Lions club. He is currently a member of the Island Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce, Island Lake Lions, the local American Legion, VFW, Business Exchange, Wauconda Rotary, BNI and Messiah Lutheran Church. Louie sits on the board of directors for Transitional Living Services, an organization that helps homeless veterans
“Great seminar! I learned it’s OK to have big personal dreams. My 15 year old son and wife attended with me and it was great for them also.”Mike S
Louie spoke at Lake Zurich High School for an 88 minute live presentation. He brought a car in and demonstrated general maintenance/safety items (ie: tire changing, jumper cables, fluid top offs…etc). The school did it as an in-school field trip. “Hi Louie and Steve, Just wanted to say thank you again for coming this morning to talk to my classes! To be honest I had no idea you spoke about so many different topics and could bring so much information and diversity to the experience, I really appreciated it. I know it took some of the kids by surprise too, but I think that made it even more effective. I can’t wait to hear their reactions tomorrow, I’ve never seen them shake hands with the guest speaker before so I know you impacted some (if not all) on some level!! I’d love for you both to return next semester if you are willing and able. I’ll only have one class so it will be easier to get them under the hood more and have an open conversation.”Lauren Engelhardt