CEO in critical condition following Loop workplace shooting

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As the victim of the workplace shooting in Chicago’s Loop remains in critical condition in the hospital, more details about him and his work are coming to light.

54-year-old Steve Lavoie is the chairman and CEO of ArrowStream, having founded the technology company for the foodservice industry in 2000. For the past three years Arrowstream has been named one of Chicago’s best and brightest companies to work for according to the National Association of Business Resources, even claiming in 2013 to have an internal promotion rate of 30%.

However, this summer the tech company was downsizing. Lavoie is married to his wife Jody and together they have three daughters and live in suburban La Grange. He attended University of California at Berkeley and got his masters at Yale.

Lavoie was allegedly shot Thursday morning by Tony DeFrances, disgruntled employee who had been long considered a good friend.

Lavoie's family released a statement Thursday evening saying, "A horrific personal tragedy has happened today to two families. The family of Steven LaVoie would like to thank the staff and doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Chicago law enforcement personnel for their ongoing and tireless efforts on behalf of Steven. Thank you to our family and friends for your outpouring of love and support. Our thoughts are also with Steven's extended family, the employees of ArrowStream, who mean so much to Steven.  Finally, our prayers are with the other family affected by this tragedy."


DeFrances died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Steve Lavoie

ArrowStream CEO Steve Lavoie

On Monday afternoon, ArrowStream issued the following statement:

This morning, a shooting occurred at ArrowStream’s 231 S. LaSalle Street office involving CEO Steven LaVoie and an ArrowStream employee. We are deeply saddened and shocked by the events that have occurred today. Our focus during this tragedy is to ensure the well being of our ArrowStream family. We want to assure our customers that our business continuity plan is in place, and our operations will continue to function normally. We appreciate the concern and care expressed by so many.

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  • John Titus

    Take away a persons ability to earn a living and the unstable ones will go off the deep end. With so much layoff and cutbacks while CEO’s earn more and more people are getting sick of it. These CEO’s act like they can do it all by themselves. My prayers to the family.

    • JS

      To Titus, It’s one thing to be Jamie Dimon of JPM, a public company, who gets paid millions upon tens of millions of dollars, and probably couldn’t do 98% of the jobs at the firm, but Steve started this company himself. He founded it, he created jobs, he had an idea, and served others. I can guarantee you he wasn’t making Lloyd Blankfein money, or he wouldn’t be in LaGrange!!. This idiot was demoted, he wasn’t kicked to the curb. He still had a job!!!!! No one deserves to be shot over it! And now, his life, family and future, and three daughters hang in the balance. I’d take a 75% pay cut to stay working, and have insurance!!

  • Bill D

    Unfortunately business changes and that requires changes in companies too.. tough choices and it sounds like these guys were friends. My sympathies to all.

  • Common Sense

    I wonder if the 2014 results of Chicago’s best and brightest companies by the National Association of Business Resources will list ArrowStream? Is WGN reporting “news” or is this more of a add/PR notice by WGN for ArrowStream

  • P Hall

    I worked with Steve Lavoie years ago and he is one of the good ones, smart, personable and cared about the employees. My prayers are with him and his family!

  • Madeline

    This story is incredibly sad on a multitude of levels. My prayers go out especially to the LaVoie family, as a family they probably looked up to their father/husband/family member so much for his successes, and to be rattled by a senseless act of violence is disheartening. I hope God gives them the strength to stay strong.

    Side note: I was extremely bothered by the ignorance in many of the comments on articles posted to Facebook regarding the shooting. Can people please drop the race arguments, the “chiraq ” reputation, and gun laws dispute for a second to just send positive vibes/thoughts to those affected in this terrible situation of senseless violence?

  • Wm

    ArrowStream better get out a press release denouncing the action of their heartless CEO monster who demoted/fired the guy who started the business with him.

    • JS

      WM, so you feel the guy who started the business and had the idea, hired the guy, and provided an opportunity for him for many many years, was justified in shooting Steve!?!?!?!?!?!!? I don’t know if you have a job or not, or pay attention to the economy, but times are tough all over, and Illinois is at at-will state. Anyone can be let go at any time for any reason, no matter what. This guy did NOT lose his job, but because of him a good family guy may lose his life. I pray for the LaVoie family, and am happy to know they have such a strong community of friends and family to support them in their time of need.

  • j hutcheon

    any one with anything bad to say about Steve or his family has never known or even met them. I worked for Steve and Jody for years and they are without question the best clients I’ve ever had. They took an interest in me as a person and refused to keep the relationship “just business”…. They would invite me to social engagements and had me over for dinner many times. These people are the salt of the earth, beyond reproach, and anyone suggesting otherwise is just full of it.
    At a time like this it is amazing that some readers insist on negativity toward the victim when no one could be less deserving than Steve and his family. We should all be praying for his recovery, because as someone said earlier he really is one of the good guys.

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