To Top

Downtown’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageChicago is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Chicago’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Downtown’s rising stars below.

Ann Clark

I met my business partner, Lena Georas, in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania when we both embarked on our architectural careers. We knew each other for only one year, at which point, I moved to Chicago to complete my Masters of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago and begin my architectural career. Read more>>

Lauren Carter

When I was studying interior design and communications at Purdue, in 2002, I worked as an assistant to a florist and got my professional introduction to weddings. After moving to Chicago in 2003, I dug deeper into the event industry, by working for a few start-up companies and freelancing for a major Chicago advertising agency in event marketing. Read more>>

Tot Jones

In 2015, I was at a crossroads in my life. I must admit starting a blog was not at the top of my list. I actually enjoyed the idea of sharing my bright ideas and cool finds with my family, friends, and even strangers via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Read more>>

Andy Bizub

My first car, at age 19, was a 1972 Triumph Spitfire. British roadsters of that era need a lot of work, so I learned basic mechanics through owning that car. So started my lifelong obsession with cars, gasoline, and oil. Read more>>

Beatriz Mercado

I have been designing floral décor for over two decades. With a degree in Child Development in my Native Country – Peru – South America – I came to love this country and fell in love with Chicago on my first visit!Didn’t know that flowers were my passion until my best friend Maxi asked me to help her husband (a great designer I might add) with a Wedding décor. Read more>>

Jochen Renz

I am an Electronics Engineer from Stuttgart, Germany (Home of Mercedes, Bosch, Porsche, etc), and now reside in Chicago, USA. During my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity for an internship at Bosch in Broadview, IL and I fell in love with Chicago. Read more>>

Roger Stark and Betsy Hill

Once upon a time, more than fifty years ago, a speech and language pathologist and a vision developmental expert, realized that neither of them had a complete answer to helping the individuals with learning problems that they saw in their respective practices. Read more>>

Susan Winter

I truly wanted to love what I do for a living. My specialty was visual display. My second job in Chicago was opening Barney’s New York doing all the display and merchandising. After that I went into “Mobile Storage” I specialized in Museums. Read more>>

Theodora Ntovas

“YASOU” (pronounced ya-su) natural skin care gets its name from a common Greek greeting meaning hello, good-by but it stems from “A Toast To Your Health”. I am a first generation Greek that was blessed to live and visit Greece as a child. Read more>>

Morlen Sinoway

The Atelier, has been on Futon Market for 15 years. Staring as a custom furniture company. As times have change we continued to morph into the finely curated design destination we are today. Our typical client is not typical….. They are curious with a tilt toward the unique. Read more>>

Fabricio Costa

Dr. Costa main aim is to positively affect the lives of 7 billion people on the planet through Innovation and Research. Dr. Costa has a Bachelor’s in Science with a Major in Biochemistry & Immunology, a Ph.D. in Science/Genetics Focused in Oncology and did his Post-Doctoral Degree in Molecular Genetics at Harvard University. Read more>>

Jonathan Broutin

Jonathan Broutin (braw-tin) is a French national who has called Chicago home for the past 11 years. As a child, Broutin lived in Picardy, a small village in the northern region of France. Growing up, Jonathan loved to travel. As the son of a flight attendant, he had the opportunity to explore the world with his family. Read more>>

Charles Choi

In 1994, in the suburbs of Chicago, I founded CHOi Design. The firm’s first product designs were for Weber Grills and Baxter Healthcare; the success of these products lead to lasting client relationships and company growth. Now in the heart of the West Loop, CHOi Design continues to design products that solidify the company as a leading industrial design firm for commercial, consumer, and medical based clients. Read more>>

Chad Hutson

We initially started Leviathan with a heavy focus on content production — we’d create TV commercials and corporate videos for other agencies — but we also had high hopes to work on more interactive and installation-based projects. Each partner had extensive experience with content, though we also had rich pasts in more physical crafts. Read more>>

Tom Konopiots and Michael Stornello

We entered this industry from varied backgrounds. Mike was a prominent entertainment development executive before he launched the firm in 2007, and Tom joined in 2010 after a notable career as a C-level executive in financial services. Read more>>

Geo Tudosescu

I started to follow my passion for flowers 6 years ago, when I studied ikebana (Japanese art of arranging flowers) and European floral design, in Bucharest, Romania. 3 years ago, me and my family gained the green card and we moved to Chicago, taking life from the beginning. Read more>>

Lindsay Pinchuk

As my friends began to have babies, I realized that moms and moms-to-be in Chicago needed a place to meet and connect with one another. When I was just eight weeks pregnant with my first daughter, I announced Bump Club’s very first event: a prenatal workout with The Dailey Method Chicago. Read more>>

Amy Coffman Phillips

About five years ago, my friend and I went through a transformative experience. We decided to take a deep dive into the world of biomimicry and fell in love. Biomimicry is the process of learning from nature and translating her sustainable design strategies to change the way we design and make decisions. Read more>>

Emily Mackie

Growing up in Texas, Emily Mackie had a passion for design that came from two influential women in her life. Her mother had begun flipping houses as a way to put herself through college, and at just the age of 12, Mackie was her only assistance. Read more>>

Patrick Hernandez

Patrick Hernandez is from Vernon Hills, IL where he first began his lighting career in High School Theatre. He continued to develop in lighting design and currently attends Columbia College Chicago as a Theatre Design BA ’19. He takes a personal focus in Concert Lighting Design. Read more>>

Tim Swindle

My friend and I were at a bar on New Year’s Day 2014, discussing how much fun we had playing “Cards Against Humanity” the night before. At the time, we were both contemplating graduate school but wanted to embrace our entrepreneurial spirits and create something. Read more>>

Callista Lay

My journey as a healer began at 15 years old when I first began working at family chiropractors clinic as an assistant. I had originally thought I would be a massage therapist, but I still very clearly remember the day one of the doctors I worked with, nonchalantly, asked me why I wouldn’t become a chiropractor? Read more>>

Kimberly Boulton

I grew up and went to college in the Midwest. After earning my BA in Art History, I moved out to California. I enrolled in an MA program and received a degree in Museum Management. As part of the graduate work, I did an internship with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles which led to a full-time job. Read more>>

Lewis Garrison

Growing up I was always drawing buildings. My parents probably have thousands of sketches I made of houses, skyscrapers, and entire skylines, Both real and imaginary. I loved the act of creating something that had a strong visual impact on the viewer. Read more>>

Dr. Gordon Fimreite

I grew up with a passion for health and fitness. A family friend who I resonated with because of his same upbringing was a chiropractor who said he was living and teaching others on healthy living through his career as a chiropractor. I didn’t consider chiropractic as a career until after visiting his office for the day. Read more>>

Yongzheng Wang

When I graduated from college, I got a job at the National Railway Administration. Back in the early 1980s, it was considered a stable and sought-after job in China’s planned economy. Two years later, I found myself at a crossroad in life. Read more>>

Todd Connor

I started Bunker Labs after I served in the U.S. Navy, had started a couple businesses, and decided that I wanted to build an organization that would help other military veterans do the same. Today we have chapters in 17 different cities and are helping over 400 military veterans and their spouses start and grow their own business. Read more>>

Miravone Dorough

I grew up surrounded by herbs, oriental medicine, and home-cooked Laotian meals. My grandmother is so gifted with cooking so I learned how to use “food as medicine” by watching her while growing up. I was so fortunate to be surrounded by nutritious food my whole life and had a very healthy childhood. Read more>>

Davin Youngs

Singing has been central to my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve been teaching privately for 15 years, but five years ago I took the leap into doing it full-time by starting Davin Youngs Voice ( Through my own experiences singing, and the thousands of hours I’ve spent with individuals on singing technique, I’ve learned that singing is never just about singing. Read more>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • Chicago’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in Chicago has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    voyagechicago staffDecember 12, 2017
  • The Thought-Provokers: Celebrating Chicago Art

    The freedom of artistic expression is one of the most important hallmarks of a free society, but that freedom would be...

    voyagechicago staffDecember 9, 2017
  • Portraits of Love

    Love is the most powerful force in the world. It uplifts, inspires, gives strength, spreads happiness and keeps us going. There...

    voyagechicago staffDecember 8, 2017
  • Namaste Chicago: Inspiration from Local Yogis

    Sometimes it feels like the whole world is on fire – stress and tensions are on the rise and elevated stress...

    voyagechicago staffDecember 7, 2017
  • Fun Things to do in Chicago

    The editorial team shares some of the most noteworthy events in Chicago over the next few weeks. Check them out below...

    voyagechicago staffDecember 7, 2017
  • Our Favorite #MadeInChicago Finds

    Through our research process for our Inspiring Stories series, our team comes across so many incredible local creations everyday – from...

    voyagechicago staffDecember 5, 2017
  • Suggested For You

    Dave Mason, one of the founders of the Cusp Conference, shares his unique perspective with us below. I have seen the...

    Dave MasonSeptember 1, 2017
  • Local Ramen to Warm Your Soul

    There is nary a soul that seeks not the warmth of ramen in the windy winters.  However, some ramen is so...

    voyagechicago staffJuly 8, 2017
  • The Best Latte Art in Chicagoland

    One hallmark of a truly advanced society is the ease with which one can find latte art. Friends, we have much...

    voyagechicago staffJune 29, 2017