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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.

Jennifer Dieas

I started my company as a mobile spray tanning service going to people’s homes, hotels, or offices. Through word of mouth referrals, the business has grown remarkably over the last 9 years and evolved into a full-blown finishing salon catering to every girl who wants a quick confidence boost! Read more>>

Jason Feldman

I have been on real estate for about 5 years, yet I grew up in Lincoln Park since the early 1980’s. My professional background is in graphic design and marketing. When I was approaching my 40’s I decided to change my career where I could make a direct difference in the lives of people. Read more>>

Joe Messina

I grew up in Chicago as a first generation Italian-American with parents from a small village in Sicily. My father was a carpenter and came to the United States for a better life for himself and his future family. I graduated from the University of Chicago – Illinois in 1992 with a degree in finance. Read more>>

Tara Rahe

ENDREA was created because of my passion to Enrich Dreams of others. I’ve always loved helping others from a very young age and that has only gotten stronger. For years I worked in Sales and Marketing for corporations helping businesses grow. Utilizing my love for psychology and how individuals think was a great help in growing my career. Read more>>

Marshall Erb

I have always been interested in buildings and interiors. I would sketch up floor plans for future homes and review them with my grandmother and aunt- both very stylish women with keen eyes for antiques and furniture. My aunt is an interior designer and we would discuss the various layouts and features of the homes I created. Read more>>

Scott Leff and Alia Samhat

Scott: I got my start at McKinsey & Company with the McKinsey Quarterly, one of the leading business publications. I left McKinsey in 2007 to join Chicago’s Olympic bid, where I worked on printed materials, live presentations, and other marketing collateral. After the bid, I went out on my own and eventually partnered with Heather Ploog, a colleague from the Quarterly in 2012. Read more>>

Laura R. Oswald

I was teaching French literature and post-modern semiotics at Northwestern University back in the 1990s when semiotics became the new buzz word in advertising. When clients called, I was ready to leave my comfort zone in the classroom and library and make my way in the world the Marlboro Man and Tony the Tiger. Read more>>

William Song

In 2009, I decided to open a placed called bopngrill. I didn’t have any capital, I didn’t have experience, I didn’t have any idea what I was getting myself into. I knew that I wanted to put two things I love growing up eating on the menu. Rice and meat and burgers and fries. It was a rough start when we opened. Read more>>

Sarah Silva

My family is from Portugal and I am the first child to be born in the United States. My parents endured a ton to provide better opportunities for their children. I’ve always been told to get an education and to work hard for things you want in life. That’s exactly what I did. Read more>>

John F. O. Bilson

The Master of Science in Finance program at the Stuart School of Business was basically a response to the 1987 stock market crash. Jack Wing, who was an executive in Chicago financial markets, decided we needed to create a finance program that taught what people actually did in the markets rather than the more theoretical academic finance that was taught at traditional universities. Read more>>

Rhonda Marcucci

After beginning my career in public accounting as a CPA in 1984, I joined the finance group of a large national trade association based in Chicago, where I soon moved into strategic planning. This change led to my involvement in start-up work, building new business units within an existing company. Read more>>

Jodi Fyfe

I have worked in the food and beverage industry for more than 20 years and have always been passionate about hospitality and great service. Six years ago, I could see that the catering options in Chicago needed to evolve and knew I could establish a go-to resource for this city that offered a modern, creative take on catering. Enter, Paramount Events. Read more>>

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