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Inspiring Stories from the West Side

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 the West Side’s rising stars below.

Nancy Crowe

I had driven an ice cream truck back in college and I thought it would be nice to bring back the great memories for the kids and adults in the DeKalb and Kane County area. I had bought my first truck in 2005 and was just running the streets. I now have several trucks and now besides the streets I do weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, schools and any type of events that people want to treat their guest with the experience of my Novelty Ice Cream truck. Read more>>

Christopher Splon

I wasn’t a normal kid, but what is normal nowadays? at 13 was hired by a video production studio, “Railthree” that was run by a Columbia College Chicago Professor. I initially took a class there on editing and was offered work within a couple of weeks. At 15 I was opening and closing the studio while my friends went to practice for whatever sport it was that season. Read more>>

Diane Blazek

I have been the Executive Director since 2009 but before that I had spent 15 years in the horticulture industry with Ball Horticultural Company in West Chicago, IL. As the former Executive Director retired, I know the opportunity existed to take over this organization. Both organizations were very well-established but needed some new blood. Read more>>

Anatolijus Jukevicius

I always had a passion for travelling. It always seemed to me so inviting, so interesting, so adventurous to go see and explore new places I have never been before. Once I got an opportunity to travel for living as a contractor for other company – that really widened my horizons. Read more>>

David Petersen

As a 22-year-old fresh-out-of-the-military kid, I started my own remodeling and construction company, which led to renovating large turn-of-the-century homes into updated and newly decorated single-family homes. My wife and I completed 22 of those homes physically living in the homes during the process, which proved to not be the perfect strategy for a new marriage and a new daughter. Read more>>

Jennifer Stanley

“You weren’t a doodler when you were young so you can’t be an artist now.” This was the statement I told myself for over 10 years till finally one day, I had enough. I remember the moment clearly, I was standing in Target thinking it was ridiculous that I was about to spend 100 bucks on something called wall art that held no special meaning for me and that I was simply buying just so the bare white walls of my new apartment would not look so bare. Read more>>

Robert Lee Fritz

I first worked with molten glass in 1971 at Illinois State University which as luck would have it was during the beginning of the American Studio Glass movement. When I came to the Chicago area in 1974, there were no glass studios at all. I started my studio in 1975 and began showing work in Chicago area galleries and art shows. Read more>>

Lou Costabile

CFO MasterMind Group is based on an ancient premise that the combined energies of two or more like-minded people is many, many times greater than the sum of the individual energies involved. There is synergy of energy, commitment and excitement that participants bring to a mastermind group. Read more>>

Alana Dean

By my senior year of college, I had planned every little detail out, got my business license, and started looking for a space to locate. Everyone thought I was just talking and that it wouldn’t actually happen but a short 6 months after graduation, Ovation Performing Arts Studio was up and running. We just had our two-year anniversary and we couldn’t be happier. Read more>>

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