About two years ago, Wilbur You founded the ad agency, Youtech & Associates Inc., with just $600 and a driving force to succeed. That company has since grown to about 10 employees, recently moved to larger offices in Naperville and is handling such clients as Follett Higher Education Group, InterPark Holdings, LA Tan, Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson, "Inside the Bears" TV Co-host and former Chicago Bear Anthony "Spice" Adams.
And Wilbur You is only 23. He has been driven since he was 10 years, he said.
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Can you image what the next few years would be like?
"My goal personally is to really help everyone in my life get everything they want," You said. "My parents gave me everything in this world, and I owe them the world. My team at Youtech also have helped me so much, and I wouldn't be here without them. Honestly, the things that would make me happy is for my team, family, and friends to be taken care of financially. Also, I would also love to get my hands on more businesses, and open other ventures as well. I hope to one day get recruited by big companies to help run, or to create a venture fund, and have the ability to help start ups grow."
You's parent are from Beijing, China, but they lived for a period of time in San Paolo, Brazil, where Wilbur You was born. When he was 2 years old, his father died. In 1993, his mother came to the United States because her father, Zhu Xiang Wang, was a nuclear scientist at Fermilab.
"She wanted a better life, for me and herself. My real dad passed away when I was 2. It was rough, my mom was working at Baskin Robbins and attending college at the same time," he said.
He graduated last year with a computer science degree from Northern Illinois University. You said he wanted to start an ad agency because he previously worked at American Invsco as a marketing coordinator. "I knew there was an opportunity there with my background in technology. I went to school for computer science, but always had an eye for business and marketing businesses," he said.
He believes his agency is different because it does everything in house.
"Everything we do, we do as a team," You said. "We actually started as a web development firm, and realized the gap between web and marketing. Although there is a lot of competition out there, we have had success because of our ability to reach our customers needs, and look at branding and marketing from a 21st century point of view."
Youtech specializes in web design, branding, marketing, print, video, events, and almost anything that is related to marketing or sales, he said.
Youtech is on mark this year and next to reach about $1 million in gross sales, and has been contacted by multiple venture capital firms interested in investing. But so far, You has not taken any VC money.
At 23, though he enjoys being with his family and friends and is single, he said. He remains active in the community as a member of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce, and was the head coach for the St. Irene girls basketball team last year. He also plays golf, baseball and enjoys learning. "I'm also currently a student at Keller Graduate School pursuing my MBA," he said.
"The plan for the company is to take it global, and really become one of the best agencies in the world," You said.
Cruisin' with growth
Bob and Holly Agra of Barrington, owners of Chicago's First Lady Cruises, said the company is growing and adding more jobs because of tourism in the city. The family's original company was the Mercury cruiseline. Holly Agra is on the board of Choose Chicago and had tapped Desiree Rogers, chairwoman of Choose Chicago, to christen the new cruise ship, Chicago's Classic Lady. Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar, also was on hand because he sold the Agras two engines for the boat, the same engines they used in the sister boat, Chicago's Leading Lady.
Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes Chicago area developer Ardag Tachian said his second Illinois restaurant opened last week in Lombard, a few months after the first opened in Glenview. Tachian also has a 5-unit franchisee and will open soon from Naperville to Oak Lawn, and 4 additional restaurants are set for the north suburbs.
Kim Whitehouse, founder and president of Aurora-based Send a Smile Today, said the nonprofit was just named semifinalist in Livestrong Big C, a national competition to recognize outstanding and innovative products and services designed to help those with cancer. ... Tom Rolando has been appointed chief operating and technical officer at Wisdom Adhesives Worldwide, a global manufacturer of packaging and converting hot melt and water-based adhesives in Elgin.
Karen Fedyszyn is the new vice president of information technology and chief information officer at Oak Brook-based Ace Hardware Corp. She was most recently senior vice president of IT for HSBC's U.S. group. ... Gerard Iannuzzelli of Palatine has been promoted to chief technology officer at Elk Grove Village-based Des Plaines Office Equipment, a provider of office and tech solutions. ... Christine Sobek, president of Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, on July 1 will become a member of the board of directors for the American Association of Community Colleges.
Noland Langford is president and CEO of Naperville-based Left Brain Wealth Management LLC, which opened in May. ... Edward J. Hockfield will serve as chief development officer of Palatine-based Little City Foundation.
Marengo farmer Duane Dahlman is sharing photos from his farm on Soycam.com for the second year. He joins seven other soybean farmers in this initiative by the Illinois Soybean Association. He shares how he plants, grows and harvests soybeans and how weather affects the plants. Dahlman is an ISA District 2 director for McHenry, Lake, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Will and Kankakee counties. He lives on a farm purchased by his great-grandfather in 1901 and also raises corn.
Daniel E. Fogarty Jr., vice president of Conor Commercial Real Estate, a member of The McShane Companies in Rosemont, said his company has finished the headquarters and warehouse for Orbus Exhibit & Display Group in Woodridge. ... Christine N. Tredup and Katherine D. Brosier, both licensed clinical social workers, are moving to 311 N. 2nd St. Suite 304B, St. Charles starting on July 21. ... Dentist Rajul Patel will host Dentistry From The Heart providing the first 50 people who register with free dental care on June 22. He and the Pure Dental Spa team will offer the free services at 108 E. Lake St., Suite 1 in Bloomingdale.
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