Humza Khan of Hanover Park loves buildings. He loves what you may not notice, like the ceiling, the floor plans, the color and the design.
So it's no surprise that the 28-year-old left behind a secure job with his family's 7-Eleven businesses to pursue his dream. He has taken his test to obtain a license as an inspector and aims to launch his own franchise of Pillar to Post, a building inspection firm, by early September.
"Growing up in Chicago, one of the most beautiful cities in the world that contains incredible architecture in the hundreds of buildings, I was always interested in buildings and design," Khan said. "I would notice crown moldings, cabinetry, floor plans of houses and just overall color schemes and think about the design style of each structure. It was a passion that slowly grew as I got older."
He said he once considered a career in interior design but was more interested in the overall area of real estate, architecture and remodeling.
"I initially began researching different business opportunities within the architecture and real estate areas and after several months of research, I found Pillar to Post," he said.
The franchise appealed to him because it combined the two things he has always loved and has been good at, architecture and people skills, he said.
"The business plan and methodology guided a new business owner to succeed and their code of business ethics allowed for a newcomer to provide honest, necessary, informed information regarding a building so a potential buyer can have peace of mind in their purchase," he said.
Khan was born in downtown Chicago. At 3, his parents moved to Hanover Park. When he was 18, he began working at 7-Eleven in Glendale Heights, owned by his older sister's husband.
For the next 10 years, he worked with his brother-in-law and they expanded the business and opened two additional locations, one in Park Ridge and another in Glendale Heights. Khan began as a sales associate and worked his way up to general manager of the two Glendale Heights stores. The experience has taught him about customer service and customer satisfaction to build loyalty.
He said after much thought and deliberation, he decided it was time to combine his passion with his business skills and create something for himself.
"Starting this company has been wonderful and terrifying at the same time," Khan said. "It takes a lot of courage and confidence to leave an existing profitable family business to go out and try to follow my dreams."
He also wants to help people build their own dreams as well.
"My goal is to continue to build and grow and help the residential community of my hometown to buy and sell property with confidence," he said.
Rosemont legacy continues
Jacqueline Stephens Breisch is a new associate in the Lake Forest office of Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP. She has extensive experience in family law cases involving custody, maintenance, child support, property division, and finding creative solutions to deal with complex financial matters associated with divorce. The Rosemont native recently moved back to her hometown where her grandfather, Donald E. Stephens, was the founding mayor of Rosemont and served for nearly 50 years. Her uncle, Brad Stephens, took over as mayor in 2007.
Specialist now at Lutheran General
Anastasios Raptis of Libertyville is the new stem cell transplant medical director at Advocate Lutheran General in Park Ridge. Raptis is a hematology/oncology specialist, with nearly 30 years experience in performing all types of stem cell/bone marrow transplants and was recruited from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Meghan O'Kelly was named the Young Professional of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America Chicago at its annual Skyline Awards Gala. The group recognizes the best communications practitioners, campaigns and tactics in the Chicago area. O'Kelly, a Hoffman Estates native and 2004 graduate of Fremd High School, is the corporate relations division manager for the Midwest region at Northbrook-based Allstate Insurance Co.
Owner Sheryl Martinec cut the ribbon on her new Flour Shoppe Bakery and Confectionary in Cary. Those who were on hand to welcome Martinec included Lynn Caccavallo, associate director of the Cary Grove Chamber of Commerce; Dave Evans, the chamber board president; Brad Ball, executive director o the chamber; among others.
Tom McDonald has been appointed regional sales manager of Corporate Life & Pensions at Zurich Global Life in Schaumburg. ... Andre Richards is the new director of brand strategy and management at Oak Brook-based Delta Dental Plans Association, a dental benefits provider. ... Kaylee Phalon is the new financial adviser at Edward Jones at Naperville's Fifth Avenue Station. She joins Financial Advisor Mark Putbrese, who has served clients in the Naperville area for about 20 years.
Glenview native Megan Tamte, founder and CEO of Edina, Minnesota-based Hot Mama stores, has changed the company name to Evereve. It will open at the Main Street Promenade in Naperville on Aug. 20, and is one of the company's eight Illinois locations. It's also the first brick-and-mortar store nationwide to make the name change. ... Beth Wagner is the new marketing coordinator at Black Diamond Plumbing and Mechanical Inc. in Crystal Lake
Stephanie Nelson of Park Ridge, event manager for CDM Media said the Chicago-based company has recently expanded to New York and Cardiff, United Kingdom. It is a business-to-business technology, marketing and media firm that specializes in reaching executives through events and strategic online content.
• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to email@example.com. Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.