Coffee Break: Jim Evans, president and CEO of Sevan Multi-Site Solutions in Downers Grove
Q: Describe your company.
A: We're entrepreneurial and value driven. It really all starts with our values: Integrity, Respect, Teamwork, Excellence and Charity. At the end of the day, our hunger for growth is contagious.
Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?
A: I've had a colorful career, and definitely not a typical career path. I was an Army officer, institutional banker and then worked in real estate development, which eventually led to leading a program management firm named Sevan Multi-Site Solutions.
All my life I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but the right opportunity didn't materialize until Sevan was formed in 2011. Sometimes patience really pays off!
Sevan started out as a veteran-owned small business in Downers Grove, when we had people working out of basements.
Now, we're still headquartered in Downers Grove and continue to work with local clients including McDonald's, Walgreens and BP. We also support 40+ other clients across North America and Europe.
Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?
A: Technology and Data Analytics is clearly the front runner in terms of hot trends. We have invested regularly in people and systems from the early days of our company and are well positioned to be a leader in technology.
An industry fun fact: We are a Microsoft Partner.
In our industry it's unusual to be a Microsoft partner, and we believe that this will be an advantage for us as we continue to grow our Technology & Data Analytics business line.
Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
A: Yes. We plan to expand in virtually every area that we're currently working.
In particular we look forward to delivering more work for our wonderful, existing clients and offering them more services than we currently provide.
Geographically we are looking forward to supporting our existing clients as well as new clients in Europe and forming strategic alliances with various companies who share our values.
Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: Say yes and figure out how to deliver excellence.
Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?
A: Our biggest challenge is always finding terrific people to work with our existing, stellar team.
Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie CEO, what would it be?
A: Focus on value-driven culture from the outset.
Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?
A: Two of my favorite business people are Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger -- the chairman and co-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. I hope to be leading our business and I hope I'm as happy as they are when I reach their age.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like to spend time with my wife and five kids, who are at this point spread all across the country.
In my past life, I have also greatly enjoyed sky diving, motorcycles and scuba diving.
Q: What book is on your nightstand?
• "The Bully Pulpit -- Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism" by Doris Kearns Goodwin
• "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos" by Jordan B. Peterson
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Nothing, because we have the best team imaginable managing our business.
Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?
A: Looking for a way to create an opportunity like this. And definitely traveling.
Q: What was your first paying job?
A: Moving lawns and shoveling snow.
Q: If you could put your company name on a sports event, which one would you choose? A: I love tennis, so the Wimbledon Tennis Championship.
Q: What is one funny thing that has happened to you in your career?
A: While on business trips I have met terrific people on airplanes and in several cases hired them!
President and CEO Sevan Multi-Site Solutions3025 Highland Parkway, Suite #850Downers Grove, IL 60515Industry: Design, program management, construction services and data analytics services
Annual sales: $100 Million
Number of employees: 500
Family information: Married to Rebecca Evans, five children
Hometown: Grundy Center, Iowa