Five Illinois alumni were recently named to Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40. The list recognizes Chicago-area field leaders "from a wide range of industries— technology, consumer products, real estate, health care and finance."
Illinois alumni include:
CEO | Braviant Holdings
Stephanie Klein graduated from Illinois in 2006 where she earned a B.S. in finance and business administration. In 2012, she developed an online platform for Enova International, a Chicago-based online payday lender. Three years ago, she was hired as chief operating officer of Chicago-based Braviant Holdings, a competing online consumer lender. Six months later, she became CEO.
Senior vice president of finance strategy and operations | Art Institute of Chicago
Andrew Simnick earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Illinois in 2004. During his time in the College of Engineering, Simnick was able to work with bioengineering faculty before the department officially debuted in 2004. Today, he serves as senior vice president of finance strategy and operations at the Art Institute of Chicago. With the help of testing from his team, Simnick created analytics models that guide and project museum attendance, staffing, retail sales and programming.
President, CA Student Living | Principal, CA Ventures
JJ Smith earned a B.S. in architectural studies from Illinois in 2002. In 2007, he was instrumental in creating a 24-story student resident building in Champaign, IL. As the development’s project manager, Smith began a mentoring relationship that evolved a small student housing business into a real estate firm. Today, he serves as president of CA Student Living and principal of CA Ventures.
CEO | Madison Capital Funding
Chris Taylor graduated from Illinois with a B.S. in accountancy in 2001 and earned his M.S. in accountancy tax in 2002. Last June, he became the CEO of Madison Capital Funding. In his past management roles, Taylor helped boost the firm’s assets under management by 50 percent. Today, he manages Madison Capital’s $10 billion in loans to middle-market private-equity firms.
Head of technology, global retirement and workplace solutions division | Morningstar
Amy Yeung earned a B.S. in CS+Math from Illinois in 2001. Currently, she is the head of technology, global retirement and workplace solutions division at Morningstar where she creates solutions for leveraging open-source technology and cloud computing. Yeung is also the Chicago director of Women Who Code, a national nonprofit that helps women advance in tech careers. With Yeung taking the lead, Morningstar sponsored a STEM event this year for 70 Chicago Public Schools students and their parents.