Jeff Pieta

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President and founder of the tech services company AIS, philanthropist
From: Brookfield
Lives in: Western Springs and Lincoln Park
Resumé note: Jeff’s charitable work includes cofounding the H Foundation, which has raised more than $2.5 million for cancer research.

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“If I had a child who was a good person, I wouldn’t care if they followed in my footsteps. As long as they were happy and helped other people, I would die a happy man.”

“I was 18 years old when I started my business; there was no better time in my life to screw things up. I could completely mess this up, and guess what? I was still living with my parents. You can always go back to college, but you may not always have this opportunity.”

“My dad was a computer programmer for 20 years; then he got laid off. He couldn’t find work, and my parents were thinking of selling their house. I said, ‘Hey, Dad, how would you like to come help me out?’”

“I like trying new things. I feel that if you’re not innovating, you’re falling behind. You have to improve just to stay where you’re at.”