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Hester Painting & Decorating is a family-owned painting company that has thrived for over 50 years thanks to strong relationships built through integrity, a commitment to excellence and a dedication to service. Tom Hester started the company in 1968, and it is managed by his sons Jeff and Steve today. Sadly, Tom passed away last April.

Hester Painting & Decorating is one of the most successful painting businesses in the greater Chicago area, and the brothers credit the values that Tom established for the company and instilled in them as the main reason for the company’s success. Tom’s commitment to doing what you say, being truthful, backing up your words with actions and running towards problems (not away from them) are instilled at every level of Hester Painting & Decorating.

Jeff Hester joined the company in 1979 after going to trade school, and worked his way from the field to management. Today, Jeff handles the painting side of the business. His brother Steve joined the company in 1996 after getting his MBA and handles the business operational sides of the business. The brothers’ strengths complement each other.

Business owners of any kind face challenges, but signatory contractors have a unique set of circumstances they must adapt to. When asked for a tip for succeeding in the signatory construction world, Jeff said being involved in contractor associations was important. “Don’t sit in the back seat and let someone else drive you. Get in the front seat, get involved and be part of the direction. You can’t complain unless you’re there.” Steve echoed that sentiment, adding the importance of being part of business groups where you can “bounce off ideas and learn from other owners about how they tackle certain legal issues, insurance issues, cash flow, etc.”


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Get to know Jeff and Steve:

1) Where is your hometown?
Jeff – Skokie, IL
Steve – Wilmette, IL

2) What is your favorite hobby or leisure activity?
Jeff – Golf
Steve – Paddle Tennis

3) How long have you been at your company?
Jeff – 41 years
Steve – 21 years

4) What sports, clubs or activities were/are you involved in?
Jeff – Golfing
Steve – I coach my son’s baseball and flag football teams. I also still try to play softball and paddle tennis regularly, and I do longer distance running.

5) What’s your favorite place to vacation or travel to?
Jeff – Italy, and also Delavan, WI where we have our summer home.
Steve – South Carolina is our favorite family vacation spot.

6) What intrigued you about the industry you’re currently working in?
Jeff – I get to walk into homes of people whom I’ve never met, and in 30-60 minutes, they feel they can trust me. And I get to do that every day.
Steve – The draw of our family business, the opportunity to work with my family and the flexibility to be able to spend more time at home with my wife and children.

7) What’s your favorite holiday?
Jeff – Christmas
Steve – Thanksgiving

8) Are you an early bird or night owl?
Jeff – Early bird
Steve – Night owl

9) If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Jeff – To be able to heal the sick.
Steve – The ability to fly (because I’m always running late).

10) What’s one of your “bucket list” items?
Jeff – see the last two of my children get married and have children.
Steve – run a marathon (I completed my first half-marathon a couple months ago, so I am on my way).