Jake was in the Commercial Office “Executive Suite Business” for almost thirty years, providing space, support and technology to well over 1,500 tenants and small businesses in Chicago and Clearwater, Florida. During this time, he was an adjunct professor at Columbia College in Chicago for seven years and guest speaker in the Entrepreneur Department of the University of Illinois, Chicago Campus, for two years.
Jake was the winner of the Illinois Governor’s Hometown Program in 1991, representing the entire city of Chicago, as well as Volunteer of the Year for Chicago’s Department of Children and Family services. He had started a not-for-profit called “The Holiday Giving Tree” and in its best year, he provided Christmas presents of choice for over 7,000 children in the child welfare system of Chicago.
He was a board member and eventually the Board Chair of the International Association of Business Centers as well as a Board Member and Chair of Community Based Care for Hillsborough County, Florida and Development Chair for the Children’s Home of Tampa, where he was influential in raising over $1 million in pledges and donations due to his success as a public speaker.
In addition to this very busy schedule as an entrepreneur and advocate for children in various child welfare systems, he was a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year competitions in Chicago, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Largo, Florida.
Since 2001, Jake has traveled extensively, sometimes spending weeks or months in The United Kingdom, Southeast Asia, Central Europe, the Middle East, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. He bicycled almost 500 miles in Alaska, from Fairbanks to Anchorage, 450 miles along the entire Pacific Coast of Oregon and 425 miles throughout the Hill Country of Texas.
In 2005 Jake, a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam/American War, returned to Vietnam and spent almost a month on a bicycle. He spent time in and around Hanoi, Halong Bay and from Hue, down to Da Nang, Hoi An and up into the Central Highlands, down into Dalat, eventually arriving in Saigon. Before leaving Vietnam, he promised to return some day to build a small school to honor many of the people he had met. In 2013 he authorized the construction of a small school building in the mountains of Vietnam, near the Laotian Border, in an area called Pu Bin.
Jake has spent a time in China and Cambodia building houses with Habitat for Humanities and in 2017 he was asked by the Minister of Finance of Malaysia to participate in a four month VIP Fellowship Program in Cambodia, working on a project called “The Tourism Academy”
In 2016, along with others, Jake helped fund the construction of a Medical facility in the Himalayas, thus eliminating the constant need for expensive air evacuations and medical treatment for many of the trekkers and climbers to and from Mt. Everest.