Jim Guthrie started with Hester Commercial Painting in 2010 and specializes in large projects and high performance coatings, as well as QA/QC. In 2012 one of his projects won the prestigious PIPP award and American Painting Contractor Magazine’s Top Job Award. “Hester won the project on successful service, not price,” he said.
Jim received his BS in Construction Management and Engineering from North Dakota State University. While he started out in carpentry, he has been in the painting business since 1988.
With several decades of commercial painting experience under his belt, Norm VanKampen joined Hester Commercial Painting in 2004, bringing with him longstanding client relationships.
Norm owned his own company for 27 years before that, and adds valuable skill and knowledge to the Hester Commercial Painting team.
Mike Kallas started with Hester Commercial Painting in 2007 bringing with him vast experience in maintenance and property management work. His niche is working with general contractors with health care projects.
Prior to joining Hester he owned his own company for 14 years. He graduated from Triton College in 1979 and Washbourne Trade School in 1982.
Jeff Hester has dedicated his career to residential painting and decorating work. He specializes in faux finishes and custom color matching. The Exterior Maintenance Program and the specialty finishes showroom are just two of Jeff’s many marketing innovations. He has also been featured on radio and television, and soon, YouTube, as "Professor Paint", an expert resource for painting and faux finishing related topics.
Jeff is President of Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago, and he serves as a trustee on the board of the union-run apprentice painting school, which operates a 120-week, three-year program and the union pension fund.
Like his father, Jeff studied the painting trade at Chicago’s Washburne Trade School. He joined the company in 1978.
Christopher Hester is the first member of the third generation of the family to join the company. He is Jeff Hester’s oldest son. Christopher started out in 2002 as one of the truck drivers, and then transitioned into the management office handling safety coordinator and all IT related functions. Currently, he is the controller, assists with human resources and coordinates the placement of the painting crews for all of the commercial projects.
John Jacob brings a wealth of commercial painting expertise to Hester Painting & Decorating and its customers. With more than 25 years of industry experience, John leads Hester Painting & Decorating's Commercial Painting Division, which was launched in 2000. John also provided the initial guidance in developing our new estimating software with the use of production rates.
John attended Chicago's Washburne Trade School and is a National Wall Covering Panel Contest winner.
A master faux finisher, Scott specializes in marbleizing and wood graining, two highly specialized faux finishes offered by Hester Painting & Decorating. Scott has been working in painting and faux finishing since 1985, and in 1989 started with Hester Painting & Decorating.
Scott was promoted to superintendent and estimator for the city in 2002 and has flourished in this role. Scott attended Chicago’s Washburne Trade School and participated in the industry apprentice program. He also has a background in architectural drafting and art.
A key manager with Hester Painting & Decorating since 1996, Stephen Hester brings to the helm vision for the future of the company, as well as management, finance, legal and marketing know-how. Stephen is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and is active in Chicagoland’s civic and philanthropic community.
Stephen earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2004. He received a Bachelor's Degree in 1990 from the University of Miami in Florida where he graduated cum laude with a degree in real estate finance.
Stephen has served of the Board of Directors for the National Painting and Decorating Contractors of America and the Chicago Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
After 39 years as the leader of Hester Painting & Decorating, Tom transitioned into a consulting role in 2006. Tom founded Hester Painting & Decorating in 1968 with the mission statement: "To be known as the best painting contractor around." Over four decades later, his company has expanded into the residential areas of faux finishing, texturing, wallpapering and decorative finishing of cabinets and furniture as well as all of the aspects of commercial painting and wallcovering. A crowning moment for Tom came in 2004 when he accepted the Illinois Family Business of the Year Award as a testament to the values and hard work that he has always represented.
Tom attended Chicago’s Washburne Trade School and is a past president of the Chicago chapter of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.