Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Janota, ’10
By Eva Richards
As a small business owner, economics graduate Chris Janota, ’10, knows how important first impressions and lasting connections are.
After founding Envoy Wealth Management in Crown Point, Indiana, four years ago, he has worked in the financial advisory space helping individuals, families and other small business owners reach their financial goals.
“NIU gave me a great base education to get me going in the financial space, as well as a platform to further my interpersonal and problem-solving skills,” Janota said. “I had a lot of personal ups and downs during my time at NIU, but those experiences definitely made an impact on my life.”
It is those personal lessons learned that have motivated Janota to give back to current students and make a difference in their education and lives, helping them grow into productive members of society.
Growing up in the small town of Manhattan, Illinois, his dream was originally to be a movie director.
“That didn’t exactly pan out, but my college years at NIU represent a time of great growth for me,” he said. “The experiences and friendships I made during my time there continue to influence my life to this day. My education there was a great base for my future business endeavors.”
Today, Janota has volunteered for several opportunities through the NIU Alumni Association, such as its “Meet the Alumni” mentorship series, where students are coached on their interview and networking skills. He has participated in both in-person sessions before the pandemic and online events during the past year. He has also worked with several departments in helping them review scholarship applications.
“I very much enjoy the “Meet the Alumni: Making Connections Through Conversation” series because it gives me a chance to have personal one-on-one conversations with students and pass along knowledge or advice that they can hopefully use to grow their skillsets and reach their post-education goals,” he said.
Because Janota got a lot out of his time at NIU, he would like to do his part to make sure current students can have a meaningful and worthwhile experience.
“I wish that programs like these had existed when I was a student,” Janota said, “so if we, as alumni, can help make these programs a reality, I think that’s a great opportunity. You come to find out that it’s not one-directional. Both the student and the alumnus benefit from participating in events like these.”