Brian Younker is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist from Tinley Park, Illinois. He is the founder and owner of Y&D Maintenance, a landscape management company, which has been operating since 1988. He is also the co-founder of Younker Media, which he launched with his late sister, Cynthia Marie Younker. The company performs a variety of services for clients, including mobile billboard trucks, search lights, and red carpet events. Brian Younker is also active within his community. He has been running the Cynthia Marie Scholarship Program for several years. As mentioned in the application, students should get in touch with Dr. Nolan, the principal at Tinley Park High School.

Why did you decide to create your own business?

I decided to create my businesses right out of college. I’ve been doing maintenance work throughout high school & college and I decided to start a firm named YNK Maintenance with a close friend of mine. I am very passionate about controlling my own destiny and being my own boss. I love the idea of working hard and the results are always going to resemble that.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

I love the fact that it has a wide variety of services, we operate in all 4 seasons. We’re doing something different each season and never doing the same thing.

I love the fact that it has a wide variety of services, we operate in all 4 seasons. We’re doing something different each season and never doing the same thing. I enjoy the fact that we offer a ton of services and our day to day work changes based on what is necessary.

What does a typical day consist of for you?

My typical day consists of talking to my employees and getting them started on the routes for the day. I also engage in conversations with customers to obtain new contracts. Meetings happen throughout the day between clients and employees. I also take necessary actions in scheduling & billing. 

What keeps you motivated?

My children keep me motivated. Knowing that if I don’t give 100% in my practices, I might be letting others down. My business has my full name on the door, I want to make sure to always leave a good impression to retain clients as well as develop proper routine for both myself and my employees.

How do you motivate others?

Empower them, I like to give them confidence in their abilities. I love allowing them to make decisions on their own. I like to see them flourish in their jobs. I reward my employees by giving them more tasks and to take on more responsibilities.

How has your company grown from its early days to now?

I’ve gone from a 22 inch plow, to multiple fleets of trucks. In college, I was cutting grass with a 21 inch mower getting money over the summer in my neighbourhood. Now I work in a 50 mile radius supporting people with any of their maintenance needs. We now own numerous services helping a range of areas including commercial, residential and industrial properties. We are now helping hundreds of customers throughout the seasons.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My father, he’s a heavy equipment operator. I always looked up to him for his work ethic, he was always grinding. He taught me everything I know. Another inspiration of mine is my uncle. He owned a serviced station and was self-employed. He gave me a sense of courage growing up.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?

Meet with others in the industry no matter what you do. Being a chamber of commerce, meet as many people as u can. It will always be beneficial for your future endeavors. Don’t be shy. You want to get out and learn as much as you can. Get a sense of what the best practices are in the industry. Everyone can always learn from others.