Lake Zurich Event Planner Realizes American Dream With Style
- December 12, 2015
- Claire Slattery
- Comments Off on Lake Zurich Event Planner Realizes American Dream With Style
As seen in the Daily Herald on November 30, 2015. CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE
Hanan Hafez said she had a “luxurious life” in Alexandria, Egypt. So when she left at 22, settled in Arlington Heights and raised a family, she also pursued her career.
After working up the ranks at some local banks and a hotel, she decided to become an event planner and formed her own business, Events with Style in Lake Zurich.
Had she returned to Egypt to raise her children after a divorce, she would never have lived the American dream, she said.
“I lived a luxurious life in Egypt and never did anything on my own. I never got involved in anything,” she said. “But here, you really live your dream. You feel it. You can promote it. I never really thought I would leave Egypt at all, but I did, and now I don’t miss it at all.”
Hafez was born and raised in Egypt and came to Arlington Heights in 1991 because her now ex-husband wanted to move here. But with two of her three children born at the time, she wanted to do something more outside the home.
She had a master’s degree in accounting and finance, and took a job at a local bank and worked her way up the ladder. She was recruited to a couple of other banks before she opted to manage a local hotel, she said.
In the meantime, she moved to Wheeling and then to Lake Zurich.
“I really believe it is important to be patient and learn more and to get more knowledge, instead of just jumping for another job,” she said. “You should learn and earn your promotions.”
Since she felt customer service came naturally to her, she started to plan events as a side job in 2010.
“From Day One, I always wanted to make customers happy,” she said. “I was doing it naturally and decided to become a certified event planner.”
Last June, she took the plunge and made her event planning side job into a full-time reality. She focuses on weddings, private parties, corporate and other events, some with as many as 450 guests. Her company now has a second office in Wauconda, she said.
She believes she would not have been able to do that if she had returned to Egypt.
“After my divorce, my family just wanted me to return and I did not want to, and all of that just made me stronger,” she said.