Arius Hounwanou | 33
Graphic designer, Cullinan Properties
As senior graphic designer at Cullinan Properties, Arius Hounwanou is responsible for creating schematic design concepts during the developmental stage of each project, managing corporate branding, marketing collateral design, assisting in project management, and producing leasing presentations for prospective tenants.
At Cullinan, he has been instrumental in the growth and development of mixed-use projects such as Grand Prairie Developments in Peoria, The Levee District in East Peoria, Streets of St. Charles in Missouri, Rock Run Crossings in Joliet and the Tampa VA Mental Health Center in Florida.
Arius is a current member and past president of the local American Institute of Architects. He is a LEED Green Associate. He and team members have won gold and silver awards from the American Advertising Federation.
Arius is a soccer coach at St. Thomas School in Peoria Heights, and he volunteers at Peoria Rescue Ministries.
Since moving to Peoria from southern Illinois, “he has truly acclimated and become a part of our community … leading by example with his great work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude,” said his nominator.
He and wife Grace are raising two little boys who are very involved in local sports and other activities.
Childhood ambition: To become “a pilot, which is funny considering I’m afraid of heights.”
Advice to 20-year-old self: “Don’t be too hard on yourself. I was raised to be goal- and results-driven but sometimes the journey/lessons are just as important. As life happens for us, we need to understand that things occur at the perfect time and give ourselves some grace.”
Best advice ever: “Do everything with love and to the best of your ability or don’t do it at all. From my father.”
Biggest challenge: “Moving to the U.S. by myself at 18, not speaking English. Overcoming the language and cultural barriers has been an interesting journey.”