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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Man Up Medical co-founder looks to past to shape present
by Ariel Parrella-Aureli
2019-01-16

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Dean Hervochon dispenses words of advice like they are business cards.

He is the guy who knows everything, as his friends tell him, and he's not full of cliche mottos, either—they all come from personal experience. His knowledge, business experience and connections have reaped benefits in his past careers, his current work and his future endeavors—because in his 50s, he is not done sharing what he has learned.

Hervochon is the co-founder of Man Up Medical clinic in Lake View, and served as the co-founder and executive vice president of Great Lakes Clinical Trials, a research clinic in Andersonville.

It now stands out as a lab that specializes in Alzheimer's and schizophrenia research, but it was just an idea in Hervochon's mind in 2012. It would never have become a reality if it were not for his experience owning Wood restaurant for two years previously. It was there that, after being tricked into business with his friend, he learned the ropes of owning a company and got his guts.

"[Wood] taught me how to open a business and how to be fearless," Hervochon said. "If had never done Wood, I would have never opened Great Lakes."

Hervochon's determination and connections got Great Lakes off the ground in 2013, which he founded with his ex-partner, Steve Satek, who has 25 years of pharmaceutical and clinical research experience. The day after the two discussed starting a clinic, Hervochon had $400,000 in investors and two physicians interested.

The two raised the money, found the doctors, got the patients, found a space and brought the pharma. Hervochon said he raised $1.5 million for the project and Satek around $400,000; the business model proved to be a strong one and, although Hervochon left the team in 2013, he is still one of the top investors in the company.

Originally from Chaparral, New Mexico, Hervochon grew up in a trailer park with slim opportunities. Big cities are where he found his footing, and has been running ever since, having lived in Chicago for 24 years. With his past experience as a flight attendant and a mortgage broker to building houses to owning Wood, he has acquired expertise most won't taste in their careers.

Owning a restaurant and starting two medical practices also allowed him to tap into his leadership skills as the former vice president of the flight attendant union. He held the position for six years and called it an amazing experience, where he learned about labor laws and employee worth—another lesson he brought to his medical worlds.

"People have said I have reinvented myself more than anyone they know," he said.

But he doesn't see it as a reinvention, but a foundation. Building on what he knows has allowed him to use all of his life skills and start Man Up Medical, where he and his team have been able to provide services to men struggling with erectile dysfunction, testosterone-replacement therapy and hormone growth in women.

The clinic opened in June 2018 and has since built a name in Chicago. Hervochon said they have seen steady patients because the products are hard to get and are U.S.-made, which means they are FDA-approved and pure. Trimix, considered the most powerful and effective erectile dysfunction drug, is one of the clinic's bestsellers. Hervochon said patients have cried because they never thought they could get an erection again and the drug tremendously helped them. This shows there is a need in Chicago for these products, which are sold in few clinics in the city, he said.

"As a gay person going into a clinic downtown, you can feel quite awkward because you are talking to a straight guy about having gay sex," Hervochon said. "We've given [the LGBTQ community] easy access to drugs that have changed people's lives."

He said the clinic's team—which consists of physician and medical director Tom Klein, clinic director Peter Georgiou and Hervochon as the head of business development—did not expect the products to be so effective but see them as a medicine to help men with ED.

"We have guys who are bottoms that turn into tops," Hervochon said.

The clinic not only stands out for its services but also because each visit is free and anyone can walk in with proper assessment and blood work, also complimentary. The friendly and personal environment contributes to patient comfort, he said.

"This is where your good deeds and life experience comes into play," he said. "I learned from Great Lakes to pick your partners well and get into business with people who esteem you rather than demean you."

His other long-running passion comes from his love of sharing what he knows: his friends call him the "go to gay guy," which is also his blog where he shares his opinion and advice to readers, both gay and straight. It's known in the local gay community as a place for advice on sex, beauty, fashion, etiquette, entertainment and more. This is one of many examples that Hervochon knows how to turn nothing into something that has increased his confidence, almost with a snap of his fingers. It's another life skill in action.

"If you do good things, it builds your self-esteem," he said. "There is no way to do build your self-esteem unless you do good things."


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