Meet Our Mentors + Speakers

//Meet Our Mentors + Speakers
Heidi Levin Headshot

Heidi Levin

Equity International
Heidi Levin is a vice president with Equity International, primarily responsible for the capital markets and investor [...]
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About Heidi Levin

Heidi Levin Headshot

Heidi Levin is a vice president with Equity International, primarily responsible for the capital markets and investor relations activity for the company and its portfolio.

Prior to joining Equity International in 2011, Ms. Levin was a vice president at Northern Trust where she helped manage a private equity fund-of-funds. Previously, she held various positions at Comdisco, ultimately as senior vice president responsible for the firm’s venture network effort investing in technology start-ups. Formerly, Ms. Levin worked at Equity Group Investments and other private equity firms. She started her career at Drexel Burnham Lambert in the mergers and acquisitions group.

Ms. Levin received a BS with high honors from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned her MS in computer science from the University of Chicago.

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Larry Levy

Levy Restaurants
Larry Levy is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Chicago-based Levy Restaurants as well as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer [...]
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About Larry Levy

Larry-Levy-Headshot

Larry Levy is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Chicago-based Levy Restaurants as well as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of his real estate development company, The Levy Organization.

Since its founding in 1978, Larry has built Levy Restaurants into a dynamic culinary and hospitality business known nationwide for award-winning restaurants and as the innovator and market leader of sports and entertainment dining. With Larry’s guiding creativity, Levy Restaurants has blossomed from a single delicatessen in Chicago into a specialized food service organization with a network of internationally acclaimed restaurants and the leading market share of high-end sports and entertainment facilities throughout North America and England.

Larry’s commitment to excellence and passion for quality in each of the business groups has made Levy Restaurants one of the fastest growing foodservice companies in America. Larry sold Levy Restaurants to the Compass Group of London in 2006 and he remains Chairman.

Levy Restaurants pioneered the concept of premium dining in sports and entertainment venues back in 1982. From its base of award-winning restaurants, including Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia in Chicago, and Fulton’s Crab House and Portobello Yacht Club at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, the company has grown to 79 sports and entertainment locations including convention facilities, music/performance venues, and stadiums and arenas for all major sports leagues in 40 markets worldwide.

Throughout the company’s 33 year history, Levy Restaurants has hosted and continues to cater events such as the Kentucky Derby, World Series, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, Super Bowl, GRAMMY Awards, U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, and the NHL and NBA All-Star Games.

Larry’s vision for real estate has also guided many major real estate projects in the last three decades including One Magnificent Mile, Woodfield Lake Office Campus, Waterfall Glen Office Park, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Center, One South Dearborn and Butterfield Center for Business. The Levy Organization, in partnership with Hines, is Managing Partner for River Bend, a one million square foot mixed use development on the Chicago River and for One South Dearborn.

Larry has been recognized by his industry and peers with numerous awards including the 1999 IFMA Gold Plate Award as Restaurateur of the Year in the United States as well as the Ivy Award, the restaurant industry’s Academy Award, in 1992 for Spiaggia, for Bistro 110 in 1993, and in 2003, Levy Restaurants received the first Ivy Award ever given to a sports and entertainment foodservice company. Larry was awarded the prestigious Northwestern University Alumni Award in 1982, the Kellogg School’s Shaffner Award in 2003. Larry and his wife, Carol, created and endowed the Levy Institute of Entrepreneurial Practice and the Levy Social Entrepreneur Lab at Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where Larry is a Trustee. Most recently, SportsBusiness Journal included Larry in its ranking of the “20 Most Influential People in Sports Facilities.” In 2001, Larry received Ernst & Young’s Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Larry received his B.S. and M.B.A. at Northwestern University. He was the Chairman of the Chicago Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization and continues to serve on many civic, corporate and charitable boards.

Michael Lindenmayer Headshot

Michael Lindenmayer

Caregiver Relief Fund
Michael is the founder of the Caregiver Relief Fund. Michael has a long history of building social ventures. He was an early [...]
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About Michael Lindenmayer

Michael Lindenmayer Headshot

Michael is the founder of the Caregiver Relief Fund. Michael has a long history of building social ventures. He was an early adopter of the award winning leading micro-credit institution, the Grameen Bank and of the leading literacy organization, Room to Read.

He is a founding member in the Rio Leadership Institute and of the South Leadership Institute. Michael is a member of the brain trust of World Blu, the thought leader on democratically run organizations.

Michael commenced his career in investment banking. He worked at Morgan Stanley in their New York and London offices. He did post-graduate research for James P Womack during his tenure at MIT. He is a frequent speaker on caregiving issues, frequent radio guest and committed champion of caregivers. He graduated cum laude from Kalamazoo College. Michael is a partner in a consulting firm and speaks 5 languages.

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Iain Lopata

Iain Lopata is an information technology executive with 30 years experience planning, delivering and managing in complex [...]
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About Iain Lopata

Iain-Lopata-Headshot

Iain Lopata is an information technology executive with 30 years experience planning, delivering and managing in complex environments. Iain is former Chief Technical Architect for Accenture, a global Management and IT Consulting Company. His consulting experience includes IT strategy, requirements analysis, design, programming, testing, deployment, maintenance, systems migration, support and project/program management. Iain has served as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University teaching Product Development in the Masters of Engineering Management Program within the McCormick School of Engineering. Iain had counseled small businesses and startups at SCORE and serves on the Board of YJT Solutions, a Chicago based Managed Services Provider. Most recently Iain has returned to software development and is involved in ventures spanning education, legal services and consulting.

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Bart Loethen

Synergy Law Group
Bart is a founding Partner of Synergy Law Group (May 2000) and has a background that has enabled him to develop expertise in [...]
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About Bart Loethen

Bart Loethen Headshot

Bart is a founding Partner of Synergy Law Group (May 2000) and has a background that has enabled him to develop expertise in a variety of disciplines. Bart practices in all of the firm’s practice areas, including Corporate Law, Securities & Finance Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, Technology & Licensing, Real Estate, and Litigation. Bart has an emphasis on corporate law, specializing in information technology and marketing companies. His experience includes work with privately-held and public companies, mergers and acquisitions, private placement investments, financial transactions and licensing matters, as well as general corporate matters. Bart has significant experience with software providers, real estate settlement companies (mortgage, title and mortgage due diligence), hedge funds, real estate developers and service companies. Bart also does significant work in the emerging alternative public offering sector, working with several companies that have become public through reverse mergers and other alternative means.

Prior to the practice of law, Bart was a Revenue Agent with the Internal Revenue Service.

Bart holds a B.S./B.A. in Accounting from the University of Missouri (1986), took and passed the CPA exam and received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law (1994). Bart is a member of the Illinois and Chicago Bar Associations.

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Eddie Lou

Shiftgig
Eddie is the CEO and co founder of Shiftgig. Prior to that, he was a general partner with OCA Ventures, where he led 10 [...]
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About Eddie Lou

Eddie Lou Headshot

Eddie is the CEO and co founder of Shiftgig. Prior to that, he was a general partner with OCA Ventures, where he led 10 technologyinvestments and had nine board responsibilities. Previously, he was the founder of PlanetHVAC, a business-to-business software and service provider to HVAC companies, and started a manufacturing facility in China. He also co-founded and is an executive board member of a non-profit, One Goal (formerly known as Urban Students Empowered), and was recognized in 2010 as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s “40 Under 40” and 2011 as Chicago United’s “Top Business Leaders.”

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E. Jeffrey Lyons

City Capital Advisors
E. Jeffrey (Jeff) Lyons is a serial entrepreneur focused on launching, financing, and profitably growing early-stage digital [...]
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About E. Jeffrey Lyons

Jeffrey Lyons Headshot

E. Jeffrey (Jeff) Lyons is a serial entrepreneur focused on launching, financing, and profitably growing early-stage digital business and information services companies.  For over twenty years, he has consistently created significant shareholder value with cofounders, team members, investor partners and clients.

Over the last ten years, Jeff has been an execution-focused leadership team member (President, Executive Vice President) and active Board director in VC and private equity-backed emerging growth businesses.  His functional areas of expertise include developing and executing market-driven strategic growth plans, entrepreneurial finance (including raising angel and venture capital and private equity), leading corporate and business development, managing strategic partnerships and M&A, and scaling business operations.

Jeff is currently a Board Director and principal shareholder of BigTime Software, Inc. and served as President from 2010 through mid-2012. BigTime Software offers web-based time, billing, and practice management solutions for growing professional services firms.  He was instrumental in executing a multi-year agreement licensing BigTime technology to Intuit, Inc. in 2010 and leading the Company’s oversubscribed $2.7 million Series A venture capital financing in 2011.  Since 2006, he has been an Operating Director of City Capital Advisors, L.L.C., a Chicago-based investment and merchant banking firm.

In 2003, Jeff co-founded PRIMIS Marketing Group, a private equity-backed marketing services firm, and served as Executive Vice President responsible for corporate strategy and M&A. PRIMIS deployed $40 million in capital, completed four acquisitions in 2½ years and was successfully sold (50+% IRR) to a $1.5 billion private equity firm in 2006.

His operating background includes experience as a senior executive for business development, M&A, and corporate strategy in emerging, growth-oriented businesses.  Prior to co-founding PRIMIS, he was a founder of two management consulting firms after ten years of corporate experience in Big Four management consulting and commercial banking.

Jeff is a strategic advisor and mentor to early-stage technology entrepreneurs. He is currently an advisor/mentor to three digital start-up teams.  He serves on the NUvention: Web Advisory Board and in the Kellogg Entrepreneur-In-Residence program at Northwestern University. In 2010 he was a New Venture Lab class mentor at the Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2008 and 2009, he was an MBA student team judge in the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Jeff has been a lecturer in Kellogg’s Entrepreneurial Finance course and the Illinois Institute of Technology’s course in Venture Capital and Enterprise Finance.

Jeff holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management with concentrations in finance, accounting, and marketing (1983) and a BBA degree from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business (1980), and has continued his professional development in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education through executive education programs at Babson College, Stanford University and USC.

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Ameena Majid

Seyfarth Shaw
Ameena Majid, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw and co-chair of the Executive Compensation Group, serves as outside counsel to [...]
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About Ameena Majid

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Ameena Majid, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw and co-chair of the Executive Compensation Group, serves as outside counsel to senior management and compensation committees, advising on strategic and operational employee benefit and executive compensation matters. These matters include corporate governance, fiduciary issues, design (tax, accounting and securities issues) and implementation on a variety of employee equity programs and deferred compensation arrangements as well as representation of both management and individuals in employment and severance negotiations. As the relationship partner for clients across industry sectors, Ameena collaborates with clients and leads teams to navigate areas beyond her specialty including, non-compete/restrictive covenants, retention issues, government agency investigations, and HR and employment issues. Ameena is skilled at navigating human dynamics and distilling the complex to the simple while helping clients marry the legal and practical to achieve their business objectives.

Ameena thrives on continually learning and helping individuals create trusted relationships and businesses. Ameena is an Advisory Board Member for Able Made, an early stage social enterprise in the fashion industry based in New York. In this role, she is a sounding board for and guides the CEO & Founder on a variety of areas including capital raising, investor presentations, business terms with retail partners and designers, business plan and growth, employee equity and governance issues, product development and customer engagement. In 2014, Ameena participated in the Pipeline Fellowship, a boot camp for women angel investors, focused on supporting women and minority led social enterprises.

Ameena serves as a Director for Seyfarth’s Charitable Foundation Board, which supports the pro bono and community efforts of Seyfarth’s attorneys and staff. In 2013, she was ranked among the top 40 under 40 lawyers in Chicago by the National Law Journal.

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Lawrence Mandes

Galvanize
Lawrence is a co-founder, managing director and partner of Denver-based galvanize, an organization focused on growing [...]
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About Lawrence Mandes

Lawrence Mandes Headshot

Lawrence is a co-founder, managing director and partner of Denver-based galvanize, an organization focused on growing digital businesses/entrepreneurs through capital, community and curriculum. Lawrence has more than 20 years of capital markets/deal transaction experience and led the acquisition and development of galvanize’s first community building (30,000 sf/opened 10/12). Lawrence is a member of galvanize’s investment committee and actively mentors/advises multiple companies. Through galvanize’s i4c platform, Lawrence is also active in developing and supporting sustainable, social impact entrepreneurism.

Bret Maxwell Headshot

Bret Maxwell

MK Capital
Bret is a Managing General Partner at MK Capital, which manages over $250 million in two venture capital funds that have [...]
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About Bret Maxwell

Bret Maxwell Headshot

Bret is a Managing General Partner at MK Capital, which manages over $250 million in two venture capital funds that have invested in more 35 digital media and software companies since 2003. He is also the Managing General Partner on three of the Productivity Funds totaling $200 million in committed capital. Bret has been a decision-making partner in six other fully invested funds, representing over $300 million in committed capital. Prior to founding MK Capital, he was the co-Founder of First Analysis’ venture capital practice in 1985. In addition to his expertise in digital media and software, Bret has invested in outsourced business services, environmental services, telecom and internet infrastructure, and energy and power infrastructure over the past 27 years. Bret is a graduate of The McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and Kellogg’s Graduate School of Management. He has served as the Chairman of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, and is a director on the board of Mount Sinai Hospital, the Ark and on the finance committee of the Jewish United Fund. He is also Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Bret can be reached at bmaxwell@mkcapital.com.

Matt McCall Headshot

Matthew McCall

New World Ventures
Matthew McCall is a Partner at New World Ventures and co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson Portage Venture Partners. McCall [...]
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About Matthew McCall

Matt McCall Headshot

Matthew McCall is a Partner at New World Ventures and co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson Portage Venture Partners. McCall has been involved with investments in Analyte Health, Beachmint, BigFrame, BrightTag, Cognitive Concepts (acquired by Houghton Mifflin), Eved, EverDream (acquired by Dell), Feedburner (acquired by Google), Imago Scientific (acquired by Ametek), KingMaker, Lefthand Networks (acquired by HP), Performics (acquired by Doubleclick/Google), Playdom (acquired by Disney), Raved, SMS-Assist, Siimpel (acquired by Tessera) and TicketsNow (acquired by Ticketmaster).

McCall has been honored on Crain’s Chicago annual “40 under 40” list of leading Chicagoans under age 40 and top Tech 25. He has been named as one of the Top 100 VC’s in the US and a Hollywood 100 Power Player. He has keynoted or been a panelist at over 100 conferences and events nationwide. He is the founder & trustee of the McCall Family Foundation, focused on encouraging social entrepreneurship and global human/women’s rights. He has served on numerous regional high technology advisory boards. He is the author of a popular venture blog, www.VCConfidential.com.

Previous to 1995, McCall worked in the Boston Consulting Group’s Chicago office, where he managed consulting and client teams on projects in the telecommunications, health-care and financial services industries. During and after college, McCall worked for Bankers Trust in Merchant Banking as well as at Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust.

McCall holds a B.A. in Economics and History from Williams College and an MBA with honors from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He also holds a Masters in Manufacturing Management from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering.

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Chris McLaughlin

Ventricle
Chris is an entrepreneur and consultant on strategic growth efforts for public and private sector organizations. He is the [...]
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About Chris McLaughlin

Chris McLaughlin Headshot

Chris is an entrepreneur and consultant on strategic growth efforts for public and private sector organizations. He is the founder of Ventricle which is a strategy and development firm that works with entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses with socially responsible missions. He firmly believes in old-school business fundamentals, new-school technology and the ability for businesses to create positive social change. With a background in manufacturing Chris has lived in China managing products and building field offices for US retailers. Since then Chris has taught a number of courses abroad including Social Entrepreneurship while in Tibet last summer.  He has served as board president of the Chicago-based Arts of Life, an arts community for adults with intellectual disabilities and also devoted his time to a number of other nonprofit organizations over the past 15 years.

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Rob McLennan

ParkWhiz
Mr. McLennan is the VP of finance for ParkWhiz.  He has served as CFO/ VP Finance for a number of early-stage and growth [...]
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About Rob McLennan

Rob McLennan Headshot

Mr. McLennan is the VP of finance for ParkWhiz.  He has served as CFO/ VP Finance for a number of early-stage and growth companies, including: FutureSimple, developer of Base, the first “Post-PC” CRM; Red Foundry, a platform for mobile app development and monetization; and Zaplee, a provider of hosted business phone systems. Mr. McLennan was previously Chief Financial Officer of Indie Energy, a design-build contractor of geothermal HVAC systems for commercial and industrial buildings. Earlier he was Director of Finance and Operations at Discovery Group, a merchant bank managing several private investment partnerships. Prior to 2006, Mr. McLennan managed accounting, finance and operations for several of his own businesses, including a retail franchise, a live music club and a film and video production company. He previously worked as a corporate finance analyst at William Blair & Co., where he assisted with a variety of IPOs, secondary offerings and M&A transactions.

Mr. McLennan graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering Sciences, and received a Master of Business Administration degree with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Leslie Meredith

Leo Burnett
Leslie spearheads the Social Purpose initiative at Leo Burnett, and also leads teams for clients like Nintendo and [...]
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About Leslie Meredith

Leslie Meredith Headshot

Leslie spearheads the Social Purpose initiative at Leo Burnett, and also leads teams for clients like Nintendo and Steelcase. In developing the cause marketing strategy for Walgreens, she saw an opportunity for companies and brands to become more successful through the pursuit of social impact tied directly to their brand purpose. The implementation of this strategy at Walgreens has led to award-winning work across the shopper, promotional, cause and integrated marketing spectrum.

Her eight years at the agency have also included stints directing pioneering work for various Kellogg brand portfolios and turning around the business development team for both Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide. Before that, she spent 18 years as a client-side marketer (11 of them in Europe), for Summit Industries, GlaxoSmithKline and Heineken. There she honed her expertise in brand management, advertising, sports marketing, trade marketing, packaging and PR.

Outside the agency, Leslie runs a community garden plot benefitting the local food pantry and teaches kids how to grow and cook “real” food. A former triathlete and avid team sports player, most of her competitive spirit is these days contained to Words with Friends and board game marathons with her 13-year-old daughter.

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Kurt Merriweather

Discovery Communications
Kurt Merriweather is Director, Strategy and Emerging Business Development, Discovery Communications, Inc. (DCI).  [...]
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About Kurt Merriweather

Kurt Merriweather Headshot

Kurt Merriweather is Director, Strategy and Emerging Business Development, Discovery Communications, Inc. (DCI).  Merriweather is a founding member of Discovery’s recently formed Emerging Business Group (EBG).  Discovery’s EBG is part think tank, part product and partnership development group with the objective of delighting Discovery audiences across platforms (video, mobile, social media).  Merriweather leads efforts to identify and incubate new business opportunities that leverage new audiences, new products and new business models.  Prior to joining the Emerging Business team, Merriweather led strategic planning and commercial partnerships across Discovery’s online, social media and mobile properties.  He was instrumental in sourcing and closing the acquisition of Revision3 and championing Discovery’s recent investment in Lumosity.  Merriweather also nurtured partnerships to launch Social TV experiences and grow audiences for Discovery’s web properties.  Merriweather also led digital media team participation in the acquisition of HowStuffWorks, the largest digital media transaction in Company history.

Before joining Discovery in January 2007, Merriweather was Business Director for AOL Music Now and was responsible for AOL’s premium music business operations.  Merriweather joined AOL in 2004 to lead product management for AOL’s anti-virus services.  Merriweather joined AOL Digital Services in 2005 and was instrumental in defining AOL’s video search strategy.  Merriweather has held a variety of product marketing and product management positions at Silicon Graphics, Digital Island and Cable & Wireless.

Merriweather received his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Steven-N-Miller-Impact-Engine

Steven N. Miller

Investment Committee
Steven N. Miller is a principal and co-founder of Origin Ventures. Prior to co-founding Origin, Steve spent 10 years at [...]
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About Steven N. Miller

Steven-N-Miller-Impact-Engine

Steven N. Miller is a principal and co-founder of Origin Ventures. Prior to co-founding Origin, Steve spent 10 years at Quill Corporation, a direct marketer of office products started by his family in 1956. His experience there included running the Canadian distribution center as well as P&L responsibility for a $30 Million product line. Steve’s final two years at Quill were devoted to starting up the e-commerce operation. He wrote the business plan for the company’s first web site,www.quill.com, and managed the team that executed it to $15 Million in annual revenue. In 1998, the Miller family sold Quill to Staples and achieved a $1 Billion exit.

Steve serves on the board of VHT, and was previously a director of GrubHub and Shoutlet.  Prior to its sale in 2004, he served on the board of directors of iNest. He was also an investor and advisor at Golf.com, before it was acquired by Time Inc. in early 2006.

Steve is president of the board of Victory Gardens Theater. He serves on the board of OneGoal, an innovative college persistence program working to make college graduation possible for all students. Steve is a board member and committee chair of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, as well as the Better Government Association. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, and the University of Illinois Foundation.

Steve received a B.S. degree in Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987, where he now serves on the Dean’s Business Council and the board of the Hillel Foundation. He also provides the funding for the Steven N. Miller Entrepreneurial Scholarships and the Diane & Steven N. Miller Endowed Professorship in Business at the University of Illinois.

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Colleen Mitchell

VENTURE3PHILANTHROPY
Responding to a call for greater service, Colleen Mitchell created VENTURE3PHILANTHROPY, Ltd., a professional philanthropy [...]
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About Colleen Mitchell

Colleen Mitchell Headshot

Responding to a call for greater service, Colleen Mitchell created VENTURE3PHILANTHROPY, Ltd., a professional philanthropy advisory company in 2010.

VENTURE3PHILANTHROPY’s mission is to offer new leadership perspectives to advance philanthropy at the intersection of all three sectors – private, public and social sectors – to benefit all client partnerships; providing personalized, confidential and strategic philanthropic consulting and organizational services which delight clients and help them advance their desired outcomes for making a lasting, social impact

Prior to establishing VENTURE3PHILANTHROPY, LTD., Colleen served as President of NorthShore University HealthSystem Foundation in Evanston, IL.

She is currently an active Member and Advisory Cabinet Advisor for the Council of Michigan Foundations, and an Associates Member of the Donors Forum of Illinois.

Colleen Mitchell earned her B.A. from The Ohio State University, cum laude.

Matt Moog Heashot

Matt Moog

Viewpoints
Matt Moog is the Founder & CEO of Wavetable Labs a digital business incubator, Founder & CEO of Viewpoints.com, a [...]
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About Matt Moog

Matt Moog Heashot

Matt Moog is the Founder & CEO of Wavetable Labs a digital business incubator, Founder & CEO of Viewpoints.com, a leading provider of consumer reviews and the Founder of BuiltInChicago.org an online community for digital technology entrepreneurs in Chicago.

Wavetable Labs launched in April 2013.  Built In launched in September 2010.  And Viewpoints launched in September 2007.

Matt is also an active angel investor.  He co-founded the FireStarter Fund in January 2012 with Brian Hand, Troy Henikoff, Sam Yagan and 40 other digital entrepreneurs. Since launch FireStarter Fund has made nine investments including Retrofit, Give Forward, Kapow, Shiftgig, Cartavi, DIYSEO, Hireology, Tap.me and Pangea.

Previously Matt spent ten years at CoolSavings.  He joined CoolSavings as the fifth employees in 1996 as the VP of Sales and was promoted to EVP of Sales and Marketing and later to President & CEO. The company went public in May 2000.  As CEO he led a turn around that resulted in revenue growing from $21 million to $80 million over five years. In 2005 he led a transaction that took the company private at valuation of $220 million.  Under his leadership the share price grew more than 400% over five years.

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Patty Huber Morrissey

Groupon Grassroots
Patty Morrissey, Manager of Groupon Grassroots, leads the philanthropic arm at Groupon. Harnessing the collective action [...]
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About Patty Huber Morrissey

Patty Huber Headshot

Patty Morrissey, Manager of Groupon Grassroots, leads the philanthropic arm at Groupon. Harnessing the collective action platform, Patty developed the Groupon Grassroots initiative to turn deal seekers into do-gooders by tapping into the collective power of the group to respond to local community need. Passionate about volunteer involvement and crafty with online engagement, she has led Grassroots in raising funds and awareness for local charities across the nation.

Patty discovered her passion for community development and civic engagement through her experience developing service-learning and experiential education programs for high school and college students. She went on to produce corporate volunteer programs while pursing work in mental health and social service agencies. Patty approaches corporate citizenship and civic engagement from a social work perspective and seeks to create innovative ways to solve social problems through sustainable for-profit models.

Patty has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from James Madison University, as well as a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago. Her hobbies include braving the elements during her year-round bike commute to work and spending time with her husband, Brian, and daughter Vivian Rose.

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Suzanne Muchin

Mind + Matter Studio, The Big Payoff
Suzanne Muchin is a principal at Mind + Matter Studio, and co-founder and co-host of The Big Payoff radio talk show, podcast [...]
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About Suzanne Muchin

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Suzanne Muchin is a principal at Mind + Matter Studio, and co-founder and co-host of The Big Payoff radio talk show, podcast and video series. Suzanne lives, eats, and breathes the challenge of forging new markets for big ideas. Obsessed with figuring out the path from here to there for concepts that will change the world, she’s launched 20 companies — including several with business partner and best friend, Rachel Bellow. Together, Rachel and Suzanne have advised some of America’s most prominent leaders in business, philanthropy, venture capital, sports and academia. They created The Big Payoff so their experience could pay off for others — to help everyday entrepreneurs make their big ideas realities.

Prior to serial entrepreneurship, Suzanne was the Vice President of National Programs at Teach for America and later, the CEO at Civitas, a marketing and communications company founded by the former president of Harpo Entertainment. In 2012, she was inducted into the Chicago Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and is a frequent public speaker and guest lecturer at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Currently, she serves as a member of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and as both a member of the Board of Advisors and Board of Directors of the Chicago Children’s Museum. Suzanne also mentors Chicago entrepreneurs at 1871, Impact Engine and TechStars. She runs marathons as a way to get a break from raising five children and a dog.

Lindsay-Mosher-Mullen

Lindsay Mullen

Prosper Strategies
Lindsay Mullen is co-founder and CEO of Prosper Strategies, a mission-driven marketing and communications firm [...]
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About Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay-Mosher-Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is co-founder and CEO of Prosper Strategies, a mission-driven marketing and communications firm headquartered in Chicago. Born into an entrepreneurial family, Lindsay is passionate about helping people build and grow their organizations. There’s nothing she likes more than navigating a tough challenge with resourceful strategy. Lindsay loves to work with clients to get to the core of who they are and bring their strongest stories to the forefront. If you’ve got an angle, she’s got you covered. She has a knack for getting people to say, “I never thought of it that way.

In addition to her great storytelling abilities, Lindsay isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and enjoys spending time in the trenches developing strategy and concepting new ideas, companies and nonprofits. She has also worked with some of the most prominent organizations in the world to build their marketing initiatives, engage stakeholders and navigate communications challenges. Through her work, she has launched companies and careers, created local and national thought leadership campaigns and taken brands to the next level. Lindsay has a lot of heart and an interesting way of connecting dots others don’t even know exist.

Lindsay also leads the Illinois Technology Partnership (ITP), a nonprofit dedicated to creating more tech friendly policies in Illinois.

She is called on to provide insight and expert testimony on tech-related policies at the state level and has been influential in the passage of legislation to increase tech funding and expand infrastructure investment in Illinois.

In addition, Lindsay is a council member for Ms. Tech, an organization helping tech women do business and businesswomen do tech. She regularly conducts communications workshops at organizations including 1871 and the Impact Engine Accelerator for those looking to grow their businesses with the support of effective marketing and communications.

Prior to launching her own firm, Lindsay worked at national public affairs firm, Resolute Consulting, where she launched and was a leader in the technology practice group. In addition, she managed communications support for corporate and nonprofit clients going through various regulatory and approval processes.  Lindsay previously developed and managed national campaigns for a communications firm in Washington, D.C., where she specialized in earned media placement and managed event logistics for clients.

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Patrick James Murphy

DePaul University
Dr. Murphy is the head of DePaul University's Social Enterprise Collaborative. He is Associate Professor of Management in [...]
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About Patrick James Murphy

Patrick Murphy Headshot

Dr. Murphy is the head of DePaul University’s Social Enterprise Collaborative. He is Associate Professor of Management in the Driehaus College of Business and a tenured member of the entrepreneurship faculty. Over the last decade, he has lectured on entrepreneurship topics in multiple countries and served as a consultant and advisor to over 100 entrepreneurs and companies in Chicago and beyond. Many of his students become entrepreneurs. His work has been covered by USA Today, US News and World Report, Financial Times, WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight,” and more.

Before academia, he was a small craft engineer in the US Navy and Organizational Development Specialist at the North American headquarters of French multinational Schneider Electric.  Professor Murphy has published over 20 business research studies in leading scholarly journals and sits on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Perspectives and Journal of Management History. His recently published book, Mutiny and Its Bounty (Yale University Press), analyzes and draws from hundreds of historic first-person accounts of mutiny in the Age of Discovery to delineate insights into coordinated upward defiance phenomena in today’s enterprises, especially ones facing high uncertainty and risk. He is a functional speaker of Mandarin Chinese and has received multiple awards for research and teaching excellence.

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Vinay Nagaraju

Riders for Health
Vinay Nagaraju is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Riders for Health. Riders for Health is an award winning [...]
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About Vinay Nagaraju

Vinay Nagaraju Headshot

Vinay Nagaraju is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Riders for Health. Riders for Health is an award winning international social enterprise. Riders has managed vehicles in Africa for over 20 years to overcome the barriers that distance and isolation cause, for delivering equitable health care. The organisation runs fleets of vehicles in sub-Saharan Africa for ministries of health and other partners on a non-profit basis, ensuring health workers regularly reach isolated and vulnerable people on an efficient and cost-effective basis. Riders has its operations in The Gambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Lesotho. Vinay is responsible for the operations in their Africa based programmes through the Country Directors and in-country management teams.

He holds an MBA from Said Business School, University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Bangalore University, India. Prior to his MBA, he worked with Honeywell Aerospace for six years. In 2001, he co-founded an NGO called ‘Spandana’ aimed at empowering underprivileged children in their education in Bangalore, India. In 2007 he was selected by StartingBloc as one of the 100 young leaders for the Global Social Innovation Fellowship at London Business School. He is an ardent writer, passionate traveller, a numismatist and an international award-winning philatelist. He finds it fulfilling and purposeful in making a difference to communities.

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Thania Panopoulos

The Perissos Group
Thania Panopoulos is principal of The Perissos Group, a business development consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs, [...]
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About Thania Panopoulos

Thania Panopoulos Headshot

Thania Panopoulos is principal of The Perissos Group, a business development consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs, leadership teams and investors build innovative and successful ventures. Prior to forming The Perissos Group, Thania was a Managing Director at Sandbox Industries, a venture firm and business incubator. Thania has extensive experience in general management, marketing, operations, and consumer finance. Thania was a co-founder of Buzz Divine, an integrated marketing communications firm, launched the e-Commerce business for HSBC’s consumer and mortgage lending division and led significant growth in GE Capital’s consumer finance portfolio.

Thania is the founder of Friends of Hogar Rafael Ayau, a social enterprise dedicated to providing a home, educational, and employment opportunities for abandoned children in Guatemala. She is a co-founder of Social Venture Partners Chicago, a venture philanthropy fund and she is a Director of the Illinois Education Foundation, an organization that provides community college scholarships and support services to low-income, high potential students. Thania received her BA from Boston College and her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

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Sampo Parkkinen

ShopperTracker
Sampo Parkkinen is a Finnish startup entrepreneur, investor and early business advisor. Having started his first company at [...]
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About Sampo Parkkinen

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Sampo Parkkinen is a Finnish startup entrepreneur, investor and early business advisor. Having started his first company at the age of 21, he sold his last technology startup, RapidBlue Solutions, a pioneer in offline retail analytics to ShopperTrak (Chicago, USA) in 2013, after scaling company operations to expand across 13 countries.

As co-founder of RapidBlue with a business background, Sampo raised multiple rounds of funding from angel investors and venture capitalists, lead product development teams, achieved product/market fit and taught himself the basics in several programming languages. As part of his work at RapidBlue, Sampo pioneered a solution for measuring the impact of online advertising on brick-and-mortar retailer performance in 2012 and is often featured in industry publications and events as a guest speaker. His academic accomplishments include co-authoring a patent in the field of indoor location.

Since 2013, Sampo has acted as an active advisor, mentor and angel investor to startup companies in the USA, Finland and Poland.

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Dhaval Patel

    iMPOWER Humanity
    Dr. Dhaval S. Patel’s passion has always been to help people around the world, especially in developing countries. As [...]
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    About Dhaval Patel

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    Dr. Dhaval S. Patel’s passion has always been to help people around the world, especially in developing countries. As such, he co-founded and leads iMPOWER Humanity, a global social business, which strengthens human capacity, implements entrepreneurial initiatives for social impact, and offers innovative advice. Dhaval has established himself over the past two decades as a senior executive, implementer, innovator, advisor, trainer, award-wining public speaker, and professor.

    Using his expertise with social development programs, capacity strengthening, business investments, innovation & entrepreneurship, public-private partnerships, strategic planning, and research & metrics, Dr. Patel has worked in 70 countries in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe. His ideas, programs, initiatives, and advice are evident in multiple arenas, such as public health groups, development firms, innovation labs, film industry, prison systems, private sector businesses, faith-based organizations, community-based entities, and academic institutions. To share his experiences, Dhaval spends considerable time at institutions speaking with and mentoring others by delivering talks, seminars, and lectures on various topics, including social development business initiatives, innovation & entrepreneurship, social justice, international issues, career development, ethics, and health.

    In the past, Dhaval has worked with numerous organizations, including the United Nations Children’s Fund, Population Services International, International Center for Research on Women, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health-Center for Communication Programs, Susan T. Buffett Foundation, Soul City: Institute for Health and Development Communication, Marie Stopes International, United States Agency for International Development, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Scott & White Foundation, Michigan State University, Texas A&M University System-School of Rural Public Health & Department of Communication.

    Dr. Patel is a partner with Henderson, Harper, & Associates and serves as a board member, advisor, or consultant for many organizations globally.

    He is multi-lingual and speaks, reads, writes, and/or understands English, Spanish, Gujarati, and Hindi.

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    Brent D. Payne

    Loud Interactive
    Brent D. Payne started doing ‘SEO’ before it was even called ‘SEO’. He’s an internet marketer with over a decade [...]
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    About Brent D. Payne

    Brent Payne Headshot

    Brent D. Payne started doing ‘SEO’ before it was even called ‘SEO’. He’s an internet marketer with over a decade of experience and proven success. He cut his teeth in online marketing as a vendor for Amazon.com where he became Amazon’s second largest electronics vendor by driving demand to Amazon from search engines. Brent is esteemed as one of the top SEOs in the world. He speaks around the world (just Google ‘SEO presentations’ to find them) at online conferences and has held online marketing roles at prestigious companies such as Tribune Company, where he grew Tribune’s search engine traffic from 500,000 visits per day to 1,700,000 visits per day in just 3 years. He’s been consulting since 2009. He did so part time at first as he drove success at Tribune. He began consulting full-time in 2011 with the advent of BaldSEO.com. He has helped several different companies in several different industries. In fact, his success necessitated the expansion of the consulting firm beyond himself which eventually led to the creation of Loud Interactive.

     

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    J.B. Pritzker

    The Pritzker Group
    Throughout his business, philanthropic and political involvement, Jay Robert (J.B.) Pritzker, has built a reputation as a [...]
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    About J.B. Pritzker

    JB Pritzker Headshot

    Throughout his business, philanthropic and political involvement, Jay Robert (J.B.) Pritzker, has built a reputation as a strong leader, an innovative entrepreneur and a champion of charitable causes.

    J.B. Pritzker was born January 19, 1965, in Northern California. He attended Duke University where he earned an A.B. in political science. He later earned his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

    His businesses include New World Ventures—a venture capital firm—and The Pritzker Group—a private investment firm. He is also a principal owner of Hyatt Hotels Corporation and TransUnion Corporation.

    As president of the Pritzker Family Foundation, he established the Children’s Initiative, which funds programs for children in underserved communities. He also helped create the Pritzker Consortium on Early Childhood Development at the University of Chicago.

    As chairman of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Pritzker successfully led the effort to build a world-class international institution in the Midwest dedicated to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides. A committed advocate for human and civil rights, he is the principal funder of the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor, the most significant online source for news and commentaries regarding the international criminal tribunal created to bring to justice the perpetrators of Pol Pot era acts of genocide.

    J.B. Pritzker is also an active civic leader and engaged board member of several cultural, educational and business organizations locally, regionally and nationally.

    He lives in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife, M.K., and two children.

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    Tom Quisel

    OkCupid
    Tom Quisel is a Technical Strategy and Data Science consultant based in Santa Barbara. He has 10 years of experience in the [...]
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    About Tom Quisel

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    Tom Quisel is a Technical Strategy and Data Science consultant based in Santa Barbara. He has 10 years of experience in the software industry and studied Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He recently moved from NYC, where he guided OkCupid through acquisition and massive growth as its CTO. At OkCupid, he focused on servant leadership, creating a top-tier technical team, using statistics to guide decisions, and building scalable distributed systems.

    Tom is passionate about helping startup founders achieve their fullest potential. He previously mentored with TechStars NYC and is currently mentoring with The Impact Engine. Tom is excited about social and environmental causes, and wants social responsibility to be a cornerstone of startup culture.

    Outside of work, Tom loves going outdoors to hike, paraglide, run, and practice acroyoga or staying indoors to learn more about our world through Radiolab, Coursera, and TED Talks.

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    Dan Ratner

    Investment Committee
    Dan Ratner is Executive Chairman and co-founder of Public Good Software, which is redefining online philanthropy. Prior to [...]
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    About Dan Ratner

    Dan-Ratner-Headshot

    Dan Ratner is Executive Chairman and co-founder of Public Good Software, which is redefining online philanthropy. Prior to PGS, he was Director of Development helping to build the technology team for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Before the campaign, Dan served as co-founder and COO/CTO at Sittercity, the nation’s largest service dedicated to helping parents find quality childcare online. In addition to his startup and campaign work, Dan is on the boards of Open Books, a Chicago literacy organization, and Fulcrum Point New Music Project. When not working, he loves to write and has published two non-fiction books on nanotechnology and is working on an upcoming novel. He lives in Chicago with his wife Genevieve Thiers and their amazing twin sons Ari & Leo.

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    Jochen Renz

    SalesEnablers
    Prior to founding SalesEnablers Joe served as the Vice President of Sales Enablement at CA Technologies. Across his 19+ year [...]
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    About Jochen Renz

    Jochen-renz-Headshot

    Prior to founding SalesEnablers Joe served as the Vice President of Sales Enablement at CA Technologies. Across his 19+ year career in IT he lead large consulting and sales operations teams including P&L responsibility of CA’s USD 1bn+ EMEA business based in London, UK. Joe brings a wealth of experience in streamlining operations and driving complex transformation projects. Joe’s passion is to create high performance sales teams through Sales Enablement best practices and enabling technology. Joe was born and raised in Germany and currently resides in Chicago, IL. He received his Diploma Engineer (FH) from the Hochschule Heilbronn, Germany and his Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    John Rompon Heashot

    John Rompon

    McNally Capital
    John Rompon is a Managing Partner of McNally Capital.  Over the course of his 25-year career, John has played a leading [...]
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    About John Rompon

    John Rompon Heashot

    John Rompon is a Managing Partner of McNally Capital.  Over the course of his 25-year career, John has played a leading role in virtually every aspect of the private equity investment cycle – structuring transactions as a lawyer, improving operations as a consultant, leading management teams as a CEO, and evaluating opportunities as an investor. He brought these experiences to bear in co-founding McNally Capital, a firm dedicated to serving the full range of private equity needs of family offices.  John’s rare combination of operational and investment experience allow him to drive real value creation in complex private equity portfolios.

    As a Managing Partner, John shares responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the firm and focuses on the development and implementation of strategies that will help families achieve their private equity objectives.  With his consulting background and experience as a senior operating executive, John works directly with a family’s portfolio companies and fund managers to unlock value and manage risk.  In addition, deploys capital into privately negotiated operating company in order to fulfill a family office’s private equity objectives.

    Prior to co-founding McNally Capital, John was an independent investor.  He was previously a founding member and principal in Hewlett-Packard’s global Business Process Outsourcing group, where he led transactions in India, Europe and Latin America. Before joining HP, John was the CEO of Brigade, LLC, a General Atlantic Partners portfolio company based in Hyderabad, India that focuses on delivering business process outsourcing services to companies in Europe and the North America.

    As a partner with First Consulting Group, a healthcare technology-consulting firm, he established a captive venture capital firm and two consulting practices. Prior to FCG, he was a founding partner of SAI, Inc., a healthcare consulting and investment firm, which he and his partners sold to Perot Systems.  John also served as a senior associate with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and as a lawyer with Latham & Watkins.

    John sits on a variety of private and non-profit Boards and is a regular speaker at conferences on topics regarding private equity investing.

    John holds a B.A. in Economics and History (with honors) from Northwestern University and a J.D. (with highest honors) from Indiana University – Bloomington.

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    Mark Roth

    Sinergi
    Mark Roth brings more than 16 years of experience balancing the "science" and the "art" of digital communications for small [...]
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    About Mark Roth

    Mark Roth Headshot

    Mark Roth brings more than 16 years of experience balancing the “science” and the “art” of digital communications for small and large-scale projects. He has a deep understanding of publishing in interactive media, business models, dynamic data-driven websites, and infrastructure technologies. Mark has proven experience forecasting successful strategic directions beyond current industry trends. He brings three years experience on large-scale web development projects for established, heavily trafficked, consumer-facing websites. In 1995, his senior year of college, he was one of the co-founders of CenterstageChicago.com, the original online Chicago city guide. In 2006, he led the acquisition of Centerstage by the Sun-Times News Group. From 2006 until 2011, he served as a Director on the Interactive Team at Sun-Times Media.

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    Nick Rosa

    Sandbox Industries
    Nick Rosa is Co-founder and Managing Director of Sandbox Industries. Prior to forming Sandbox, Nick led a buyout of The [...]
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    About Nick Rosa

    Nick Rosa Headshot

    Nick Rosa is Co-founder and Managing Director of Sandbox Industries. Prior to forming Sandbox, Nick led a buyout of The NutraSweet Company and served as CEO. His other experiences include senior executive positions at Monsanto and Searle, as well as experience with Masonite Corporation and Baxter. Nick has lived and worked in several countries including Kuwait, Switzerland and France.

    Nick serves as an advisor to several companies, including Excelerate Labs, Lab42, E-motion, Fee Fighters and Marbles The Brain Store. Nick has worked with numerous civic organizations such as Perspectives Charter School, Hull House, Working in the Schools, The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Sister Cities and Boys and Girls Hope; additionally, he has been involved with numerous commercial organizations including The Economic Club of Chicago, The Mid America Committee, Illinois Business Roundtable, French-American Chamber of Commerce, World Economic Forum and the U.S.-China Business Council. Nick holds a B.S. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from DePaul University.

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    Sharon Schneider

    Moxie Jean
    Sharon Schneider is the founder and CEO of Moxie Jean (formerly Good Karma Clothing for Kids), a new service for busy [...]
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    About Sharon Schneider

    Sharon Schneider Headshot

    Sharon Schneider is the founder and CEO of Moxie Jean (formerly Good Karma Clothing for Kids), a new service for busy parents that delivers hand-picked baby clothes that you exchange as baby grows. Moxie Jean recently won COMMON Pitch NYC to be crowned “best collaborative consumption startup” and has been featured on Good Day Chicago, Mashable, Technorati, GOOD, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Babies.com, Trendhunters, and many others.

    Prior to founding Moxie Jean, Sharon was Philanthropic Director at Foundation Source, the nation’s leading provider of support services for private foundations, where she assisted the company’s 1,000 family foundations to accomplish their philanthropic goals, particularly through social enterprise and impact investing. She co-authored Strategic Philanthropy: Five Approaches to Making a Difference and is the author of popular blog The Philanthropic Family.

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    Debra D. Schwartz

    John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
    Debra D. Schwartz is Director of Program-related Investments (PRIs) for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur [...]
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    About Debra D. Schwartz

    Debra Schwartz Headshot

    Debra D. Schwartz is Director of Program-related Investments (PRIs) for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

    Debra oversees the Foundation’s $300-million PRI portfolio of below-market loans and investments which it uses principally to support economic development and affordable housing organizations in the U.S. She also co-leads the Foundation’s $150-million national initiative, Window of Opportunity: Preserving Affordable Rental Housing.

    Before joining MacArthur in 1995, Schwartz was chief financial officer for a nonprofit in Chicago and an investment banker at John Nuveen & Co. where she helped originate over $1 billion in tax-exempt bonds for municipalities and health care institutions. Schwartz is a past presidential appointee to the United States Treasury Department Community Development Advisory Board and a founding member of the PRI Makers Network national steering committee. She is a Social Enterprise Fellow at the Yale School of Management and a Lecturer at the University of Chicago where she teaches a new undergraduate course, “The Business of Nonprofits and the Evolving Social Sector.”

    Schwartz graduated from Yale University summa cum laude and received a Master’s degree in finance and nonprofit management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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    Wes Selke

    Hub Ventures
    Wes is Founding Director of Hub Ventures, a startup accelerator for entrepreneurs building a better world. Hub Ventures, [...]
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    About Wes Selke

    Wes Selke Headshot

    Wes is Founding Director of Hub Ventures, a startup accelerator for entrepreneurs building a better world. Hub Ventures, which is part of the Global Accelerator Network championed by TechStars, helps world-changing entrepreneurs build their startups better and faster with funding, mentorship, peer collaboration, workshops, and investor connections. Wes is also the Investment Manager for Good Capital’s Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, where he leads deal sourcing, due diligence, transaction execution, and portfolio management. He is actively engaged with the portfolio as Chairman of the Board for Alter Eco Americas and as Board Observer for Better World Books and Adina for Life. Wes has ten years of investment management and transaction experience in the financial services industry and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Prior to Good Capital, he spent two years as an Equity Research Associate at William Blair & Company covering the Digital Media Sector, and four years with Ernst & Young Corporate Finance where he advised privately held companies on mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring transactions. Wes earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a BBA from the University of Michigan with an emphasis in Finance and Accounting. Wes is passionate about economic justice and has worked with a variety of organizations that are seeking to alleviate global poverty. He is also an active member of Christ Church East Bay, where he serves on the Financial Advisory Board. Wes can be reached at wes@hub-ventures.com.

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    Tasha Seitz

    Partner + Chief Investment Officer, Investment Committee
    Tasha Seitz is a Partner & Chief Investment Officer at Impact Engine. Tasha has been a technology venture capital [...]
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    About Tasha Seitz

    Tasha Seitz Headshot

    Tasha Seitz is a Partner & Chief Investment Officer at Impact Engine. Tasha has been a technology venture capital investor with JK&B Capital since 1997, focusing on enterprise software, Internet infrastructure and mobile infrastructure investments. She serves on the board of and is the Chief Investment Officer for Impact Engine, where she coaches impact entrepreneurs in fundraising as well as identifying the ever-evolving landscape of impact investors.

    Tasha serves on the board of directors for Baynote, Vormetric, Spark Ventures, Social Venture Partners, and Impact Engine.

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    Matt Sheehan

    Primo Water
    The career of Matt Sheehan, Chief Operating Officer at Primo Water, spans retail, software, consulting, technology, and [...]
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    About Matt Sheehan

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    The career of Matt Sheehan, Chief Operating Officer at Primo Water, spans retail, software, consulting, technology, and distribution businesses in functions that include logistics/operations, sales and business development, innovation, consulting, and technology. Matt has held executive, general management, logistics and sales roles for companies such as Redbox, IBM, Manhattan Associates and Streamline.com, a home grocery delivery start up.

    Matt was one of the first 15 people and one of the early executives at Redbox/Coinstar, helping to deliver remarkable six-year revenue growth from $4 million to $1.8 billion. Matt held several roles at Redbox/Coinstar, including new venture strategic advisor, VP/GM of the first automated retail ventures and VP of Sales and Business Development. In his sales role, Matt acquired retailers that represent over $1B of the company’s revenue today.

    Matt earned a Bachelor of Business Management and Communications degree at Bentley College in Waltham, MA in 1997, and an MBA from the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University in 2005. Matt is Chair-elect of the Alumni Advisory Board of the MBA program at Penn State, Co-Founder, investor, and Board member of M4 Research, a newly established social media measurement venture and Advisor to Fresh Takes Kitchen, a startup focused on bringing healthy food to low income families in the country. Matt, his wife Tricia, and their three children, Cavan, Riley and Grady, reside in Oak Park, Illinois.

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    Jeff Shuck

    Event 360
    Jeff Shuck is the Co-Founder and CEO of Event 360. Since the company's founding in 2002, Jeff has led the Event 360 team [...]
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    About Jeff Shuck

    Jeff Schuck Headshot

    Jeff Shuck is the Co-Founder and CEO of Event 360. Since the company’s founding in 2002, Jeff has led the Event 360 team to produce more than 200 fundraising events involving hundreds of thousands of participants, which have collectively raised nearly $700 million for charity from millions of donors. A prominent thought leader in the fields of experiential and peer-to-peer fundraising, Jeff consults extensively on the link between mission, organizational strategy, and development programs. He leads Event 360’s strategy and analytics engagement team, and writes regularly for Event 360’s blog, as well as for Your Part Matters, a blog about fundraising and social impact.

    Jeff serves on the Advisory Council of Invisible Children and the Leadership Council of the Classy Awards. He is currently on board of the ACLU of Illinois and the Notre Dame School Foundation, and advises several other Chicago-area nonprofits. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Vistage, the Giving Institute, and the Giving USA Editorial Review Board.

    Jeff graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester, where he was a National Merit Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and is studying for his MS in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern. Jeff holds a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Center of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

    Jeff lives outside of Chicago in Duneland Beach, Indiana with his incredible wife and four children. He enjoys writing, doting on his aquarium, struggling to learn martial arts, finding time for windsurfing and and more than anything — spending time with his family. This year Jeff ran six miles over dozens of absurdly fun and muddy obstacles to raise money to fight MS in the MuckRuckus MS for the National MS Society.

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    Kim Silver

      The Silver Line
      Kim Silver is the Principal of The Silver Line, a social impact consultancy that works with nonprofits, social enterprises, [...]
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      About Kim Silver

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      Kim Silver is the Principal of The Silver Line, a social impact consultancy that works with nonprofits, social enterprises, foundations, corporations and governments to measure and improve social impact. Kim has more than 15 years of experience leading and managing nonprofits, foundations, government agencies and consulting engagements. She has an extensive background assessing social impact, designing feasibility studies and creating new services, programs and partnerships. Since founding The Silver Line in 2013, Kim has partnered with A Better Chicago, Bottom Line Chicago, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Literacy Alliance, Free Spirit Media, Genesys Works Chicago, Global Detroit, Hephzibah Children’s Association, Hope Street Group, Illinois Mentoring Partnership, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership, Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation, Thrive Chicago, Urban Initiatives, Urban Libraries Council and WomenOnCall.

      Prior to founding The Silver Line, Kim was a Director and founding team member with Mission Measurement, a strategy and measurement consulting firm. Kim led the nonprofit and foundation practice team and worked with national nonprofit organizations and funders to measure and improve their social impact. Kim’s clients included: Kraft, Boeing, Adobe, Common Threads, High Jump, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation, Easter Seals, Inc., Free the Children, National 4-H Council, Skoll Foundation, United Way of Metro Chicago and Water for People. Prior to Mission Measurement, Kim served as the Director of Client Services for Grenzebach Glier and Associates, worked as a Program Development Specialist with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and served as a Program Officer with El Pomar Foundation, the second largest foundation in Colorado.

      Kim is actively involved in the Chicago Community and has held board or board committee roles with Women Employed, The Employment Project, Common Threads, Friends of McPherson, the Organic School Project and Colorado College Alumni Committee in Chicago. Kim graduated from Colorado College with a BA in Psychology.

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      Arun Sivashankaran

      Funnel Envy
      Arun Sivashankaran has worked as a technology entrepreneur for over a decade, and currently spends most of his time as the [...]
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      About Arun Sivashankaran

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      Arun Sivashankaran has worked as a technology entrepreneur for over a decade, and currently spends most of his time as the Founder & Chief Optimizer at Funnel Envy.

      Prior to PVPower, Arun was the CEO of PVPower, an affordable solar products company, and co-founded OhSoWe.com, a site that helps neighbors share, borrow and rent local items and skills.

      Arun was also the co-founder and Director of Technology and Solutions for Entessa. Inc., an enterprise software provider for the energy logistics industry, which was sold in 2010. Arun has worked as a technology and management consultant for several Fortune 500 companies, and in the medical device industry. His background includes technology architecture, implementation, and consulting, as well as software operations and sales.

      Arun is passionate about bringing technology solutions to address some of our most pressing social and environmental concerns, and would like to use his skills and experience to help other socially conscious entrepreneurs. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

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      Michael Slaby

      Timshel
      Michael Slaby is a managing partner and head of mission at Timshel, a social-impact technology and strategy company [...]
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      About Michael Slaby

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      Michael Slaby is a managing partner and head of mission at Timshel, a social-impact technology and strategy company elevating the most inspiring and effective organizations, brands, and funders so that together we can solve humanity’s most important challenges. Prior to Timshel, Michael was the Chief Integration and Innovation Officer for the Obama for America 2012 campaign.

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      Dave Sonders

      gravitytank
      Dave Sonders is an Associate Partner at gravitytank, where he helps organizations create breakthrough products, services, [...]
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      About Dave Sonders

      David Sonders Headshot

      Dave Sonders is an Associate Partner at gravitytank, where he helps organizations create breakthrough products, services, and experiences. Drawing from experience in both creative and analytical roles, he leads innovation efforts for organizations like FedEx, Citigroup, Skype, Unilever, The City of Chicago, and Samsung. Dave guides teams of designers, researchers, and strategists through the complexity and ambiguity of innovation challenges — the so-called “fuzzy front end” that can include contextual research, opportunity framing, ideation and solution shaping, business model design, financial analysis and implementation planning.

      Dave holds a Master of Design Methods degree from IIT’s Institute of Design and a BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Michigan.

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      Matt Spiegel

      MediaMath
      Matt is SVP, GM Americas for MediaMath, where his responsibilities include the expansion of MediaMath’s Americas [...]
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      About Matt Spiegel

      Matt-Spiegel-Headshot

      Matt is SVP, GM Americas for MediaMath, where his responsibilities include the expansion of MediaMath’s Americas operation and development.

      Prior to joining MediaMath, Matt was CEO of Tap.Me, an advertising platform for Branded Enhancements™ in mobile games that MediaMath acquired in December of 2012. Previously, Matt was with Omnicom Media Group where he contributed in multiple roles focused on building the company’s global digital solutions. Most recently, he was the Managing Partner at Annalect Ventures, the corporate development arm of OMG. Matt developed the business model and launched Accuen (Omnicom’s trading desk) and served as the CEO of Omnicom Media Group Digital. Matt is the Founder and former CEO of Resolution Media, a company that he led from a four person start-up to a 100-person organization that was acquired by Omnicom Media Group.

      A true digital veteran and respected thought leader, Matt entered the industry in 1997 and quickly discovered the power of interactive data driven marketing. Capitalizing on the growing field, Matt became an early advocate for digital media on both the buying and selling sides of the industry. Matt is a frequent speaker at industry events, is often quoted within business and trade journals, and is a board member and advisor to both new and leading digital media and technology companies.

      Matt graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. When not hard at work, Matt likes to spend time with his wife and two young boys, travel to interesting locations, and root for his Chicago sports teams.

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      Bruce Taylor

        MB Financial Bank
        Bruce W. Taylor is currently Vice Chairman of MB Financial Bank and serves on the bank’s board of directors. He previously [...]
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        About Bruce Taylor

        Bruce-Taylor-Headshot

        Bruce W. Taylor is currently Vice Chairman of MB Financial Bank and serves on the bank’s board of directors. He previously served as Chairman of Taylor Capital Group from November 2006 until August, 2014 and was a director of the Company since its inception in 1997. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer from November 2006 until March 2010 and President from 1997 until January 2008. In addition, Mr. Taylor was the Chairman of Cole Taylor Bank, a wholly‑owned subsidiary of the Company (the “Bank”), and served as the Bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 1994 until January 2008. He also served in various roles from 1984 until 1997 at Cole Taylor Financial Group (“CTFG”), the predecessor holding company of the Bank, and the Bank. Mr. Taylor is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization, governing commission of the Hillels of Illinois, board of governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council, Midwest trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and is a director of MTL Insurance Company, a life insurance and annuity company located in Oak Brook, Illinois. He is also a past Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Center for Family Health and the Illinois Bankers Association.

        Chuck Templeton Headshot

        Chuck Templeton

        Chairman, Investment Committee
        Chuck Templeton is passionate about early stage and emerging companies, and is focused on using business principles to find [...]
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        About Chuck Templeton

        Chuck Templeton Headshot

        Chuck Templeton is passionate about early stage and emerging companies, and is focused on using business principles to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. He has had the pleasure of being involved with over two-dozen startups as an investor, board member, or advisor, but spends the majority of his time helping impact companies as Chairman of the Board for Impact Engine.

        He took his first big step as an entrepreneur in San Francisco when he founded OpenTable, which went public on the NASDAQ in May of 2009 (OPEN). He helped build an industry leading company that changed the way full-service restaurants manage their top-line growth and diners make their dinner reservations. While CEO, he recruited and hired the first management team, obtained and allocated company resources, led the business and product strategy, and carefully crafted a highly dedicated culture. OpenTable is the global leader in restaurant reservations with customers in all 50 states and more than a dozen countries.

        He used that experience to support the GrubHub team as an Advisor and Director. They grew to be a national leader in providing hungry diners with food delivery and take-out options, while also helping independent restaurants use technology to operate more profitably.

        Chuck also serves on the Board of Directors for Juhl Energy, ThinkCERCA, and Getable.com.

        He spent three years serving in the US Army, becoming Ranger and Sniper qualified. Most importantly, he has an amazing wife and two awesome daughters.

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        Anish Thakkar

        Greenlight Planet
        Anish is CEO of Greenlight Planet, a VC-funded, impact-focused startup which makes and distributes low cost solar home [...]
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        About Anish Thakkar

        Anish Thakkar Headshot

        Anish is CEO of Greenlight Planet, a VC-funded, impact-focused startup which makes and distributes low cost solar home lights for the 1.5 billion consumers in Asia and Africa who use dirty, dangerous kerosene lanterns for work, study and life.  Greenlight has been selected as the most innovative solar company in the BoP space by Ashoka and Deutstche Bank’s global Solar For All initiative, and their products were recently recognized as “the best solar lamp” in the Economist.

        Uniquely, Greenlight sells its life-changing solar-powered lanterns to off-grid families in India and Africa through a massive sales force of trusted, village-level sales agents that promote the company’s products and build trust in its brand at a micro level. Today, over 1,000 active Saathis sell Sun King each month, increasing their own incomes by about 40% from $2 a day on average.  Since 2009, over 400,000 homes in India and Africa have started using Sun King in their house, every night.

        Anish worked previously as a management consult based in Chicago with ZS Associates, the world’s largest sales and marketing consultancy. He resides in Mumbai, India today.

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        Steven Walker

        Quirky
        Steven is the head of platform experience at Quirky.  He was the first designer at Groupon (~25th employee) and scaled the [...]
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        About Steven Walker

        Steven Walker Headshot

        Steven is the head of platform experience at Quirky.  He was the first designer at Groupon (~25th employee) and scaled the design team to over 30 consisting of Product Designers, Communication Designers, Brand Designers, and Design Researchers.

        Steven likes creating things that move individuals in one way or another. Everything that surrounds us has been designed and he’d like to be a part of that process.

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        T. Patrick Walsh

        Greenlight Planet
        Patrick is the Founder & CTO of  Greenlight Planet Inc. Patrick founded Greenlight Planet Inc. while an undergraduate [...]
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        About T. Patrick Walsh

        Patrick Walsh Headshot

        Patrick is the Founder & CTO of  Greenlight Planet Inc. Patrick founded Greenlight Planet Inc. while an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from which he graduated in 2007 with degrees in engineering physics and economics. As a student volunteer with the NGO Engineers Without Borders, he had spent a summer in a rural Indian village building an experimental electricity generator. While living with some of the 1.5 billion villagers around the world who still use dangerous and expensive kerosene lamps to light their homes, Patrick realized that people needed an affordable and modern alternative light source, not charitable donations. He designed Greenlight Planet’s “Sun King” solar lantern as a direct replacement product:  brighter, healthier, and cheaper than the kerosene lamp. Patrick has become a recognized mass-affordability product designer, garnering notable awards from Lemelson-MIT, UNESCO, and the Lighting Africa program.

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        Eric Wasowicz

        Channel Clarity LLC
        Eric Wasowicz is an investor and advisor with Channel Clarity LLC, an Internet marketing company focused in the higher [...]
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        About Eric Wasowicz

        Eric Wasowicz Headshot

        Eric Wasowicz is an investor and advisor with Channel Clarity LLC, an Internet marketing company focused in the higher education and financial services verticals and an Investor and Board Member of NxtTeam, Inc. the largest provider of Oracle education in the United States. He is also an investor and advisor with Positon Tech, LLC a specialized replacement football cleat company founded in the Northern Illinois University Entrepreneurship Program and is an advisor to Keyword First an Internet Marketing agency based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Eric also teaches Applied Entrepreneurship at Northern Illinois University.

        Prior to Channel Clarity, Eric founded Uwantsavings.com, a discount deal of the day provider of house wares and electronics. He founded the company in 2008 with a business plan from the Northern Illinois University Entrepreneurship Program where he assisted as an executive in the classroom.

        From 2006 to 2007, Mr. Wasowicz was a Regional Vice President within Fujitsu Consulting, the North American consulting and services arm for the $40.6-billion Fujitsu group, with responsibility for overseeing the Central Region of the United States and a member of the US leadership team.

        From 1984 to 2006, Mr. Wasowicz was a founder and Co-CEO of Greenbrier & Russel, Inc., a $55m IT Services company with over 400 employees he co-founded in 1984. He successfully sold Greenbrier & Russel to Fujitsu in February 2006.

        Mr. Wasowicz is a 1980 graduate of Northern Illinois University. He is currently on the board of advisors at Northern Illinois University’s College of Business, the board of directors of Northern Illinois University Athletics, the board of directors of the Illinois Technology Association, the board of directors of the Special Leisure Services Foundation, serves as the Past Chair of The Windy City Chapter of the Young President’s Organization and current board member of the World Presidents Organization’s Chicago chapter. Mr. Wasowicz received Northern Illinois University’s Distinguished Young Alumni award in 1999, the Illinois High Technology Award in 2000, a 2001 inductee into the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and the 2009 Business Alumnus of the Year for Northern Illinois University.

        Eric has been married to his wife, Ann Lawrence, for 23 years. Ann is an attorney specializing in Family Law. She is a 1984 graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara. She received her Law Degree in 1991 from the John Marshall Law School. Currently, she is working with organizations in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago on immigration and family law issues.

        They have two children, Tess, 18, and Cole, 15. Their family resides in Palatine, Illinois.

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        Peter Wilkins

        Hyde Park Angels
        Peter Wilkins co-founded and was the CEO of New Futuro, a socially innovative Hispanic education community helping families [...]
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        About Peter Wilkins

        Peter Wilkins Headshot

        Peter Wilkins co-founded and was the CEO of New Futuro, a socially innovative Hispanic education community helping families get their students into college and beyond. He is passionate about New Futuro because he believes it will make our country stronger and the world a better place.

        Peter learned his values from his father, who quit high school to serve America in World War II. Never graduating from high school, Peter’s father vowed to make sure all seven children graduated with a college degree despite his limited income and education. His father was able to realize his dream; Peter was the seventh and final child from his family to graduate from college.

        This experience is very common to many Latino families. Their parents give up everything to try to make a better life for their children, which is the ultimate form of entrepreneurship. This idea drove Peter to conceptualized New Futuro in 2008 at his consulting firm, Omaxen Group. In 2009, Peter teamed with Sterling Partners, a private equity firm with $5 billion under management, to incubate New Futuro. The firm added another strong partner, AP Capital Partners, in the spring of 2011 and launched later that fall.

        Prior to New Futuro, Peter worked with KKR Capstone (KKR’s operations group) as the President of PRIMEDIA Healthcare where he turned around the organization from record losses to record profits and built one of the premier online physician communities. Before PRIMEDIA, Peter successfully served in senior sales and marketing roles for two technology start-ups  collectively sold for more than $2.8 billion.

        Peter holds a degree in business from Indiana University and graduated from the University of Chicago Booth Executive Institute. Peter is dedicated to creating a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chicago. He is active with local entrepreneurial organizations including Impact Engine, Excelerate Labs, TiE Midwest and is a board member of Hyde Park Angels.

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        Kevin Willer

        Chicago Ventures
        Kevin is a Co-founder and Partner of Chicago Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund where he is overseeing all aspects [...]
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        About Kevin Willer

        kevin_willer

        Kevin is a Co-founder and Partner of Chicago Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund where he is overseeing all aspects of Chicago Ventures including fund management, deal sourcing and investments, and working directly with portfolio companies. He joined the fund in June 2013.

        From 2011 to 2013, Kevin was the President & CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC). The CEC is managing, operating and programming 1871, a co-working center with over 225 startups building their early-stage businesses located at The Merchandise Mart. Since opening in May 2012, 1871 has welcomed over 20,000 visitors to events, hosted over 200 workshops reaching 1,500 entrepreneurs, and host 200 office hour sessions with mentors each month. High-profile visitors included British Prime Minister David Cameron, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, AOL Founder Steve Case, and Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy – shining a spotlight on Chicago’s growing startup community nationally and globally. Kevin was also a Venture Partner at New World Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Pritzker Group, overseeing their early-stage Seed Investments from 2011 to 2013.

        Previously, Kevin co-founded the Google Chicago office in late 2000. In his over 10 years with Google, Kevin helped grow this office to more than 400 professionals and led relationships with some of Google’s largest marketing partners based in the Midwest. Before Google, Kevin held business development positions at CMGI, an early internet incubator, and USRobotics, the pioneer in modem technology.

        Kevin is actively involved in several civic and charitable organizations. He was named to Crain’s 2011 “40 Under 40” list as well as Crain’s 2012 Tech 50 list. He is a Director of The Economic Club of Chicago and is a Trustee of his alma mater, Loyola Academy, as well as a Regent at Loyola University in Chicago. He is on the steering committee for Mayor Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, was named to ChicagoNEXT, and is a member of Governor Quinn’s Illinois Innovation Council. He serves on the boards of Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Joffrey Ballet, World Sport Chicago, OneGoal, the Future Founders Foundation, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Kevin earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he serves on the Advisory Board for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College and studied at the London School of Economics. Kevin, his wife Victoria, and their children, Jacqueline, Max and Lizzie, reside in Winnetka.

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        Desiree Vargas Wrigley

        GiveForward
        Half Costa Rican half Kansas Citian, Desiree graduated from Yale University in 2004. Prior to founding GiveForward in 2008 [...]
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        About Desiree Vargas Wrigley

        Desiree Vargas Wrigley Headshot

        Half Costa Rican half Kansas Citian, Desiree graduated from Yale University in 2004. Prior to founding GiveForward in 2008 with co-founder Ethan Austin, she worked as a specialist in collegiate entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansaas City and as an independent consultant for Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors. She is passionate about philanthropy and the role that small-scale donors can have on our communities. When not working, she spends her time with her amazing family and inventing recipes that don’t always work.

        Todd Wyder Headshot

        Todd Wyder

        Pathfinder Software
        Todd Wyder is CEO of Pathfinder Software.  Todd is very passionate about building great software companies, which is [...]
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        About Todd Wyder

        Todd Wyder Headshot

        Todd Wyder is CEO of Pathfinder Software.  Todd is very passionate about building great software companies, which is something he has done over and over in his career running Geneer, rhumbtech, StratAlign, AHA! interactive, Schoolnet, Coe Truman, Pathfinder, and BrokerSavant, to name a few.

        Todd is obsessed with creating great software that users love, and he is also very passionate about building the Chicago-tech community, currently serving as organizer for both ChiPMA and the Chicago Lean Start-Up Circle.

        Prior to getting involved in the Chicago-tech community, Todd was a restaurateur. He is a serious traveler, foodie, sailor and furniture-maker, and dislikes rutabagas both conceptually and has a food substance. He has been known to have eaten palm grubs with indigenous Amazonians and fugu with drunken Japanese businessmen (he has since sworn off the shochu).

        Todd attributes everything he knows to the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”

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        Michael Wyman

          Lantern Partners
          Michael is responsible for client development and project execution in the firm's technology and private equity and venture [...]
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          About Michael Wyman

          Michael-Wyman-Headshot

          Michael is responsible for client development and project execution in the firm’s technology and private equity and venture capital practices.

          Michael’s work focuses primarily on senior-level recruiting for chief executive officers, presidents, board directors, and functional heads of finance, sales, marketing, information technology, and human resources. His clients range from high-growth, early stage ventures to more mature and established companies.

          Michael has been in the executive recruitment business since 1993. Prior to Lantern Partners, Michael spent six years with a Chicago-based boutique executive recruiting firm as well as several years with other firms, including some of the largest executive recruitment firms in the world. Michael also spent two years with Goldman Sachs after college and an additional seven years with Continental Grain as a commodity trader and merchandiser.

          Michael has a BS from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College.

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          Sam Yagan

          Match, Inc.
          Sam Yagan is the Chief Executive Officer of Match, Inc., a division of IAC/InterActive Corp (Nasdaq: IACI) and co-founder of [...]
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          About Sam Yagan

          Sam Yagan Headshot

          Sam Yagan is the Chief Executive Officer of Match, Inc., a division of IAC/InterActive Corp (Nasdaq: IACI) and co-founder of OkCupid and was listed on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in April 2013.  Sam oversees the management of IAC’s global online dating portfolio which comprises over forty brands around the world, including leading properties like Match.com, OkCupid, OurTime, Meetic, Twoo, and ParPerfeito. These businesses generated revenues of over $700 million and profits of over $225 million in 2012. Sam has been a leader in the dating industry since he co-founded OkCupid in 2003. He and his co-founders grew OkCupid into one of the most popular dating sites in America, amassing nearly four million active users. OkCupid has earned widespread media acclaim and has been described as “the Google of online dating” and where “dating meets Facebook.” In 2011, Match, Inc. acquired OkCupid for $90 million.

          Sam’s prior entrepreneurial ventures in the consumer internet sector include eDonkey, Inc. (founded in 2002), once the largest P2P file-sharing application in the world and SparkNotes (founded in 1999), still the dominant brand of study guides. He sold SparkNotes to Barnes & Noble, Inc., where he served as Vice-President and Publisher and oversaw the expansion of the previously all-digital brand into an expansive multi-media business.

          Outside of work, Sam’s primary passion is working with early-stage entrepreneurs. In 2009, he co-founded Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago), a leading start-up accelerator, and served as its first Chief Executive Officer. As a board member of TechStars Chicago, he helps to guide its growth and continues to work closely with its portfolio companies. Sam is also an active angel investor and sits on the board of several start-ups, including BabbaCo, ShiftGig, LiveMinutes, StatHat, AllTuition, and OVM. He also advises several venture capital funds, including Hyde Park Venture Partners, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and the FireStarter Fund, which he co-founded.

          Sam has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and has spoken at the CATO Institute, Digital Hollywood, and the Federal Trade Commission. He was also named to Crain’s “40 Under 40” in Chicago, Billboard Magazine’s list of “Top 30 Executives Under 30” in the entertainment industry, Crain’s “Tech 25,” and Silicon Alley Insider’s SAI 100 and the recipient of IMSA’s “Distinguished Leadership Award” and the DCIA’s “Pioneer’s Award.” Sam has a BA with honors in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he earned distinction as a Siebel Scholar, an Arjay Miller Scholar, and the Henry Ford Scholar, an award granted to each class’s valedictorian.

           

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          Michael Yoch

          Shiftgig
          Michael is VP, Product at Shiftgig, a Chicago-based startup in the employment space that is connecting millions of people [...]
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          About Michael Yoch

          Michael-Yoch-Headshot

          Michael is VP, Product at Shiftgig, a Chicago-based startup in the employment space that is connecting millions of people with millions of shifts. He is responsible for the strategy and delivery of Shiftgig’s user-facing technology serving clients, workers, and internal teams. With a background in engineering, he is passionate about product’s role helping companies build the right things to serve users and generate enterprise value.

          Previously at HelloWallet and National Public Radio (NPR), he has experience building and managing teams to deliver award-winning, user-focused products for both b2b and b2c audiences. HelloWallet was acquired in 2014 by Morningstar after receiving a variety of enterprise and consumer awards including the 2013 Webby for best in financial services / banking. At NPR he launched public radio’s podcasting system, led the development of NPR’s mobile services, and ran the R&D efforts to reinvent radio for internet-connected platforms like TVs and cars.

          He enjoys helping others and serves as an advisor / mentor to promising startups. He has a BA and JD from the University of Texas at Austin. Formerly a competitive swimmer, he still does open water swimming races with his wife, Kendra.

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