Executive Council

Jeremie Bacon CEO, The Forge Adventure Parks

Mr. Bacon is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur in B2B software and Outdoor Recreation. He is CEO of The Forge Adventure Parks, which designs, constructs, and operates large-scale outdoor recreation parks. He formerly served as CEO of Imagineer Technology Group, President of Itiviti Americas, and CEO of Backstop Solutions Group, which he co-founded in 2003. Early in his career, he spent several years as an institutional equities associate at Goldman Sachs, specializing in sales and trading for hedge funds, mutual funds, and pension funds.

He is a board member and strategic advisor to several fund management and software companies, is the founder of The Forge Charitable Adventures, The Highwater Foundation, and Chicago Tech Rocks, and serves on the boards of 1871 and i.c. stars, a nonprofit that uses project-based learning to provide an opportunity for future leaders to develop skills in business and technology. Mr. Bacon earned a B.S. in International Studies and Global Economics from Brigham Young University and a graduate research diploma from the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

Arthur C. Carlos CEO, Clear Spring Health

Mr. Carlos brings over 25 years of healthcare experience in various leadership and entrepreneurial roles. Currently, he serves as CEO and President of Clear Spring Health, a national provider of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans.  Previously, he served as President and CEO of Symphonix Health Insurance, a national Medicare Part D insurer that he built from start-up to $2 billion in expected prescription drug sales within three years of founding the company. He has also served as President and CEO of Destiny Health Insurance Company (now The Vitality Group), an early stage consumer directed health insurer. Mr. Carlos played a key role in transforming the business into a nationally recognized, premier wellness services company. The Vitality Group is now one of the largest wellness networks in the United States. Mr. Carlos’s prior experience includes 16 years with Aon and Hewitt Associates, where he served in various leadership roles, including as chair of the national actuarial practice council and member of the executive committee helping set global strategy. Mr. Carlos earned a B.S. in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and an Enrolled Actuary under ERISA.

Michael A. Clogg Retired President, Industrial Parts Depot

Mr. Clogg has served as an executive in multiple industrial manufacturing/distribution businesses, growing the top line and improving bottom line results through a combination of organic growth, successful M&A integration, and financial management. Mike has led turnarounds as well as growth businesses.  His background includes significant international experience and brand building.  Prior to his role as President and COO of Industrial Parts Depot, Mr. Clogg served as a VP at Federal Mogul, was President of FP Diesel, a Fel-Pro company, and he currently serves on several mid-market advisory boards.  Mike earned a B.A. in Marketing from Michigan State University.

Caralynn Nowinski Collens CEO, Dimension, Inx

Dr. Collens is the CEO of Dimension Inx, a regenerative medicine company harnessing the power of a patented 3D-printing biomaterials platform. Previously, she was co-founder and CEO of UI LABS, a research and commercialization collaborative that launched MxD, the national digital manufacturing institute, and City Tech, a digital innovation hub for cities. She continues to serve as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of MxD. Dr. Collens spent her early career in venture capital and corporate finance, focusing on technology-based university spin-outs. She was a Principal with early-stage venture capital firms ARCH Development Partners and Midwest Venture Partners, and SVP of Sikich Investment Banking. As a graduate student, she co-founded SanoGene Therapeutics, an early-stage biotechnology company. She is a member of World Business Chicago’s ChicagoNEXT Council of technology leaders, the Commercial Club of Chicago, and The Chicago Network. Dr. Collens earned a B.S. in Human Communication Sciences at Northwestern University and both an M.B.A. and M.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Grieg W. Coppe Former CSO, Intuit

Mr. Coppe is an independent advisor and early stage investor, and has served on the boards of directors of or as an advisor to several companies, including Accuvant, Fuhu and Xero, as well as many start-ups he has invested in. Most recently, he was the Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer of Intuit, where he led a team setting strategy for the company’s $4B business and oversaw several key acquisitions. Prior to that, Mr. Coppe was a senior partner with Accenture for over 20 years, with several responsibilities including serving on the firm’s Global Leadership Team, and as Managing Partner, Corporate Development and Strategy. He worked with a broad spectrum of high tech companies, including component suppliers, computer and networking manufacturers, consumer electronics and software companies, to formulate corporate and business unit-level strategies. Mr. Coppe earned a B.S. in Engineering with Highest Honors from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Mike Hobbs Former CEO, Engineered Glass Products

Mr. Hobbs is a strategic and operational business leader with a track record of optimizing value in the manufacturing space. He served as CEO of Engineered Glass Products, where his vision resulted in sales and profit growth exceeding 500% from 1995 to 2007. During that time, Mr. Hobbs orchestrated a management buyout of the company and significantly modernized corporate structure and processes. Prior to that, he was a successful commissioned salesperson in the wholesale glass business, and earlier served as General Manager of a 22-store retail auto glass installation business. In addition to his involvement with charitable organizations focused on providing educational and professional development to disadvantaged youth, Mr. Hobbs serves on several boards of directors, including Iowa Glass Depot, Bellarmine University, LIFT, E2C, ANEW, New Covenant Community Development Corporation and Veterinary Pharmaceutical Solutions.  Mr. Hobbs earned both a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.B.A. from Bellarmine University.

Tao Huang Retired COO, Morningstar

Mr. Huang was the COO of Morningstar, a top global provider of investment research, until his retirement in 2010. He spent nearly two decades at Morningstar, taking on increasing levels of responsibility from his start as an entry-level technical programmer. Mr. Huang led initiatives enabling significant growth, both organically and through acquisition, and oversaw continuous improvements in the operation of the firm’s core businesses. He has been Director of Principal Mutual Fund since 2012, Director of Armstrong World Industries, Inc. since 2010, and Director of Equity Lifestyle since 2015. Mr. Huang earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Hunan University, China, an M.S. in Computer Science from Marquette University and an M.B.A. from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Stephen Izzo CEO, Zonatherm

Stephen Izzo serves as CEO of ThermFlo Inc. and Zonatherm Products Inc. a 50 year old company providing concept to completion, Electrical and Thermal management design build and service for mission critical facilities.  They represent Generac standby power systems, Vertiv, and StarLine.  Mr. Izzo earned a B.S. in Mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and is an alumnus of Harvard University’s Owner president management (OPM) program.  He is a professional engineer licensed in Illinois.

Kim Kamin PRINCIPAL & CHIEF WEALTH STRATEGIST, Gresham Partners, LLC

Ms. Kamin is a Principal at the wealth management firm, Gresham Partners, where she serves as the Chief Wealth Strategist, leading Gresham’s development and implementation of estate, wealth transfer, philanthropic, educational, and fiduciary planning activities. Previously she was a partner at Schiff Hardin LLP where she practiced in the Private Clients Trusts & Estates group for many years. Ms. Kamin is also an adjunct professor at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and on faculty with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive Education. She is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Trusts and Estates Magazine, President for the Chicago Estate Planning Council, a Regent with the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and on the Advisory Board and Leaders Council for the UHNW Institute. She is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago and serves on advisory boards for the Chicago Community Trust, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Northwestern Memorial Foundation Council for Philanthropy, the Goodman Theatre, and the Chicago Foundation for Women. She also serves on the Executive Committee for the Lurie Children’s Legacy Partners and on the Board of Leaders for the Stanford Club of Chicago. Ms. Kamin received a B.A. in Psychology, with distinction and departmental honors, from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

 

Pamela Forbes Lieberman Retired CEO, True Value

Pamela Forbes Lieberman serves on the Boards of Directors of Standard Motor Products, Inc. and John B Sanfilippo & Son. Ms. Forbes Lieberman served as President & CEO of True Value Company, where she led a successful turnaround. Additional leadership positions include Interim COO Entertainment Resource Inc. and Chief Financial Officer positions at True Value Company, ShopTalk, Martin Brower and Fel-Pro Inc. Ms. Forbes Lieberman additionally serves on the Board of Trustees of Rush University Medical Center, Strategic Advisory Board of Morrow Sodali, National Association of Corporate  Directors Chicago Chapter Board, Advisory Board of Villanova University Widger School of Law’s Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance, is a member of The Chicago Network, International Women’s Forum, The Economic Club of Chicago, Private Directors Association and is a former board member of several public, private and not for profit organizations. She is a frequent speaker on leadership, culture, employee engagement and turnarounds. Ms. Forbes Lieberman began her career at Price Waterhouse, is a CPA, and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Illinois.

 

 

 

R. Brad Morehead CEO, Preferred Podiatry Group PC

Mr. Morehead is CEO of Preferred Podiatry Group PC, the nation’s leading provider of ancillary health care services to residents of long-term care facilities, and is a faculty member of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to joining Preferred Podiatry, Brad was the CEO of LiveWatch, a provider of home security systems and commercial security solutions through its subsidiaries Safemart.com and Able Security. Previously Mr. Morehead served as CFO of Feldco Factory Direct, a leading home renewal company. He also worked in private equity with San Francisco-based Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, and investment banking with Goldman Sachs (New York) and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (Chicago). Mr. Morehead received a B.S. in Business Administration with Highest Distinction from Indiana University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

John H. Muehlstein Chairman, Pedersen & Houpt

Mr. Muehlstein serves as Chairman of Pedersen & Houpt, bringing considerable expertise to his Corporate and Business Counseling practice in the areas of corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, venture capital, private equity & debt offerings, and financial restructurings. He has established an impressive track record in private capital placements that require the formation of limited liability companies and the negotiation of capital structures. Mr. Muehlstein serves on the boards of directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Pedersen McCormick Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, and Underwater Safaris Fund for Marine Research, as well as the Advisory Council of the University of Dayton School of Law. He earned a B.A. from the University of South Florida and a law degree from University of Dayton School of Law.

Henry Park Chief Investment Officer, Summit Point Capital

Mr. Park, Chief Investment Officer of Summit Point Capital, brings 19 years of experience successfully investing in the mining, metals and commodities sector. He has built a career overseeing commodity investing in equities and futures for multiple investment firms including: Vulcan Mining (a mining private equity platform for Soros Fund Management), The Electrum Group, and Soros Fund Management. Mr. Park began his investing career at GE Capital where he was Assistant Vice President in the distressed debt businesses, followed by a stint as a long/short equity analyst in the basic materials sector for Highlander Fund Management, part of Ospraie Fund Management’s Wingspan platform. He received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Chicago and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Dan Rosskamm President, Big Lift

Mr. Rosskamm serves as President of Big Lift, manufacturer of the Big Joe™ line of material handling equipment and as a Board Member of EP Equipment.  EP Equipment is Big Joe’s parent Company and is the fastest growing forklift manufacturer in the world with an installed base of over one million lift trucks.  Prior to Big Joe, Dan spent time at Target Corporation in a variety of finance and merchandising roles.  He also served as a strategy and operations consultant at Deloitte, where he led retail and distribution projects. Mr. Rosskamm earned a B.S. in Finance from Washington University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  In 2018, Dan was recognized as a Rising Star by the Illinois Small Business Administration for his stewardship of Big Lift.

Michael Rothman Founder & CEO, Second Avenue Group; Founder & Chairman, SMS Assist

Mr. Rothman is the founder and CEO of Second Avenue a full-service single-family rentals platform offering innovative solutions to home buyers, sellers, renters, and investors. In addition, Mr. Rothman has over 25 years of experience in the industrial service sector and 10 years in the retail services industry. Mr. Rothman served as chairman and CEO of SMS Assist, L.L.C. since its startup to May 2017.  Mr. Rothman currently serves as chairman. Michael Rothman founded SMS Assist with six employees to the 900+ employee enterprise firm it is today. Under his leadership, SMS Assist transformed into one of the fastest-growing technology companies globally. In 2016, the same year Rothman was named a Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year and also a national finalist by Ernst & Young, SMS Assist received $150 million in Series D funding at a $1 billion valuation from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, the same team that invested in Uber, Facebook, Pinterest and Spotify. SMS Assist has received the Momentum Award for its technology. Michael transformed the business from a traditional brick and mortar service company into an advanced technology company whose mobile and cloud-based facilities maintenance platform manages over 30,000 affiliated providers to service a nationwide roster of Fortune 500 retail and industrial clients representing over 250,000 locations. SMS Assist’s proprietary technology provides vendor management, logistics planning, real-time order tracking, predictive modeling and electronic invoicing to deliver on-time, best-in-class service to every location, every time. Prior to SMS Assist, Mr. Rothman founded Kenny Industrial Services, a national coating and industrial cleaning company servicing 1,200 industrial customers, many from the Fortune 500. During his five-year tenure, Mr. Rothman was responsible for growing the company’s annual revenues to $240 million from $7 million, with 32 offices nationwide and over 3,000 employees. Before Mr. Rothman’s departure in 2003, he positioned Kenny as the No. 1 coating company and No. 32 in the top 600 specialty contractors in the country rated by E&R (Engineering Newsweek) and won many top safety awards. Prior to Kenny, Mr. Rothman founded Combined Plant Services and sold it to Waste Management. From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Rothman served as president of the CPS division of National Service Corporation and then vice president of marketing for the industrial cleaning division of Rust Industrial Services. Mr. Rothman attended Arizona State University.

Harry Seigle Principal, The Elgin Company

Mr. Seigle brings decades of investing and operating experience as a principal of The Elgin Company, a family office focused on real estate management, investing and philanthropy, and as former president of Seigle’s Inc, an Illinois-based lumber supplier. He spent 30+ years in various executive roles of Seigle’s Inc as the family business grew to over $300 million in annual sales and was eventually sold to Stock Building Supply/Wolseley PLC in 2006. Mr. Seigle also serves as a trustee of Washington University, the 2016 Chicago Jewish United Fund Campaign Chairman, and outgoing president of Chicago’s American Jewish Committee. Additionally, he serves on the boards of Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Civic Federation of Chicago. Mr. Seigle received a B.A. in Political Science from Washington University, and a J.D. from Northwestern University.

Marc R. Shiffman President & CEO, SMS Assist

Marc Shiffman serves as the president and chief executive officer at SMS Assist, in addition to serving on the board of directors. With over a decade of experience leading SMS Assist, most recently as president and chief financial officer, Marc has been a driving force behind the company’s rapid revenue and profitability growth, and he has overseen the development of technologically driven, market-leading solutions in the facilities management industry.

SMS Assist is redefining the way service providers and property owners work together by delivering unprecedented transparency and control within the facilities maintenance industry. Retail stores, banks, restaurants, rental homes, and more make up the 200,000+ properties that rely every day on SMS Assist’s technology platform, in-house subject matter experts, and 24/7 support. SMS Assist leverages its network of 20,000 skilled providers across more than 55 trades to deliver an exceptional maintenance experience to the communities where we live and work.

During Marc’s tenure, SMS Assist has grown to more than 750 employees. In June 2016, SMS Assist raised $150 million at a $1 billion valuation from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, the same team that invested in Uber, Facebook, Pinterest, and Spotify.

Before joining SMS Assist, Marc provided strategic, financial, and operating support to entrepreneurs leading early-stage startups as they transitioned to hypergrowth mode. Prior to that, Marc worked as a senior executive in corporate finance and general management at MacAndrews & Forbes-owned-and-operated companies including Revlon, The Coleman Company, and Sunbeam Household Products.

Marc earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Marc currently serves on the Chicago Innovation Board of Advisors, and in July 2019, Marc was named to the Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50 list.

 

Kerim Taner Founder and CEO, Taner Capital LLC

Mr. Taner has 25 years of experience in agriculture including farming, processing, branding, marketing and distribution. He was the founder of Alara Agri in Turkey, a farming and export company vertically integrated to the market by his joint venture investments in Argentina, Belgium and England. Under Mr. Taner’s leadership, Alara became the largest cherry and fig supplier with a globally recognized brand. After the acquisition of his company by publicly traded Greenyard Foods based in Belgium, he became the COO of the group, executing several successful turnarounds in sourcing operations. He led the process of spinning off all the farming entities domiciled in South America, Africa and Europe, and restructured them under a new company, The Fruit Farm Group. As the CEO of the new corporation, Mr. Taner created one of the most sustainable, cost efficient and quality driven farm-to-market organizations. He also has new two investments in Turkey of which he is the Executive Chairman of both – Perla Fruit which is a fresh produce grower, packer, marketer and distributor and Giai Labs specialized in agricultural analysis.  He earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Istanbul University and M.B.A. degrees from Marmara University and the University of Chicago.

Michael Wandell Chief Commercial Officer, BSE Global

Mr. Wandell oversees the ticketing, suites, sponsorship, and marketing departments across all BSE Global teams and venues. He is also responsible for the development and growth of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center brands both locally and internationally through both revenue-driven opportunities and marketing operations. Wandell joined BSE Global after spending more than three years as the Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he oversaw all corporate partnership sales and service and was responsible for directing and developing joint sales strategies with the team’s media partners. Prior to joining the Dodgers, he was Vice President of International Business Development at the National Basketball Association where he focused on creating large-scale global partnerships across Asia, India, Africa, Europe, South America, Mexico and Canada. Wandell’s more than 20-year career has also included time in Beijing and Shanghai overseeing all business development for NBA China, in addition to ticket sales and marketing partnership roles at the Indiana Pacers, Phoenix Suns, and Charlotte Bobcats. Over the course of his career, he has generated more than $1 billion in total sponsorship revenue. A native of Champaign, IL, Wandell graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in History.

Jeffrey Wellek President, NJB Investments, LLC

Jeff is a partner in TRO Investment Partners, a private investment firm as well as President of NJB Advisors, LLC, a management advisory firm and the owner of two bicycle stores.  He has a 35 year career in business and law.  He has owned, operated and acquired many businesses, the majority of which were consumer products businesses which supplied major retailers including, Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dicks and Walgreens.  Jeff received a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and a JD from Northwestern University.

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