Executive Council

Jeremie Bacon CEO, Synap

Mr. Bacon is a seasoned executive in financial services and B2B software. He is Co-Founder and CEO of Synap Software Labs, and the former President of Chicago-based Orc Americas (now called Itiviti), a trading technology platform for financial market participants. 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. In 2003, he co-founded Backstop Solutions Group, a leading software platform for the alternative investment sector, serving as President and CEO for 10 years. He is a board member and strategic advisor to several fund management and software companies, is the founder of The Highwater Foundation and Chicago Tech Rocks, and has served as a global board member of Hedge Funds Care, a nonprofit philanthropy that advocates on behalf of abused children. 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, Symphonix Health Insurance

Mr. Carlos brings over 20 years of healthcare experience in various leadership and entrepreneurial roles. Currently, he serves 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. Previously, he 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 parts businesses, improving bottom line results and generating business growth through successful M&A integration. Prior to his role as President and COO of Industrial Parts Depot, Mr. Clogg served as a VP at Federal Mogul and President of FP Diesel, a subsidiary of Fel-Pro. He earned a B.A. in Marketing from Michigan State University.

Caralynn Nowinski Collens CEO, UI LABS

As CEO of UI LABS, Dr. Collens oversees the entire research and commercialization collaborative, including the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute and City Digital. Previously she was AVP for Innovation & Economic Development at the University of Illinois. 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 Governor-appointed member of the Illinois Innovation & Competitiveness Council and a member of World Business Chicago’s ChicagoNEXT Council of technology leaders. 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 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 and ANEW. 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 Zonatherm, a power generation dealership in Illinois and Indiana for Generac Generators and Liebert Corporation (Emerson Network Power). He began his career at ThermFlo and Zonatherm as a Sales Engineer contributing to the design, construction and sales divisions. 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.

Kim Kamin CWS, Gresham Partners

Ms. Kamin is a Principal at the wealth management firm Gresham Partners, serving as Chief Wealth Strategist and a Client Advisor. She is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University Law School, where she has been awarded the William M. Trumbull Lectureship. Ms. Kamin leads Gresham’s estate planning, wealth transfer, philanthropic and fiduciary planning activities, and works directly with clients on topics related to managing multi-generational wealth. Previously, she spent 17 years as a practicing attorney and partner at Schiff Hardin LLP, where she counseled individuals and families on all aspects of trust and estate planning, administration, and related dispute resolution, as well a wide array of wealth preservation, taxation and succession planning issues. In addition, she provided counsel for the formation and operation of not-for-profit entities, both private foundations and public charities. Ms. Kamin is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, where she chairs the New Fellows Steering Committee. She also serves on the Chicago Estate Planning Council Board of Directors, the Chicago Community Trust Professional Advisory Council, the Art Institute of Chicago Gift Planning Advisory Committee, the Northwestern Memorial Foundation Council for Philanthropy, the Goodman Theatre Spotlight Advisory Council, the Chicago Foundation for Women Professional Advisory Council, and the Chicago Stanford Association’s Board of Leaders. Ms. Kamin received a B.A. in Psychology with Distinction from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Pamela Forbes Lieberman Retired CEO, True Value

Ms. Forbes Lieberman serves on the boards of directors of AM Castle & Co., Standard Motor Products, and VWR Corporation. She has significant leadership experience in strategic, operating, financial, M&A, organization culture and corporate governance in global retail, distribution and manufacturing companies — both growth and turnaround. She served as President & CEO of True Value Company, where she led a successful turnaround. Additional leadership positions include Interim COO Entertainment Resource, CFO positions at True Value Company, ShopTalk, Martin Brower and Fel-Pro, where she spearheaded acquisitions, built world-class finance and information technology teams and orchestrated the process that led to the sale of the business for an industry-setting EBITDA multiple. Ms. Forbes Lieberman additionally serves on the Board of Trustees of Rush University Medical Center and is a member of The Chicago Network, International Women’s Forum and The Economic Club of Chicago and is a former board member of several family-owned companies and not-for-profit organizations. She is a frequent speaker on leadership, culture, employee engagement and turnarounds. Ms. Forbes Lieberman began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, is a CPA, and earned a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

R. Brad Morehead CEO, LiveWatch Security

Mr. Morehead is CEO of LiveWatch Security, one of the country’s fastest growing internet-based home security companies, and is a faculty member of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. 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 and Board Member of Big Lift, manufacturer of the Big Joe™ product line of lifts and material handling aids. Previously he was a Senior Buyer with Target, where he was recognized as one of its highest potential up-and-coming managers. Mr. Rosskamm possesses a keen understanding of the needs of retailers and national accounts, with his marketing savvy and supply chain expertise. 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.

Michael Rothman Chairman, SMS Assist

Mr. Rothman brings over 25 years of experience in the industrial service sector and 10 years in the retail services industry to his role as chairman of SMS Assist. Since its start in 2003, he has 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 28,000 affiliated providers to service a nationwide roster of Fortune 500 retail and industrial clients representing over 50,000 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 CFO, SMS Assist

Mr. Shiffman serves as CFO and Chief Administrative Officer of SMS Assist, focusing his efforts on finance and administration. Previously he founded Marc R. Shiffman Advisors, which provided general management and consulting services to specialty and consumer products companies. In his role there, Mr. Shiffman provided strategic, financial and operating support as well as interim executive management. Before starting his own consulting practice, he served in senior executive roles at a number of MacAndrews & Forbes-owned companies, including Revlon, Coleman and Sunbeam. Mr. Shiffman earned a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Kerim Taner 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 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 SVP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Mr. Wandell oversees all corporate partnerships for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Previously, he was VP of international business development for the National Basketball Association, serving as the key liaison between NBA headquarters and regional offices across China, Asia, India, Africa, Europe, Middle East, South America, Mexico and Canada. Mr. Wandell earned a B.A. in History from Northwestern University.

Jeffrey Wellek Co-Founder, Focus Investments

Mr. Wellek, a Co-Founder of Focus Investments, has a multi-disciplinary background in acquisitions, private equity investments, manufacturing operations and law. After he co-founded Focus Products Group in 2001 and built the business through 16 acquisitions, majority ownership was sold in 2006 to Sterling Capital Partners. Prior to Focus, he was a founding partner of Dakota Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm, after initially entering the private equity business with Heller Equity Capital Corporation. Mr. Wellek previously served as VP of AMCO Corporation, a privately held Chicago-based manufacturing company, and GM of Keolyn Plastics Corporation, an AMCO subsidiary. He began his career as an attorney with Katten Muchin Rosenman, concentrating on securities, mergers and acquisitions. He received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from Northwestern University.

Norman D. Young CEO, Weld Racing

Mr. Young brings 25 years of success in the automotive industry to his role as President and CEO of Weld Racing. He is a leader in the industry, with active membership in boards and associations, including MEMA, OESA, CEO Council, AASA/OAC, and the Automotive Sales Council. Previously, Mr. Young served as CEO of ThyssenKrupp Crankshaft Company and held senior leadership roles at Delphi and SPX. He received a B.S. in Automotive Studies from Ferris State University while on a full Division I Hockey scholarship, and an M.B.A. from the DeVos Business School at Northwood University.

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