Board of Advisors view list of advisors »

The Chicago Innovation Awards’ Board of Advisors is comprised of business and civic leaders who understand the importance of innovation and what it means to the success of the Chicago region and the growth of its economy. Our members are ambassadors of celebrating innovation, help to spread the word about nominations from their networks, and aid in efforts to find sponsors, partners and other supporters who can advance the goals of the Chicago Innovation Awards.

Business Leaders
Jennifer Bentz VP, Consumer Insights & Strategy Tyson Foods
John Berschied Former Head of R&D and Innovation S. C. Johnson Co., Alberto Culver Co., and Church and Dwight Co.
Hardik Bhatt Senior Director, Internet of Everything for Cities Industry Solutions Group, Cisco
Angelo BufalinoChair, Intellectual Property Group Vedder Price
Mike Cherry Attorney Myron M. Cherry & Associates
Diane Dahl Founder & Managing Partner The Hartell Group
Jay Dirkmaat Vice President, Greater Chicago Region Comcast Business
Matthew Doubleday Senior VP, Marketing Wintrust Financial Corporation
Pete Kadens Co-Founder & President SoCore Energy
Michael Krauss President Market Strategy Group
Tom Kuczmarski Co-Founder Chicago Innovation Awards; President Kuczmarski Innovation
Dan Lyne Senior VP, Global Technology & Media Practice CBRE
Nancy Ruscheinski Vice Chair of Client Engagement Edelman
Rich Rodriguez Vice President, Business Development Director Lend Lease
Michael Rothman Chairman & CEO SMS Assist
Terry Savage Investment Advisor & Finance Expert; Board of Directors Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group
Tawfik Sharkasi Former Chief Science and Technology Officer Wrigley
Matthew Saleski Senior Director Marin Software
Gary Slack Chairman & CEO Slack & Company
Rocky Wirtz President Wirtz Corporation; and Chairman and Owner, Chicago Blackhawks
Civic Leaders
Frank Beal Senior Executive Civic Consulting Alliance
Ellen Barry Acting Director of Information Technology Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
Fred Hoch President Illinois Technology Association
Kristi Lafleur ExecutiveDirector Illinois Tollway
Dan Miller Co-Founder Chicago Innovation Awards
Stephanie Neely Former Treasurer City of Chicago
Lance Pressl Senior Policy Fellow Institute for Work and the Economy
Andrea Zopp President & CEO Chicago Urban League
Venture Capitalists
Bret Maxwell Managing General Partner MK Capital
Matt McCall Partner Pritzker Group Venture Capital
Nick Rosa Co-Founder & Managing Director Sandbox Industries
Kevin Willer Partner and Co-founder Chicago Ventures
Eric Olson Manager, Member Services ContextMedia
Non-profit Leaders
Darcy Evon Executive Director Corporate and Foundation Relations at University of Illinois at Chicago
Maria Wynne CEO Leadership Greater Chicago
Academic Leaders
Sally Blount Dean Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
Dipak Jain Professor INSEAD
Philip Kotler Distinguished Professor of International Marketing Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
Sunil Kumar Dean University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Mohan Sawhney McCormick Tribune Professor of Technology Kellogg School of Management
Media Experts
Michael Arndt Editor Crain’s Chicago Business
Ray Boyer President Boyer Media
Howard WolinskyProfessorNorthwestern’s Medill School of Journalism
Orlando Saez Chief Operating Officer CityScan, Inc.
Leslie Vickrey Founder & CEO ClearEdge Marketing
Howard Males Founder & CEO Research Pros