John Edwardson, '72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC)

John Edwardson, '72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC)

2020 Judges

Bruce A. Brege, MBA ’82

Bruce A. Brege, MBA ’82

Division Head of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Economics, Stanford Online High School

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Bruce A. Brege, MBA ’82

Division Head of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Economics, Stanford Online High School

Bruce Brege, ’82, is the division head of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Economics at Stanford Online High School in Stanford, CA, which is an accredited high school serving students from the US and nearly 30 countries in a completely online environment using a synchronous class structure.

Previously, Brege was involved with the Summit Public Schools, a charter school management organization with several schools in northern California.  He served as the founding math teacher for two of its high schools and in various capacities with the leadership group and led the effort to use information effectively to inform educational practices through the development of key metrics and other analytical tools as the organization implements innovative educational structures.

Education is a second career for Brege.  Prior to joining Summit, he had an extensive career in business, including finance roles at AMSTED Industries in Chicago and Genentech in California following his Chicago Booth MBA. Following his work at Stanford earning an engineering Master’s degree in operations research, Brege enjoyed a stint in the dot-com world with start-up internet firm, Schoolpop in Silicon Valley, where he developed data analytics tools and systems.

Keith Breslauer, MBA ’88

Keith Breslauer, MBA ’88

Founder and Managing Director, Patron Capital

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Keith Breslauer, MBA ’88

Founder and Managing Director, Patron Capital

Keith Breslauer, ’88, founded Patron Capital in 1999 and is the managing director of Patron Capital Limited, the investment adviser to the Patron Capital Funds (including Patron Capital Captive Fund, Funds I–VI and several separate accounts). The total capital under management represents over €4 billion from leading US and European institutions, endowments, pension funds, and family offices. The Patron Funds primarily focus on investments in companies and assets associated with property and property-related activities and are typically impaired due to a liquidity event or some degree of distress at the borrower or asset level.

Breslauer is active as a senior patron of numerous charities, including serving as the chairman of the Prince’s Teaching Institute, trustee of the Royal Marines Charity, and sits on the advisory board of the Chicago Booth Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation. He has an MBA from Chicago Booth, a bachelor of science degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and is an accomplished alpinist and skier.

JAMES CASSELBERRY, MBA ’01 (XP-70)

JAMES CASSELBERRY, MBA ’01 (XP-70)

Chief Investment Officer, 4S Bay Partners, LLC

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JAMES CASSELBERRY, MBA ’01 (XP-70)

Chief Investment Officer, 4S Bay Partners, LLC

James Casselberry, MBA ’01 (XP-70), has more than 30 years of experience in impact investing, investment management, and investment consulting.He is currently chief investment officer at 4S Bay Partners, LLC (formerly Sarowitz Family, LLC) and is a board member at the Julian Grace Foundation and at Arc Chicago, LLC, the appointed board of Benefit Chicago.Casselberry has previously held leadership positions at Trias Capital Management, LLC, Wedgewood Capital Management, Inc., and The John D.and Catherine T.MacArthur Foundation.He also served in senior roles at NexTier Companies, LLC and Dearborn Park Group, LLC.Casselberry is an adjunct professor at the Valparaiso University College of Business and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

ROBERT CLAUSER, MBA ’93

ROBERT CLAUSER, MBA ’93

Media Executive, Entrepreneur, Investor, Social Impact Advocate

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ROBERT CLAUSER, MBA ’93

Media Executive, Entrepreneur, Investor, Social Impact Advocate

Robert Clauser, ’93, has extensive experience in the corporate, startup, and nonprofit worlds, having been a founder as well as a C-suite leader. Most recently he has had a Residency with TED, including having given a Talk on philanthropy and social impact. He has harnessed the power of storytelling and journalism to illuminate and activate social champions and causes through his roles including the CFO of WNET/New York Public Media and COO of Tina Brown Live Media/Women in the World Media/American Justice Summit.

Clauser has more than 20 years of experience in media and entertainment strategy and operations and deep financial experience related to fundraising. He’s a philanthropist partnering with organizations ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Eco Art Project, Philanthropy Sharktank, icouldbe, Montage Pictures to Gaingels and StartOut.

 

JOHN EDWARDSON, MBA ’72

JOHN EDWARDSON, MBA ’72

Co-chair, Advance Illinois

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JOHN EDWARDSON, MBA ’72

Co-chair, Advance Illinois

@advanceillinois

John Edwardson, ’72, is co-chair of Advance Illinois, an independent statewide education policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that every Illinois student receives a world-class education. Edwardson is the former chairman and CEO of CDW, a leading provider of technology solutions to businesses, government, education, and healthcare organizations. During his tenure, CDW’s revenues grew from $3.8 billion to more than $10 billion. Prior to joining CDW, Edwardson served as chairman and chief executive of Burns International Services Corporation. He also served as president of UAL Corporation and United Airlines. 

Edwardson earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and his MBA from Chicago Booth. He currently serves on the board of directors of FedEx Corporation and Chubb. He serves as a trustee of the University of Chicago, on the Council on Chicago Booth, and on the advisory board of Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation.

Brad Henderson, AB ’01, AM ’01

Brad Henderson, AB ’01, AM ’01

Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

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Brad Henderson, AB ’01, AM ’01

Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

 

Brad Henderson is a Senior Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group’s Operations Practice in North America. There, he works across BCG’s different industry practices (consumer, industrial goods, health care, financial services, energy, public sector, TMT) on a range of operations issues such as supply chain, manufacturing and procurement. Brad received a BA and an MA in Economics at the University of Chicago, and an MSc in Economic and Social History from the University of Oxford, along with an MBA from Said Business School on a Rhodes Scholarship.

RICH HOOPS, MBA ’00

RICH HOOPS, MBA ’00

Principal, VanHoops Holdings

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RICH HOOPS, MBA ’00

Principal, VanHoops Holdings

Since 2003, Rich Hoops, MBA ’00, has dedicated his time to assisting area nonprofits and social enterprises in building operational and organizational capacity. In addition to his work in the Boulder/ Denver area, Hoops is actively engaged with the social enterprise sector in East Africa as both an investor and advisor to several early-stage social startups. He serves as an advisory board member of the Center for Education on Social Responsibility and the Leeds School of Business, both at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also joined the founding board of Impact Charitable, a donor advisory fund focused on impact investing. Hoops has been a partner with Social Venture Partners Boulder County since 2001 and served as board chair from 2004–06. He also spent seven years as board chair for Blood:Water, a Nashville-based nonprofit that partners with community-based organizations in the fight against the HIV/AIDs and water crises throughout East Africa.

STEPHANIE KATER, MBA ’11

STEPHANIE KATER, MBA ’11

Partner, The Bridgespan Group

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STEPHANIE KATER, MBA ’11

Partner, The Bridgespan Group

Stephanie Kater, ’11, is a partner in The Bridgespan Group’s Boston office. Since joining the organization in 2011, Stephanie has worked extensively in Bridgespan’s education, global cevelopment, and impact capital practices. She currently leads the team which provides “impact underwriting” to The Rise Fund, a $2B impact investment fund managed by the private equity firm TPG. Her other case work has included supporting large foundations and high-net worth individuals to make “big bet” grants and investments, developing performance measurement systems for domestic and global organizations, and supporting school districts and education nonprofits to develop new initiatives. Stephanie is the author of “Geek Cities: How Smarter Use of Data and Evidence Can Improve Lives” as well as “How Is Investing in “What Works” Working?”

Prior to Bridgespan, Stephanie worked at the US Department of Education. She also spent three years as a consultant in Silicon Valley at Webster Pacific, a boutique strategy consultancy, where her projects included developing an impact and growth strategy for a large charter school network and advising on operations for 20+ small and medium-sized businesses.

She grew up in the Washington, DC area and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where she was honored to be a Distinguished Fellow, as well as a BS in civil engineering from Stanford University.

Manish Kothari, MBA ’90

Manish Kothari, MBA ’90

Co-Founder, AlphaSmart and Root-1

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Manish Kothari, MBA ’90

Co-Founder, AlphaSmart and Root-1

Manish Kothari is a serial entrepreneur and currently serves as an advisor for several companies. He has co-founded three companies that have developed hardware and software products used and loved by millions globally. Along the way, he has helped take one company public (NASDAQ:ALSM), and has been through three acquisitions (public company buying a public company, private-private, public-private, including one cross-border acquisition).

Prior to the acquisition of Edmodo by NetDragon in 2018, he was a General Manager overseeing Monetization, Business Development and Customer Success. Edmodo is the world’s leading social learning platform for educators, students and parents. Prior to Edmodo, he was a co-founder of Root-1, Inc., whose goal was to make learning much more engaging and effective. Root-1 was acquired by Edmodo in 2013. From 1993 through 2006, he was co-founder and President of AlphaSmart, Inc, an education technology company where he was responsible for overall management of worldwide sales, marketing and operations. During his tenure, he helped build and grow the business from a garage startup to AlphaSmart’s IPO (NASDAQ: ALSM) in 2004, and, shepherd it through its acquisition by Renaissance Learning, Inc. in 2005.

Luis Miranda, MBA ’89

Luis Miranda, MBA ’89

Chairman, the Centre for Civil Society and CORO; Founder-Director, the Indian School of Public Policy; Senior Advisor, Morgan Stanley

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Luis Miranda, MBA ’89

Chairman, the Centre for Civil Society and CORO; Founder-Director, the Indian School of Public Policy; Senior Advisor, Morgan Stanley

Luis Miranda is chairman of the Centre for Civil Society and CORO and founder-director of the Indian School of Public Policy. He has been involved in setting up two highly successful companies – HDFC Bank and IDFC Private Equity. After founding IDFC Private Equity in 2002, he retired in 2010 to focus on capacity building in not-for-profits. Miranda is also on the board of Educate Girls and SBI Foundation and co-founded Take Charge, a mentoring program for Catholic youth in Mumbai.

Miranda is also chairman of ManipalCigna Health Insurance and senior advisor at Morgan Stanley. He writes blogs for Forbes and Thrive Global and teaches at the Accelerated Development Program of Chicago Booth. He received an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

EMMA RODRIGUEZ-AYALA, JD ’06

EMMA RODRIGUEZ-AYALA, JD ’06

General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Legal & General Investment Management America

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EMMA RODRIGUEZ-AYALA, JD ’06

General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Legal & General Investment Management America

Emma Rodriguez-Ayala, JD ’06, is the general counsel and chief compliance fficer of LGIMA, a Chicago-based investment adviser managing approximately $195 billion in assets and focused on pension stabilization, retirement income generation and sustainable investment solutions. LGIMA is the U.S. arm of Legal & General Investment Management, one of the world’s largest asset managers. 

Emma is responsible for managing all aspects of legal, governance, risk, and compliance for the firm, as well as serving on the firm’s executive committee and as secretary of the board of directors. She was previously a partner in the investment management practice of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and the general counsel of Mesirow Advanced Strategies, at its height one of the largest hedge funds worldwide.  

Emma serves on the boards of WTTW/WFMT (Chicago PBS), Angeles Investors, the Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America. She is a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association and the Private Directors Association and has been previously recognized as a Top Latino Leader by the U.S. National Diversity Council and as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United, among other honors.

 

Christopher Noon, MBA ’72

Christopher Noon, MBA ’72

Founding Principal, Quadrangle Development Company

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Christopher Noon, MBA ’72

Founding Principal, Quadrangle Development Company

Christopher Noon, ’72, is the founding principal of Quadrangle Development Company. Quadrangle is active in the analysis, product planning, zoning, construction, operation, leasing, and financing of office and industrial parks and buildings. Founded in 1988, the company now has offices and projects in the Chicago, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Minneapolis metropolitan areas.

With more than 40 years of experience in real estate project finance, development, and leasing, Noon has been responsible for more than 800 acres of office/industrial business park development, 2.5 million square feet of speculative office buildings, and 2 million square feet of speculative and build-to-suit industrial buildings.  

Since 2000, Noon served on the board of the Ravinia Festival Association. He has also been active with Habitat for Humanity since 1988, serving on the board of Lake County Habitat for Humanity from 2007 to 2012.

Noon earned his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and his MBA from Chicago Booth. 

TASHA SEITZ

TASHA SEITZ

Partner, Impact Engine

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TASHA SEITZ

Partner, Impact Engine

Tasha Seitz leads the venture investment team at Impact Engine, where she invests in early stage software companies driving improvements in education, health, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. She has been making and managing technology venture investments for over two decades. Prior to joining Impact Engine, she was a partner with JK&B Capital, a technology venture capital firm based in Chicago with $1.1 billion dollars under management, where she was responsible for identifying, evaluating, and making investments in early stage enterprise software companies. Her post-investment responsibilities included serving on boards of directors, managing growth, coaching and hiring management teams, and managing investments through exit.

In addition, Tasha serves as Adjunct Professor of Social Impact at the Kellogg School of Management, board director for the Bridges Impact Foundation US, and a member of Echoing Green’s Investor Advisory Group. She is also a founding partner and board director for the Chicago chapter of Social Venture Partners. Tasha earned a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

ROBERTO SERVITJE, MBA ’13

ROBERTO SERVITJE, MBA ’13

Corporate Director, Grupo Altex

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ROBERTO SERVITJE, MBA ’13

Corporate Director, Grupo Altex

Roberto Servitje, MBA ’13, is a corporate director in Grupo Altex, his family’s business and one of Mexico’s largest agro-industrial companies.He has spent most of his professional career in a variety of local and international roles within his family’s businesses in the food industry, including risk management and marketing.Directly after graduating from Chicago Booth in 2013, he joined Grupo Lacrem as director of marketing in Barcelona, and he has been based in Mexico City in charge of Grupo Altex’s vegetable operations.

Servitje received a BA in international commerce from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico City (2008) and participated in the SNVC while he attended Chicago Booth.He is active in various organizations that support urban and contemporary art, as well as rural development initiatives throughout Mexico.

RON TARRSON, MBA ’72 (XP-31)

RON TARRSON, MBA ’72 (XP-31)

Managing Partner and Director, Santa Fe Aero Services

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RON TARRSON, MBA ’72 (XP-31)

Managing Partner and Director, Santa Fe Aero Services

@SFAeroServices

Ron Tarrson, MBA ’72 (XP-31), is the managing partner and director of Santa Fe Aero Services and The Jet Center Santa Fe, suppliers of avionics, maintenance, fuel, hangar, and concierge services for private and corporate aviation at the Santa Fe, New Mexico, Regional Airport. He’s also director of the Scottsdale Air Center located in the Scottsdale Airport. Tarrson formerly worked for the John O. Butler Company, where he held numerous positions, including corporate director, treasurer, COO, and president. After selling to Sunstar of Japan, which took the public company private, he served for two years as vice chairman. Tarrson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and his MBA from Chicago Booth. He serves in leadership roles for many foundations that focus on the airline industry. Tarrson also serves on the Council on Chicago Booth and the advisory board at the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation.

NASRIN THIERER

NASRIN THIERER

Managing Partner, Assetblue Investment Group

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NASRIN THIERER

Managing Partner, Assetblue Investment Group

 

 

 

Nasrin Thierer, managing partner at Assetblue Investment Group, is an innovative leader and experienced entrepreneur with a proven track record of building new businesses and optimizing distribution channels.She has launched many companies from the ground up, most recently Revenew, Inc., a cloud-based distributed marketing automation platform. While at Revenew, Thierer served as CEO and chair of the board before the company’s acquisition by Marlin Equity Partners, which now operates Revenew under the Aprimo brand. She is also founder and president of the Thierer Family Foundation, which focuses on increasing the impact of Chicago nonprofits by leveraging technology and innovative ideas. Thierer held a broad spectrum of senior business management, technology, and marketing roles over her 22-year career at Motorola, and she currently serves on the boards of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center.

WILLIAM W. TOWNS

WILLIAM W. TOWNS

Managing Director, Chi-Town Impact, 4S Bay Partners

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WILLIAM W. TOWNS

Managing Director, Chi-Town Impact, 4S Bay Partners

 

 

Dr. William Towns is a scholar, activist, and practitioner, dedicated to helping solve civic and urban issues at the structural level. He is the managing director of 4S Bay Partners, LLC’s Chi-Town Impact, which looks to make equity investments in women and minority operating businesses. He is also a professor of social impact at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to Chi-Town Impact, Towns was the founding executive director of Benefit Chicago, a $100 million impact investment fund created by the MacArthur Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, and Calvert Impact Capital.   

Having been born on the south side of Chicago, Towns quickly became aware of the dysfunctions within the civic and urban systematic structures when he moved to the north side of the city at the age of seven. Curious how two sides of the same city could have such stark differences with respect to amenities and services, Towns became committed to understanding why these inconsistencies prevail. 

His goal is to use his research to help cities, anchor institutions, corporations, and nonprofits to develop policies and initiatives that welcome those who stand just outside the door of opportunity to the table of prosperity.

Carter Stewart

Carter Stewart

Managing Director, Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) Foundation

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Carter Stewart

Managing Director, Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) Foundation

Carter Stewart supports investment selection, builds portfolio support, cultivates fund development, and drives strategic and operational leadership. Prior to joining DRK, Stewart served as the presidentially appointed US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. In his work, he emphasized deterrence, crime prevention, and alternatives to incarceration. He created the district’s first community outreach position and established a community leadership committee geared toward building trust and improving communication between the public and law enforcement.

Stewart took a leadership role at the US Department of Justice to address inequities in the criminal justice system by raising awareness about the school-to-prison pipeline and chairing a working group of US Attorneys focused on reducing racial disparities in the federal system.

He received a JD from Harvard Law School, earned an MA in education policy from Columbia University, and received his undergraduate degree in political science from Stanford University.

Erik Wallsten, MBA ’04

Erik Wallsten, MBA ’04

Cofounder and Managing Partner, Adobe Capital

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Erik Wallsten, MBA ’04

Cofounder and Managing Partner, Adobe Capital

Erik Wallsten, ’04, is a managing partner at New Ventures, Mexico’s foremost impact investment and business acceleration platform. He is also a founder of Adobe Capital, one of Latin America’s leading impact investment fund managers. Through these initiatives, he has assumed a catalyzing role in the growth of the impact investing sector in Latin America. Prior to founding Adobe Capital, Erik worked for more than a decade at various private equity and venture capital funds in Mexico. Erik earned an MBA from Chicago Booth and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering with honors from Universidad Iberoamericana.

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