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Brian Cornell

Brian Cornell

APRIL 27, 2021

Board Chairman & CEO / Target Corporation

Brian Cornell addressed The Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday, April 27. The conversation was moderated by Mary Dillon, CEO, Ulta Beauty, and Economic Club board member. 

At Target, we will continue to be a curator that provides the Target guest with something new and exciting to browse.

Brian Cornell on the importance of retail innovation.

BRIAN CORNELL

SPEAKER

Board Chairman & CEO / Target Corporation

Brian Cornell is board chairman and CEO of Target Corp. He is responsible for Target’s global business, including the company’s nearly 1,900 U.S. stores, digital properties and more than 350,000 team members.

Cornell joined Target in August 2014 after more than 30 years in escalating leadership positions at leading retail and global consumer product companies, including three CEO roles and more than two decades doing business in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His past experience includes time as both a vendor partner and a competitor to Target, and he brings insights from those roles to the company today.

Cornell currently serves as the non-executive chairman of the board of directors for Yum! Brands and is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). He previously served as a director for other global brands, including The Home Depot and Polaris Industries.

Cornell is also a board member for Catalyst and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1981 and attended its Anderson School of Management.

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Mary Dillon

MODERATOR

Chief Executive Officer / Ulta Beauty

Mary N. Dillon is Chief Executive Officer of ULTA Beauty, a position she has held since July 2013. She brings three decades of experience leading consumer-driven brands to the role, as well as a passion for leveraging consumer insights and customer­focused strategies to propel share gains and profitable growth. With Dillon’s strategic direction, ULTA Beauty has continued to see excellent sales growth and momentum in its e-commerce business and has completed the most ambitious, annual store opening program in company history, bringing the total to more than 715 stores in 47 states. Fortune Magazine recently featured her as #8 on its 2014 Business Person of the Year Top 50 listing, an accolade resulting from a compilation of financial results, company stock performance, shareholder returns and nonfinancial elements such as leadership style and strategic initiatives.

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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

MARCH 19, 2021

Co-Chair / Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Founder / Breakthrough Energy

Bill Gates, addressed The Economic Club of Chicago on Friday, March 19. The conversation was moderated by Club Director, Dr. Helene Gayle, President & CEO, The Chicago Community Trust. Mr. Gates discussed his upcoming new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, as well as other timely topics. 

Solving climate change would be “the most amazing thing humanity has ever done.”

Bill Gates on the importance of solving climate change.

BILL GATES

SPEAKER

Co-Chair / Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Founder / Breakthrough Energy

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Breakthrough Energy. In 1975, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen and led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software and services. In 2008, Bill transitioned to focus full-time on his foundation’s work to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he leads the foundation’s development of strategies and sets the overall direction of the organization. At Breakthrough Energy, he’s putting his experience as an innovator and problem-solver to work to address climate change by supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, big thinkers, and clean technologies. Bill uses his experience partnering with global leaders across sectors to help drive the policy, market, and technological changes required for a clean energy transition. In 2010, Bill, Melinda, and Warren Buffett founded the Giving Pledge, an effort to encourage the wealthiest families and individuals to publicly commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations during their lifetime or in their will.

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Dr. Helene D. Gayle

MODERATOR

President & CEO / The Chicago Community Trust

Helene D. Gayle has been president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the
nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, since October 2017. Under her leadership,
the Trust has adopted a new strategic focus on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the
Chicago region.

For almost a decade, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international
humanitarian organization. An expert on global development, humanitarian and health issues,
she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She
worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other
global health issues. She also launched the McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit that builds
partnerships for social impact.

Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard
College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University.
She has received 18 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of
Washington and Emory University.  She serves on public company and nonprofit boards,
including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Go Health, Brookings
Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America, ONE Campaign,
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Economic Club of Chicago. She is a member of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Council on Foreign Relations, American Public Health
Association, National Academy of Medicine, National Medical Association, and American
Academy of Pediatrics. She has authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health
issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and social justice.

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