2017-2018 Executive Committee


Mellody Hobson
Ariel Investments

Mellody Hobson is president of Ariel Investments. Headquartered in Chicago, the firm offers six no-load mutual funds for individual investors and defined contribution plans as well as separately managed accounts for institutions and high net worth individuals. As president, Ms. Hobson is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Ariel Investment Trust.

Beyond her work at Ariel, Ms. Hobson has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets and economic trends for CBS News. She also contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and pens a regular column for Black Enterprise magazine. As a passionate advocate for investor education, she is a spokesperson for the Ariel/Hewitt Study: 401(k) Plans in Living Color and the Ariel Black Investor Survey, both of which examine investing patterns among minorities.

Ms. Hobson is a director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high-quality, out-of-school time programs, in addition to serving as chair of The Economic Club of Chicago. She is a board member of The Chicago Public Education Fund, George Lucas Education Foundation, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and Sundance Institute, where she has been appointed emeritus trustee. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the Executive Committee of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. In 2015, Ms. Hobson was named to Time Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Ms. Hobson earned her AB from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, St. Mary’s College and the University of Southern California.

First Vice Chair, Programs

Reeve B. Waud
Founder & Managing Partner
Waud Capital Partners, LLC

Reeve Waud is the founder and managing partner of Waud Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago. He founded the firm almost 24 years ago and currently the firm has approximately $2.1 billion of capital under management. Over Mr. Waud’s 30 year private equity career, he has acquired more than 250 companies in a variety of industries with a special focus on healthcare, business and technology services. Today, Waud Capital’s portfolio companies have revenues of approximately $7 billion and approximately 50,000 employees. In addition, he has oversight and shares investment responsibility for an additional $15 billion of investments.

Prior to founding Waud Capital Partners, Mr. Waud was an investment professional at Golder, Thoma, Cressey, Rauner, Inc. (GTCR), a private equity investment group based in Chicago. At GTCR, Mr. Waud had investment responsibility for a wide range of portfolio companies that were built through more than 30 acquisitions.

Before joining GTCR, Mr. Waud was in the Corporate Finance Group of Salomon Brothers Inc. and was a founding member of its venture capital group.

Mr. Waud is a trustee of St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire and is a member of the Executive Committee and chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee. He serves as a trustee, chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee and member of the Executive Committee for John G. Shedd Aquarium. He is a member of the Finance Committee of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and serves on the board of Northwestern Memorial Foundation. He serves as the first vice chair of programs of The Economic Club of Chicago and is a member of the Executive Committee. He is a trustee of The Art Institute of Chicago as well as serving as a member of the Finance Committee.  In addition, Mr. Waud is chairman of the Illinois State Police Merit Board which has oversight responsibility for the state police. He was appointed by the Governor of Illinois and confirmed by the senate.

Mr. Waud holds a BA in economics from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Second Vice Chair, Forums

Elizabeth Connelly
Industry Head, Healthcare, Higher Education and Non-Profit Banking
JPMorgan Chase

Elizabeth Connelly’s career has been defined by her ability to develop a strategic vision, build high performing teams and lead complex businesses to deliver results. In her current role as the head of JPMorgan's Healthcare, Higher Education and Non-Profit Commercial Banking business, Connelly leads a business that is national in scope and provides treasury, credit and specialized industry solutions to over 3,000 clients. 

Prior to her current role, Ms. Connelly served as head of the Midwest region for the Private Wealth Management business for six years. Her experience across financial services and her ability to manage complex businesses have enabled her to hold positions of increasing responsibility in the investment bank, asset management and commercial banking.

As a lifelong citizen of Chicago with a passion for giving back, some of Ms. Connelly’s most rewarding achievements have come as a result of her community involvement. Ms. Connelly serves as second vice chair of The Economic Club of Chicago, and as a director of The Chicago Network, Polk Bros. Foundation, Shedd Aquarium, Harris Music and Dance Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre and Catholic Extension. She is also a member of the Executives’ Club of Chicago.

Ms. Connelly received her BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. Ms. Connelly lives on the north side of Chicago in Rogers Park with her husband Matt and their four children.


James P. Kolar
Central Market Managing Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP

James P. Kolar has over 31 years of experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) serving primarily as a tax partner in the Financial Services Practice. Mr. Kolar has served as the managing partner in Orange County from 2005-2007, market managing partner in Minneapolis from 2007-13, and in June 2013 transferred into his current role as the central market managing partner which includes responsibility for the Chicago, Des Moines, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Peoria and St. Louis offices. Mr. Kolar was re-elected to PwC’s Board of Partners and Principals in January 2017, and is serving a second four-year term through June 30, 2021. Mr. Kolar has served on the Firm’s Extended Leadership Team since 2003.

Mr. Kolar has a broad range of tax and business experience with corporations, partnerships and joint ventures in the financial services asset management sector with a focus on structuring, financial product taxation and federal, state, local and international tax compliance and consulting.

Mr. Kolar is active in the Chicago community and participates on various boards, including Big Shoulders Fund, Chicago United, Chicago Urban League, Executives’ Club of Chicago, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, and World Business Chicago. He serves as treasurer on the Executive Committee of The Economic Club of Chicago. 

Mr. Kolar is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas with a BA in accounting and finance and was also a 2015 CEO Perspectives Fellow.


Sheridan Turner
President & CEO
Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago

Sheridan Turner began her career in England as a nursery nurse. Then, as a nanny, she moved to Chicago in 1981. After obtaining a master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), she joined the Office of Graduate Education at UIC. Ms. Turner then served as assistant director to the Governor’s Commission on Science and Technology and director of the Chicago High Tech Association. This career shift led to the beginning of her 30 years in the museum world. In 1987, she joined the Museum of Science and Industry where she became a leading authority on museum educational programming and operations with an emphasis on early learning. Her work in the museum arena included management of planning and funding for the museum’s $43 million, 1500-car underground parking garage. She was instrumental in the creation of MSI 2000, the long-term strategic plan, and as director of education, she created the Idea Factory, the museum’s first interactive exhibit geared exclusively for young children. 

In 1998, she joined Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago in Wilmette and guided the Museum through significant change and growth. Having outgrown its home in Wilmette, Ms. Turner managed the planning, fundraising, design and construction of a new $18.1 million world-class facility on The Glen in Glenview, which opened in October 2005. Having been in its new space for 12 years and with annual attendance of 314,000 from all communities in the surrounding areas, the museum is poised for an exciting expansion.

Ms. Turner currently serves as secretary on the Executive Committee of The Economic Club of Chicago, and is on the Membership Committee for The Chicago Network. She is active on the Northwestern Women’s Board, vice chair of the Glenview Chamber of Commerce and until recently, was a board member for the Association of Children’s Museums and The Cove School in Northbrook. 

Ms. Turner resides in Glenview, where she pursues her love of horses as a certified teamster for Wagner Farm and practices dressage with her own horse.

President & CEO

Donna F. Zarcone
The Economic Club of Chicago

Donna F. Zarcone is president and chief executive officer of The Economic Club of Chicago (ECC). Prior to the ECC, Zarcone was founder and president of D.F. Zarcone & Associates LLC, and previously served for 8 years as president of Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc.

Ms. Zarcone currently serves on three corporate boards, Cigna Corporation, CDW and The Duchossois Group, and previously served on the board of The Jones Group and Wrightwood Capital. Ms. Zarcone also serves on the board of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago; Committee of 200; Chicago Network; and Young Presidents’ Organization.

Ms. Zarcone holds a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Illinois State University.


Ilene S. Gordon
Executive Chairman
Ingredion Incorporated

Ilene S. Gordon joined Ingredion Incorporated in May 2009 as chairman, president and chief executive officer. Ingredion employs 11,000 people worldwide and had net sales of $5.7 billion in 2016.  

Ms. Gordon joined Ingredion from Rio Tinto Alcan where as president and CEO of Alcan Packaging she led a $6.5 billion global packaging business based in Paris, France. Previously Ms. Gordon spent 17 years in executive roles at the Packaging Corporation of America, a division of Tenneco Inc., and two years at Signode. She began her career at the Boston Consulting Group as a strategy consultant based in Boston, London and Chicago. 

Ms. Gordon holds a BS in mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa, and a master’s of science degree in management from MIT.

In addition to Ingredion, Ms. Gordon serves on the board of directors of Lockheed Martin and International Paper. She is a vice chair of The Conference Board and a member of the MIT Corporation, the Institute’s board of trustees. She received the National Association of Directors 2013 Director of the Year award, and she is listed among FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women in Business.  

A Chicago resident, Ms. Gordon is also a director of World Business Chicago and The Executives’ Club of Chicago. She serves as ex-officio of The Economic Club of Chicago and was the first woman chair selected in 2015. 


Debra A. Cafaro
Chairman & CEO
Ventas, Inc.

Debra A. Cafaro is the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Ventas, Inc., an S&P 500 company that owns nearly 1,300 healthcare and senior living properties in North America and the United Kingdom. Under Ms. Cafaro’s leadership, beginning in 1999, Ventas’s market capitalization rose from $200 million to $26 billion. The company’s compound annual total shareholder return (TSR) has exceeded 25 percent since January 1, 2000.

In 2016, Forbes named Ms. Cafaro as one of the 100 “World’s Most Powerful Women,” the Harvard Business Review recognized Ms. Cafaro as one of the top 50 “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” (third consecutive year), Modern Healthcare listed her as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” (third time) and Real Estate Forum identified her as one of “The 70 Elite” real estate executives who shaped the industry for the past 70 years. She was also named by GlobeSt.com as one of nine “Game-Changers” in commercial real estate since 2000, and by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Business.” CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer listed Cafaro as one of the “Bankable 21” CEOs in Get Rich Carefully. Ms. Cafaro was voted numerous times, most recently for 2017, to Institutional Investor’s “All America Executive Team” and Modern Healthcare’s “Top 25 Women in Healthcare” and was selected as one of the “Top 50 Women in World Business” by the Financial Times.

Ms. Cafaro serves on the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Roundtable and The Economic Club of Chicago. She is an owner and member of the Management Committee of the Pittsburgh Penguins, a National Hockey League team. Ms. Cafaro is also a member of the boards of University of Chicago, Chicago Infrastructure Trust, Executives’ Club of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and World Business Chicago. In 2010, Ms. Cafaro served as chair of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), where she was honored with NAREIT’s Industry Leadership Award. She served on the board of directors of the Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) from 2007-2016. She is a member of the Business Council.

Prior to joining Ventas, Ms. Cafaro was president and a director of Ambassador Apartments, Inc., a practicing lawyer for 13 years and a judicial clerk for the Hon. J. Dickson Phillips, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1982-1983.             

Ms. Cafaro received her JD cum laude in 1982 from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was named its Distinguished Alumna in 2011, and her BA magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1979. She is married and has two children.


Michael C. Krauss
Co-Founder & President
Market Strategy Group

Michael C. Krauss is a veteran management consultant, business advisor, investor and entrepreneur.

At Market Strategy Group, a boutique strategy consultancy he co-founded in 2004, Mr. Krauss serves clients ranging from large global organizations, mid-cap firms and start-ups.

Prior to his work with Market Strategy Group, he was a partner at Diamond Technology Partners and OmniTech Consulting, which was acquired by Diamond in 1999. Mr. Krauss also held leadership roles at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

Mr. Krauss served on the board of directors and chaired the audit committee of Ellerbe Becket, a global architecture and engineering firm. He serves on the board of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship.

Mr. Krauss was co-chair of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Council of Technology Advisors. He is a past president of the Chicago Chapter of the Business Marketing Association. He is a frequent speaker on business strategy and technology topics. His editorial columns have appeared in the Chicago SunTimes and Marketing News where he is the @ C-Level columnist.

He is a judge of the Chicago Innovation Awards and a member of The Chicago Club and The University Club of Chicago. He serves on the Executive Committee of The Economic Club of Chicago.

Mr. Krauss holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He earned a CPA in the State of Illinois.


Robert A. Livingston
President & CEO
Dover Corporation

Robert A. Livingston is president and chief executive officer of Dover Corporation. Before being named to this role in 2008, Mr. Livingston held senior management positions at three of Dover’s business segments over the span of 14 years, including a four-year stint as segment chief executive officer. Mr. Livingston began his career with Dover in 1983 when the company acquired K&L Microwave, Inc., where he was serving as vice president of finance.

Mr. Livingston’s passion for leadership development led to his creating the Dover Executive Leverage and Leadership Academy (DELLA) in 2005. DELLA is a key internal program focused on growing and advancing management talent within Dover.

Headquartered just outside Chicago, Dover is a Fortune 500 company, and a diversified global manufacturer delivering innovative equipment and components, specialty systems and support services through its four major operating segments: energy, engineered systems, fluids, and refrigeration and food equipment.

In addition to being a trustee and Executive Committee member of the Museum of Science & Industry, a member of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago, and a member of the Executive Committee of The Economic Club of Chicago, Mr. Livingston serves on the boards of The Executives' Club of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and the National Association of Manufacturers.

A native of Salisbury, Maryland, Mr. Livingston received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Salisbury University.


Roxanne M. Martino
Managing Partner

Roxanne Martino is the managing partner of OceanM19, and serves as a director of Ventas, Inc., a S&P 500 company, which is a leading real estate investment trust.

Ms. Martino was the chief executive officer and Investment Committee chairperson of Aurora Investment Management L.L.C., managing $14 billion at Aurora’s peak.  For over 28 years, Aurora provided portfolio solutions through hedge fund investment management to investors worldwide.     

Ms. Martino is co-chairperson of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Council, and past chairperson of The Mendoza College of Business of the University of Notre Dame Business Council. She is a member of The Chicago Network and serves on the Executive Committee of The Economic Club of Chicago. She served three terms as a director of The Investment Analysts Society of Chicago. Ms. Martino is vice-chair of the board and is chairperson of the Investment Committee of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and serves on the board of its Research Center and is a past chairperson for its campaign. For over 26 years, she has been a director of Thresholds (and a past chairperson). She is a life trustee of Fenwick High School.

In addition to speaking at investment conferences and guest lecturing at various universities, Ms. Martino has appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg TV. Ms. Martino is also a contributing author of a chapter titled “The Due Diligence Process” in the book, Evaluating and Implementing Hedge Fund Strategies: The Experience of Managers and Investors, Third Edition. In 2015, Ms. Martino was inducted into the InvestHedge Fund of Hedge Funds Hall of Fame in London and was recognized as one of “50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds” by the Hedge Fund Journal.

Ms. Martino spent the first seven years of her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She then spent over six years at Grosvenor Capital Management, where she was a general partner.

Ms. Martino received a bachelor’s of business administration from The University of Notre Dame in 1977 and a master’s of business administration from the University of Chicago in 1988.


Manuel Sanchez
Founder & Managing Partner
Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman, LLP

Manuel Sanchez is the founder and managing partner of Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman LLP. Over the past 30 years the firm has earned a reputation as one of the premier civil litigation defense firms in the State of Illinois and has grown into the second largest minority-owned law firm in the United States.

Mr. Sanchez is a highly accomplished trial lawyer, specializing in multi-million dollar complex product liability, construction, professional liability, employment law, civil rights, commercial and toxic tort defense litigation. He has been the lead counsel and successfully tried to verdict more than 75 cases in both state and federal court in Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana. He has received an AV Preeminent peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell for the past 28 years.

Highly regarded by his peers, he is a multi-term elected member of the Illinois State Bar General Assembly, past co-chair of the ABA Commission on the Jury and in 2013 he was selected as the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Award for Excellence by the Illinois Bar Foundation. He has also been named annually a Super Lawyer in Illinois since 2006, a recognition given to the top five percent of attorneys in each state.

Mr. Sanchez presently serves on the boards of numerous business organizations including The Executives’ Club of Chicago, The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Independent Maps of Illinois. He has been a member of The Commercial Club of Chicago since 1995 and currently serves on the Executive Committee of The Economic Club of Chicago. 

He currently serves on numerous not-for-profit boards including: Children's Memorial Hospital, Choose Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre, Northern Illinois Foundation, Loyola Council of Regents, Northwestern Memorial Foundation and Chicago Scholars.

In 2011 Mr. Sanchez was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.