“Diversity is not just the differences that you like.”
Eboo Patel on how to have a functioning diverse democracy.
Eboo Patel is a civic leader who believes that religious diversity is an essential and inspiring dimension of American democracy. Named “one of America’s best leaders” by U.S. News and World Report, Eboo is Founder and President of Interfaith America, the leading interfaith organization in the United States. Under his leadership, Interfaith America has worked with governments, universities, private companies, and civic organizations to make faith a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. Eboo served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council, has given hundreds of keynote addresses, and has written five books, including We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy. He is an Ashoka Fellow and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. Eboo lives in Chicago with his wife, Shehnaz, and their two sons.
Suzanne Yoon is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kinzie Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on control investments in lower middle market companies in the manufactured products, business services and consumer industries. In 2017, Suzanne launched Kinzie as part of her long-standing vision to advance the use of technology, data analytics and innovation to help companies unlock value. Kinzie’s operational focus and use of technology in the private equity sector leads to improved efficiency and new avenues for growth within Kinzie’s diverse portfolio of companies. She serves as the Chair of the Investment and Executive Committees for Kinzie. In 2020, Kinzie was recognized by the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN) as the North American Female Founded Firm of the Year. Suzanne has nearly 25 years of experience investing in and advising middle market companies. Before founding Kinzie, she served as a Managing Director at Versa Capital Management, where she led transaction development throughout North America, and in senior roles at CIT Group and LaSalle Bank/ABN AMRO. She also held positions in the Special Assets Group and Advisory at LaSalle Bank and Ernst and Young’s Corporate Finance group, respectively. A recognized leader in both the business and civic spheres, Suzanne serves on several private company and civic boards. She currently serves as the Board Chair of Kinzie portfolio companies Colony Display and Chelsea Lighting and on the Board of Aero Design Labs. She is the Chair of the National Philanthropic Trust Board of Trustees, the largest independent donor advised fund manager in the world with approximately $25B under management, and is on the Board of Directors for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, The Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicago Public Library Foundation and HFS Chicago Scholars. Additionally, Suzanne is on the Steering Committees of PEWIN and the Women’s Association of Venture & Equity. She is also a member of the Association of Asian American Investment Managers, Illinois Venture Capital Association and The Chicago Network. Suzanne earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of Iowa and is an Executive Scholar of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Mergers & Acquisitions named Suzanne one of the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A in 2020, 2021 and 2022; The Wall Street Journal recognized her as a Top Female Deal Maker Shaping Private Equity’s Present and Future in 2019 and Chicago United named her one of their Business Leaders of Color in 2021. Suzanne lives in Chicago with her husband and three children and is an outdoor and sports enthusiast who enjoys golfing and fishing with her family