Archives: Leaders

Don McNeill

Co-Founder & CEO / Spire Brand Ventures

Don is an entrepreneur and takes pride in helping companies compete in innovation, entertainment, and marketing. Spire was founded in 2020 as is recognized as one of the most influential management companies in Hollywood and the largest in Chicago. In addition, he was Founder and CEO of Digital Kitchen – one of the most innovative creative companies in the world. He ran the business for 20 years, until selling to Hakuhodo DY in 2019. He is involved in numerous early-stage entrepreneurial businesses like, Nucurrent, mHub, Legacy eSports, Ace Comicon, and others. In addition, he sits on the marketing committee of Lurie Children’s Hospital, he is a Business Mentor at Junto Institute, and a founding board member of AICP Digital and AICP.NEXT. Lastly, he is proud of his time as a media delegate to the UN where he received the United Nations and PVBLIC foundation award — Achievement for Media and Public Impact.

Eric Weinheimer

SVP, Philanthropic Strategist / Bank of America

Eric Weinheimer is a Senior Vice President and Philanthropic Strategist for the National Consulting and Advisory Practice at Bank of America Private Bank, based in Chicago, IL.

In his role, Eric delivers customized consulting and advisory services to nonprofit clients’ boards of directors and senior leaders. His areas of expertise include strategic planning, board governance, revenue diversification, and social enterprise. He also has extensive experience in working with high-net worth individuals and families in identifying and achieving their philanthropic goals.

Previously, Eric served as President and CEO of Forefront, a regional association of grantmakers, nonprofits, advisors, social entrepreneurs, and impact investors. He was also President and CEO of The Cara Program, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive training, job placement and support services to individuals who are homeless and struggling in poverty. During Eric’s tenure, The Cara Program founded and established 3 social enterprises, including Cleanslate Chicago. He has also served as Interim CEO for nonprofits that have experienced significant internal challenges and crises.

Eric earned a B.S. from Boston College and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service. Eric serves on the Advisory Board for Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation and the Leadership Council for the Baumhart Center at Loyola University Chicago. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Growing Community Media and the Network for Young Adult Success. He is the Chair of the Membership Committee for the Economic Club of Chicago.

Andrea Zopp

Managing Director / Cleveland Avenue, LLC

In her current role at Cleveland Avenue Ms. Zopp leads the organization’s work investing in and supporting minority and women entrepreneurs and their companies. Previously she served as President and CEO of World Business Chicago, where she led the organization’s mission of inclusive economic growth, supporting businesses, and promoting Chicago as a leading global city. Prior to joining WBC, she served as Deputy Mayor, Chief Neighborhood Development Officer for the City of Chicago.  

Ms. Zopp has held executive leadership positions at several Fortune 500 companies. She was General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer at Exelon Corporation and served as Senior Vice President General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Sears Holdings Corporation. Ms Zopp also served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Sara Lee Corporation. As the former President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, she led the nationally-recognized organization’s focus on expanding economic opportunity in underserved communities. Andrea also served as a federal and state prosecutor, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney and as the first woman and African American First Assistant in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.  

Ms. Zopp currently serves on the board of Relativity a global e-discovery and document management software company and has served on the boards of Urban Partnership Bank and Andrew Corporation. She is the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Chicago State University and also serves on the boards of the Henry Ford Health System, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Black Ensemble Theater as well as the Chicago Police Board. She received her BA in History and Science from Harvard University and her JD from Harvard Law School.

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, Illinois. He founded the firm 27 years ago and today the firm has approximately $3.1 billion of capital commitments. Over Mr. Waud’s thirty-three-year private equity career, he has acquired more than 290 companies in a variety of industries with a special focus on healthcare services and business and tech services. Today, Waud Capital’s portfolio companies have revenues of approximately $7 billion and approximately 60,000 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 one hundred 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 the Chairman of Acadia Healthcare. He is a member of the Finance Committee of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and serves on the board of Northwestern Memorial Foundation. He serves on the board 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 and Photography 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 B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Scott Swanson

President, Illinois / PNC Bank

Scott C. Swanson is president of PNC Bank in Illinois. He leads PNC’s overall growth strategy in the market, including the executive banking team, Corporate Banking, Asset Management and Retail Banking. In addition, he represents PNC and its 3,000local employees in the community and directs the company’s community engagement, including PNC’s Grow Up Great, a bilingual, early education initiative that has committed $11 million to multiple community based organizations in the Chicagoland area.

Swanson has 25 years of banking and other corporate experience. He joined PNC in February 2013 from Charter One and RBS Citizens, Illinois and Michigan, where he served as president and a member of RBS Citizen’s Executive leadership team.

Prior to Charter One in 2007, Swanson spent 17 years at JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors, the majority of which were in Chase’s commercial bank, and concluding as the national executive of Chase’s business banking operations. Swanson began his professional career at Arthur Andersen in its Tax Group.

Active in the Chicago community, Swanson serves as member to the executive committee of the Adler Planetarium (past Chair) and the Commercial Club of Chicago (current Treasurer) and serves on its Civic Committee. He serves on the boards of directors of The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce (past Chair), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, World Business Chicago, the Big Shoulders Fund, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and the Executives’ Club of Chicago. He is a member of the Cook County Council of Economic Advisors, the Economic Club of Chicago, the finance council of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and serves as a trustee of Neighborhood Housing Services.

Swanson earned his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, where he graduated with honors. He is also a graduate of the University of Illinois, where he earned a bachelor of science in finance.

Ted Souder

Founder / Wiggs Holding

Ted Souder – Former senior executive at Google, former Vice-Chair of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and current Board Director at 1871 and the Economic Club of Chicago.

One of Google’s earliest employees, Ted spent 20+ years helping write one of the greatest business stories of all time. From its origin as a fledgling Search engine trying to find its footing after the “dot com” crash in 2000 to becoming one of the largest and most important companies in the world, Google helped define an era. During his time at Google, Ted held many different leadership roles both in Chicago and in Paris, France, ultimately leading to his dual roles of the founder of the Google CFO Forum and Head of Industry, Retail.

Currently, as the founder of Wiggs Holding, Ted is building a platform that enables him to continue to advise on activation strategies for a post-pandemic, digital-first world utilizing the Google playbook. Ted’s vast experience gives him a unique perspective on how organizations and governments today can benefit from taking advantage of the opportunities that come from embracing digital transformation.

In addition to his entrepreneurial efforts, Ted currently serves on the Board of Directors at 1871, the No. 1 ranked technology incubator in the world as well as the Economic Club of Chicago. Ted is also a co-owner of the Monthly Barometer based in Chamonix, France. The Monthly Barometer is a content platform and advisory boutique that provides its members with high-quality macro analysis combined with in-person, global community gatherings that sit at the intersection of Economics, Geo-Politics, Environment, Technology & Society.

Ted lives in Chicago with his wife Lori, Founder of HTAT Journeys, a conservation-focused safari company that operates primarily in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Ted speaks at events all over the world on the topic of digital transformation and the positive impact it can have on your business, your community, and your life.

David Snyder

President & CEO / The Economic Club of Chicago

David Snyder is president and chief executive officer of The Economic Club of Chicago. Founded in 1927, The Economic Club is one of nation’s most influential forums for the dissemination of economic, business and social views, dedicated to fostering the development of leaders within Chicago’s civic and business community. The Economic Club has welcomed many prominent thought leaders as speakers including CEOs of leading Fortune 500 companies, U.S. presidents, prime ministers, and other foreign dignitaries.

Before his role at the Economic Club, David Snyder was Chief Operating Officer of Chicago CRED, a pioneering initiative targeting gang-affiliated men most at risk for being perpetrators or victims of gun violence. Chicago CRED focuses on street-level violence prevention/interruption, intensive trauma-informed counseling, education and workforce development. In his role as COO, Mr. Snyder oversaw CRED’s business operations, strategic planning and grant-making.

Prior to joining CRED in early 2017, Snyder spent more than three decades in various roles, including as Publisher and Editor, at Crain’s Chicago Business, the nation’s leading local business newspaper and website.

Mr. Snyder is on the board of directors of the Polk Bros. Foundation, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance and The Economic Club of Chicago.

A native of Easton, Pa., Mr. Snyder is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., where he received his degree in business administration.

Maurice Smith

President & CEO / Health Care Service Corporation

As president and CEO, Maurice Smith is responsible for overall strategic direction of the company including the organization’s long-term growth strategy. Throughout his nearly 27 years of service with HCSC, he also has previously served as president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois where he was responsible for the overall financial performance, long-term growth strategy and strategic planning of Illinois’ largest health insurance company, serving more than 8 million members. 

Smith brings a broad perspective and deep understanding of the industry having held many senior financial management roles including head of corporate transactions and investment strategies. He also oversaw HCSC’s subsidiaries and served as the Chairman of Dearborn National Life Insurance Company. 

Smith’s current philanthropic endeavors include actively serving as a Trustee of the Civic Federation and serving on the boards of Ventas, Inc., Civic Consulting Alliance, Economic Club of Chicago, Roosevelt University and World Business Chicago. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Roosevelt University. 

Eric S. Smith

Vice Chair / BMO Harris Bank

Vice Chair, BMO Harris Bank.  In this role, Eric is responsible for working with the U.S. Commercial Banking team and across other lines of business to develop the bank’s strategy and product capabilities as it expands nationwide by cultivating new and existing client relationships.  As an ambassador for the bank, Eric is a key leader of several firmwide initiatives including regulatory affairs, community affairs, and diversity and inclusion.

Eric joined BMO in January 2020 from Fifth Third Bank, where he served as the Regional President responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of the commercial banking, wealth & asset management, and consumer businesses across the Chicagoland market.  Prior to assuming that role in 2016, Eric served as Chief Financial Officer of Middle Market Banking for JPMorgan Chase for several years following his leadership role as a Managing Director in the Investment Bank responsible for advising Fortune 500 consumer product companies on mergers and acquisitions as well as debt and equity underwritings.  Eric has more than 25 years of banking experience, and he began his career with Merrill Lynch as a Financial Analyst in Public Finance.

Eric has a long history of commitment to the non-profit and civic community as reflected through his board service and volunteerism. His current Board leadership roles include Chairman of the Chicago Urban League; Chairman of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Foundation, Vice Chairman of Lyric Opera of Chicago; and Treasurer of the Economic Club of Chicago.  Likewise, Eric is an active Board Member of the Chicago Public Education Fund, Navy Pier, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Ravinia.  Eric is also a member of the Commercial Club, Executives Club of Chicago, and the Executive Leadership Council.

Eric earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Howard University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.  He and his wife Kimberly Taylor-Smith have two daughters and they reside in Evanston, IL.

Jennifer Scanlon

President & CEO / UL

Jennifer F. Scanlon is president and chief executive officer of UL. Jenny’s deep commitment to science, technology, engineering and math shape her approach to advancing UL’s leadership in driving confidence and trust in the next generation of innovation.

Prior to UL, Jenny was most recently president and CEO of USG Corporation, where she also served as chief information officer (CIO). She led the company through a major international expansion, digital transformation, and sustainable evolution, enhancing its ability to meet customer needs.

Jenny is a fierce advocate for STEM education and the benefits of diversity and inclusion. She sits on the board of Norfolk Southern Corporation and serves as vice chair of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and chair of the Commercial Club of Chicago. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame.


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