WITS Board of Directors
Phil Hildebrandt, Chairman
Alter & Stone Volunteer Awardee 2019
Phil Hildebrandt is Chief Executive Officer of Segall Bryant & Hamill. Prior to joining SBH, Hildebrandt was Director of Marketing for CSI Asset Management, an investment subsidiary of The Prudential Investment Corporation. Hildebrandt has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Minnesota and an MBA in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and has been in the investment industry since 1985. Hildebrandt also serves on the board of Kids First Chicago.
Jeremy Cole, President
Jeremy Cole is a litigation partner in the Chicago office of Jones Day, a global law firm with over 40 offices worldwide. He received his undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame. Cole has been a WITS volunteer and board member since 2008, serving as WITS board secretary from 2012 to 2014, and board President in 2014.
Scott Lehman, Vice President
Scott Lehman is an Investment Banking Associate in the Financial Institutions Group of Citigroup. Lehman joined the firm in November 2014 from Credit Suisse’s Chicago Financials practice. Prior to his career in banking, Lehman served for four years as a special operations U.S. Marine (Marine Recon) conducting multiple deployments abroad including a tour in Iraq in 2003. Lehman earned his M.B.A. from the The Wharton School in 2014 with a concentration in Finance. He graduated with a B.S. in Real Estate Finance from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. As a volunteer, Lehman has worked with WITS, Chicago Cares, Chicago Scholars, and Veterans Upward Bound (Philadelphia). He joined WITS as a volunteer in 2009 and served as the Associate Board’s VP in 2011-2012.
Carolyn Goldhaber, Vice President - Finance
Carolyn Goldhaber is the Chief Financial Officer for Segall Bryant & Hamill. Prior to joining SBH, Goldhaber served as CFO for Vienna Beef Ltd, where she was responsible for overseeing all the functions of the accounting/finance organization. Her previous experience includes serving as a Vice President of Commercial Banking Finance at LaSalle Bank as well as various positions at Kraft Foods. She began her career at KPMG as an auditor within the Audit practice. Goldhaber earned a BS in Accounting and Finance from Indiana University.
Laura Shroyer Liss, Second Vice President - Legal
Laura Liss is Associate General Counsel for Advocate Aurora Health. Liss has been practicing employment law for over twenty years and enjoys providing both legal and practical business advice on all phases of employment-related decisions. She began volunteering for WITS in 1999 while working for the City of Chicago Law Department. WITS’ amazing mission pulled her in. She joined the WITS Board in 2007 and the Executive Committee in 2012.
John Martin, Treasurer
John Martin is the President of JFM OPS Consulting LLC, focusing on providing operational consulting services to early stage companies as an interim Chief Operation Officer (COO). In this capacity, he has worked with over 15 start-ups/early stage companies. Martin has also run three technology-based companies as a full-time Chief Operating Officer. Earlier in his career, he worked as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte Consulting. Martin received his B.S. in Management Information Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to joining the board of WITS, he was the Chairman of the Board of Boundless Readers.
Lauren Rocklin, Secretary
Lauren Rocklin is currently a Senior Director of Business Development at Orbitz Worldwide. She is responsible for managing Orbitz’s partnerships with technology providers and select airlines and well as supporting the agency’s connectivity strategy. Lauren has over 10 years in the travel industry, including over 6 at United Airlines in a variety of roles including sales, loyalty, and media. She is a graduate of Cornell University, has her MBA and Masters of Engineering Management from the Kellogg School, and is originally from the Philadelphia area. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys travel, running, volunteering and chasing after her toddler.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jennifer Alter Warden
Jennifer Alter Warden is the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Baird & Warner. Warden created the Baird & Warner Good Will Network, the company's charitable initiative, which has donated nearly $2 million to local organizations that provide shelter, primarily to women and children. In addition to WITS, which was co-founded by her mother Joanne Alter. She is a member of the President's Advisory Council at Oberlin College, Northwestern University's Council of 100, the Internal Women’s Forum and the Economic Club of Chicago. In 2011, Warden worked closely with her husband, Rob Warden, founder of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, to abolish the Illinois death penalty.
Dr. Olimpia Bahena
Dr. Olimpia Bahena is the principal of Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy. Bahena is one of the first Latino educators in Chicago to be Nationally Board Certified. She served as a mentor and instructor for teachers with provisional teaching certification in the Project 29 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and taught bilingual courses at the Illinois Resources Center. Recently, Bahena earned a doctoral degree in Education in Urban School Leadership at the University of Illinois. Bahena is a strong proponent of dual language education for English Learners students. Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy is one the few Chicago Public Schools with a Dual Language Program. It has a high percentage of English Learners and most of the students are Latino. Over 80% of Talcott’s students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Talcott is known for its innovative, well-rounded, and high-quality curriculum, dedicated and hard-working families, and learning-focused staff.
Amy Best became the Chief Human Resources Officer upon close of the Exelon-Constellation merger in March 2012. Along with WITS, Best is on the board of trustees of The Field Museum and the board of directors for Skills for Chicagoland Future, and for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Best received her B.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her M.S.I.R from Loyola University Chicago. Best attended the Strategic Human Resource Management Executive Education Program at Harvard University, and Leading Women Executives leadership program. Best is a fellow of the CEO Perspectives leadership program in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management and Chicago Booth School of Business.
Stephanie Braming is the global head of William Blair Investment Management. She also chairs the leadership team for Investment Management and serves on the firm’s global inclusion council. Before assuming leadership of William Blair Investment Management in 2017, Braming was a portfolio manager for the International Growth and International Small Cap Growth strategies. Before joining the firm, she was a principal at Mercer Investment Consulting. She also previously worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Chicago, where she served on the society’s board of directors. Braming received a B.A. from DePaul University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Doug Buchler joined CIBC US (then The PrivateBank) in 2008. Currently, he is the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Portfolio Manager for CIBC US, Illinois Commercial and Specialty Banking (ICB). Before taking the COO role in 2015, Buchler was a Relationship Manager in ICB’s Middle Market Banking Group, managing the loan and deposit accounts for a large portfolio of mostly privately held Chicago-based companies across a diverse range of industries. He started his career as a Credit Analyst for LaSalle Bank, N.A. in 2005. Buchler has a BBA in Finance and Management from The University of Iowa and an MBA in Business Strategy from DePaul University.
Ginny and Roger Carlson, Past Presidents
Ginny and Roger Carlson have been tireless advocates of WITS over the past two decades, both volunteering with students and on the Board of Directors. Programmatically, the Carlsons were instrumental to the start-up of WITS’ Early Childhood Program, a weekly literacy program geared toward our youngest learners. Roger Carlson also introduced WITS to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, a company that has since participated in both Mid-day Mentoring and Workplace Mentoring. Their consistent motivation and leadership has helped propel the mission of WITS and increase the impact of WITS programs on underserved Chicago youth.
Kanika Chakravorti is a Senior Relationship Manager in Chicago for Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Commercial Bank. Chakravorti joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch San Francisco in July, 2010 through the MBA program. She was appointed to her current role in May, 2011 and moved to Chicago in April 2017. Chakravorti graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BA in Finance. She obtained a MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Chakravorti is a member of the Women’s Executive Council and Power of 10 at the bank. She previously was a member of bank’s Global Commercial Bank Executive Council as well as the San Francisco Market President Talent Council.
Brian Chmiel is a Managing Director in the Forensic Services practice of the Chicago office of Crowe LLP. He has over 18 years of experience providing forensic accounting, litigation support, restructuring, due diligence, and assurance services to clients in a variety of industries. Chmiel is a CPA, CIRA (Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor), CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics) and CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner).
Stephanie Curulewski is the Head of Marketing and Origination for BP’s Global Oil Americas Integrated Supply & Trading Division. After spending 4 years at a consulting firm, Curulewski joined BP, where she has spent more than 15 years in several roles across the Lubricants and IST businesses. Curulewski received her B.S. in Finance and Multinational Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dorne Eastwood is a former educator and Rochelle Lee Teacher Award (RLTA) alum who served as both a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of Boundless Readers. As Executive Director, Eastwood was a driving force behind the 2015 merger that brought together WITS and Boundless Readers. Today, Eastwood serves as a member of the WITS Board of Directors and continues to support RLTA teachers as a Study Group Coach.
Fred Flores is a recently retired principal from Chicago Public Schools and has incorporated all WITS programs into his school.
Sydney Golliday is the Four Year Contract Principal of John B. Drake Elementary School. Golliday has developed partnerships with various organizations to provide opportunities and experiences for her school family. Golliday is a passionate educator and has been employed by Chicago Public Schools for the past 16 years. As the Assistant Principal at Richard T. Crane Tech Prep High School, Golliday was the Administrator responsible for Curriculum and Instruction where she created and implemented several school-wide initiatives to improve the school culture and student achievement.
Jesus Gonzalez is the Chief of Staff at Aon. is a core member of Aon’s Professional Risk Solutions team and specializes in Commercial E&O (including Technology), Media, and Network Security & Privacy insurance coverages. Prior to joining Aon, he spent over ten years in leadership roles as a systems engineer on worldwide engagements with Motorola and Nokia Siemens Networks. Gonzalez holds an MBA degree from The University of Chicago Booth School of Management.
Diane Graham-Henry received her BFA from University of Illinois Chicago and her MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has made her career as a photographer, videographer, writer graphic designer and editor; starting DGH Photo in 1979. She has been the recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts for Printmaking, Kodak Professional Division Grant for photography research. Along with WITS, he sits on the board NARI, North America Racewalk Institute. Graham-Henry has been a Race Walk Coach for 18 years, and currently Vice Chair of Race Walking in USA Track and Field.
As opening General Manager of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, Patrick Hatton collaborated across disciplines to build a team and culture that accelerated the early success of the hotel including critical acclaim, strong media coverage and multiple Best Work Places awards. Prior to opening the Chicago Athletic Association, Hatton helped develop that James brand and served as opening General Manager of both the James Chicago and the James Royal Palm in Miami Beach. Recently promoted to Area Managing Director, Hatton will have oversight of our two Kansas City area projects in addition to his current responsibilities. He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Magnificent Mile Association, The Illinois Hotel, and Lodging Association.
Lisa Kastigar is Director of Business Development at GCM Grosvenor. Prior to joining GCM Grosvenor, she was the Director of Research at Marco Consulting Group. She also worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and at the Financial Services Authority in London as a financial markets regulatory policy economist. Kastigar received her BS in Business Economics from Marquette University and her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Catherine Levitt is vice president, general counsel and secretary of Astellas for the Americas region. Levitt joined Fujisawa - merged with Yamanouchi in 2005 to create Astellas - in 2004 as assistant general counsel, specializing in litigation. Prior to Astellas, she served as corporate counsel at Baxter Healthcare and People’s Energy, and began her career at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Levitt earned her JD from the University of Illinois College of Law.
Girish is a Senior Principal in the Chicago office focusing on senior-level searches with companies in the SaaS, enterprise software, healthcare IT, Ad-tech, IoT, and digital media areas. He has been in the executive search industry for more than 12 years, having previously worked with a boutique firm and a mid-sized global firm. Girish also has operating experience with two start-up companies.
Girish served as president of LogiScale, a business process outsourcing company, and as vice president of Sales for RentPayment.com (now Yapstone), a leading web and mobile payment company. He began his career as an advisor in the financial services industry. He received his Bachelor of Science in marketing from Miami University and his MBA from Pepperdine University.
Stephen O’Neil is a partner in the law firm of K&L Gates. He is a commercial litigator and trial lawyer with more than 35 years’ experience in federal and state courts, as well as in major arbitration matters. O’Neil also frequently serves as an arbitrator in commercial cases.
Alice Rooks is the founding principal at ASR Consulting Group. A product of the Chicago Public School (CPS) system, Rooks is an award-winning marketer and sales executive who has advised and counseled various corporate, governmental, nonprofit, entertainment and sports entities. She has a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.S. in Marketing/E-commerce from the Illinois Institute of Technology's Stuart School of Business. Rooks is a long standing mentor and supporter of Chicago Lights Tutoring, BuildOn and other diverse nonprofit organizations.
Kristine Schaffner is the Portfolio Manager for Kinship Capital, a private real estate investment firm founded on 125 years of family business success. Before Kinship Capital, Schaffner served as Vice President for The John Buck Company within its JBC’s Investments Group.
Thrupti (Thru) Shivakumar
Thrupti (Thru) Shivakumar is currently at GCM Grosvenor as a Vice President in Civic Engagement and Strategy and works directly with the CEO in a chief of staff capacity. Prior to that she worked at World Business Chicago where she led Infrastructure Strategy and Finance. In 2015, she founded Current, Chicago’s water technology accelerator where she is now a Director on the Board. Earlier in her career, Shivakumar worked at Green Courte partners and Newport Capital where she was in business development and corporate strategy. She started her career in corporate finance. One of Shivakumar's most notable career accomplishments was her key role in the leveraged sale of Interpark (a GE company) to Alinda Capital Partners in 2011. Shivakumar graduated from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in December 2013 with an MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Finance. She received her Bachelors of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois in 2004.
Ronald Sonenthal, Past President
Alter & Stone Volunteer Awardee
Ronald Sonenthal is a partner with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and has over 35 years of experience. He currently leads a restructuring organization within Deloitte Global, supporting Deloitte member firms around the world. He also is responsible for ensuring consistent standards of quality and professionalism throughout the Deloitte global network. For the last decade, Sonenthal has held leadership positions in the U.S. Tax practice helping drive national operational strategy and client and business growth. Sonenthal has also served as a member of the Deloitte U.S. Firm Board of Directors and on the Risk and Regulatory Committee and the Strategic Investment Committee. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his graduate degree in Taxation from DePaul University in Chicago. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Illinois CPA Society. For his entire career, Sonenthal has been active within the community, with a focus on education and youth organizations. He has been awarded the Outstanding Leadership in Advancing Diversity Award from the Illinois CPA Society, the Alter and Stone Volunteer Award from WITS, and the Deloitte Community Impact Award.
Carl Tannenbaum, Past President
Carl Tannenbaum is the Chief Economist for The Northern Trust. In this role, Tannenbaum briefs clients and colleagues on the economy and business conditions, prepares the bank’s official economic outlook and participates in forecast surveys. He is a member of the bank’s investment policy committee, its capital committee, and its asset/liability management committee. He publishes weekly commentaries and is frequently interviewed by media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Reuters. Prior to joining Northern Trust, he spent four years at the Federal Reserve, where he led the risk section. He was deeply involved in the central bank’s response to the 2008 financial crisis, helped to create and conduct its stress testing program, and advised senior Federal Reserve leaders on developments in banking and the financial markets. Tannenbaum began his career in banking at LaSalle Bank/ABN AMRO, a global banking organization with $1 trillion in total assets. He served for more than 20 years there as the organization’s Chief Economist and Head of Balance Sheet Management. He is a past Chairman of the National Association for Business Economics, the Conference of Business Economists, the American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Committee, and the North American Asset/Liability Management Association. Tannenbaum holds an M.B.A. and a B.A. in finance and economics from the University of Chicago.
Craig Thessin is a Senior Vice President on Associated Bank’s Corporate Banking team in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to coming to Associated, Thessin was a Managing Director at The PrivateBank for over three years and began his career at LaSalle Bank. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Investments and Banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.
Edward T. Tilly
Edward T. Tilly is the Chairman and CEO of CBOE Holdings, Inc. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of the CBOE Futures Exchange. Prior to being named CEO, Tilly served as CBOE President and Chief Operating Officer, CBOE's Executive Vice Chairman and CBOE’s Member Vice Chairman. Tilly currently serves on the board of directors for CBOE Holdings, Inc., CBOE, C2, Northwestern Medical Group, the OCC and Working in the Schools. He received a B.A. degree in Economics from Northwestern University.