Who We

Who We

© Brian Kraus

Fueled by a shared vision to reinvigorate Chicago’s tech community, co-chairs Penny Pritzker, former Secretary of Commerce and founder and chairman of PSP Partners; Chris Gladwin, CEO and Co-founder of Ocient and Cleversafe; and Kelly Welsh, President of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago founded P33 in 2018.

Embracing Chicago’s innovation roots, P33 is the catalyst fostering better connections between Chicago stakeholders and the global tech and innovation community to facilitate economic growth.

Our Co-Chairs

In 2004, Chris founded Cleversafe which became the largest and most strategic object storage vendor in the world (according to IDC).

Chris raised over $100M, and led the company to a $1.4B exit in 2015 when IBM acquired them. The technology he started generated over 1,000 patents granted or filed, creating one of the ten most powerful patent portfolios in the world. Prior to Cleversafe, Chris was the Founder and CEO of startups MusicNow and Cruise Technologies, and led product strategy for Zenith Data Systems. He started his career at Martin Marietta, and holds a mechanical engineering degree from MIT.

The Honorable Penny Pritzker. Founder and Chairman of PSP Partners and 38th Secretary of Commerce. Penny is an entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist with more than 30 years of experience in numerous industries.

Penny is the Founder and Chairman of PSP Partners, a global private investment firm that takes a long-term, fundamental approach to investing in and building market-leading businesses in sectors such as business & technology services, housing, industrials, and food and agriculture. From June 2013 through January 2017, Penny served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration. Penny was a core member of President Obama’s economic team and served as the country’s chief commercial advocate, leading the Administration’s trade and investment promotion efforts. She also served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and his Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Penny founded Vi Senior Living (formerly known as Classic Residence by Hyatt), and co-founded The Parking Spot, Artemis Real Estate Partners and Inspired Capital. Penny is the former chairman of the board of TransUnion and is a past board member of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Marmon Group, and LaSalle Bank Corporation. Currently, Penny is also a member of the board of Microsoft, chairman of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a member of the Harvard Corporation, Aspen Strategy Group, Aspen Economic Strategy Group, Hamilton Project and a co-chair of the Cyber Readiness Institute. She was also formerly a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, the board of trustees of Stanford University, the Harvard University Board of Overseers and founded Skills for America’s Future. Penny earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor and Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University. Penny and her husband, Dr. Bryan Traubert, co-founded The Pritzker Traubert Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation that works to foster increased economic opportunity for Chicago’s families. To learn more about PSP Partners, visit www.pspspartners.com. To learn more about The Pritzker Traubert Foundation, visit www.ptfound.org.

Kelly is the President of the Civic Committee and of the Commercial Club of Chicago.

Kelly was nominated by former President Barack Obama and served as General Counsel for the United States Department of Commerce from 2014-2017. He previously worked as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at both Northern Trust and Ameritech Corporation, and served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago from 1989-1993. Prior to that he was a Partner at Mayer Brown. Kelly is a Director of Bank of the West, headquartered in San Francisco, the United Way of Metro Chicago, and Navy Pier, Inc. His civic engagement has included serving as a Trustee for the University of Chicago Medical Center and the Field Museum of Natural History and as President of the Board of the Institute of Judicial Administration, New York University Law School. He also was the Chairman of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Kelly received his A.B. from Harvard College, a M.A from University of Sussex (U.K.), and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Our Crew

Brad is P33’s CEO. Previously, he was a Senior Partner at BCG where he led their Operations Practice and was a BHI Fellow researching impact investing and ESG.

Brad serves on several nonprofit boards, including ACCION, Interfaith Youth Core, the Chicago History Museum, the UChicago College Advisory Council and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. He graduated with a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago (Phi Beta Kappa) and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Studs Terkel
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
Riding any CTA train and gazing out the window

Nuwan is P33’s Chief Operating Officer, supporting the strategic vision for the organization, building infrastructure, and driving the translation of ideas into pragmatic, executable solutions.

Prior to joining P33, Nuwan was the COO of a Chicago southside non-profit and before that spent much of his career at Deloitte Consulting LLP., advising executives in Healthcare, Life Sciences, Hi-Tech, and Philanthropy on Strategy, Analytics, and Human Capital considerations. He graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with a B.S. in Accounting and Operations Management and from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an M.B.A. In his spare time, Nuwan enjoys playing tennis and exploring Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Timuel Black
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
The Quadrangle at the University of Chicago (in the summer)

Erin is P33’s Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, she collaborates with marketers across the City to promote Chicago’s innovation stories.

Erin brings over fifteen years of experience in marketing, brand strategy and media planning to her role at P33. Prior to joining P33, she worked at a digital marketing agency, where she helped professional services organizations grow their business through brand-based digital experiences. Erin is a Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow and has earned Masters of Business Administration degrees from both Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in marketing and Cambridge University, Judge Business School in entrepreneurship. She is also an active member in the Chicago community, serving on the board of VOCEL (Viewing Our Children as Emerging Leaders), the French American Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Snow City Arts.

Who is your Chicago hero?
George “Buddy” Guy – a legendary storyteller who put Chicago on the world stage
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
Spacca Napoli Pizzeria. They have really good pizza

Michelle is P33’s Senior VP of Deep Tech.

Michelle brings extensive experience in the life science and healthcare industry most recently as senior V.P. for Back Bay Life Science Advisors. At Back Bay, she used knowledge and understanding of innovation within pharma, biotech, and medtech/diagnostics combined with operational and transactional expertise to help her clients to make critical, strategic decisions. She brings that deep understanding and experience of the health and life sciences industries to Chicago, and will work closely with the local community to facilitate planning and growth of these industries. Michelle has a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from Cornell University. In her spare time, she enjoys binge watching television and matching wits with her tween son.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Alex Kotlowitz
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
Promontory Point, Hyde Park

Brandi is P33’s Senior VP of Ventures. In this role, she works to collaborate with multiple players in the advanced manufacturing space, from accelerators and start-ups to industry partners and not-for-profit organizations.

Prior to joining P33, she was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, focusing on operations transformations and digital strategies for industrial, medical products and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Prior to joining McKinsey, she was a project engineer at ExxonMobil where she executed large capital projects domestically and internationally. She holds a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and BA in Hispanic Studies from Rice University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a current board member of the Association of Rice University Alumni and the Association of Rice University Black Alumni. She is also on the board of Calculated Genius, a nonprofit focused on advancing STEM education for Chicago youth. She resides in downtown Chicago with her husband and daughter.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Ida B. Wells – she used her voice to advocate for civil rights and women’s rights
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
Anyplace where I can see our beautiful and iconic skyline

Matthew is P33’s Senior VP of Talent, leading P33’s efforts to grow Chicago’s tech talent base and improve diversity and inclusion in the tech ecosystem.

Matthew is a multi-sector professional who most recently served Chicago mayors Lightfoot and Emanuel as Director of Workforce Innovation, overseeing their efforts to build college and career pathways, meet businesses’ talent needs, and help struggling Chicagoans find quality jobs. He joined City Hall after helping launch the Seattle-based philanthropy Ballmer Group, and leading their national grantmaking and impact investing related to post-secondary education and careers. Before that, Matthew was Director of the Joyce Foundation’s Employment Program, where he oversaw strategy, grantmaking and partnerships focused on policy reform, tech innovation, and business practice change to help more individuals get and thrive in good jobs. He began his career as a strategy advisor to aerospace and defense companies in Washington, DC. He holds degrees from The University of Michigan (MBA), London School of Economics (MSc), and Tulane University (BA). And he serves on the Chicago Cook Workforce Innovation Board.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Lorraine Hansberry
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
On a bike, riding through the city’s neighborhoods.

Cole is P33’s VP of Deep Tech. He supports our early science commercialization programs, which are focused on helping the Chicago area benefit from the extensive deep technology that is being developed in local academic labs.

Cole brings experience in early-stage technology commercialization in the life sciences and medical device industry most recently as senior manager of innovation at Baxter Healthcare, where he focused on sourcing early-stage technologies and led cross-functional technical teams performing due diligence on such opportunities prior to partnership or investment. He joined Baxter from the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation where he spent four years managing a diverse portfolio of University-owned intellectual property and mentoring startups through the programs like the Polsky Summer Accelerator and I-Corps. Cole has a PhD in Molecular Biology and MS in Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan, a MS in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Chance the Rapper
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
Anywhere along the lakefront (& south of the river)

Frances is P33’s Applied Data Fellow, supporting data analytics, metrics & benchmarking, and development functions.

Prior to joining P33, Frances graduated with a Master of Science in Analytics from the University of Chicago, and worked in non-profit fundraising at cultural and educational institutions. In her spare time, Frances enjoys tennis, and Chicago’s great restaurant scene.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Walter L Newberry, whose $2 million dollar bequest in 1887 founded the Newberry Library.
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
I love the lakefront path, right around Belmont Harbor, which I’ve sailed out of many times!

Weronika is P33’s Executive Assistant to the CEO. Previously, she worked at Morgan Stanley supporting executives in the company’s Investment Banking Division. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Michael Jordan
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
NoMi Garden

Rebecca is P33’s Marketing & Operations Manager

Prior to P33, Rebecca spent five years with a Chicago-based digital marketing and PR agency developing communication plans for clients across a vast array of industries. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Marketing from Aurora University where she graduated as a Northern Athletics Conference Scholar and as a national award-winning VP of the Collegiate American Marketing Association on campus. In her spare time she enjoys screenwriting and exploring Chicago’s restaurant scene.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Shonda Rhimes – incredible storyteller & one of the most influential African-American women in the American entertainment industry
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
Wrigley field bleachers

Estefania is P33’s Talent Solutions Associate, helping drive diverse, inclusive, and innovative growth across Chicago’s workplaces.

Prior to joining P33, Estefania was a Latinx Coordinator on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, uniting and activating Latinos and other underrepresented constituency groups in Iowa and Nevada to get out to vote. Before that, she worked at Point B Seattle, a management consulting firm specializing in local retail and healthcare project and change management. Estefania is originally from the Little Village neighborhood and graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Public Policy, Early Childhood Education, and Business Psychology. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring new neighborhoods and taking improv classes at Second City.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Louis Sullivan
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
Oak Street Beach

Mark is P33’s Manager of Ventures.

Prior to joining P33, Mark was a strategy consultant helping dozens of Fortune 500 companies develop their plan for innovation and growth. His experience also includes corporate venture capital, helping innovative organizations around Chicago and beyond invest both financial and relational capital into early-stage startups. He earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in entrepreneurship, strategy, and management. In his free time, you can find him spending most of it with his wife and one year old son, being active outdoors, or chasing a little white ball around.

Who is your Chicago hero?
Eugene Fama
Where is your favorite spot in Chicago?
Any rooftop bar in the summer!

Our Committee Members and Volunteers

The people who helped us get here represent a team of thinkers and doers – business and community leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, technology experts and policymakers. They are today’s establishment and tomorrow’s vanguard.
Talent & Education
Michael D. Amiridis
Amanda Brimmer
Todd Connor
Kevin Connelly
Alan Cramb
Mary Dillon
Ted Dysart
Deborah L. DeHaas
Fabian Elliott
Mike Gamson
John Garabedian
Ilene Gordon
Brad Henderson
Robert J. Jones
Maria Katris
Brad Keywell
Timothy L. Killeen
Phyllis Lockett
Matt Maloney
Walter Massey
Robert J. McCullen
LaTanya McDade
Nivine Megahed
Cindy Murray
Kelly Newton
Diane Randolph
Juan Salgado
Jennifer Scanlon
Morton Schapiro
Tim Schwertfeger
Edward Seidel
Andrew Sieja
Eric Sigurdson
Suresh Sunderrajan
Mark Tebbe
Jose Torres
Jay Walsh
Alya Woods
Robert Zimmer
Capital & Finance
Ken Barton
Amanda Brimmer
Dave Carlquist
Ronelle DeShazer
Charles Evans
John Garabedian
Brad Henderson
Troy Henikoff
Jason Henrichs
Francis Idehen
Karen Johnson
Steve Kaplan
Russ Mayerfeld
Matt McCall
Rumi Morales
Leslie McGranahan
Kelly Newton
Jim O’Connor
Maura O’Hara
Mike Oleshansky
Vic Pascucci
Nate Robinson
Ellen Rudnick
John Rogers
Kristi Ross
Kim Trautmann
Rick Waddell
Cayla Weisberg
Pete Wilkins
Kevin Willer
Jessica Droste Yagan
Business, Community & Culture
Haven Allen
Sid Bala
Emile Cambry
James Coleman
Caralynn Nowinski Collens
Kristi Dula
Omar Duque
Joel Farran
John Flavin
Laura Frerichs
Shelley Stern Grach
Fred Hoch
Miho Goto Jacobs
Melissa Kaufman
Michael Krauss
Tara Leweling
Juan Luciano
DG McPherson
Dorri McWhorter
Stacy Meagher
Matt Moog
Barbara Pollack
Ismael Roig
Shari Runner
Paula Steiner
Jai Shekhawat
Virginia Simmons
Alex Singla
Luke Tanen
Greg Thompson
Howard Tullman
Tom Wilson
Betsy Ziegler
Government & Infrastructure
Aamer Baig
Brenna Berman
Hardik Bhatt
Kris Hammond
Ron Huberman
Miho Goto Jacobs
John Keller
Steve Koch
Tom Kotarac
Bradley Lane
Paul La Schiazza
Tom Lynch
Anna Mason
Leslie Munger
Rohit Pasam
Anne Pramaggiore
Jim Reynolds
Bob Rivkin
Dennis Roberson
Simona Rollinson
Michael Sacks
Virginia Simmons
Larry Strickling
Joe Svachula
Patrick Whiteside
Melvin Williams
Bob Wislow
Eric Wong
Sam Yagan
Andrea Zopp
Messaging & Communication
Greg Brown
Jennifer Chiang
Kevin Cook
Michael Fassnacht
Morgan Flatley
Tari Haro
Josh Inglis
Linda Jojo
Tom Kuczmarski
Amanda Lannert
Nancy Lerner
Molly McCabe
Suzanne Muchin
Oscar Munoz
Katie Newman
Teresa Poggenpohl
Brooke Skinner Ricketts
Goli Sheikholeslami
Pro Bono Consulting Support
FCB Chicago
McKinsey & Company
Coordinating Committee
Hardik Bhatt
Greg Brown
Kevin Cook
Michael Fassnacht
John Garabedian
Chris Gladwin
Steve Koch
Michael Krauss
Walter Massey
Suzanne Muchin
John Oxtoby
Penny Pritzker
John Rogers
Kristi Ross
Mark Tebbe
Tom Wilson
Brian Fabes
Dea Meyer
Tracey Seward
Virginia Simmons
Pallavi Verma
Kelly Welsh