Senior Partner, The Vistria Group
Philip Alphonse is a co-founder and senior partner for The Vistria Group (“Vistria”) a private equity investment firm with approximately $3.0 Billion in committed capital and a focus on building market leading companies in the education, healthcare, and financial services industries. Mr. Alphonse co-leads Vistria’s education practice for which investments and board positions include: Catapult Learning, Media Source Inc. (parent company for Junior Library Guild, School Library Journal, Library Journal and The Horn Book), and Penn Foster Inc. (exited in April 2018). He was formerly a Principal at Sterling Partners, a private equity firm with approximately $6.0 billion of capital under management. Mr. Alphonse spent approximately 10 years there where he primarily focused and invested in education companies. He has worked on the acquisition of and investments in Professional Career Development Institute, LLC; Infilaw Holding, LLC; Meritas, LLC; Educate, Inc. /Educate Online (Sylvan Learning); and Continental Case, LLC. He served previously on the board of directors for Educate, Inc., Educate Online, and Infilaw Holding, LLC. Mr. Alphonse held previous positions with Thomas Weisel Partners, McCown De Leeuw & Co., Musa Capital (a prior affiliate of Kingdom Holdings), and Morgan Stanley. He graduated with honors from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s Degree (Government concentration); and from Stanford University, where he received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Mr. Alphonse serves as a board member to Window to the World Communications, Inc. (WTTW), College Possible Chicago, and the Illinois Venture Capital Association. Previously, he served as Commissioner (Mayoral appointee) with Chicago’s Community Development Commission, as a trustee and member of the Executive Committee for The Roxbury Latin School in Boston, and a Board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. He is married and enjoys spending time with his wife, Rene, and three daughters, Zoe, Quincy, and Grace.
Chairman, New Enterprise Associates
Peter joined NEA in 1992 and was the firm’s Managing General Partner from 1999-2017. During his 18 years at the helm, NEA’s assets under management grew from $1B to over $20B and the organization scaled its operations to become one of the world’s largest venture capital firms. Under Peter’s leadership, NEA invested in industry-transforming technology companies like CareerBuilder, Tableau, Diapers.com, Groupon, Jet.com, Juniper Networks, Macromedia, Salesforce.com, TiVo, and Workday. He has been named several times to the Forbes Midas List of top technology investors, to Crain’s Chicago 50 Top Tech Stars, to Washington Tech Council’s Hall of Fame, and to the Washington Business Hall of Fame. Peter has personally led investments in over two dozen technology companies that have successfully completed public offerings or mergers. He serves on the board of public companies Groupon (GRPN) and Sprout Social (SPT) and is currently a director of several private companies including Berkshire Grey, Catalytic, NextNav, Tamr, Tempus, ThreatQuotient, Upskill, and ZeroFox. Prior to joining NEA, Peter was President and Chief Operating Officer of Legent Corporation (LGNT) and Senior Vice President of the Systems Software Division of UCCEL Corporation (UCE). Both companies were ultimately acquired at valuations that were record breaking for their time. Earlier, Peter spent almost a decade at General Electric Company in a variety of management positions, including Vice President and General Manager at GE Information Services. He is Vice-Chair of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees and serves on the boards of In-Q-Tel and The Brookings Institute. Peter previously served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the National Venture Capital Association and was also a founding member of Venture Philanthropy Partners, a philanthropic organization in the Washington D.C. area. Peter received his BSEE from Northwestern University and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Provost, University of Illinois
Andreas C. Cangellaris is the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost and M.E. Van Valkenburg Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As the chief academic officer, Dr. Cangellaris oversees the campus’ academic programs, policies, and priorities, which are designed to ensure the quality of the educational experience for students and to sustain an environment that encourages and supports academic excellence through diversity, inclusion, and free inquiry, debate, and speech. In this role, he works closely with the chancellor, the other vice chancellors, the deans of academic colleges and other units, academic staff, the Senate of the Illinois campus, and various committees in setting overall academic priorities for the campus. From 2013 until 2017, when he was named Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Cangellaris was Dean of the College of Engineering at Illinois. Prior to serving as dean, he was Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was named the M.E. Van Valkenburg Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2007. His tenure on the Illinois campus also includes a two-year appointment as an Associate Provost Fellow (2006-2008), during which time he led the activities of a campus-wide committee to review and update the campus’ Promotion and Tenure procedures. Cangellaris joined the University of Illinois in 1997 as a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prior to joining Illinois, Cangellaris was on the faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He also previously spent two years as a Senior Staff Engineer with the Electronics Engineering Department of General Motors Research Labs. Cangellaris received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 1981, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983 and 1985, respectively. His research interests are in the area of theoretical and applied electromagnetism with special focus on the modeling methodologies and computer-aided design tools for integrated electronic circuits and systems. On these subjects, he has authored or co-authored more than 290 refereed papers and articles in journals and conference proceedings and supervised 30 Ph.D. students. He serves as consultant to Electronic Design Automation companies and the microelectronics industry on issues pertinent to signal and power integrity of high-speed electronics and the electromagnetic compatibility of electronic systems. Dr. Cangellaris is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2005, he received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. He was an IEEE Microwave Theory & Techniques Distinguished Lecturer from 2008 to 2010. In 2011, Dr. Cangellaris received the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Director’s Coin. In 2012, he was recognized by the IEEE Microwave Theory & Techniques Society with the IEEE Microwave Theory & Techniques Distinguished Educator Award.
Managing Director, AbbVie Ventures
Margarita is Managing Director at Abbvie Ventures. Margarita has lead investments in over a dozen biotech companies in the US and Europe. She is responsible for AbbVie Ventures’ investments in Alector (NASDAQ: ALEC), Morphic Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MORF) and Jnana Therapeutics, among others, and serves on the Boards of Carisma Therapeutics, Magnolia Neurosicences, Rodeo Therapeutics andNitrome Biosciences. Margarita brings over 20 years of dealmaking leadership. As a Director with Abbott’s Global Pharmaceutical Licensing & Acquisitions, she was involved in the in-licensing of Elagolix, the acquisition of Solvay and Immuven, and the acquisition of the Lupron franchise. Before joining Abbott, Margarita practiced as a corporate and securities lawyer in Silicon Valley with the firm of Brobeck Phleger & Harrison. Beyond AbbVie Ventures, Margarita currently serves on the Boards of the New England Venture Capital Association, the MidAmerica Healthcare Investors Network and P33 Chicago. Margarita received her bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and her juris doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law.
CEO & Co-Founder, Rheaply
Dr. Garry Cooper is the Co-founder and CEO of Rheaply, whose vision is to make all the physical resources in the world discoverable and easily transferable. Dr. Cooper also currently serves on the Board of Directors of P33 Chicago and 1871, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Northwestern University. Prior to Rheaply, Dr. Cooper worked on supply chain and performance improvement for the enterprise at Ernst & Young. As a result of his work, Dr. Cooper has been named a Crain’s 40 under 40 in 2020 and Scholar at Google for Entrepreneurs. Dr. Cooper has published in high-impact, peer-reviewed international journals and holds a US patent. Dr. Cooper holds a PhD from Northwestern University, Certificate in Management from the Kellogg School of Management, BS & BA from Indiana University.
Richard Edelman is the CEO of Edelman, a global communications firm. The firm was named to Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List and was honored as “PR Agency of the Decade” by both Advertising Age and The Holmes Report. Richard has extensive experience in marketing and reputation management, having led assignments with major corporations, NGOs and family businesses in over 25 industries around the world. He has counseled countries in every region of the world on economic development programs. As the creator of the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, Richard has become one of the foremost authorities on trust in business, government, media and NGOs. In 2020, Richard was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Fame. In 2019, he was named the PR Agency Professional of the Past 20 Years by PRWeek and was inducted into the publication’s Hall of Fame; in 2014, he was inducted in the Arthur W. Page Society’s Hall of Fame. Richard is regarded as an industry thought leader and has posted weekly to his blog since 2004. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Ad Council, the Atlantic Council, the Children’s Aid Society, the Gettysburg Foundation, the 9/11 Museum and the National Committee on US China Relations. He is a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, World Economic Forum and PR Seminar. Richard earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1978 and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College in 1976.
Mike first joined the Relativity team in 2017 as a member of the advisory board. He got the unique opportunity to get to know the company’s business and team extremely well before stepping up to the role of CEO in 2019. Mike brings over 20 years of recruitment, sales, and product marketing experience to Relativity. In his former role at LinkedIn, Mike oversaw LinkedIn’s Global Solutions Organization (GSO) for its more than 30 offices worldwide, focusing on servicing corporate customers in three primary areas—talent solutions, marketing solutions, and sales solutions. Before LinkedIn, Mike was director of product marketing at Advent Software, a provider of enterprise software for investment managers, where he led the trading and order management business. Mike received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.
Executive VP, Human Resources & Labor Relations, United Airlines
Kate Gebo is the executive vice president of human resources and labor relations for United Airlines. Kate is responsible for leading a global team of more than 500 professionals in the transformation of United’s culture. In her role, Kate and her team are the principle drivers of delivering on commitments to employees to provide a great employee experience. This includes recruiting, developing and retaining top talent, and building effective teams to put customers at the center of everything United does while working closely with our labor partners. Kate previously served as senior vice president of customer service delivery and chief customer officer at United. She was responsible for delivering an integrated and industry-leading travel experience for customers from booking to landing. Kate also previously served as United’s vice president for the office of the CEO, where she worked with United’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, and the executive team to coordinate strategic company initiatives. Kate joined United in 1998 and also held roles leading the corporate real estate organization and in procurement. Prior to joining United, Kate worked at Continental Airlines. Kate is a board member of Youth Guidance and also a Leadership Greater Chicago Daniel Burnham Fellow. She received her bachelor’s degree in finance from Chicago’s DePaul University and earned a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Business at Loyola University of Chicago.
Executive Chairman, LevaData Inc.
An accomplished transformational leader focused on Innovation, Operational Excellence and Enterprise Transformation, Angel is captivated by the intersection of software technology and industrial use cases. Over the last 35 years he has held executive leadership positions with some of the world’s most notable technology companies. Most recently he served for four years as EVP and COO of HERE Technologies where he led HERE’s core business, product innovation, and corporate transformation. Prior to HERE, he served ten years in executive leadership roles at Cisco Systems responsible for the company’s enterprise transformation program as well as its global supply chain. Mendez began his career at GE, graduating from the Manufacturing Management Program and serving 11 years in increasingly responsible assignments. Following GE he served in senior executive roles at AlliedSignal, Citigroup, Gateway, and Palm. Angel serves on the Board of Directors of Kinaxis (TSX: KXS) and is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Levadata, Inc. He is also an Officer of the Board of Directors of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (“AGB”), as well as of the Lafayette College Board of Trustees where he serves as Executive Officer and Secretary of the Board. He also serves as a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago. A native of Cuba, Mendez earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College and an MBA from the Crummer School at Rollins College.
CEO, Purpose Brand
Diane Primo is the CEO of Purpose Brand Agency, an award-winning, Chicago-based public relations, branding and digital marketing firm. She is the only African American female CEO of a purpose-driven communications agency. Diane’s focus on impact marketing stems from the belief that brands must be relevant, purpose-driven and committed to consumers to be successful today. Consumers’ demand for meaning, transparency and authenticity has changed the nature and raised the stakes in all communications. As founder of Purpose Brand, Diane builds on a groundbreaking 30-year career leading some of the top marketing organizations in the country. She served as general manager at Quaker Oats, president of product management at Ameritech and SBC (currently AT&T), chief marketing officer of CDW and CEO of a Kleiner Perkins-backed e-commerce startup in the home services sector. A communications innovator, Diane was recognized as such with Ragan Communications’ 2020 Top Women in Communications Trailblazer Award. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Smith College. Diane is currently a board member for Call One, a telecommunications company, and P33, the private sector initiative to promote Chicago’s standing as a technology center. She is also a committee member of World Business Chicago’s ChicagoNEXT, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicago Network and the Business Leadership Council. She is a national influencer on purpose-focused issues, now as a member of the Forbes Agency Council and previously as a contributing columnist for Huffington Post. Diane’s personal public service record reflects her personal commitments to eradicating homelessness, helping underserved populations and furthering gender equality. She is a recipient of the Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award and was a presenter at the G8 UK Deauville Partnership Summit. She is currently co-chairman of the nationally recognized Primo Center, Chicago’s largest center for homeless families, an organization she also co-founded. Most recently she co-founded SOAR, an organization that focuses on empowering, connecting and growing the number of women of color in media.
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 becoming CEO in September 2019, Jenny served as president and CEO of USG Corporation, a manufacturer of innovative building products. During her 16 years at USG, she also served as chief information officer (CIO), and head of Corporate Strategy. She led the company through a major international expansion, transformed the role of technology in driving operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, and invested in research to develop sustainable building materials. She began her career at IBM. Jenny’s experience will be central to building new offerings, opening new markets, and creating the next generation of solutions at UL. Jenny is a fierce advocate for STEM education. She is also dedicated to increasing diversity in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, enabling greater organizational diversity and improving the ability of organizations to fully understand and meet the needs of a diverse stakeholder base. Jenny sits on the board of Norfolk Southern Corporation and serves as chairman of the Commercial Club of Chicago and vice chair of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She is also a member of The Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago and serves on the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with dual degrees in government and computer applications and a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
CEO, BMe Community
Trabian Shorters is a New York Times bestselling author, celebrated social entrepreneur, and the leading authority on an award-winning approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Impact, called “Asset-Framing.” Trabian developed Asset-Framing while serving for six years as Vice President of the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, where he directed strategy for Knight’s $300-million portfolio of grants and endowments in 26 regions including Detroit, Philadelphia, Miami and Silicon Valley. He launched BMe community in 2013, with backing from Knight, to build communities of social impact leaders who employ Asset-Framing to transform issues of race, communities and America’s future. BMe Community is the #1 provider of Asset-Framing training and consulting to the heads of leading social impact firms including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Deloitte-Monitor, and the US Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). BMe Community’s 300+ Fellows are black people from all walks of life who have dedicated their lives to providing for the health, education, and livelihood of millions of families annually.
Board Chair, Lever for Change
Julia Stasch is former President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies with offices in Chicago, Mexico City, New Delhi, and Abuja, Nigeria. With a broad background of leadership in the business, government, and philanthropic sectors, she served as the Foundation’s president from 2014 through 2019. Before joining the Foundation in 2001 as vice president for US Programs, Stasch served as chief of staff to then-Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, commissioner of housing for the City of Chicago, president of Shorebank Chicago Companies, deputy administrator of the 20,000-person U.S. General Services Administration in the Clinton administration, and president and COO of Chicago-based real estate development firm, Stein & Company. She currently serves as chair of the board of MacArthur affiliate, Lever for Change, whose mission is to unlock significant philanthropic capital and accelerate social change around the world’s biggest challenges. Stasch is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club, and The Chicago Network. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University Chicago and holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Stasch is a Distinguished Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. She is Executive in Residence in Philanthropy at the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, senior advisor to the philanthropic Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities and its efforts to reduce violence in Chicago, and board member of P33, a private sector-led effort to drive inclusive, global tech and innovation leadership in Chicagoland.
Engineering Executive, Facebook
Helen Sun is a technology strategist and thought leader. She is known as an expert in transforming businesses through innovative solutions applying artificial intelligence, cloud, analytics, and architecture. Prior to her role at JP Morgan Chase, Helen held the VP position for Cloud Compute, Information, and Architecture at Motorola Solutions. Helen also held senior leadership positions at some of the most innovative companies including Oracle, and Salesforce. While at Oracle, Helen became the first woman to achieve “Oracle Enterprise Architect” status. She was subsequently honored as “Oracle Enterprise Architect of the Year” for her contributions on critical growth. During her tenure, Helen lead the development of Oracle Information Architecture Framework and Development Process, and published many white papers on Architecture, Big Data, Analytics, and Data Governance.
Executive Director, Chicago Quantum Exchange
Kate Timmerman is the executive director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, a catalyst for advancing academic and industrial efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information. The Exchange is a collaboration between the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern University, and industry partners. With the Exchange, Kate fosters emerging research, workforce, and economic partnerships between academia, national labs, and industry. Kate is currently a board member of P33, a private sector initiative to turbocharge Chicago’s tech economy, and ARCS Illinois, which supports Illinois graduate and medical students by providing financial awards for science, engineering and medical research. Kate received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, Davis and her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.
President & CEO, AnitaB.org
Brenda Darden Wilkerson is an advocate for access, opportunity, and social justice for underrepresented communities in technology. She currently serves as the President and CEO of AnitaB.org, an organization that connects, inspires, and strives for greater equality for women technologists in business, academia, and government. She founded the original Computer Science for All program, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student in the Chicago Public Schools, and serving as the inspiration for the Obama administration’s national CS For All initiatives.
Chair, President & CEO, The Allstate Corporation
Tom Wilson is the Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Allstate Corporation. Wilson has served as CEO of Allstate since 2007 and became the Chairman of The Allstate Corporation’s Board of Directors in 2008. Wilson has held a number of senior executive positions at Allstate since 1995. As CEO, Wilson has led a multi-year transformation of Allstate to position it as the only insurer with differentiated brands targeted at each segment of the market. The emphasis has been not only on doing the right things, such as investing in cutting-edge innovation, improving efficiency and productivity, and shedding non-core assets, but in doing them in the right way — optimizing the pace of change, restructuring for the long term rather than short term, honoring commitments to employees, agency owners, customers and communities, and investing in the people of Allstate. He joined Allstate in 1995 from Sears, Roebuck and Co., where he was Vice President of Strategy and Analysis. He was Managing Director of Mergers and Acquisitions at Dean Witter Reynolds from 1986 to 1993 and held various financial positions at the Amoco Corporation from 1980 to 1986. Wilson is the chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and holds active leadership positions within the financial services industry and the community. He is a Board member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a trustee of Rush University Medical Center. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization Gold Chicago chapter. Wilson is committed to empowering youth and serves as the national and Illinois Co-Chair for WE Day. He is also the co-chair of Get IN Chicago, a public-private partnership to reduce violent crime among youth in Chicago. He has previously served as chairman of the Property and Casualty CEO Roundtable, chairman of the Financial Services Roundtable and deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Wilson regularly offers comment and insight about timely business and policy topics in national media outlets, and his articles have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN.com. A native of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, Wilson holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.
CEO, Leadership Greater Chicago
Maria Wynne Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Greater Chicago Maria Wynne is Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC), the region’s premiere civic leadership development organization. Since 2014, Maria has led the transformation of LGC, representing the organization at the highest levels of business, government, and social services , and leading innovation in the civic space with the creation, development, and launch of The Daniel Burnham Fellowship, of which she is the Founding Daniel Burnham Fellow. Maria has distinguished herself as an innovator and transformational leader, having led large national sales and marketing organizations for world-recognized brands, Xerox and Microsoft, in the roles of sales vice president and general manager respectively. At Microsoft, Maria also developed the Office of Citizenship and Innovation, a pro bono office whose objective was to help U.S. Mayors and their teams develop ground – breaking ways to address and close the digital divide. After leaving Microsoft, Maria went on to serve as Chief Executive Officer for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana from 2008 to 2013. She successfully led a merger of seven corporations into one, the largest merger and transformation of any Girl Scouts organization in history, which created the largest Girl Scout Council globally with $18M in revenue and $31M in assets. The council served 84,000 girls and supported a network of more than 24,000 volunteers. As an award-winning and recognized executive, Maria has received numerous honors for her leadership professionally and in the community, including being selected as a McCormick Fellow for CEO Perspectives (2013) and Crain’s Who’s Who in Chicago Business (2017), named Chicago Executive of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America (2011), honored with the Women of Influence Award by Chicago Business Journal (2016), awarded the inaugural ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award (2010), and featured in Crain’s Chicago Business inaugural list of Chicago’s Most Powerful Latinos (2019) and Notable Women Executives Over 50 (2019), and Today’s Chicago Woman magazine’s 100 Women of Influence (2013). Additionally, she received the Outstanding Alumni distinction by her alma mater, North Central College (2012), and was named one of Chicago Woman magazine’s Fierce 50 (2017). In April 2019, Maria was named a co-chair of the Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot Transition Leadership Team. Maria is a member of The Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network, and The Chicago Club. She also serves on several civic and charitable boards including Executive Committee of the Goodman Theatre, Trustee of North Central College, and Advisory Board Member of Chicago Innovation. Maria earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at North Central College and a Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. She has continued her executive education at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the Harvard Business School, and the Center for Creative Leadership.
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.
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.
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.
Nima is P33’s VP of Talent Solutions.
Nima brings 20+ years of experience across higher education and academic medicine with a focus on operations, program management, and partnerships. She most recently worked at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation where she was responsible for partnerships and strategic planning working closely with community and ecosystem partners. Prior to the Polsky Center she spent eight years at Chicago Booth on two different teams, one where she oversaw operations and evaluation for the Full-Time Admissions office and the second in Career Services, building new relationships with employers across several industries including tech. Nima began her career in healthcare consulting, then administration including managing knowledge transfer activities across a portfolio of partnerships for Johns Hopkins International in Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. Nima holds as MPH from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and BS in Health Science/Management from Syracuse University.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aleena is P33’s Director of Talent Solutions.
Prior to joining P33, Aleena directed the national expansion of a workforce development program in Chicago, where she identified new markets, strategies, and partnerships to help scale their impact. Her experience also includes strategy consulting on organizational change, modernizing healthcare systems with new technology, and driving operational efficiencies in sales and distributions. Aleena has a BA in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, and is currently a Neubauer Civic Scholar pursuing her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In her spare time, she enjoys capturing photographs of the streets of Chicago and diagramming new ideas on her whiteboard(s).
Desiree is P33’s Executive Director of TechRise.
Desiree Vargas Wrigley is a Latinx serial entrepreneur. Her companies include Pearachute, a company that helps parents and children drop into the best family activities in town. Prior to launching Pearachute, Desiree co-founded GiveForward, the world’s leading crowd giving platform for people facing a major life event. Under her leadership, the company helped friends and family contribute nearly $160M to loved ones in need. After graduating from Yale, Desiree worked at the Kauffman Foundation as a specialist in entrepreneurship and at Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors. She taught New Venture Discovery at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Desiree has been named Inc’s 30 Under 30, Crain’s 40 Under 40, one of Parents Magazine’s Most Inspiring Moms, one of Forbe’s Women to Watch, and has appeared on Shark Tank, closing one of the largest deals on the show to date. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her 2 young sons, stepdaughter, and crime-fighting husband.