William (Bill) A. Obenshain, Chairman of the Advisory Board, The Center for Financial Services, DePaul University
Bill Obenshain is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for Financial Services at DePaul University. Previously he was its Executive Director from March, 2007 to June, 2016. The Center for Financial Services is a center of excellence for the Chicago area financial services community that delivers to students and practitioners the academic and extra-curricular programs that fulfill industry talent requirements and address the practical and theoretical interests of industry professionals.
Before joining DePaul, Mr. Obenshain spent 38 years in the financial services industry with Continental Bank and Bank of America. He held positions in Chicago, New York, Brussels and London. He was the founder, in 1995, of Bank of America’s private equity business in Europe. From 1995 to 2006, he was Managing Partner of BA Capital Partners Europe.
Mr. Obenshain is chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College; chairman of the Naval War College Foundation in Newport, Rhode Island; chairman of MV Credit, a Channel Islands based group of investment funds; director and immediate past president of the American School in London Foundation; chairman of Truth in Accounting and a director of TimeLine Theater Company. He serves on the advisory boards of CPOST, the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism at the University of Chicago and Three Ocean Partners, A New York based investment banking boutique. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Chairman’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. .
Before joining Continental Bank, Mr. Obenshain served in the U. S. Navy for five years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Dartmouth College and an MBA at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
Chuck Chokel, former Co-CEO, Progressive Corp.
For over 30 years Chuck Chokel has worked in the insurance industry. Mr. Chokel served as a senior partner at the White Mountain Insurance Group, taking on roles as Chief Claims Officer and Co-CEO at One Beacon, and Chief Financial Officer for White Mountains Reinsurance Group. Prior to that, Mr. Chokel served as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Directors at Conseco Financial. Mr. Chokel spent much of his career at Progressive Corp., rounding out his tenure there as Co-CEO, Chief Investment and Capital Officer while serving on the board of directors. Additionally, Mr. Chokel has served on the board of directors of Esurance and Plymouth Rock Holding Co.
Mr. Chokel received a B.A. from Williams College, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He has completed over 250 triathlons including thirty-six half ironman distance events and eleven full ironman distance events. He is a two time Hawaii Ironman finisher.
Don Cooke, Senior VP Philanthropy, McCormick Foundation
Donald A. Cooke began serving as senior vice president for philanthropy of the McCormick Foundation in May 2005. His responsibilities include providing oversight and management to the Foundation’s grant-making programs in communities, democracy, education, special initiatives, and veterans, and he has worked extensively on the issue of gun violence in Chicago.
A Philadelphia native, Cooke was educated at Williams College and Harvard University, where he studied astrophysics. He is the author of many papers and articles and often lectures on astronomy and nonprofit management. He is author of the book “The Life and Death of Stars,” published by Crown Publishers in 1985. He currently serves as a board member and on the executive committee of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Forefront, and has served as chairman of the City of Lake Forest Historic Preservation Commission.
John P. Kayser, President of Kayser Family Foundation
Mr. Kayser served as a Partner at William Blair & Company, LLC. For over 14 years, he served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, where he oversaw finance, accounting, legal, compliance, management information systems, human resources, facilities, marketing, and strategic planning. Kayser began his career as a Member of the Corporate Finance Department, focusing on debt and equity capital financings and mergers and acquisitions advisory. Mr. Kayser later headed equity syndicate operations. He was a Board Member of William Blair Mutual Funds Inc. Mr. John P. Kayser serves as a Member of the Advisory Board at Graue Mill Partners, LLC. He joined in March 2005 as Advisory Director. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Stock Exchange and several non-profit organizations. Since October 2006 he has been Independent Director of American Select Portfolio Inc. He serves as a Board Member of the King-Bruwaert House and has been a recent past President of both the University Club of Chicago and Hinsdale Golf Club. He spent four years at Borg-Warner Corporation where Mr. Kayser worked in a variety of financial positions at the corporate and divisional levels. Mr. Kayser holds an MBA. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and a BA from Princeton University.
Kate Kennedy, Partner at Cerity Partners (formerly HPM Partners)
Kate is a Partner at Cerity Partners, a national tax, planning and investment management firm. She is a partner in the Chicago office, the Practice Leader for Financial Planning, a member of the Firm’s management committee, and an advisor to clients.
Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Kate was a Director (SVP) at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, counseling corporate executives and high net worth individuals and families on their personal finances, taxes, investments, wealth transfer plans, and charitable initiatives. For ten years prior to her tenure at Barclays, she was a Partner of The Ayco Company, a Goldman Sachs Company, where she served as a lead advisor to many of the firm’s clients. Kate worked for nearly three years in the Family Wealth Planning practice of Arthur Andersen LLP. She began her professional career in 1992 as a corporate attorney in Chicago.
Kate earned her B.A. with Honors, from Williams College and her J.D. from the University of Chicago. She is a Certified Financial Planner and a member of the Illinois Bar. She is Treasurer and serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Chicago Foundation for Women and on the Advisory Board for DePaul University’s Masters of Wealth Management Program.
Vince Kolber, RESIDCO, Founder and Principal
An innovator in transportation capital and alternative investments, Mr. Kolber started RESIDCO in 1982 and has completed both aviation and rail transactions through several major cycles in excess of $1.2BN, including syndications, non-recourse debt securitizations, restructurings, hedging projects and asset repositioning and remarketing assignments. Mr. Kolber pioneered the use of privately placed derivatives in large ticket equipment leasing, establishing extensive applications for residual value insurance and puts in both aviation and rail structured financings. These approaches have propelled RESIDCO as an alternative investment management company for institutional investors over several decades.
He has chaired the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (“ELFA”), Aviation and Fair Business Practices Committees, and regularly volunteers as an ELFA lobbyist on Capitol Hill. He speaks for and writes on behalf of the transportation capital industry regularly.
Mr. Kolber holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS from Wharton. Mr. Kolber is active in parochial school philanthropy through Sacred Heart and the Big Shoulders Foundation. He is active in the Heritage Foundation and serves as Chairman of the Chicago Committee and is active with similar think tanks and civic projects.
Dawn H. Miller, VP of Institutional Advancement, Chicago Scots
Dawn H. Miller is the VP of Institutional Advancement at Chicago Scots, a nonprofit whose mission is to nourish Scottish identity through service, fellowship and celebration of Scottish culture for the purpose of supporting our Caledonian Senior Living and Memory Care campus set on five acres in North Riverside, Illinois. Dawn was previously the Director of Concern Chicago and Executive Director, Major Gifts at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the city’s leading think tank and public education institution on global affairs. She has vast expertise in nonprofit governance and fundraising. Prior to The Chicago Council, Dawn held similar positions at the Aspen Institute, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.
Dan Proft, co-founder, Illinois Opportunity Project and radio talk show host, AM 560 The Answer
Dan Proft, co-founder of the Illinois Opportunity Project is an entrepreneur, editiorial contributor to the Chicago Tribune, former Republican candidate for Governor, and a radio talk show host formerly with WLS, and now with AM 560 The Answer in Chicago where he co-hosts the morning drive show from 5 - 9 am Monday - Friday with Amy Jacobson. Additionally, Proft works as a Senior Fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute, a free market think tank in Chicago. Proft also serves on the boards of the Disabled Patriot Fund, a non-profit that provides assistance to Illinois military families, Envision Unlimited, a non-profit in Chicago that serves developmentally disabled persons, and Aid for Women, a Catholic life-affirming pregnancy center in Chicago. Most importantly, Proft is an aspiring basketball coach. Proft earned his BA from Northwestern University, and his JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Jeff Rubenstein, Attorney, Much Shelist
Jeffrey Rubenstein, an accomplished business lawyer with over 30 years of experience in tax, corporate and real estate matters, represents a variety of firms in the venture and middle markets. They comprise a broad array of businesses, among them public and private manufacturing, investment banking and financial services, health care, real estate and technology.
Jeffrey helps clients develop, form and create new businesses and ventures, including tax and financial structures. He has supported the growth of these entities by assisting in capital formation through private placements and public offerings, as well as advising clients in mergers and acquisitions. He has planned and developed successful programs for business and technology venture and real estate investments. Jeffrey's relationship with investment bankers, venture capital funds and private investment capital has facilitated many successful business enterprises.
Before joining the firm in 1991, Jeffrey was a name principal with the Chicago firm of Sachnoff, Weaver & Rubenstein, Ltd.
Jeffrey has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law since 1977 and has taught Advanced Taxation of Business Transactions, Partnership Taxation and Negotiations. In 2009, the Law School selected Jeffrey as the Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year.
Terry Savage, Financial Expert
Terry Savage is a nationally known expert on personal finance, the markets, and the economy. Terry is a regular blogger at the Huffington Post. She is a frequent guest on television and radio shows, including CNN, CBS, and appeared many times on Oprah!
Terry is in demand as a speaker at business meetings across the country. Her lively presentation style entertains as well as informs, whether talking about global economics, investing techniques, or personal finances. In 2012, Terry was named a “Top 5 Speaker” in Economics/Finance as a result of popular votes at the Speaking.com web site.
Terry’s most recent book is a new edition of The Savage Truth on Money, which was named one of the ten best money books of the year by Amazon.com in its first edition. Her other current best-selling book — The Savage Number: How Much Money Do You Really Need to Retire? — was published in Fall, 2009 and deals with issues in retirement planning and investing.
Thomas C. Wright, Retired Vice Chair of BMO Capital Markets
Thomas C. Wright retired at the end of fiscal 2008 as Vice Chair of BMO Capital Markets, the corporate and investment banking arm of Bank of Montreal, a more than $400 billion Canadian bank. Since that time, he has been actively involved with non-profit organizations, most notably as a Trustee, and former Executive Management Committee member, of the Ravinia Festival. He also provides strong support for educational institutions, including serving in an international advisory capacity for his alma mater, McMaster University in Canada, and as a mentor for business students at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.
A US citizen but a native of Canada, Mr. Wright holds a Master of Business Administration degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Queen`s University in Kingston, Ontario. He was formerly a member of the New York Stock Exchange and holds NASD licenses 7, 63, and 24 (inactive).
Roger R. Nelson, Retired Deputy Chairman, Ernst & Young, Chicago, IL
Roger Nelson is retired Deputy Chairman of consulting Services for Ernst & Young LLP, where he served a wide range of clients for over thirty years. At Ernst & Young, he served as a member of several committees, including the U.S. Management Committee, the Global Executive Board and the Global Council; in addition he served as Chairman of the U.S. Consulting Services Network, Chairman of the Global Consulting Services Executive Committee, and Chairman of the Global Consulting Services Council. His expertise lies in financial planning and control, information systems, performance measurement and general management projects for major multinationals.
He served for three years as an Adjunct Professor of Accounting and Information Systems at Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. During his career with E&Y, Mr. Nelson served as Vice Chairman-Management Consulting, Vice Chairman-Midwest Region, and Southwest Regional Director of Management Consulting Services. He was Partner in Charge of the consulting practice in the Chicago area and Partner in Charge of E&Y's Continental Europe consulting practice.
Mr. Nelson has served as a lecturer for the Conference Board and for the Management Centre of Europe on the topic of financial planning and foreign exchange management. He is a member of the AICPA, the Illinois CPA Society, the National Association of Corporate Directors, the President's Advisory Council of Northern Illinois University, the President's Advisory Council of Coe College, The Economic Club of Chicago, The Commercial Club of Chicago, and is Past President of the Union League Club Civic and Arts Foundation.
Mr. Nelson also serves on the Board of Directors of NerveWire, Inc. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.S. Degree in Accountancy.
Dr. Sridhar (Sri) Ramamoorti, Associate Professor of Accounting, University of Dayton, OH
Dr. Sridhar Ramamoorti, ACA, CPA/CITP/CFF/CGMA, CIA, CFE, CFSA, CGAP, CGFM, CRMA, CRP, MAFF, is an associate professor of accounting at the University of Dayton. Previously, he was an associate professor of accounting and director of the Corporate Governance Center at the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Ramamoorti has a unique, blended academic-practitioner background with over 35 years of experience in academia, auditing and consulting. Originally trained as a chartered accountant in India, he spent two years with Ernst & Young in the Middle East before coming to the U.S. for graduate studies. After finishing his Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology from The Ohio State University, he served on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign accountancy faculty. Subsequently, he was a principal in the Professional Standards Group of Andersen Worldwide, Sarbanes-Oxley Advisor for Ernst & Young’s National Advisory Practices, a Corporate Governance partner with Grant Thornton, and was a principal leading the governance, risk and compliance (GRC) practice of Infogix, Inc. He has published extensively and has won teaching excellence awards. In December 2016, Dr. Ramamoorti completed a three-year term on the prestigious Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Currently a trustee of the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), he is a Board member of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, and a member of the Litigation Forensics Board of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). Over the past two decades, Dr. Ramamoorti has been a speaker in 16 countries.
Dennis H. Chookaszian, Director, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holding, Inc.
Dennis Chookaszian is the former chairman and CEO of CAN Insurance Companies, which was a $17 billion multi line insurer with 20,000 employees, In his 26 years at CAN, Chookaszian served in numerous other executive capacities, including CFO, president, and COO; as well as serving as chairman of the Executive Committee.
Chookaszian, who is a CPA, served as chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC), which advises the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on issues relating to the Board’s agenda, project priorities, and other timely and topical matters from January 2007 until December 2011. His background includes service on many AICPA and FASAB committees and task forces, and was one of the eight members of the Public Oversight Board Panel on Audit Effectiveness. He currently serves as a member of the Financial Crisis Advisory Group (FCAG), which is the International group that was formed to recommend solutions to the financial reporting issues related to the current financial crisis.
Mitchell Feiger, President and CEO, MB Financial, Inc.
Mr. Mitchell (Mitch) S. Feiger serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of MB Financial Inc. Mr. Feiger has been the President of MB Financial Bank N.A. a subsidiary of MB Financial Inc. since March 31, 2011. Mr. Feiger served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at MB Financial Inc.’s predecessor company (Old MB Financial) from February 1999. He served as the Chief Executive Officer at Coal City Corporation from October 1998 to February 1999, and served as its President from 1992 to 1999. Prior to that, from 1992 to February 1999, Mr. FEiger served as Executive Vice President of Affiliated Banc Group. Mr. Feiger began his career with Touche Ross & Company in 1982. He has been a Director of MB Financial Inc. since 1992. Mr. Feiger has been an Independent Director of Calamos Asset Management Inc. since January 2007, serves as a Director of MB Financial Bank, N.A. (Illinois), Union Bank, N.A. and Abrams Centre National Bank, and serves as a Member of Corporate Board of Calamos Convertible Opportunities & Income Fund. Mr. Feiger received his MBA in 1982 from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and his Bachelor’s Degree in 1980 from the University of Illinois, Champaign.
David M. Walker, Founder and CEO, Comeback America Initiative, Former U.S. Comptroller General
Until September 2013 Walker was the Founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative (CAI). In this capacity he led CAI’s efforts to promote fiscal responsibility and sustainability by engaging the public and assisting key policymakers on a non-partisan basis to help achieve solutions to America’s federal, state and local fiscal imbalances.
Prior to this role, he served as the first President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Previously, Walker served as the seventh Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) for almost ten years (1998-2008). This was one of Walker’s three presidential appointments, each by different Presidents, during his 15 years of federal service. Walker also has over 20 years of private sector experience, including approximately 10 years as a Partner and Global Managing Director of Human Capital Services for Arthur Andersen LLP.
Walker currently serves on various non-profit boards and advisory groups. He is also a member of the Accounting Hall of Fame, the Trilateral Commission, and the Sons of the American Revolution. Walker has won numerous leadership awards both domestically and internationally. He also has authored three books, with the latest one entitled "Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility" (2010), which is a National Bestseller. He is a frequent writer and media commentator, and is a subject of the critically acclaimed documentary I.O.U.S.A.