John Golanty, ‘69
I arrived in Chicago in the fall of 1967 at a time when social unrest was at a very high level. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing; the Civil Rights Act had been recently enacted and faced substantial backlash in many parts of the country.
Earlier, JFK asked what we could do for the country and oversaw the creation of the Peace Corps; LBJ was building the Great Society; Martin Luther King was at his height of influence; people like James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Stokely Carmichael and many others had been raising the consciousness among impressionable youth, and I had just finished a senior thesis on the benefits of the Job Corps.
So, when I reached Chicago I had mixed emotions about attending a business school when I was concerned about society. This was exacerbated when I saw the disparity between the economic and social conditions in Hyde Park versus Woodlawn. Fortunately, I found others (Don Altvater and Bob Davidson) who felt as I did and together we formed Project One, an organization that enlisted (then) GSB students who were interested in consulting with Woodlawn small businesses on a pro bono basis to help with accounting, inventory control, marketing, and other skills that we could employ. The experience was extremely rewarding.
Flash forward to 2015. I was retiring from a marketing/consumer insights career and I received an email from Booth/Rustandy regarding an opportunity to consult one-on-one with a non-profit executive. I took advantage of that opportunity, enjoyed it, and was steered to BANC.
Over the past four years I have worked on three projects as a project leader (or co-leader) and again found that my business experiences allowed me to select project team members who, together, would be able to deliver solid recommendations to our clients. I have found great satisfaction in being able to help nonprofits with the issues that our teams addressed, and I really enjoyed making contact with very smart and interesting younger Booth alumni who were able to teach me new ways of looking at issues based on their unique experiences.
More recently I have been very active on BANC’s Steering Committee. Working with very talented cohorts, I feel we are helping BANC set a structure and agenda that will help to ensure future success – enabling other alumni to not only gain satisfaction from giving back to the community, but also to strengthen their ties to Chicago Booth and the University in general. I had been quite removed from Booth, but the fellow alumni I have met over the past few years instilled a greater pride in the school I attended so long ago. I highly recommend BANC to all alumni interested in helping to make a difference and expanding their professional contacts and Chicago Booth relationships.