Gleacher Center

Wednesday, August 9

Electives Week Executive-in-Residence & Industry Panels

Gleacher Center
450 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Session times vary between 2:30 and 6:00 pm

Registration for this event has closed.

See below for the industry panelists and executives who participated on August 9.

This event will feature a set of three industry panels on consulting, finance, and corporate-related positions. Each panel topic will be offered only once, but will be recorded and posted to the Mediasite. Panelist information will be updated as it is confirmed.

Corporate (2:30-3:30 pm)

Consulting (3:45-4:45 pm)

  • Megan Geelhoed, ‘09, Principal, A.T. Kearney
  • Axel Leichum, Partner, Blue Canyon Partners, Inc.
  • Raja Pabba, ‘08, Senior Manager, Technology & Transformation Practice, Ernst & Young LLP

Finance (5:00-6:00 pm)

  • Kathy Bader, '16 (XP-85), Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Institutional Group, Asset Management, Northern Trust
  • Natasha Branch, Recruiting Coordinator, Robert W. Baird & Co., Incorporated
  • John McLean, '93 (XP-62), Managing Director, ZRG Partners, LLC

Areas of Expertise: Chief Information Officer, Investment Management, Quantitative Investment Research

Dennis has had a deep association with Ativo’s valuation framework for over 35 years. Prior to becoming Director of Research in 2013, he spent more than a decade running Ativo’s former corporate consulting partner, CharterMast Partners LLC. Before that, Dennis was with our predecessor organization, Callard, Madden & Associates, Inc., extending and implementing our approach with investment research and corporate operating clients. He first used our valuation framework for corporate development at FMC Corporation in the early 1980s. Dennis has written and spoken extensively on valuation and other financial topics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and an MBA in Management Science from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Areas of Expertise: Venture Capital, Consulting, Innovation Management, Technology

Mr. Cicekoglu is an expert on Innovation Management with over 25 years of industry experience serving corporations in Consumer Electronics, Semiconductor, Consumer Goods, and Industrial Products sectors, including AMD, Accenture, KPMG, and SAP.  His areas of expertise include Corporate Strategy Planning, Corporate Venturing, M&A, and New Product Development. He is a graduate of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and Istanbul Technical University, one of the oldest (founded in 1773) and one of the top engineering schools in Turkey. 

Mr. Cicekoglu founded sente.link (located in Chicago, IL USA) in 2008 to provide consulting services in the areas of innovation and new ventures. sente.link is the exclusive international startup accelerator program partner of 1871, largest technology hub in the USA. Mr. Cicekoglu has worked with over 300 start-ups and growth companies in varying roles to provide mentorship and guidance regarding business modeling, incubation, and fund raising. He is a frequent judge at programs like Verizon Innovation, AHA Heart Challenge, Start-up Chile, KAUST, Teknojumpp, ITU Gate and ITU Seed new venture programs. He is also the Managing Partner of an emerging venture capital fund, Anka Capital Management that focuses on emerging ecosystems like Turkey.


Areas of Expertise: Private Equity, Middle Market Investing, Career Changer

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP), a private equity partnership headquartered in Los Angeles, manages in excess of $7.0 billion of institutional investor capital. LLCP is a highly differentiated, multi-fund investor dedicated to investing in middle-market companies. The Firm employs a structured equity investment strategy - investing debt and securities alongside entrepreneurial owners/management teams, often as a non-control capital partner. Representative portfolio investments include: Dexter Magnetic Technologies, Wetzel’s Pretzels, CiCi’s Pizza, Tronair, Nothing Bundt Cake, Hand & Stone, and Sequel Youth & Family Services. Mr. Drury is responsible for the Fund’s origination of new investment opportunities, transaction due diligence, portfolio strategy and institutional fund raising for LLCP’s Midwest/Chicago office.

Paul earned his MBA with Honors from Chicago Booth in 2005, and earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Accounting from Texas Tech University.


Areas of Expertise: Digital Transformations, Growth Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Startup Operations

Suzanne is an accomplished leader with over 16 years experience specializing in digital transformations, brand strategy, growth marketing, entrepreneurship and startup operations; building new brands and successful businesses. Following 14 very successful years working for leading corporate and consulting brands (IBM, HSBC, GE Healthcare, Capgemini, SapientNitro) leading innovation and growth strategies, her passion for entrepreneurship led to her career shift building startup businesses since 2012. She joined Power2Switch, a deregulated energy shopping platform, as Chief Marketing Officer in 2012 and experienced an acquisition by Choose Energy in 2013. She continued with Choose Energy as Vice President of Marketing, taking the marketplace national across all deregulated energy states. In 2015, she joined Mira Fitness, her third startup, as Creative Director leading growth strategy, marketing & product design. She joined Uplift Data Partners in 2016, her fourth startup, as President with executive responsibility. Uplift Data Partners, a drone technology service company provides enterprise clients full implementation of drone technology.

In December 2012 Suzanne was recognized by Built in Chicago, as one of the leading women in Chicago driving the Digital Entrepreneurial Renaissance. She holds a Master's of Science (MS) in Human Computer Interaction from DePaul University and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Chicago Booth.


Areas of Expertise: GM, Digital Technology, Seed-Series B Fund Raising, Media

John Evarts is the COO/CFO of Mediafly, the Evolved Selling Platform, which transforms the personal selling experience by engaging prospective buyers with relevant, real-time, and interactive insight. Global 2000 companies utilizing Mediafly’s evolved selling platform deliver more meaningful sales conversations, build stronger relationships, and increase revenue and market share. John has been honored to serve Mediafly since March 2010 providing strategic, financial, and operational leadership. Under his guidance, the young company earned recognition by Forrester as a Sales Enablement Automation vendor and has been recognized for its rapid growth (as three time Inc. 5000 winner) and its workplace culture (as one of Inc.'s Best Workplaces of 2017).

John's 15 years of C-suite experience includes successfully transforming a number of small businesses across a broad range of industries. An MBA graduate of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, John enjoys speaking on topics such as start-ups, finance, and enterprise software as well as the trials and tribulations of scaling a company including presenting as an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland alongside SAP CEO Bill McDermott.

Areas of Expertise: GM, Strategy, M&A, Intangible Technology, Turn-Around

Greg has 30+ years of senior-level experience in the telecommunications and intangible technology industries in a broad range of roles. He is an accomplished leader with a broad range of experience including GM, strategy, M&A, turn-around, start-up, business development, corporate development, and sales/marketing. Experience with multiple start-ups as well as Fortune 500 environments in PaaS,SaaS, IT, and telecommunications sectors.

TERABYTE HOLDINGS (Consolidated CCS) Acquired and turned around the operator services division of Illinois Consolidated Telephone Company Took business from 23.4% loss to 19.2% net income and increased revenues by 24% in the first year; Accomplished the acquisition and turnaround using debt financing exclusively; Now one of the nation’s top providers of high-touch call center services President and CEO

McLEOD USA (now Windstream Communications) VP, Wholesale Business Unit Led B2B sales, marketing and support; Grew business from $25mm to $242mm in revenues and added $300mm in asset sales; Attained 25% of company revenue using 2% of headcount and 6% of budget

OTHER RELEVANT EXPERIENCE Nolan & Associates – Boutique Investment Bank – Director; Telecom & Cable Practice US One Communications – Director of Carrier Sales LinkUSA – Director of Sales

Greg holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Webster University, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Greg is active in the Missouri Venture Forum and Innovate (St. Louis) Venture Mentoring Service.


Areas of Expertise: Entrepreneurship through Acquisition, GM, Growth Marketing

Mr. Maki is the president of Graphic Conservation Company, one of the nation’s largest private conservation labs. GCC’s practice is limited to the conservation, restoration and preservation of works on paper and vellum.  These include works of fine art, important archival documents, high-end collectibles and important family papers. Treatments performed are generally divided into three categories; works of significant financial value, works of sentimental or emotional value, and works of irreplaceable historic value. Clients include museums, research libraries, presidential libraries, collectors, art dealers, and individual families. Recently, the Company performed a series of complex conservation treatments to the ‘House Resolution for a 13th Amendment to the Constitution of The United States’, signed February 1, 1865 (the abolition of slavery).

Mr. Maki is also an adjunct professor at Columbia College in Chicago, where he teaches the capstone course for the Conservation of Art and Materials undergraduate program.

Prior to his acquisition of the Company in 2009, Mr. Maki was the president of Epicurean Art Foods, LLC, a Chicago-based specialty food manufacturer.  He joined EAF and its investor group after an executive sales and marketing role at Vita Food Products, a publically traded specialty food manufacturer.

For close to 20 years, Mr. Maki served in a variety of executive sales, marketing and general management roles in the fine printing paper industry.

Mr. Maki attended Roosevelt University and DePaul University, and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Mr. Maki is a resident of the western suburbs, is married and has two sons.

Areas of Expertise: Executive Search, Middle Market Manufacturing, Portfolio Companies of Leveraged Buyout, Early-Stage Capital Firms

Ron Malachuk is a Principal in the Chicago office of Korn Ferry and a member of the firm’s Global Industrial Market.  His expertise is in providing talent-advisory services across multiple sectors, including agribusiness, chemicals, engineering and construction, materials, packaging and business-to-business services. He has conducted numerous Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Senior Advisor searches for global industrial conglomerates, middle market manufacturing organizations, and portfolio companies of leveraged buyout and early-stage capital firms. 

Prior to executive search, Mr. Malachuk worked at Wells Fargo as a finance leader, where he developed expertise in budget and forecast preparation. Mr. Malachuk’s prior experience includes corporate strategic planning, environmental compliance and project management with General Motors’ ElectroMotive Diesel division and Exelon Corporation. 

Mr. Malachuk earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and his M.S. in Environmental Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.