Gleacher Center

Wednesday, August 7

Electives Week Executive-in-Residence

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

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

Chicago Booth's Electives Week Executive-in-Residence program is a flagship event where we invite senior Executives to share their knowledge and experience through candid conversations and small group advisory sessions.

Registration is now open, we anticipate that registration will close at 9:00 a.m. (CST) on Monday, July 29. However, registration is first come, first serve the registration form will be up to date with the available executives and times. If you did not submit your bio/resume upon registration, please be prepared to send promptly upon confirmation of participation.

The hour-long, small group coaching sessions will commence at 2:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. There will be a 15-minute break between each session.

In addition to small group coaching sessions with Booth’s Executives-in-Residence, we are pleased to offer a large group educational session for career changers interested in transitioning to strategy consulting.  Through surveys, informal conversations, and coaching appointments, some of you have expressed an interest in learning more about career paths, opportunities, and day-to-day roles of strategy consultants at leading firms like McKinsey and BCG.   

On Wednesday, August 7, from 3:45-4:45 pm, Career Services will host a Career Changer fireside chat with Odeh Odeh, Senior Implementation Coach, McKinsey & Company.  Odeh will share advice for career changers seeking to move into strategy consulting and take your questions.

You can view the names and bios of the participating executives below.


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. 

In 2008, Mr. Cicekoglu has founded Sente Foundry, LLC, located in Chicago, IL USA. Sente Foundry is a startup investment program funded by corporations, financial investors like family offices and VCs as well as municipalities. Sente Foundry is also the exclusive international startup accelerator program partner of 1871, largest technology hub in the USA. Mr. Cicekoglu has worked with over 400 start-ups and growth companies in 13 countries 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. Through Sente Foundry, he has invested in 10 startups from 7 countries including Germany, Turkey, and Israel. He is also the Managing Partner of an emerging venture capital fund, Anka Capital Management that focuses on emerging ecosystems.

Areas of Expertise: Private Equity / Commercial Real Estate / Entrepreneurship / Leadership / Technology / Early Stage Ventures / Nonprofit / General Management / Innovation / Social Impact / Career Change / Business Development / Getting on Boards

Craig K. Huffman is a Co‐founder and Managing Partner of Metro Edge Technologies (“MetroEdge”). MetroEdge is a data center operating company focused on building a national grid of state‐of‐the‐art, high performance, micro scalable data centers primarily located in underserved communities across the United States. Prior to MetroEdge, Mr. Huffman was a Co‐founder and Principal in Ascendance Partners (“Ascendance”), a Chicago‐based real estate private equity firm, established in 2006, focused on commercial real estate investment in metropolitan Chicago. Ascendance was the sponsor of two institutional real estate funds for foundations, endowments, pension funds, family offices and high net worth individuals.

Prior to Ascendance, Mr. Huffman founded and managed a real estate investment firm focused on distressed residential and commercial real estate in underserved areas of metropolitan Chicago. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Mr. Huffman served as the Chicago Executive Director and Regional Director of City Year, Inc., a national non‐profit, community service organization focused on improving education in low income communities across the United States. Notably, Mr. Huffman also worked directly for President James Compton of the Chicago Urban League, as the Assistant Treasurer for two re‐election campaigns of Illinois State Senator Barack Obama and as a member of the grant making staff for the Field Foundation and the McCormick Foundation. Mr. Huffman was also a fellow in the 2000 class of Leadership Greater Chicago.

Mr. Huffman’s volunteer commitments include serving on the non‐profit boards of A New Direction, Beverly Area Planning Association, College Possible Chicago, Healthy Communities Foundation, KIPP Chicago, and the John Howard Association. Mr. Huffman holds a B.A. from Morehouse College and a master’s degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Areas of Expertise: Private Equity / Commercial Real Estate / Entrepreneurship / Leadership / Technology / Early Stage Ventures / Nonprofit / General Management / Innovation / Social Impact / Career Change / Business Development / Getting on Boards

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: Consulting / Making Partner / Innovation / Internet of Things / Technology / Manufacturing / Corporate Venturing / Leadership / Global Leadership / Entrepreneurship / Early Stage Ventures 

Born into a family of manufacturers, Bharat Kapoor always had a knack for tinkering with anything he could get his hands on.

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by how things work and what you could do to make them even better,” he says. 

From repairing toys as a young child to building one of the first smartphones at Motorola to his work as a partner in A.T. Kearney’s Operations & Performance Transformation Practice, Bharat continues to live out his passion for engineering and design. 

At A.T. Kearney, Bharat co-founded PERLab, the firm’s design innovation service. As consulting teams continued to turn to Bharat for project support, he saw the need for a concrete service that focused on cost reduction through design. 

“I saw that some of our clients were living in mediocrity or even in the dungeons of design. They were just pushing out products and hoping for the best—putting lipstick on a pig so to speak,” he says. “I know at A.T. Kearney we have deep expertise in looking at design and taking out cost, so I wanted to develop that capability with others.”With innovation and impact at the root of his work, Bharat also strives to create holistic solutions that go beyond just benefiting the bottom line. 

“I want to help companies because when you look at companies, companies have people, people have families, and families have children,” he says. “So, I always ask myself, what can we do to make companies better so that they can enrich their employees? That is what I find most gratifying about my job.” 

Bharat has an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MS in Computer Engineering from Central Florida, and BE in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, India.

Areas of Expertise: Cannabis / Advancing to the C – suite / Financial Leadership / General Management / Investment Banking / Private Equity / Entrepreneurship / Business Development / Corporate Finance / Leadership / Global Leadership / Organizational Transformation

Sandy Li is an executive with 20 years as a global business leader, Chief Financial Officer and operating partner growing and transforming global companies across diverse industry sectors.

Ms. Li has held senior executive positions in financial and operational roles in both global public and private companies. She has executed turnarounds and EBITDA improvement in strategy, profitability, efficiency improvement and investor relations, with a focus on people, process and technology. Her sector experience includes technology, financials, building material, construction, metal & mining, renewable & recycling, and food & drinking.

Ms. Li has a proven track record of growing companies organically and through acquisitions with her expertise in capital market, financial accounting, operations and strategic transformation. She has strategically planned, executed acquisitions and divestitures, spin offs, JVs, startups, global expansions and capital structuring with debt/equity financing in complex public company situations and private companies.

Areas of Expertise: Advancing to the C – suite / Leadership / General Management / Career Change / Social Impact / Market Research / Health and Wellness / Entrepreneurship / Success Startup Exit / Data Analytics and Insights / Global Leadership

Margaret Mueller is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Executives’ Club of Chicago, the city’s premier membership organization and business forum. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing Club operations and execution of over 60 programs annually. As CEO, she is responsible for engaging with the Chicago business and civic community and other key stakeholders to promote the mission of the Club.

After receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology, Margaret left academics to pursue a career in market research and brand strategy.  In 2012, she launched “CarbonSix” into one of the most successful Health and Wellness strategic research firms in its space.  After helping bring the company to sale, Margaret facilitated a roll up of four companies into a single brand, “Shapiro+Raj.”  She later took the helm as President of Shapiro+Raj in 2016 and was instrumental in a significant transformation and reinvention of the firm into what is now the sixth largest independent insights company in North America.

Throughout her career, Margaret has advised senior decision-makers across a range of industries. She has experience in supporting brand and business development strategies in the consumer, retail, pharmaceutical, healthcare, trademark and litigation, and financial services sectors. Margaret is not only a business leader, but also an expert practitioner with a rare combination of renowned moderation skills and exemplary knowledge of statistical techniques, giving her a comprehensive end-to-end understanding of the market research process.

Margaret has guest-lectured and taught graduate business courses at top schools such as University of Chicago and Loyola University Chicago, and has appeared on various media outlets speaking to issues such as consumer sentiment, marketing trends, and the economy.

Margaret holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago, and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

She has received research awards from The National Institutes of Health, Harvard University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and serves as the Social Sciences Division Liaison to the University of Chicago Alumni Board of Governors.

Areas of Expertise: Early Stage Ventures / Entrepreneurship / Getting to the C-suite / General Management / Operations / Pharma / Healthcare / Biotech / Career Change / Corporate Venturing

Dr. Owens is currently the Chief Operations Officer, Lilly Diabetes Development with key responsibilities to ensure smooth operations across a large cross functional team including clinical development, development regulatory and global submissions, clinical materials supply, medical, marketing, commercial supply chain, pricing, legal, corporate communications and medical affairs. Paul also has oversight of three development assets in the Lilly-Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) Diabetes Alliance. These include: Linagliptin, a DPP-4 inhibitor marketed in the US as Trajenta, Empagliflozin, a recently approved inhibitor of SGLT-2 to be marketed as Jardiance and a New Insulin Glargine Product.

Prior to this, he was Senior Director for Chemistry Manufacturing and Control (CMC) in Chorus and Global External R&D at Eli Lilly & Co. He has responsibilities for the formulation, manufacturing, testing, labeling, distribution and regulatory for all clinical candidates in the Chorus portfolio. Since joining that group he has overseen the delivery of over 40 new molecules into clinical trials including small molecules, therapeutic proteins, synthetic peptides and monoclonal antibodies. He is a native of Ireland, and received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the School of Pharmacy at Bradford University, United Kingdom. He has worked at Pfizer Central Research in Sandwich, UK, and AstraZeneca R&D in Mölndal, Sweden, on numerous early and late stage development compounds. Paul joined Lilly as a Principal Research Scientist at the Tippecanoe Laboratories where he was predominantly focused on late-phase projects before joining Chorus in 2005. 

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in London and has authored 30 peer-reviewed research publications. He has completed the regulatory and quality compliance course at Purdue University and has an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

 Areas of Expertise: Executive Search / Trusted Advisor / Consultant / Healthcare / Advancing to the C – suite / Leadership

Zack Reynolds is a Managing Director in the Healthcare Services practice in the Chicago office. With more than 20 years of executive search experience in the provider and payer healthcare space, Reynolds plays the role of trusted advisor and consultant to his clients. He has served as a generalist with a heavy emphasis on C-Suite and vice president-level positions across all functional areas, and has conducted national searches in a variety of environments with varying degrees of scale and complexity. His clients have included multi-state integrated delivery systems, provider sponsored and national payers, large academic medical centers, schools of medicine, small rural health systems, physician groups, and ACOs.

Reynolds is a hands-on professional who leads client searches at both a tactical and strategic level. His work is defined by a style that is collaborative, quality-focused, accessible, dependable, and consultative. He considers himself a true partner to his clients.

Prior to joining Diversified Search, Reynolds served as a Partner at Quick Leonard Kieffer (QLK). In 2004, he left to serve in a corporate Human Resources position for a Fortune 500 company, and later was a Senior Associate for Slayton Search Partners. He rejoined QLK in 2007 and served as a Partner from 2011 until joining Diversified in 2016. Reynolds began his career in the late-1990s as a research associate with Norman Broadbent International, where he was responsible for search strategy and candidate development.


Areas of Expertise: FinTech / Technology / Product Management / Product Management / Advancing to the C – suite / Global Leadership / Startup / Early Stage Ventures / Entrepreneurship / Financial Services / Financial Services / Business Development / Cyber Security

Daniel Romanelli's career in financial technology has taken him from the back office to the front, software and network engineering to product management and executive leadership, and has provided international experience within exchanges, broker/dealers, clearing firms and vendors. He has lead a turnaround for a FinTech software startup, grown independent business lines, and launched multiple electronic execution products. 

Dan is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at USAM Group, where he helped found USAM Group Inc., a New York City based, sales and marketing agency, with offices in London, Chicago, and Toronto, that specializes in the fintech sector.  Dan is responsible for the vision and business development of USAM Group and its clients. He works closely with clients (from initial introduction through full deployment) to cost effectively grow their revenue faster and more cost-effectively than they could if they hired and managed a sales team.

Previously, Dan helped firms evolve their cyber security risk programs at Delta Risk LLC, a Chertoff Group Company, by bringing proven competency to their compliance and technology operations. Specializing in financial technology and finance firms of all stripes, his practice helps assess and enhance client firms' posture prior to an incident through assessments, exercises, and policy reviews. 

At NYSE Technologies, he was responsible for sell-side strategy and solutions for Platform Services, managed technology services that enable firms to outsource their trading infrastructure and applications. Prior to joining NYSE Technologies, Mr. Romanelli worked at Merrill Lynch, where he managed the Chicago cash equity DMA and Sponsored Access support desks along with managing multiple client-facing projects ranging from options OMS development, low latency order routing, post-trade clearing processes, and compliance risk analytics. He has also worked as a Managing Director at RISC, LLC, an options analytics and auto-quoting software vendor.

Mr. Romanelli currently resides in Chicago and completed his EMBA at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. He graduated from DeVry University with a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology.

Areas of Expertise: Executive Search / Financial Services / Advancing to the C – suite / Asset Management / Banking / Diversity / M&A and Advisory / Corporate Development / Real Estate / Energy

Lyndon is a member of the Financial Services and CEO & Board Services Practices with a focus on the Asset Management and Banking sectors. Additionally, Lyndon previously led the firm’s Diversity Advisory Services Practice.

Lyndon has more than 17 years of executive search experience and focuses on leadership search and assessment assignments for executive, functional, product, and regional leaders as well as board directors for both publicly-traded and privately-held organizations. In addition, Lyndon has been an advisor on leadership and management succession to clients across industries.

Prior to rejoining Heidrick & Struggles in 2014, Lyndon spent more than ten years with Russell Reynolds Associates. At Russell Reynolds, he led more than 200 senior client assignments for clients and led both the firm’s Midwest Financial Services business and its Global Diversity Practice. In the latter role, he focused on leveraging best practices from across regions and building local teams to serve clients.

Earlier in his career, Lyndon worked in investment banking with UBS where he focused on M&A and advisory clients in the energy and utility sectors as part of the Global Power & Pipelines team. Before UBS, he spent five years in Corporate Development with Enron and began his professional career as a Financial Analyst in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group of Merrill Lynch. Lyndon also served in the U.S. Navy prior to college.

Lyndon currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He also serves on the Forums Committee of the Economic Club of Chicago and is a member of the University Club of Chicago. Additionally, Lyndon was recently a Director of the CFA Society Chicago where he served on the Nomination and Governance Committee.

Lyndon received a bachelor of arts in History with honors and a bachelor of science in Ethnic Studies from Southern Methodist University, and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business.

Areas of Expertise: Consulting / Corporate Finance / Early Stage Ventures / Entrepreneurship / Social Impact / Technology Career Changer / Getting on Boards

Ken draws upon more than 20 years of financial consulting experience to lead Levelx. His vision is to combine financial expertise with emerging technologies. This 21st century approach positions Lx to deliver tailored solutions in an increasingly competitive world.

Prior to this, he established the Chicago office of DLC, Inc, an LA-based financial consulting firm specializing in Finance, Accounting and Financial Systems initiatives. As a Director of Client Services, he was responsible for building the DLC Chicago practice through talent acquisition and Fortune 1000 market penetration. During Ken’s tenure, the DLC Chicago office attracted over 30 consultants and a client list which included such marquee brands as: Allstate, Discover Financial Services, Exelon, General Growth, Nestle, Northern Trust, and PepsiCo.

As a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting, Ken advised Fortune 500 companies on the development and execution of corporate strategy and restructurings, business planning, financing and recapitalizations, and operational improvements. He served clients in a broad range of industries including consumer products, financial services, manufacturing, and specialty chemicals.

A Chicago native, Ken maintained a full scholarship in wrestling while earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and Art History from Northwestern University. From there he headed to Hyde Park to earn an MBA from the University of Chicago with concentrations in Finance, Statistics, and Accounting.

Career Services will host a Career Changer fireside chat with Odeh Odeh, Senior Implementation Coach, McKinsey & Company.  Odeh will share advice for career changers seeking to move into strategy consulting and take your questions.

Please note that this program will overlap with the 3:45 pm EIR session, so please only register for one event in this time slot.