2018

Stories related to "Non-Profit".

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Of Like Minds in the C-Suite

When an organization’s CEO and CFO both hail from Booth, there’s a common methodology to problem solving that cuts to the chase. In a fast-moving environment, according to Byron David Trott, AB ’81, MBA,’82, founder, chairman, and CEO of BDT & Company, applying “the same disciplined approach” as his Booth-trained CFO Mike Burns, ’03, speeds decision making and removes unnecessary drama from the equation. This doesn’t mean that they always agree—far from it. Maria Kim, ’12 (XP-81), CEO of Chicago-based the Cara Program, describes her CFO Carla Denison-Bickett, ’04, as “a healthy agitator.” But in many ways, the open debate leads to increased dynamism that infects the entire leadership team. At BDT & Company in Chicago and Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles, the CFOs were the first and most significant external hires by the founding CEOs—and the pairs are still together. At Oaktree, it’s been 20 years as a team for CEO Howard Marks, ’69, and David Kirchheimer, ’78. Kim and Denison-Bickett have led nonprofit the Cara Program for the past year, but previously worked at the organization

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On Exhibit

Besides being three of Chicago’s most iconic museums, the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry have something else in common: their CFOs are Chicago Booth alumnae. Joyce Simon, ’75; Marcia Heuser, ’87; and Rose Fealy, ’89, each spent at least part of their careers working at for-profit corporations before assuming their respective roles at the Shedd, the Adler, and the MSI. Chicago Booth Magazine brought the three women together to talk about the complexities of balancing the books at a world-class museum, the rewards of contributing to the mission of each organization, and how more women can join them in the C-suite.

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Soar Winner

Having a biology teacher for a father has its perks. “As a kid, I always enjoyed going into the classroom and putting a snake around my neck,” said Louise Shimmel, ’77, executive director of the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, Oregon. Watching her father rehabilitate injured tortoises and bobcat kittens left a lasting impression on Shimmel. “I really credit him with my deep and abiding respect for animals.” This respect grounds Shimmel’s work at the center, which helps rescue more than 300 animals per year. The center also creates teachable moments for the 30,000 visitors who come each year to see the 50 birds of prey on site, including eagles, hawks, owls, ospreys, vultures, and falcons.

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Pioneers in Education

Booth graduates eager to make an impact are finding new ways to apply their MBA—by taking on one of the toughest challenges in the United States today. A growing cadre of Booth alumni are gravitating toward the education sector and applying their business background in a variety of roles, all with the goal of making a difference in the lives of students. It’s an area that badly needs more innovation. In the United States just 59 percent of students who enter a four-year college graduate within six years, according to data from the US Department of Education. And in 2015, 46 percent of scientists rated STEM education for grades K through 12 as being below average, according to the Pew Research Center. For some alumni this less-than-stellar data offers an opportunity to take their careers to different corners of the education landscape—from nonprofit management and school leadership to consulting, investing, and edtech, to name just a few. The combination of addressing some of the nation’s most pressing problems while doing work that’s meaningful on a daily basis is a powerful draw. Meet six alumni advancing bold ideas and envisioning new solutions for the classroom and beyond.

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A Workday with Alexandra (Smith) Rollins, ’16

Bringing together unlikely parties to collaborate on global initiatives is a nuanced job. It requires empathy, relationship building, and strategy—all skills that Alexandra (Smith) Rollins, ’16, uses daily as a community lead at the New York office of the World Economic Forum. Though the Switzerland-based international organization is best known for its Annual Meeting of global leaders in Davos, its broader mission is to improve the state of the world by fostering cooperation across borders and forging collaboration between the public and private sectors. Blending her consulting background with her Booth education, Rollins helps make these high-level conversations happen. “It’s truly amazing to hear firsthand the optimism and concerns of major global CEOs as they relate what’s happening in our world today,” she said.

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Building on Big Ideas

Though you might not realize it, you’ve likely encountered USG Corporation’s landmark product recently, maybe even today. In fact, it may very well be in the room where you’re sitting right now. That’s because the company’s drywall, flooring, ceiling, and roofing products are part of countless homes and buildings. As the creator of the iconic and ubiquitous Sheetrock brand of wallboard, Chicago-based USG has led the building-materials industry for more than 116 years, with a storied history of innovation and sales of $3.2 billion last year. It made panels for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. It helped build homes for American GIs returning from World War II. And in November 2016, Jennifer Scanlon, ’92, became the first female CEO in the company’s history. “We are a transformed company,” Scanlon said, just days before leading USG’s first-ever Investor Day in New York City. “That transformation came in a number of ways—interestingly, from a lot of the initiatives that I led prior to becoming CEO.” A Chicago-area native, Scanlon joined USG in 2003 after studying government and computer applications at the University of Notre Dame and holding roles at IBM and in operations consulting. In recent years, she has made USG more global and more responsive to its customers. She was named president of the international division in 2010, when it included only Canada, Mexico, Europe, and a small operation in Asia. She went on to lead the divestiture of the European business, and then assembled an Asian joint venture called USG Boral, with $1.2 billion of revenue in 2017.

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A Passion for Board Service

Hosted by Chicago Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, the fifth annual On Board conference on April 13 in Chicago convened a crowd of nearly 500 Booth alumni and students, as well as business and nonprofit leaders. Attendees learned key trends in nonprofit board service, gained insight from faculty into how research and other academic tools can be applied in the nonprofit sector, and connected with others looking to make an impact in the social sector.

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Pushing Through Turbulence

In 2001, T. D. Arkenberg, ’86, faced a myriad of crises. After keeping his sexual identity private well into his adulthood, Arkenberg made the difficult personal choice to come out to his parents. Only weeks after Arkenberg started a new position at United—a company he had been a part of since graduating from Booth—both the organization and the United States were thrown into chaos when two hijacked United flights, along with two aircraft belonging to American Airlines, were used in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That fall, Arkenberg’s father succumbed to a long battle with cancer, and shortly after, his mother died unexpectedly. <br/>It was a year of learning how to survive. Less than a decade later, Arkenberg left United after 23 years at the company and embarked on a career as a writer.

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A Personal Connection

During her keynote address at the 2015 Booth Women Connect Conference, Joyce Frost (on Twitter at @JFrostNYC) shared a piece of advice that has guided her like a beacon: “Follow your heart and see where your skill set can make a difference.” Easter always meant assembling baskets at her father’s Lions Club in her hometown of Chicago, she says, and after moving to New York, she pitched in with a nascent volunteer group, New York Cares. It’s now the city’s largest volunteer management organization, serving more than 400,000 at-risk New Yorkers, and Frost serves as secretary of its board of trustees. A passionate advocate for charter schools, Frost is also founding board chair and current vice president of Bronx Charter School for Excellence, and chair of the board of directors for Friends of Bronx Charter School for Excellence. Learn more at newyorkcares.org and bronxexcellence.org.

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From Chicago to Tirana

When is the right time to follow a dream? For Suzanne Weiss, it came near her 60th birthday. After a divorce, and with a daughter grown and out of the house, the senior marketing lecturer and former associate director of administration at the Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business quit her job, sold her house, and packed her bags for a stint in the Peace Corps. In the spring of 2015, she found herself in the tiny Albanian farming village of Shushicë, “15 minutes and 40 years” from the nearest big city.

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On a Mission

When he arrived on vacation in Italy in 2011, Sam Porritt, ’86, was looking forward to a week of wine tasting and exploring Tuscany. But his attempt to photograph the first sunrise from the Tuscan villa where he was staying changed his life. Porritt lost his footing and tumbled off a 15-foot wall after taking the photo with his phone. “I took a step and there was nothing under my foot,” he recalled. The fall injured his spinal cord and paralyzed him from the waist down. After two hours on the ground, he was flown via helicopter to an Italian hospital for emergency surgery. He arrived back in the United States nearly three weeks later. Back home in Kansas City, Kansas, he learned what life was like in a wheelchair. Doctors weren’t sure whether he’d ever walk again. <br/>

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Investing for Social Impact

What is the purpose of investing? Until recently, the answer to that question was straightforward—to produce the highest possible return with the lowest possible risk for investors and shareholders. Many believe that’s a worthy goal in itself. In fact, superior returns on investment help university endowments underwrite scholarships for needy students and enable state and local pension plans to fund the retirements of teachers, police officers, and firefighters. But over the past several decades, a new way of thinking about investing has emerged in business schools and financial circles. It’s called impact investing. Although many argue it’s been around much longer, and the definition of the term continues to evolve, it largely means what it says. According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), it is investing “with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.” Or, as a mantra commonly associated with the movement puts it: “Doing well by doing good.”

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Measuring Success to Maximize Impact

Social sector organizations worldwide wrestle with one fundamental issue: How do they know they are having an impact? That’s the sector’s $64 million question, and it was at the center of an insightful and thought-provoking panel discussion. Hosted by Chicago Booth’s London campus, the event marked the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation’s first visit there following the announcement of a $20 million gift from Tandean Rustandy, ’07 (AXP-6). Moderator Robert H. Gertner, John Edwardson Faculty Director of the Rustandy Center and Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy, opened the event by remarking, “Nonprofits must focus on measuring impact in a way that maximizes success and induces governments and funders to make smart decisions.”

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An Investor on a Mission

If you had asked Joshua Rogers, ’15, about impact investing 10 years ago, he might have thought you were talking about the “impact” of the financial crisis on his career. Fresh out of Harvard, he had joined UBS’s investment-banking training program just in time for cracks in the system to appear. Rogers sought shelter in UBS’s equity research department, where he eventually covered . . . banks. Rogers worked under UBS’s banking analyst, Heather Wolf, who turned bearish on bank stocks before the roof fell in. He later switched to ISI Group, though he was souring on sell-side research. He wanted something more “mission-oriented,” but didn’t have connections in that area. “I thought, ‘This is not going to be a job I can get without broadening my network,’” he recalled. Rogers went to Booth to explore impact investing.<br/>

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How Do You Help Food Banks Get Exactly the Food They Need?

Feeding America collects truckloads of food from food manufacturers, big-box and grocery stores, and other sources all over the country, and distributes them to 210 regional food banks according to need. In the old system, food banks were ranked based on which needed the most food. One by one, they were told what food they were going to get and how many pounds of it they were going to receive. Even if they had yogurt, for example, they had to take more yogurt or run the risk of those donation sources no longer offering food. That was inefficient and wasteful. Feeding America decided there had to be a better way. The organization came to us: Harry L. Davis [Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management], Robert Hamada [Edward Eagle Brown Distinguished Service Professor of Finance Emeritus], Donald D. Eisenstein [professor of operations management], and me. We proposed a market in which food banks would bid fake money in auctions of all the food that was available. So instead of being handed more potatoes, the Idaho food bank could bid on peanut butter, which is more nutritious and desirable.

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Profiting from Giving Back

Throughout a long and successful career that took him to the top of the corporate world, John Edwardson, ’72, held true to a value he learned as a child—the importance of giving back. “All four of my grandparents were active in social service work,” said Edwardson, the retired chairman and CEO of Vernon Hills, Illinois-based CDW, and a University of Chicago trustee. “Two were immigrants and none made it past the eighth grade, but they lived in small towns where people took care of each other. I learned just from being with them.”<br/>

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Socially Conscious Networking

When images of a drowned Syrian toddler on a Turkish beach made global news in September 2015, the Syrian refugee crisis hit home for Megan Morgan, ’06. “As a mom myself,” Morgan said, “my heart ached to see that suffering.” Morgan—the Chicago-based head of equity and index sales for the Americas at the derivatives exchange Eurex—began searching for ways to help Syrian refugees. Seeing news footage of refugee parents carrying their children, Morgan recalled the importance of her stroller when she traveled around Europe with her young son. “It was his space where he could nap if he was tired, and it was a luggage rack for me,” Morgan said. “I thought, ‘Their life could be a little bit easier if only they had a stroller.’” <br/>