John McCarter is Chair of the Board of Regents, Smithsonian Institution. He is President Emeritus of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, where he served as President and CEO for sixteen years.
Board Member: Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago Humanities Festival, Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, Marine Biological Laboratory, National Recreation Foundation, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (USA), Prize to End Blindness by 2020.
Emeritus Trustee of the University of Chicago; former Trustee of Princeton University; Emeritus Trustee and former Chairman of Chicago’s Public Television Station, WTTW.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A native Chicagoan, he was formerly: Senior Vice President of Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc., President of DeKalb Corporation, Budget Director of the State of Illinois under Governor Richard B. Ogilvie, White House Fellow during the Administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. Mr. McCarter received an M.B.A. from Harvard University, attended the London School of Economics and graduated from Princeton University in 1960.
Sam Yagan is the Chief Executive Officer of Match Group, a division of IAC/InterActive Corp (Nasdaq: IACI) and co-founder of OkCupid. In this role, Sam oversees the management of IAC’s global online dating portfolio that comprises over forty brands around the world, including leading properties like Match, OkCupid, Tinder, OurTime, Meetic, Twoo, and ParPerfeito. These businesses generated revenues of over $800 million and profits of over $300 million in 2013. The Match Group also contains smaller businesses such as Tutor.com, Daily Burn, and Skyllzone.
Sam has been a leader in the dating industry since he co-founded OkCupid in 2003 and grew it into one of the most popular dating sites in America, amassing nearly four million active users. OkCupid has earned widespread media acclaim and has been described as “the Google of online dating” and where “dating meets Facebook.” In 2011, Match, Inc. acquired OkCupid for $90 million.
Sam’s prior entrepreneurial ventures in the consumer internet sector include SparkNotes (founded in 1999), still the dominant brand of study guides and eDonkey (founded in 2002), once the largest P2P file-sharing network in the world. He sold SparkNotes to Barnes & Noble, Inc., where he served as Vice-President and Publisher and oversaw the expansion of the previously all-digital brand into an expansive multi-platform media business. Outside of work, Sam’s primary passion is working with early-stage entrepreneurs. In 2009, he co-founded Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago), a leading start-up accelerator, and served as its first Chief Executive Officer. As a board member of TechStars Chicago, he helps to guide its growth and continues to work closely with its portfolio companies. Sam is also an active angel investor and sits on the board of several start-ups, including ShiftGig, SpotHero, Brilliant Scholars, LiveMinutes, StatHat, and OVM. He also advises several venture capital funds, including Hyde Park Venture Partners, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and the FireStarter Fund, which he co-founded.
Sam has been named to TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40,” Crain’s “40 Under 40” in Chicago, Billboard Magazine’s “Top 30 Executives Under 30” in the entertainment industry, Crain’s “Tech 25,” and Silicon Alley Insider’s SAI 100 and received IMSA’s “Distinguished Leadership Award” and the DCIA’s “Pioneer’s Award.” He has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and has spoken at the CATO Institute, Digital Hollywood, IRCE, the Federal Trade Commission, and numerous other industry events.
Sam has a BA with honors in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he earned distinction as a Siebel Scholar, an Arjay Miller Scholar, and the Henry Ford Scholar, the award granted to each class’s valedictorian.
Denny is President of a family investment firm. Previously, he was with Sears, Roebuck and Co., where as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer he played a central role in the restructuring of the legendary retail/financial services conglomerate including the divestiture of its financial services businesses. Earlier positions include Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with G.D. Searle and Co., Chairman of Searle’s publicly held Pearle Vision Center business, and Treasurer of Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. He began his career as a lawyer, practicing in New York and Paris with the firm of Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer and Wood.
Previous board memberships include Gilead Sciences, Inc. where he served as Chairman from 2001-2008 and as Lead Independent Director from 2009-2013, Allstate Corporation, the Swedish pharmaceutical company Astra AB, ChoicePoint, Inc., GATX, Inc., General Binding Corporation, General Instrument Corporation, The Principal Financial Group, and Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Since his retirement from Sears in 1995, he has been engaged in investment related activities. Currently, he is Chairman of Navicure, Inc., a leading Atlanta based health care technology company founded by his son, Jim, Jr., servicing the nationwide revenue cycle management needs of over 50,000 physicians.
Much of Robert Gay’s professional career has been spent in the private equity industry. For sixteen years he helped build Bain Capital, one of the world’s leading private equity firms. At Bain he served as CEO Bain Capital Europe and Managing Director, and Chairman of the Management Committee for Bain Capital worldwide. Recently, he founded and served as CEO of Huntsman Gay Global Capital. HGGC won the M&A Advisor Award for Deal of the Year in 2011 and became a top 10% industry performer in the middle market. Prior to his private equity career Mr. Gay taught economics at Harvard University, served as the Executive Vice President of the Capital Markets Group of General Electric Credit Corporation, and as an Engagement Manager at the international consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Mr. Gay also started Kensington Capital Holdings and helped found Sorenson Capital and seed what is now the largest student run venture fund in the country, University Venture Fund. He has served on numerous public and private company Boards including most recently Gymboree and ICON Health and Fitness. Outside of private equity Mr. Gay has been actively involved, for years, in poverty and humanitarian relief. He is a co-founder of the Ballard Center for Economic Self Reliance at BYU, a co-founder and board member of Unitus Labs which established what is now India’s premier investment bank and seed capital fund. He also is a co-founder of Engage Now Africa. For many years he also played an active role on the the advisory boards of the Forever Young Foundation, Right to Play and the Martin Luther King Center. Collectively these organizations have helped lift and assist over 50 million impoverished and at risk people in over 40 countries around the world. He and his wife are currently building a graduate school of public health in Ghana in partnership with the University of Utah Medical School.
In 2004 Mr. Gay resigned from Bain Capital to accept a three-year volunteer assignment from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as their Mission President in Ghana, West Africa. Upon his return, in April 2012, he was called to the Church’s worldwide leadership as a member of the Seventy. At the Church he has the global responsibility for helping members rise from poverty to self-reliance.
Mr. Gay holds a PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University where he was also awarded the Harvard Business School Division of Research Scholarship. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an AB from the University of Utah. He is married to the former Lynette Nielsen. They reside in Florida and are the parents of seven children and fifteen grandchildren. He is a past recipient of honorary doctorates from Southern Virginia University and Utah Valley University, the Anasazi Turn for Peace Award, the BYU President’s Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah, and the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change Special Recognition Award.
James A. Johnson is Chairman of Johnson Capital Partners from 2001 to the present, and a senior advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Cranemere, LLC. He was Vice Chairman of Perseus LLC from 2000-2012. Prior to joining Perseus, Mr. Johnson served as Vice Chairman (1990), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (1991-1998), and Chairman of the Executive Committee (1999) of Fannie Mae. Before joining Fannie Mae, Mr. Johnson was a Managing Director in Corporate Finance at Lehman Brothers. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, he was President of Public Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm he founded to advise corporations on strategic issues. From 1977 to 1981, Mr. Johnson was Executive Assistant to Vice President Walter F. Mondale, where he advised the Vice President on domestic and foreign policy and political matters. Earlier, he was employed by the Dayton Hudson Corporation, worked as a staff member in the U.S. Senate, and was on the faculty of Princeton University.
Mr. Johnson served as Chairman of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is former Chairman and Honorary Trustee of the Board of Trustees of The Brookings Institution. Mr. Johnson also serves on the Boards of Directors of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Target Corporation, and Forestar Real Estate Group. He chairs the Advisory Council of the Stanford Center on Longevity. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Council of the National Museum of African American History. He’s a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and he also served on the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Kennedy School.
Mr. Johnson holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and a Masters in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. In 1999, Mr. Johnson received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Howard University, and in 2002, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Skidmore College. Mr. Johnson also received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Augsburg College in May 2006, in 1997, Mr. Johnson received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Colby College, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Minnesota in May 2006.
Mr. Reed was born in Chicago in 1939. He was raised in Argentina and Brazil. He came to go to college in the United States and graduated from Washington and Jefferson College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961 under a joint degree program earning a BA and a BS degree. He served as a Lieutenant in the Corp of Engineers, US Army from 1962-64 and then returned to MIT for his MS.
Mr. Reed spent thirty five years with Citibank/Citicorp and Citigroup, the last sixteen years as Chairman. He retired in April of 2000.
Mr. Reed returned to work as Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange from September 2003 until April 2005 and is currently serving as Chairman of the Corporation of MIT.
Mr. Reed is a Trustee of MDRC, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Boston Athenaeum and the NBER and an Overseer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society.
Mr. Reed and his wife Cynthia reside in Duxbury, Massachusetts.
Mickey Kantor concentrates his practice on corporate and financial international transactions. He has extensive experience in market access issues, as well as the expansion of client activities in foreign markets through trade, direct investment, joint ventures, and strategic business alliances.
Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Mickey was the United States Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997) and the United States Trade Representative (1993-1996). He has been called “arguably the finest trade negotiator in the world” (Chambers Global 2006) and is said to be “blessed with fantastic political insights and connections” (Chambers USA 2007). He was recently recognized in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers - Trade & Customs 2009. Among the many awards and honors he has received are the following: the Civic Medal of Honor by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Order of the Southern Cross Award by The Government of Brazil, 2001, the William O. Douglas Award by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation, and Elihu Root Distinguished Lecturer, Council on Foreign Relations.
Chair of the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (present); Vision to Learn, Board Member (present); U.S.-China Clean Tech Center, Honorable Advisory Committee Member (present); Board of Advisors of Drug Strategies (present); L.A. Commission of Economy and Jobs (present); Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Founder; Los Angeles Civic Alliance (present); Board of Directors for CB Richard Ellis (present); US Advisory Board, ING Americas (present); Member of the Chairman’s Advisory Group of the National Center for APEC (present); Council on Foreign Relations, Member (present); Board member of Pacific Council on Leadership and Policy (present); International Commercial Diplomacy Project, Trustee (present); International Advisory Board, Fleishman-Hillard; Board of Visitors for Georgetown University Law Center, Member (2012); Board of Councilors, Annenberg School of Communications, University of Southern California (2012); Christopher Commission, Member (1991); Center for Law in the Public Interest, Board Member (1989-1992); California Commission on Campaign Financing, Board Member (1990-1992); Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Board Member (1988-1990); Clinton/Gore '92 Campaign, National Chair (1991-1992); American Bar Association; Transitional Board of Directors, Member (1992); Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Board Member (1980-1990); American Bar Association Special Committee on Crime Prevention and Control (1971); Legal Services Corporation, Board Member (1978-1981); White House Conference on Children 6 (National Legal Aid and Defender Association); United States Naval Officer (1961-1965).
Steven Kaplan is the Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he joined the faculty in 1988. Professor Kaplan is also the faculty director of Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Professor Kaplan earned his PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University. He received his AB, summa cum laude, in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College.
Professor Kaplan is one of the world’s foremost researchers on private equity, venture capital, corporate governance, executive talent and income inequality. His papers on private equity and venture capital are the standard references in the field. He has testified to U.S. Senate and U.S. House Committees about his research. His findings and opinions regularly appear in the business media. Professor Kaplan is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Professor Kaplan teaches advanced MBA and executive courses in entrepreneurial finance and private equity, corporate financial management, corporate governance, and wealth management. His course in entrepreneurial finance and private equity is consistently among the most popular in the school. BusinessWeek named him one of the top twelve business school teachers in the country and one of the top four teachers of entrepreneurship.
Kaplan co-founded the entrepreneurship program at Booth. With his students, he helped start Booth’s business plan competition, the New Venture Challenge, which has spawned over one hundred companies. The companies have raised over $300 million from investors (including Accel, Andreesen Horowitz, Benchmark, Index and Sequoia) and they have returned over $1 billion to those investors. Companies include GrubHub, Braintree (sold to eBay for $800 million), Future Simple, Bump (sold to Google) and FeeFighters (sold to Groupon).
Professor Kaplan serves on the board of Accretive Health, Columbia Acorn Funds, and Morningstar. He serves on the advisory board of Correlation Ventures and Sandbox Industries. He also serves on the boards of the Kauffman Fellows Program (an educational program that trains emerging leaders in venture capital and high-growth companies) and the Illinois Venture Capital Association.
Professor Kaplan and his wife, Carol Rubin, live in Chicago with their two sons.
Nick Baum was described by the CEO of Ogilvy & Mather as "The King of Internationalists." Born in Pennsylvania, Nick was educated in Britain, and moved to France to help establish O&M France after three years with the London agency. He has worked in the U.K., France, the U.S., and has travelled professionally extensively throughout Europe, and in Asia, Africa and South America.
He began his career at Ogilvy London, later transferring to France where he had the fortune to work with David Ogilvy, described by Time Magazine as "The Pope of modern advertising". After 18 years at O&M in London, New York and Paris, and where he first met Nick Rosa and Bob Shapiro, he left to help launch the French-based BDDP, which became the fastest growing agency in history. BDDP is the agency that developed the Disruption Process, a way of developing innovative strategies that accelerate growth by challenging conventional marketing thinking.
This approach has helped build brands like Apple, Adidas, Absolut vodka, TAG Heuer, BMW, McDonald's, Michelin, and many others. BDDP merged with the Omnicom-owned TBWA agency, and during Nick's leadership, TBWA Paris became the most creatively-awarded agency in the world, and was "Agency of the Year" on 4 out of 5 years. (He occupied the role of President, Europe, at Havas Advertising, for 4 years in the '90s, before returning to BDDP/TBWA).
Nick's entire career has been devoted to helping international clients grow through creative solutions. Through his consultancy North Beach Ventures, Nick is still working with TBWA, and is also a member of the advisory boards of Sandbox Industries and Faïenceries de Gien luxury table- ware.