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    Meet the people behind our Community of Curiosity

    The people behind Chicago Ideas, from staff to the Brain Trust to volunteers, come from a massive range of backgrounds to contribute to our mission of accessibility and ideas for everyone.

    Chicago Ideas Team

    The Chicago Ideas team focuses on producing world-class events, video and written content, and community outreach aimed at inspiring connection and action around big ideas.
    Brad Keywell
    Founder & Chairman, Chicago Ideas and Founder & CEO, Uptake
    Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
    Co-Chairperson, Chicago Ideas; 56th Mayor of the City of Chicago
    Jessica Malkin
    CEO, Chicago Ideas
    Sona Jones
    Chief Operating Officer
    Rina Ranalli
    Editorial Director
    Sarah Ruth
    Managing Producer
    Amanda Salhoot
    Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
    Vanessa M. Buenger
    Director of Marketing & Content
    Lindsay Knight
    Director of Community Engagement
    Kevin Beerman
    Content Editor
    Anthony Conway
    Programming Manager
    Isaac Israilevich
    Community Engagement Manager & Director of Volunteers
    Melissa Jesser
    Strategic Partnerships Associate
    Liz Lewis
    Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships
    Daniela Moreno
    Multimedia Producer
    Tom Packard
    Director of Event Operations
    Ross Peabody
    Ticketing Director & Technology Manager
    Alexa Reghanti
    Programming Associate & Office Manager
    Bonnie Shifrin
    Director of Membership
    Melissa Schwarz
    Network & Communications Manager, BHSI
    Mel Safford
    Strategic Advisor

    Board of Directors

    Brad Keywell
    Founder & Chairman, Chicago Ideas and Founder & CEO, Uptake
    Jessica Malkin
    CEO, Chicago Ideas
    Sonya Jackson
    Founder & Principal, Mantra for Good
    Laura Desmond
    Principal & Founder, Eagle Vista Partners
    Bill Daley
    Vice Chairman, Bank of New York Mellon
    Eric Becker
    Founder & Chairman at Cresset Capital
    Rich Stoddart
    President & CEO, InnerWorkings

    Brain Trust

    What makes Chicago Ideas Week programming so compelling and so distinctly Chicago? The Chicago Ideas Brain Trust is a community of subject-matter experts selected to help shape the CIW program with their unique insights and expertise. Direction from the Brain Trust enables Chicago Ideas to gauge general interest in timely themes, dive deeply into specific topic areas, book exciting and relevant speakers, broaden the CIW audience, and create experiences that impact the entire CIW community.
    Israel Idonije
    Athlete & Entrepreneur
    Sonya Jackson
    Founder & Principal, Mantra for Good
    Susan Crown
    Chairman & Founder, Susan Crown Exchange (SCE), Chairman & CEO, Owl Creek Partners
    Jay Porter
    CEO, Revere
    Kim Keywell
    Director, Keywell Foundation
    Nabeela Rasheed
    Section Head, Intellectual Property, Abbvie
    Gregg Latterman
    Music & Entertainment Entrepreneur
    Wendy Abrams
    Founder, Cool Globes, Inc.
    Teri Arvesu
    Vice President, Content, Univision Chicago
    Leslie Bluhm
    Co-Founder, Chicago Cares
    Lester Coney
    Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman, Mesirow Financial
    Jenna Kostelnik Utley
    Executive Producer, The Oprah Winfrey Network
    Adam Waytz
    Professor, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
    Jacolyn Bucksbaum
    Co-Founder, The Focus Foundation
    Moran Cerf
    Professor, Neuroscience & Business, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
    Andrew Barber
    Creator & Owner, Fake Shore Drive
    Lola Wright
    Spiritual Director
    Orrin Murray
    Director of Technology and R&D, UChicago Impact
    Victor Saad
    Founder & CEO, Experience Institute
    Meredith Stricker
    Executive Director, The Soufan Center
    Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair
    DJ, Producer & Music Director, W Hotels
    Eric Williams
    Founder & Creative Director, The Silver Room
    Eboo Patel
    Founder & President, Interfaith Youth Core
    Jackie Kaplan-Perkins
    Midwest Director, Human Rights Watch
    Holly Copeland
    Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility, Horizon Pharma
    Rachel Winer
    President, Edelman Chicago
    David Burstein
    Founder, Run for America & Generation18
    Matthew Summy
    Regional Vice President, External Affairs, Comcast
    Bob Teitel
    Partner, State Street Pictures

    Chicago Ideas Youth Advisory Committee

    The Chicago Ideas Youth Advisory Committee supports the Chicago Ideas Youth program by helping to drive strategy and programming throughout the year. The Committee is made up of entrepreneurs, community leaders, philanthropists and friends of Chicago Ideas who all have a belief that sparking inspiration in Chicago's youth can help push them towards a successful future
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    Adrienne Irmer, Advocate for social justice & racial equity

    Cathy Kahn, Independent Project Consultant

    Caty Lamadrid, Principal & Founding Partner, Inova Energy Group

    Euler Bropleh, Founder & Managing Director, VestedWorld

    Lucy Moog, 43rd Ward Committeeman

    Michael Shield, Youth Advisor

    Sheila Gutman, Youth Advisor

    Shelly Murphy, Director of Client Relationship Services, InterContinental Exchange

    Join today and experience Chicago Ideas year round

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