Founder of Chicago Cares
Leslie Bluhm is the founder of Chicago Cares, one of Chicago’s most successful nonprofits, which organizes more than 35,000 volunteer opportunities every year.
A University of Chicago Law School graduate, former attorney, and self-described workaholic do-gooder, Bluhm cofounded Chicago Cares twenty years ago after noticing that her colleagues weren’t volunteering. “I realized it wasn’t because they didn’t want to volunteer,” she recalls. “They really had no idea where to turn. They were afraid of overcommitting, or they didn’t want to do it alone.”
Bluhm had a simple but innovative solution: partner with nonprofit organizations to create service opportunities for busy working people. Since its inception, Chicago Cares has hosted over 330,000 volunteers. Collectively they have clocked more than a million hours of service, tutoring at-risk children, preparing meals at shelters, leading art workshops, and teaching computer skills to seniors, among other things.
The unique funding model that Bluhm created for Chicago Cares, in which roughly 75 percent of the organization’s income is derived from donations it receives for its customized Business Shares programming, provides a firm platform for sustainable growth. Chicago Cares is one of only 9 percent of nonprofits to receive the highest financial rating over four consecutive years from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator—a testimony to exceptional financial health and fiscal responsibility.
Bluhm served on the University of Chicago Law School’s Visiting Committee for six years. In 2010, Bluhm and her husband, David Helfand, created the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship, which recognizes socially minded innovators, entrepreneurs, and change agents who are under the age of 35.
Chief Economist, TechForecasters
Matt Chanoff is co-manager of Profounder LCC, a seed stage investment fund established in 2008. He is a co-founder of Damballa and Pramana, two early-stage Internet security-related companies in the Atlanta Area. As founder and president of Chanoff Consulting, Inc., Mr. Chanoff has worked with over thirty early stage companies, helping them to design business models and strategies and develop marketing and implementation strategies. He has drafted more than forty business plans, used to raise at least $20 million in early-stage investment and over $50 million in Series C and mezzanine investment. As a consultant, Mr. Chanoff has designed and implemented broad-scale market assessments and market-entry strategies in the United States, China, and Southeast Asia for Fortune 500 companies in several industries, including electronics manufacturing and components, high-tech materials, software, investment, and professional services. Mr. Chanoff’s non-profit work includes board positions with Brandeis Hillel Day School and The San Francisco Children’s Art Center, and active involvement in many educational, community development, human rights, and poverty alleviation programs in San Francisco, Kenya, Rwanda, and Israel. Mr. Chanoff holds a Masters of Arts degree in International Economics and Politics from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
Managing General Partner of Alta Communications
Tim is a founder and Managing General Partner of Alta Communications, a Private Equity Firm headquartered in Boston, MA. In that capacity, he sits on the board of numerous traditional and online media as well as communications companies. He began his career in 1986 at the Bank of Boston in the Acquisition Finance Division, structuring and monitoring the performance of management buyouts in cash flow industries. Tim received a degree in Economics from Wesleyan University 1986. In addition to serving on Shining Hope for Communities’ board, he is Chairman of the Board of both Year Up (yearup.org) and The Big Brothers of Massachusetts Bay and is on the Development Committee of Right to Play.
Abigail E. Disney
Co-founder of the Daphne Foundation, filmmaker, philanthropist
Abigail E. Disney is a filmmaker and philanthropist. Her longtime passion for women’s issues and peacebuilding culminated in her first film; the acclaimed Pray the Devil Back to Hell, about the Liberian women who peacefully ended their country’s fourteen-year civil war. The film premiered in 2008 at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the honor of Best Documentary. Abigail is currently executive producer of the groundbreaking PBS mini-series Women, War & Peace, the most comprehensive global media initiative ever mounted on the role of women in peace and conflict. The series has received a number of awards, including a Television Academy Honor, two Overseas Press Club Awards, two Gracie Awards, and a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association.
Abigail co-founded the Daphne Foundation, which works with low-income communities in the five boroughs of New York City. She also founded Peace is Loud, which amplifies women’s voices for peacebuilding using the power of media. Abigail serves as a board member for a number of organizations, including the Global Fund for Women and the Peace Research Endowment. Her work has been recognized through numerous awards, including the prestigious International Advocate for Peace (IAP) Award from the Cardozo Law School’s Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution.
In addition, Abigail holds degrees from Yale, Stanford, and Columbia. She has been a judge at the Tribeca Film Festival, sits on the advisory board of ITVS’s groundbreaking initiative, Women and Girls Lead, and is a sought-after public speaker. She frequently travels around the country and across the globe to deliver keynote addresses, commencement speeches, and lectures and has participated in panels in diverse locations such as The Hague, Davos, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and at dozens of universities and community centers. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America.
William E Ford
Chief Executive Officer, General Atlantic
Bill Ford brings over two decades of experience investing in and helping build leading growth companies including E*Trade, Priceline and NYSE. As CEO of General Atlantic, Bill has deepened the firm’s global presence, increased its capital base and expanded its capabilities in identifying high potential growth companies.
Bill joined General Atlantic in 1991 and became CEO in 2007. He currently serves on the boards of several portfolio companies including Tory Burch, Oak Hill Advisors, First Republic Bank, and Markit. He was formerly a director of prior GA portfolio companies including NYSE Euronext, E*Trade, Priceline, NYMEX and Zagat Survey. Bill is the Chairman of GA’s Executive Committee and is a member of its Investment, Portfolio and Capital Committees.
Bill is involved with a number of educational and not-for-profit organizations. Since 2001, he has served as a Trustee of Amherst College and chairs the Investment Committee. He is also a member of the board of trustees of The Rockefeller University, The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Lincoln Center. Bill is active in business education and serves on the advisory boards of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management.
Prior to joining General Atlantic, Bill worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. as an investment banker. He received his B.A. in Economics from Amherst College in 1983 and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1987.
President and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities
Kennedy is one of Africa’s preeminent community organizers and social entrepreneurs. Kennedy was born and raised in Kibera, an informal settlement on the perimeter of Nairobi and one of the largest slums in Africa, where he experienced the devastating realities of life in extreme poverty firsthand. The oldest of eight children, he became a street-child at the age of ten. Still, he dreamed about changing his community. In 2004, while earning just $1 per day conducting factory work, Kennedy saved 20 cents to buy a soccer ball and start Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). Driven by the innovative and entrepreneurial spirits of the people of Kibera, SHOFCO became the largest grassroots organization in the slum.
Although entirely informally educated, Kennedy received a full scholarship to Wesleyan University, becoming one of Kibera’s first to receive an education from an American liberal arts institution. He graduated in 2012 with honors in Sociology and was distinguished as the commencement speaker. Kennedy was awarded the 2010 Echoing Green Fellowship, which recognizes the world’s best emerging social entrepreneurs. Additionally, he won the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition, wrote an Op-Ed published by New York Times, and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. His work has been featured by President Bill Clinton, on NBC by Chelsea Clinton and Maria Menounos, and on multiple occasions by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. Kennedy speaks six languages, is a senior fellow with Humanity in Action, and an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow. He is currently writing a book, forthcoming from HarperCollins. He splits his time between Nairobi and New York City.
John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology, Wesleyan University
Robert Rosenthal is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University. He teaches and writes on housing, homelessness, community research, and the use of music in social movements. He’s the author of Homeless in Paradise and co-author of the forthcoming Playing for Change; he’s currently working on an edited collection of the papers of Pete Seeger. Mr. Rosenthal has worked for the past twenty years with community groups in Middletown, CT, including as one of the founding directors of Wesleyan’s Center for Community Partnerships.
Todd R. Snyder
Executive Vice Chairman, Rothschild Inc.
Todd R. Snyder is an Executive Vice Chairman of Rothschild Inc. and Co-Chair of Rothschild’s North American Debt Advisory and Restructuring Group. Rothschild Inc. is a leading international investment banking and financial advisory firm. Todd practiced law in the Business Reorganization department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. He is a Commissioner of the New York State Gaming Commission and a member of the New York Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments. He graduated with honors from Wesleyan University and received a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Todd is currently an adjunct professor at New York University Law School and New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Robert and Margaret Patricelli Foundation
Margaret Patricelli is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of the Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation. Since its creation in 1997, the foundation has focused on programs designed to assist low-income neighborhoods in Hartford, Connecticut. It played the leading role in creating the innovative TeacherDollars program now in broad use in Hartford public schools, as well as funding the GospelFest at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts for five years featuring an All-Hartford 40-church gospel choir, and providing the initial funding for Hartford’s Crime Stoppers Program. Margaret has previously worked in health planning at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, marketing and communications at Connecticut General and CIGNA, and public affairs at ConnectiCare, where she created the ConnectiCare Foundation. She is active in numerous local, national and international philanthropic activities, having served on the boards of the Mark Twain House and Museum, Foodshare, Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, Hartford Ballet, and the Simsbury Public Health Commission. Margaret currently serves on the boards of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Shining Hope for Communities – Kenya, and the Friends of Simsbury Public Library. She has made several trips as a volunteer health worker in rural communities in Haiti. Margaret is a graduate of Goucher College and has a Masters in Public Health from UCLA.
Founder of Women’s Health USA
Bob Patricelli is a businessman and philanthropist in Greater Hartford, Connecticut. Bob received his B.A. from Wesleyan in 1961 and his LLD from Harvard Law School in 1965. Bob served on the Wesleyan Board of Trustee for 15 years, ending in 2005. In 1965, Bob was chosen as a White House Fellow and then embarked on several jobs in the federal government, serving as minority counsel to a U.S. Senate subcommittee, Deputy Under Secretary for Policy at the Department of HEW, and as Administrator of the Urban Mass Transit Administration. He was Vice President of the non-profit Greater Hartford Process from 1971-75, which was devoted to community development activities in the region. Bob’s business career started at Connecticut General in Bloomfield. He became over time head of CIGNA’s health care businesses before starting a new career as an entrepreneur with the founding of Value Health, Inc. in 1987. Under his leadership, Value Health became a Fortune 1000 New York Stock Exchange company, and Bob went on to found and is still CEO of both Women’s Health USA and Evolution Benefits, based in Avon. Bob is or has been involved in numerous boards and commissions at the local, state and national level. He is a member of the MetroHartford Alliance board of directors and chairs its Neighborhood Development Committee, is chairman of the Bushnell, and a member of the boards of Northeast Utilities, the Ocean Exploration Trust, and the CT Science Center. He has served in the past as chair of the CT Business and Industry Association, and as a member of the boards of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the University of Hartford, Hartford Hospital, and Dance CT. His public policy passion is health care reform, and he co-chaired the CT Health Insurance Policy Council in 2006-07 and serves as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.