Judges

Scott Adelson

Scott Adelson, MBA '87

Scott Adelson

Scott Adelson, MBA '87

Copresident and Global Cohead, Houlihan Lokey

Scott Adelson, MBA ’87, is Houlihan Lokey’s copresident and a member of the firm’s board of directors. He is also the global cohead of corporate finance. Adelson’s practice embraces all aspects of corporate finance, including mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and the issuance of debt and equity capital. He has been with the firm for more than 25 years and is based in the Los Angeles office.

Before joining Houlihan Lokey, Adelson had been a serial entrepreneur, and he continues to be, founding companies in various industries.He is an active board member of various public and private companies and nonprofit organizations and is also a member of YPO/WPO.
Bruce Brege

Bruce A. Brege, ’82

Bruce Brege

Bruce A. Brege, ’82

Division Head of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics, Stanford Online High School

Bruce Brege is the division head of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics at Stanford Online High School in Stanford, CA, which is an accredited high school serving students from the US and nearly 30 countries in a completely online environment using a synchronous class structure.   

Previously, Brege was involved with the Summit Public Schools, a charter school management organization with several schools in northern California.  He served as the founding math teacher for two of its high schools and in various capacities with the leadership group and led the effort to use information effectively to inform educational practices through the development of key metrics and other analytical tools as the organization implements innovative educational structures.

Education is a second career for Brege.  Prior to joining Summit, he had an extensive career in business, including finance roles at AMSTED Industries in Chicago and Genentech in California following his University of Chicago MBA.   Following his work at Stanford earning an engineering Master’s degree in operations research, Brege enjoyed a stint in the dot-com world with start-up internet firm, Schoolpop in Silicon Valley, where he developed data analytics tools and systems.
Janet Cooper

Janet Linden Cooper, MBA '82

Janet Cooper

Janet Linden Cooper, MBA '82

Independent Director, The Toro Company, Lennox International, and Resonant Inc.

Janet Linden Cooper, ’82, serves as an independent director of three public companies: The Toro Company, Lennox International, and Resonant Inc. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, chairing the investment management committee, and is a board member emeritus of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado.

Previously, Cooper was senior vice president and treasurer of Qwest Communications International Inc., (now CenturyLink) and helped oversee $15 billion in assets while on the board of Qwest Asset Management.She also served in various senior-level finance positions at McDATA Corporation, US West Inc., and The Quaker Oats Company.Cooper received her MBA from Chicago Booth and has a master’s in applied math from the University of Illinois.

SC

Susan Crown

SC

Susan Crown

Founder and Chairman, Susan Crown Exchange (SCE)

Susan Crown is founder and chairman of the Susan Crown Exchange (SCE) and chairman and CEO of Owl Creek Partners, a private equity company focused on real estate, securities, and consumer products. The SCE goes beyond tradition grant-making, fostering partnerships for social change and helping people acquire digital learning and social and emotional skills to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Crown was previously a partner of Henry Crown & Company, chairman of the Crown Family Philanthropies, and the first female board member of Illinois Tool Works, where she still chairs its executive committee.She also is a board member of The Northern Trust Corporation, vice chair of Rush University Medical Center, and a director of CARE USA.

John Edwardson

John Edwardson, ’72

John Edwardson

John Edwardson, ’72

Chairman, Advance Illinois

John Edwardson is chairman of Advance Illinois, an independent statewide education policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that every Illinois student receives a world-class education. Edwardson is the former chairman and CEO of CDW, a leading provider of technology solutions to businesses, government, education, and health-care organizations. During his tenure, CDW’s revenues grew from $3.8 billion to over $10 billion. Prior to joining CDW, Edwardson served as chairman and chief executive of Burns International Services Corporation. He also served as president of UAL Corporation and United Airlines.

Edwardson earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He currently serves on the board of directors of FedEx Corporation, ACE Limited (now Chubb Insurance), and Rockwell Collins. He serves as a trustee of the University of Chicago, on the Council on Chicago Booth, and on the advisory board of Booth’s Social Enterprise Initiative.
Betsy Hoover

Betsey Hoover

Betsy Hoover

Betsey Hoover

Cofounder and Partner, Higher Ground Labs

Betsy Hoover is a founding partner at Higher Ground Labs and 270 Strategies and has deep experience with political technology. Her political career began in 2007 as an organizer on the first Barack Obama presidential campaign. In 2012, she served as the national digital organizing director, sitting at the intersection of field, digital, and technology. In 2013, Hoover cofounded 270 Strategies, a public engagement firm that works with political campaigns, causes, and companies worldwide. She started Higher Ground Labs because she is still recommending the same tools to clients now that she used as an organizer 10 years ago.

As an organizer first, Hoover has been recognized by Business Insider as being “at the forefront of political innovation” and was featured on Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30: Law & Policy list for her work on the president’s reelection campaign.

Rishi

Rishi Jaitly

Rishi

Rishi Jaitly

CEO, Times Bridge

Rishi Jaitly is the CEO of Times Bridge, Asia’s largest investments and partnerships firm.Capitalized by India’s largest media company, the current portfolio of Times Bridge includes Airbnb, Coursera, Houzz, Mubi, Thrive, Uber, Vice, and other technology and media ventures.Jaitly was also formerly vice president of Asia Pacific, Middle East, and North Africa for Twitter, managing director of Twitter India, and head of public/ private partnerships for Google India.He is cofounder of India Voices, Michigan Corps, Kiva Detroit/Flint, BMe Community, and Citizen Millennial.

Kumar

Manoj Kumar

Kumar

Manoj Kumar

Senior Advisor & Head of Innovations, Tata Trusts Cofounder & CEO, Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

Manoj Kumar is a senior advisor to Tata Trusts, where, in addition to his advisory role, he also owns the executive responsibility for all university/institutional partnerships and manages the Innovations/R&D portfolio. He has conceived and cofounded the Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE) to nurture social innovators through their lab to market journey. Kumar is also the architect and chief evangelist of Social Alpha, an ecosystem stack that aims to provide full life cycle, idea-to-impact support to social innovators and entrepreneurs. He is currently raising a social enterprise fund to provide early-stage risk capital to high-impact technology startups in the social sector.

Prior to his association with Tata Trusts, Kumar cofounded Malgharia, a boutique consulting firm that helps companies identify and address their most critical challenges and turn around business performance.Additionally, he serves on the advisory and governing boards of a number of companies, including nonprofits and research institutions.
Rachel Kholer

Rachel D. Kohler, '89

Rachel Kholer

Rachel D. Kohler, '89

Founding Principal, KoHop Ventures

Rachel D.Kohler, ’89, is the founding principal of KoHop Ventures, which focuses on for-profit social impact investments targeting healthcare needs in underserved communities.Kohler worked for the Kohler Company for 22 years, serving most recently as its group president of interiors, managing a portfolio of high-end home furnishings businesses.She continues to serve on Kohler’s board of directors and is a member of the Kohler Foundation.She’s also CEO and co-owner of NowPow, a knowledge utility company that powers up underserved communities by providing people the vital information they need to stay well and live long.Kohler is a trustee at the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Medical Center and is chair of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics.She is also on the board of LPMC Foundation, an organization supporting music education programs for underserved youth in Chicago.Prior to her position at Kohler Company, Kohler worked at Booz Allen Hamilton and at Credit Suisse (previously First Boston).She has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Chris Noon

Chris Noon, ’72

Chris Noon

Chris Noon, ’72

Founding Partner and President, Quadrangle Development Company

Chris Noon is the founding partner and president of Quadrangle Development Company, which specializes in the development of office and industrial parks. He has been responsible for the development of more than 800 acres of business parks and 5 million square feet of building space with a total value of over $500 million. Headquartered in Chicago, Quadrangle has projects in metropolitan Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Indianapolis, and the San Francisco Bay Area. <

Noon is a trustee of the Ravinia Festival, a past treasurer and board member of Habitat for Humanity Lake County, and the founder of the Beca Medio Dia scholarship fund at the College of Lake County. Noon received a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
May Samali

May Samali

May Samali

May Samali

Senior Associate, Urban Innovation Fund

May Samali is a senior associate at the Urban Innovation Fund, a venture capital firm that provides seed capital and regulatory support to entrepreneurs shaping the future of cities.

Seitz

Tasha Seitz

Seitz

Tasha Seitz

Partner, Impact Engine

Tasha Seitz is the chief investment officer for Impact Engine, a venture fund that invests financial and human capital in early-stage, for-profit technology businesses that are improving education, health, economic empowerment, and resource efficiency. Seitz has two decades of venture capital investment experience as a partner with JK&B Capital, a technology venture capital firm based in Chicago with more than $1 billion under management. As a partner, she has been responsible for identifying, evaluating, and making investments in early-stage start-up software companies, serving on the board of directors, managing growth, coaching and hiring management teams, and exiting investments through sale or initial public offering.

In addition to her investing roles, Seitz serves as adjunct professor of social enterprise at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. She has served as the board chair for Spark Ventures, a nonprofit venture philanthropy organization investing in nongovernmental organizations that serve vulnerable children in developing countries. Seitz is also founder and former board chair for the Chicago chapter of Social Venture Partners.

David Spielfogel

David Spielfogel

Managing Partner, Ekistic Ventures

David Spielfogel serves as cofounder and managing partner of Ekistic Ventures, a group of problem-solvers actively cultivating a portfolio of disruptive companies bringing new solutions to urban problems. He has nearly two decades of experience at the highest levels of local government, political campaigns, and philanthropy, with a focus on setting short- and long-term strategies for implementation.

Until early 2016, Spielfogel was senior advisor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, overseeing long-term planning and the implementation and communication of the mayor’s priority initiatives. He previously served as chief of staff at the MacArthur Foundation, where he worked on the foundation’s domestic and international programs, as deputy policy director for Barack Obama’s Senate campaign, and in the Clinton White House as the special assistant for policy to the president’s senior advisor on energy and environmental issues.

He earned his MS in international development management from the London School of Economics and his BS from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Stewart

Carter Stewart

Stewart

Carter Stewart

Managing Director, Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) Foundation

Carter Stewart supports investment selection, builds portfolio support, cultivates fund development, and drives strategic and operational leadership. Prior to joining DRK, Stewart served as the presidentially appointed US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. In his work, he emphasized deterrence, crime prevention, and alternatives to incarceration. He created the district’s first community outreach position and established a community leadership committee geared toward building trust and improving communication between the public and law enforcement.

Stewart took a leadership role at the US Department of Justice to address inequities in the criminal justice system by raising awareness about the school-to-prison pipeline and chairing a working group of US Attorneys focused on reducing racial disparities in the federal system.

He received a JD from Harvard Law School, earned an MA in education policy from Columbia University, and received his undergraduate degree in political science from Stanford University.

AndyStone

Andrew D. Stone, ’81

AndyStone

Andrew D. Stone, ’81

Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Petra Capital Management

Andrew D. Stone is the managing partner and chief executive officer of Petra Capital Management. Prior to founding Petra, Stone was a managing director and head of the Principal Transactions Group (“PTG”) at Credit Suisse First Boston. Stone was senior managing director of the Mortgage, Asset-Backed and Real Estate Securities Group at Daiwa Securities America. Stone founded the department and was responsible for managing the origination, trading, structuring, and sales of all mortgage and asset-backed securities, eventually developing the securitization industry, but also carving out a successful niche for Daiwa. Stone received his BS from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with dual majors in finance and entrepreneurial management and his MBA from the University of Chicago.
Ron Tarrson

Ron Tarrson, ’72

Ron Tarrson

Ron Tarrson, ’72

Managing Partner and Director, Aero Services Center

Ron Tarrson is the managing partner and director of Aero Services Center, a supplier of avionics and maintenance for private and corporate aviation at both the Santa Fe and Santa Teresa airports in New Mexico. Additionally, Tarrson is the majority partner and director of the Jet Center at Santa Fe, a recently opened full service Fixed Base Operator. He formerly worked for the John O. Butler Company, where he held numerous positions, including corporate director, treasurer, COO, and president. After selling to Sunstar of Japan, which took the public company private, he served for two years as vice chairman. Tarrson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He serves in leadership roles for many foundations that focus on the airline industry. Tarrson also serves on the Council on Chicago Booth, and the advisory board at the Polsky Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
William H Towns

William W. Towns

William H Towns

William W. Towns

Executive Director, Benefit Chicago

William W.Towns is a scholar, activist, and practitioner dedicated to helping solve civic and urban issues at the structural level.Towns is the executive director for Benefit Chicago, where he leads the day-to-day work to help socially motivated businesses and nonprofits access the capital they need to innovate and grow.Before Benefit Chicago, he was an assistant vice president at the University of Chicago, working within the Office of Civic Engagement to lead the neighborhood initiatives team and efforts to increase economic growth, health outcomes, and vibrancy and sustainability in South Side communities.He serves on numerous committees and advisory boards across the US, and is a frequent guest speaker at conferences and universities.Towns earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and his BA in marketing from Loyola University.

Erik Wallstein

Erik Wallsten, ’04

Erik Wallstein

Erik Wallsten, ’04

Cofounder and Managing Partner, Adobe Capital

Erik Wallsten is the cofounder and managing partner of Adobe Capital. He has extensive experience in the Mexican venture capital, private equity, and real estate sectors. Among other investments, Wallsten was involved in the development of the first sustainable housing project in Mexico City as part of LaSalle Investment Management and was a principal at the NAFTA Fund, a local private equity fund focused on cross-border investments involving high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises. He was also a member of the investment team in charge of the North American Environmental Fund, Mexico’s first environmentally focused venture capital fund. Wallsten received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana.