Innovation for the Ages
Howard A. Tullman is the Executive Director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Tullman is the former CEO of 1871 – where digital startups get their start and the General Managing Partner of G2T3V, LLC and of Chicago High Tech Investment Partners, which are Chicago-based early-stage venture funds. He is a member of Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago NEXT and Cultural Affairs Councils; the Innovate Illinois Advisory and Arts Councils; an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg; and an advisor to many start-ups. He is the former CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint College and Kendall College. Over the last 50 years, he has successfully founded more than a dozen high-tech companies. @tullman
Tonise Paul is President and CEO of Energy BBDO and a Director of BBDO Worldwide. Energy BBDO is a highly awarded creative agency having received top honors including Cannes Lions, Clios and Effie Awards. Tonise has continually reinvented the company for nearly 20 years through profound industry change to where it is today as a leading-edge global creative organization adept at telling evocative brand stories and creating innovative brand experiences that, of course, energize people. Today she is proud to partner in brand stewardship with widely-recognized, industry-leading companies such as Bayer, PepsiCo, S.C. Johnson, Luxottica, and Mars/Wrigley. Tonise is a committed industry, business, and community leader with multiple directorships on boards of leading organizations including the Executives’ Club of Chicago, 4 A’s, Off The Street Club and UNICEF.
Pete Kadens is a serial entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist. He has started three companies, which have employed thousands of people over the last 16 years. Pete is the co-founder and former CEO of Green Thumb Industries, one of the largest legal cannabis operators in the US. Pete retired from Green Thumb Industries in August 2018 at the age of 40. Pete also started one of the largest commercial solar companies in the US, SoCore Energy, in 2008. Under his leadership at SoCore grew into a company with operations across 17 states and was named one of Chicago’s most innovative businesses by Chicago Innovation Awards. In 2013, he sold SoCore Energy to Edison International, a Fortune 500 energy holding company. Pete believes deeply in, and actively leads, organizations that seek to transform lives and strengthen communities, serving as Chairman or Vice Chairman of StreetWise (2009 – present), one of the largest homeless aid organizations in Chicago.
Kristin Fox is founder and principal of FoxInspires LLC. Launched in 2008, FoxInspires provides access to intelligence and information that helps investors and managers understand each other better. The focus of the firm is helping hedge funds, commodity trading advisors, and other money managers to create information and marketing materials for their specific investing audience. Before starting her firm, Fox worked as a journalist for more than 20 years and served as vice president of news and research, and executive editor for HedgeWorld. HedgeWorld was purchased by Thomson Reuters in 2005, where she served as director, Hedge Fund News until 2008. She is on the board of directors for the 100 Women In Hedge Funds and a Co-Chair of the Chicago Chapter of 85 Broads.
A native Chicagoan, Nena retired from Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago after 53 years where she was the longest-tenured employee. She held the position of Special Events/Publicity/Fashion Director for 50 years and as such, produced all the fashion shows and special events for the Saks Fifth Avenue, Michigan Avenue store as well as assisting in many of the companies store openings and producing shows in other Saks Fifth Avenue markets. She has worked with over 150 of the leading fashion designers and style icons of the 20th and 21st centuries and has produced 1000’s of fashion shows and special events for many of the City’s charitable and civic organizations as well as producing shows for convention spouse programs. Nena is and has been an active participation in many of the City’s civic and charitable organizations as well as professional groups such as The Women’s Board of the Alliance Francaise, The Women’s Board of the Lincoln Park Zoo (past President), The Women’s Association of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Apparel Industry Board and The Apparel Industry Board Foundation, The Fashion Group International of Chicago, Inc. (served as Regional Director twice and chaired several of the galas), and The Fashion Group International Foundation.