Our 2016-2017 Chicago Steering Committee is a group of renowned local professionals, dedicated to delivering top quality programs and networking opportunities.  For further details on who's who, take a look at some of their bios listed below:

Elizabeth "Libbie" Bock, P&C Group, CFO Kemper Corporation

Elizabeth_Bock_2.jpgLibbie serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Kemper’s $1.5B Property & Casualty Group, where she leads the finance team and data science function. Her diverse and global experience includes roles in strategy, marketing, analytics, communications, IT and finance.  She has worked in numerous industries, including financial services, manufacturing, government, and professional services. 

Libbie holds her MBA from Stanford University and earned her undergraduate at George Washington University.

Timothy Buikema, Partner, Audit, KPMG LLP

Tim_Buikema_2.jpgTim has 23 years of experience at KPMG, providing audit and audit-related services to public and private companies in the manufacturing, distribution, technology, media, and, leasing and real estate industries. His clients have ranged from Fortune 50 companies to pre-revenue start-ups. Tim has been involved with many Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration statements, as well as other public and private securities filings and numerous acquisitions and dispositions during his career. He is also accredited to serve companies reporting under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). 

Kim Clarke, SVP Finance, Razorfish

Kim's bio is available upon request.

John Paul (J.P.) Graziano, Vice President, Aon Risk Solutions

J.P._Graziano-959377-edited.jpgAs Vice President of Aon Risk Solutions, J.P. is responsible for new business development, focusing his main objective on identifying the best professionals and resources within the company to ensure that clients are receiving timely, appropriate, and cost effective solutions. With 9 years of industry experience, he has vast knowledge and understanding of the leading expertise available. In addition to his insurance experience, he has worked in the non-profit, education, technology, and investment banking sectors.

J.P. holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. 

Eli Johnson, Sales Director, NetSuite

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Eli is currently a Sales Director with NetSuite, Inc. with more than a decade of experience working in the tech & software industry. His responsibilities include developing and executing business strategies, creating client relationships, and addressing new business opportunities. Prior to NetSuite, Eli was a BPO Director of Business Development, responsible for sales leadership, customer experience consulting, and driving financial results for Cloud Communication organizations. He also held additional sales and leadership positions within the PLM software industry and has been focused on the cloud software space throughout his entire career.

Jim Lawler, Global Finance Leader

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Jim has extensive global finance experience in the service sector, with a focus on hospitality and asset management. He has held a number of leadership roles within Hyatt Hotels Corporation during his career. Most recently, he led a multi-year strategic transformation initiative to upgrade, consolidate, and simplify Hyatt’s financial systems. As Vice President of Corporate Finance, he was also responsible for financial reporting and management of the international segment, leading and developing finance teams throughout the globe.

Jim is a CPA and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Loyola University, Quinlan School of Business.

Harrison Luce, Account Executive, Host Analytics

Harrison Luce-812598-edited.jpgAs an Account Executive at Host Analytics, Harrison helps finance teams to streamline and automate their financial processes. Prior, he worked at Oxford, an Enterprise IT consulting firm, where he built teams to support and implement such technologies as ERP, EPM, and HCM solutions across the enterprise. 

 

Suzanne Shaner, Midwest International Expansion Director, Radius

Suzanne_Shaner_Radius.jpgCurrently serving as a Midwest International Expansion Director at Radius, Suzanne specializes in global growth for midmarket companies, as well as large company carve outs.  She began her career as a CPA in the audit practice of Deloitte in Chicago and also worked at Baxter International, where she performed actuarial analysis of the company's self-insured program and was a liaison between corporate finance and the General Counsel’s office for both litigation liabilities and the spin-off of Caremark. As a consultant, she has worked with the finance and accounting departments of some of the largest companies in the Chicago area.

Suzanne holds a Masters degree in Accountancy from DePaul University and Bachelor of Science in Music from the University of Illinois.

Julius Talley, CPA, MBA, Principal Member, James Capital, LLC

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Julius created James Capital, LLC in 2004 to serve the needs of businesses and government by providing them with broad credit windows with competitive rates.  He has also worked as a CFO turnaround specialist to health care entities in Michigan, Florida, Georgia, and Illinois, advising clients on revenue building, expense reduction, treasury activities, mergers and acquisitions, working capital, and capital structure financing.  In addition, Julius is an approved mediator for the state of Michigan court system, where he has assisted disputing parties in the areas of business, civil rights, and landlord-tenant disputes.

Julius holds a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Wayne State University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  He also received a Certificate in Business Strategy from Cornell University and is a Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE), as well as a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in Michigan.

Robert Whelan, CFO, Agricultural Asset Management

Rob_Portrait_2.jpgRobert is the Chief Financial Officer for Agricultural Asset Management, an asset management platform which invests in farmland in the United States and central and eastern Europe. He has 15 years of experience setting up systems, processes, and controls in start-up and early stage companies. Most recently, Robert developed the Ukrainian subsidiary of Agrokultura AG, overseeing business growth from $3 million to $60 million over a three-year period. He is a CPA and former Audit Manager for KPMG.

Robert holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Steve Wolff, Comptroller, A Safe Haven Foundation

Steve_Wolff-326898-edited.jpgSteve is the Comptroller of A Safe Haven Foundation, a not-for-profit social business enterprise, with a mission to solve the root causes of homelessness and poverty.  A multilingual financial and corporate executive with more than 20 years of experience in the U.S. and abroad, he has served as CFO, controller, and general manager for mature and high growth businesses, as well as entrepreneurial, family, private equity, and large company cultures.  In addition, as one of the first program directors to lead U.S. developmental assistance in the nascent states of the former Soviet Union, he spent several years as an expatriate executive, with a track record of effective financial and people management.  

Steve holds an undergraduate degree from Emory University and an MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.