World Business Chicago Bolsters its Board of Directors & Executive Committee to Support New Economic Growth Strategies for Chicago | World Business Chicago

NEWS

PRESS RELEASE

06.20.2024

World Business Chicago Bolsters its Board of Directors & Executive Committee to Support New Economic Growth Strategies for Chicago

World Business Chicago Bolsters its Board of Directors & Executive Committee to Support New Economic Growth Strategies for Chicago

 

CHICAGO – June 20, 2024 — At its recently held Q2 board of directors meeting, World Business Chicago, the city’s public-private economic development agency, ratified the appointments of several business leaders to its distinguished board of directors and committees and announced an expanded executive committee—convening a who’s who of passionate business leaders who bring a wealth of experience and insight, each committed to driving strong economic growth in Chicago and beyond.

“I am committed to fostering a dynamic and pro-business environment. The success and future prosperity of our city are inextricably linked to the active participation and support of our vibrant business community,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Our businesses are the backbone of our economy, driving growth and innovation, and providing opportunities for our diverse and talented workforce—the fourth largest in the nation. By working together with business leaders, we will not only strengthen our traditional industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and food production but also position Chicago at the forefront of emerging sectors like the blue economy and quantum technology. Together, we will elevate Chicago’s status as a global leader in business and innovation.”

Newly expanded World Business Chicago Executive Committee:

  • Martin Cabrera, Founder & CEO, Cabrera Capital Markets
  • Brett Hart, President, United Airlines
  • Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO, Ariel Investments
  • John Holmes, Chairman, President & CEO, AAR Corporation
  • Mark Hoplamazian, President & CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • Arla Lach, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton LLP
  • Anthony Maggiore, Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase
  • Michael L. Morkin, Partner, Venable LLP
  • James Reynolds, Co-Founder, Chairman, & CEO, Loop Capital
  • Charles Smith, CEO, CS Strategies
  • Kevin Warren, President, Chicago Bears
  • Rita Sola Cook, Managing Director & President, Bank of America Chicago

 

New additions to the economic development agency’s board of directors include Vamsi Bonthala, CEO & Co-Founder, Arbor Lodging Group; Jim Hart, President, Burwood Group; and Tom Ricketts, Chairman, Chicago Cubs. Executives leading the board committees include Arla Lach, Managing Partner, Grant Thorton, who will serve as treasurer of the executive committee, Eric Sedler, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Avoq, who will head the nominations committee, and Travis Hunter, Jr., Office Managing Partner, KMPG LLP, who serves as chair of the finance committee.

Board members transitioning to the board, following the departures of previously serving company colleagues, include Neville M. Bilimoria, Partner, Duane Morris LLP; Rich Gamble, Interim President & CEO, Choose Chicago; Carmen Hernandez, EVP & General Counsel, Clayco; and Arla Lach, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton.

“The expanded board and executive committee epitomize a unified commitment to driving inclusive economic growth in Chicago,” said Charles Smith, Vice Chair, World Business Chicago. “With a formidable team of industry leaders now in place, we are poised to seize opportunities, navigate challenges, and establish ourselves as the premier economic development agency in the Midwest. Together, we’re not just shaping the future—we’re revolutionizing it.”

The June 13, 2024, Q2 board meeting was the inaugural session under the leadership of Phil Clement, the newly appointed president and CEO, chosen by Chicago Mayor Johnson in April. “Having top executives from the leading 100 companies in Chicago on board will significantly benefit the city and region,” said Clement. “These leaders are committed to strategizing and capitalizing on opportunities in areas ranging from quantum technology and climate initiatives to life sciences, as well as our foundational industries like manufacturing, food production, and transportation. We will soon announce two groundbreaking initiatives that will attract global businesses to Chicago, solidifying our city’s standing as a premier global business hub.”

Under the leadership of vice chair, Charles Smith, and president and CEO, Phil Clement, these strategic enhancements aim to amplify World Business Chicago’s influence and reach, firmly demonstrating Chicago as the unrivaled business and innovation hub of the Midwest. With considerable federal and private investments flowing into emerging sectors, World Business Chicago is actively engaged in driving economic growth throughout the city, the region, and the broader Midwest.

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