Nicholas J. Pritzker (Co-Chair)

Tao Capital

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Nicholas J. Pritzker is an independent entrepreneur headquartered in San Francisco. He is the co-founder of Tao Capital, an investor in tech and alternative energy businesses.

Pritzker joined Hyatt Hotels Corporation in 1978, and for many years led the efforts of the company in real estate and development, and in the expansion of the company into various businesses including senior living, gaming and fractional ownership.

He served as Vice-Chairman of the Board until his retirement in June 2009. He continues to serve Hyatt in a consulting role in international development.

He serves as Emeritus Vice-Chairman of Conservation International.

Pritzker received a B.A. in 1968 from Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois, and a J.D. in 1974 from the University of Chicago Law School. He was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1975.

Michael Polsky (Co-Chair)


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An energy sector pioneer, Michael Polsky brings three decades of industry experience as the founder, president, and CEO of Invenergy LLC.  Invenergy is a leader in the independent-power industry in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is the largest privately-held wind energy generation company in North America.

A self-made entrepreneur, Polsky is an engineer by trade, having earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kiev Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine.  He arrived in the United States speaking little English, but with a keen interest in energy generation.

Over the course of his career, Polsky went on to found, own, and operate three highly-successful energy companies.  Prior to starting Invenergy, Polsky formed SkyGen Energy in 1991, which became one of America’s largest independent power companies and later was sold to Calpine Corporation.

Earlier, in 1985, Polsky co-founded and was president of Indeck Energy Services Inc., where he led the development and financing of one of the first-ever portfolios of independent power generation assets.   Before launching Indeck, Polsky held various positions at Fluor Engineers; Brown Boveri Turbomachinery; and Bechtel Power Corporation.

While working full-time, Polsky earned a second graduate degree, a Master’s in Business Administration, from the University of Chicago-Booth School of Business.  In 2002, Polsky endowed the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the university.  Currently, Polsky chairs the Chicago-Booth Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, and is a member of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees.

In addition, Polsky is co-founder and co-chair of the Clean Energy Trust, a nonprofit providing technical training and seed funding to start-up companies, with the goal of making Illinois a dynamic center for clean-energy entrepreneurship.

Polsky also serves on the boards of the Argonne National Laboratory and the World Resources Institute, and on the CEO Council for the United States Olympic Committee.  He lectures regularly on industry topics.

Antonio J. Gracias

Valor Equity Partners

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Mr. Gracias serves as Valor’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Investment Committee. His duties include overall responsibility for the Firm’s management, operations, and investing. Mr. Gracias’ responsibilities include, but are not limited to, human resources, raising capital, limited partner communication, idea generation, investment selection, investment strategy, investment committee management, transaction structuring, and portfolio company management and improvement.

Mr. Gracias has over 20 years experience investing in a variety of sectors, including private equity and public equity transactions. Mr. Gracias is Valor’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to founding Valor in 2001, Mr. Gracias served as Founder and Managing Member of MG Capital from 1995 through 2000. MG Capital was a private equity firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. As the lead transaction principal, Mr. Gracias sourced investments in nine middle market manufacturing companies where MG Capital played the role of lead equity sponsor. He also sourced three non-lead investments in a diverse set of industries. Mr. Gracias served as the Chief Executive Officer of MG Capital’s portfolio company, Connector Service Corporation. He managed the company through growth from $10 million to $125 million in revenue before exiting the investment in 2001. In addition, Mr. Gracias served as Chief Executive Officer of Industrial Powder Coatings, Inc., a $65 million revenue supplier to the auto parts and appliance sectors. Prior to MG Capital, Mr. Gracias was an Associate with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York where he served institutional clients in the International Equity Division.

Mr. Gracias is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a Board Member of the Clean Energy Trust, a member of the Board of Directors of The Economic Club of Chicago, a Trustee of the Field Museum, a member of the Board of Directors of World Business Chicago, and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Chicago Law School. Mr. Gracias received the 2008 Immigrant & Refugee Contributions Award for Entrepreneurial & Business Leadership from Changing Worlds, an educational arts non-profit organization. Mr. Gracias is a 2009 Henry Crown Fellow, an Aspen Institute program designed to engage the next generation of leaders in the challenge of community spirited leadership. Mr. Gracias is the lead director for Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), a director for SolarCity Corporation (NASDAQ: SCTY), and is a member of several other Valor portfolio company Boards of Directors.

Mr. Gracias holds a joint B.S. and M.S.F.S. (honors degree) in International Finance and Economics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He also studied corporate structures and economic development at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to completing his Masters, Mr. Gracias returned to Japan as a Nikko Securities Fellow. Mr. Gracias holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Keith Crandell

ARCH Venture Partners

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Keith Crandell is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners, a 24 year-old seed and early stage venture capital partnership with offices in Chicago, Austin, San Francisco and Seattle. ARCH Venture Partners is currently managing its seventh fund and focuses on core technology spin-outs from universities and other research organizations in the United States.

Since 2004 Mr. Crandell has served as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Illinois State Treasurer Technology Development Account, a fund-of-funds focused on Illinois private equity and venture capital partnerships. He has served as a Director of the National Venture Capital Association and the Governmental Affairs Committee. He also has been active with the IVCA since inception, recently serving as Chairman.

He is a director of Quanterix, Nanosys, AlfaLight, Adesto Technologies, CelebrateExpress, and Crystal IS. Mr. Crandell also serves as a director of the Illinois Venture Capital Association and the National Venture Capital Association.

Mr. Crandell worked with Hercules, Inc., a specialty chemical and polymer company. He holds an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago, an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from St. Lawrence University.

Paula Crown

Henry Crown & Company

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Paula Crown is a Principal of Henry Crown and Company, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Henry Crown and Company, she was a Vice President in Real Estate Finance at Salomon Brothers Inc. in New York. She earned her A.B. degree from Duke University magna cum laude in 1980 and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in painting and sculpting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Ms. Crown is involved in a variety of corporate, charitable and civic activities. She is particularly interested in environmental policies within the public and corporate realms. In addition, Ms. Crown concentrates a large percentage of her time to aesthetic and artistic endeavors.

Ms. Crown serves on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Modern Art, Duke University, Conservation International, Latin School of Chicago and is Vice Chair of High Jump. She serves on the National Council of the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Board of Advisors of the Nasher Museum of Art, and the Women's Board of both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and University of Chicago. She is also a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the Committee on the Arts of the Aspen Institute, the Executive Committee of The Chicago Community Trust, the Executive and Campaign Committees of Children’s Memorial Foundation and Chair of the Committee on Environment for Crown Family Philanthropies.

Sunil Garg


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Sunil Garg is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Innovation Officer Exelon Corporation

Garg joined Exelon in 2002, and has focused extensively on transformational and integration work within the company. In his most recent role as president of Exelon Power, Garg had oversight of the management and operation of Exelon’s fossil (coal, oil and natural gas), landfill gas, hydro, wind and solar- powered fleet of generating assets in 11 states. Exelon Power’s clean energy fleet is capable of producing more than 8,500 megawatts of electricity.

Before leading Exelon Power, Garg served as senior vice president, Human Resources, for Exelon Corporation. Prior to that, he served as vice president of Finance for Exelon’s Business Services Company and co-executive owner for Finance’s $110 million Finance Transformation Integration Program (FTIP). In addition, he previously led Exelon’s cost management initiative, which delivered $350 million in 2010, managed the centralization of Exelon’s supply chains and oversaw integration planning work for the company’s proposed merger with New Jersey-based utility PSEG.

Garg also has considerable experience in both the public and non-profit sectors. He served as an Assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and was appointed a White House Fellow by President Bill Clinton. Prior to those experiences, he was an associate with The Chapin Hall Center for Children, a research and development center at the University of Chicago, where he coauthored a number of papers on youth and community development in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

He is currently on the board of the Chicago Children’s Theatre, the Interfaith Youth Core, Chapin Hall and Resident’s Journal. In addition, Sonny was a Henry Crown Leadership Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Sonny also served on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Energy, Environment and Public Space Transition Committee and is serving on Emanuel’s Green Ribbon Committee.

Sonny graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Political Science and earned an M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Susan S. Hassan

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom

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Susan Hassan is a Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP. She has a diverse corporate practice with extensive experience advising Fortune 500, middle-market and emerging companies on transactional, corporate governance and business-related matters and in a variety of private equity strategic acquisition, disposition and capital raise transactions. Ms. Hassan has substantial experience in the financial services, telecommunications, consumer products, health care and technology industries. She guest lectures on mergers and acquisitions at Harvard Law School and has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA; America's Leading Lawyers for Business. She was named one of Investment Dealers' Digest's "40 Under 40" and one of Chicago's "40 Under 40" by Crain's Chicago Business. Ms. Hassan serves on the Boards of Directors of The Clean Energy Trust and The Women's Sports Foundation. In 2009, Ms. Hassan was named a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Richard L. Sandor, Ph.D.

Chairman and CEO, Environmental Financial Products

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Richard L. Sandor is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Environmental Financial Products LLC, which specializes in inventing, designing, and developing new financial markets with a special emphasis on investment advisory services. EFP was established in 1998 and was the predecessor company and incubator to the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the European Climate Exchange (ECX) and the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange (CCFE).

A financial innovator known as the “father of financial futures,” he has been at the epicenter of environmental and financial markets for more than four decades. He founded what became the Climate Exchange family of companies including: the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the world’s first and North America’s only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system; the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange (CCFE), the world’s leading futures exchange for environmental products; and the European Climate Exchange (ECX), Europe’s leading exchange operating in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme. Additional global affiliates included the Tianjin Climate Exchange in China, the Montreal Climate Exchange in Canada and Envex in Australia.

Sandor is a Distinguished Professor of Environmental Finance at Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and a Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He is a Member of the International Advisory Council of Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and a member of the TERI School of Management Advisory Committee in India. Sandor previously taught at the University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, Columbia University Graduate School of Business and at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

While on sabbatical from Berkeley in the early 1970s he served as vice president and chief economist of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). It was at that time that he earned the reputation as the principal architect of the interest-rate futures market. Sandor was honored by the City of Chicago in 1992 for his contribution to the creation of financial futures and his recognition as the "father of financial futures.” In October 2007, Dr. Sandor was honored as one of TIME Magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment” for his work as the “Father of Carbon Trading.”

In August 2002 Dr. Sandor was first chosen by Time magazine as one of its "Heroes for the Planet" for his work as the founder of the Chicago Climate Exchange. In November 2004, Dr. Sandor was the recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) of Zurich, Switzerland for his pioneer work in the design and implementation of innovative and flexible market-based mechanisms to address environmental concerns. In May 2005, Dr. Sandor was named by “Treasury and Risk Management” magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Finance”. He is also the recipient of the 2008 Financial Management Association’s Outstanding Financial Executive Award, the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 Award in the “green” category, and was honored by the Environmental Markets Association with its 2010 John H. Dales Memorial Leadership in Environmental Markets Award.

Sandor has served on numerous committees and boards. He assisted the New York Mercantile Exchange on the design of the options contract for crude oil. In 1992 Sandor was an expert advisor to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on tradable entitlements for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

From 1991 to 1994, Sandor was Chairman of the CBOT Clean Air Committee. That committee developed the first spot and futures markets for sulfur dioxide emission allowances and supervised the annual allowance auctions conducted on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also served as Vice Chairman of the CBOT Insurance Committee and was the originator and co-author of the catastrophe and crop insurance futures and options contracts.

Prior to the creation of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Sandor was a senior financial markets executive with Kidder Peabody, Banque Indosuez and Drexel Burham Lambert. Sandor is currently a director of American Electric Power and The Volatility Exchange (VolX®).

Sandor received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota in 1967. He is involved in numerous civic and charitable activities. He is a member of the Board of Governors of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a Major Benefactor of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is also currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Center of Photography, New York.

Tim Schwertfeger

Retired Chairman, Nuveen Investments

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Tim Schwertfeger is a Co-Founder, Director and past Founding Chairman of The Chicago Scholars Foundation; Co-Founding Director and past Chairman of The Chicago Public Education Fund; Co-Founding Director of the Chicago Renaissance Schools Fund; and, a member of The Civic Committee of Chicago and its Education Committee. Tim is also a Director of the Chicago Chamber of Commerce and a Director of Chicago United.

An Evans Scholar, Tim graduated from Northwestern University in 1971 with a major in Economics and Finance. He attended the Georgetown University Law Center where he received his JD with a focus on business and finance. He also attended the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program and the postgraduate Stanford University Program in the Humanities.

Tim joined the John Nuveen Company in 1977 after spending three years with the Law Firm of Chapman and Cutler. Tim rose through the ranks at Nuveen and in 1996, was named Chairman and CEO of the John Nuveen Company transforming the firm from its historical roots as a municipal bond investment bank to a premier investment management company, increasing the firm’s assets under management to more than $170 billion and recording 13 consecutive years of record earnings and a tenfold increase in the value of the company’s publicly traded stock. The capstone of Tim’s thirty-year career with Nuveen Investments was marked in 2007 by a $6 billion transaction to take the company private.

Tim and his wife Gail Waller are active in a broad array of civic programs in Chicago. Together they have supported access to education through private school scholarships in the primary grades, high school transitions for public school students and university scholarships and scholarship programs for students from every high school in Chicago. Most recently, Tim and Gail founded the Best Portion Foundation, which provides anonymous philanthropy.

Tim actively supports The Evans Scholars Foundation and its Northwestern Chapter. He currently is Co-Chairman of the “Futures on Course Campaign” to raise funds for the renovation of the Evans Chapter House and to begin the endowment of the Evans Scholars program at Northwestern.

The Chicago Community Renewal Society, the Scholarship Committee of the U.S. Marine Corp. and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley have recognized Tim for his public service. The Chicago Corporate Responsibility Group named him Citizen of the Year in 2007.