CIS In School for Kids: Reunion

At each one of CIS Chicago’s 135 partner schools, they provide a range of high-quality programs in the arts, college and career preparation, health, and mental health and wellness fields. Through their work, they have identified these programs coincide with the type of support the Chicago public schools need. Unfortunately, these programs aren’t often utilized to their fullest by schools and families due to common challenges in these school communities.

CIS of Chicago attempts to place a full-time staff member at each of these schools to provide intensive support to 40-50 children that have been identified as at high risk of dropping out. This individual support can include goal-setting, life-coaching and clinical counseling. Ultimately, CIS of Chicago aims to surround students with a community of support to help them stay in school and on track to graduate.

To exemplify how one caring adult can make a difference in the life of a student, watch five students sit down and talk about the impact their CIS Students Supports Managers have had on their lives.

Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago works in schools every day to surround students with a community of support empowering students to succeed. CIS of Chicago places caring adults in schools to work with kids at risk of dropping out. Learn more about their work at here.


CIS of Chicago All In For Kids Fundraiser


Earlier this month, Communities In Schools of Chicago hosted a “friend-raiser” formally known as All In For Kids. The event raises funds that help to further CIS of Chicago’s goal of decreasing the Chicago Public Schools’ dropout rate. Students from both Ruggles Elementary School and Armour Elementary School joined in hosting this event.  

The All In For Kids opening remarks were delivered by CIS of Chicago’s Board Director, Mark Brady, warmly welcoming the SRO crowd.  Mark shared the importance of investing in Chicago students and the impact of CIS’s work. Mark has served as a member of the Board of Directors at CIS of Chicago since 2016.

Cubs Cure Their World Series Hangover With NL Central Division Championship

After a slow start to the 2017 season, the defending World Series Champions have hit their 2016 stride, dominating the National League in the second half of the season. The Chicago Cubs hold the NL’s best record in the second half of the season. At 49-25 since the All-Star break, the Cubs were a full four games clear of their NLDS opponent, the Washington Nationals, during that stretch. With the Dodgers faltering and the inexperience of the Diamondbacks, the Cubs have to be feeling optimistic about a repeat appearance in the Fall Classic.

The Cubs earned their second consecutive Division Title (for the first time since 1906-1908) in 2017, while the core of the 2016 team returned to defend their World Series title. Replacing the departed leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler was a challenge at the onset of the season, Jon Jay has proven to be the catalyst Cubs Manager Joe Maddon and the offense have been looking for. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo had monster years, and Wilson Contreras will look to resume his same breakout role from July/August prior to his hamstring injury.

With new additions Ian Happ, Wade Davis and Jose Quintana playing major roles for the defending champs, the Cubs have been able to restock and reload for the stretch run.  With a blistering performance in September that saw the Cubs bury any playoff hopes for rivals St. Louis and Milwaukee, the team seems to be in their 2016 form at the perfect time.

Jon Lester’s most recent performance was dominant, and the early clinch has allowed the Cubs to give Jake Arrieta’s hamstring injury extra time to heal. With Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs most dominant performer in the second half, starting Game 1, Lester’s rebound and the acquisition of Quintana, Arrieta has, even more, time to get healthy and won’t need to pitch until a possible Game 4 of the NLDS. It’s also worth noting that Quintana has never faced the Nationals, giving him an advantage over players that have never seen his stuff.

The Cubs are playing their best baseball right now and are primed to repeat after ending their long drought last year. There’s a lot of excitement ahead. The Professor will get things started on the mound tonight in Washington. Go Cubs Go.

New Business in M&A

A business opportunity is directly impacted by finding the right degree of exposure. Individuals must constantly be seeking out opportunities to get themselves in front of the “right people.”  If you can succeed in doing that, the next step is to make the right impressions. In professional services, there is a very long and wide funnel between the number of people you’ll meet and those with whom you’ll actually do business.

For example, in the Mergers and Acquisitions business, bankers say they need to meet 100 people in order to reach 10 companies that could eventually transact over time. Then, once you’ve captured their attention, you’ll then need to compete for their business.

So, in theory, you’ll need to meet at least 100 or “the right people” to potentially attract the attention of about 10 legitimate prospects in order to be able to actually work with 5 or 6 quality companies.

“In the world of Mergers and Acquisitions, that means going to industry events that draw either C-level executives or significant influencers within each industry, and trying to meet and make a good impression on as many as you can.” – Mark Brady, William Blair’s Head of Mergers and Acquisitions.

William Blair’s Global Headquarters Relocated


On August 1, William Blair moved its global headquarters to a fifty-four story, 1.2 million square foot office tower found right along the Chicago riverfront.  The space is surrounded by a 1.5-acre park and walkway, located at 150 North Riverside Plaza.  

The company’s new office tower creation was headed by Goettsch Partners based in Chicago. Interior Architects, also in Chicago, designed the building’s meeting areas and offices. The building’s inception was the result of five years of research and planning to create a state of the art home for William Blair’s staff and clients while promoting an environment that positively affects client results, fosters employee engagement and increases collaboration.

William Blair’s new global headquarters tower is LEED-Gold certified, exceeding all local code requirements for efficiency and energy. The architectural “gem” was designed to touch the ground in as little space as possible while maintaining its stability. Among its many architectural features is a lobby with its non-structurally supported glass wall, the tallest in the country, and 360-degree views of the Chicago skyline.

“Our new headquarters will meet our growing needs as a premier global financial services firm, providing our clients and colleagues a more collaborative space to meet our clients’ evolving investment goals,” said John Ettelson, president, and CEO of William Blair.

Indy 500 Leaves its Mark on Mercy Home


Each year, the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls holds an annual Ringside Gala. Ringside for Mercy’s Sake began in 1991 as a unique collaboration between the leadership of Chicago’s financial exchanges and has since grown to include boxers from companies across the country.  Last year’s event marked the 25th year of collaboration on the event with Mercy Home.  

Among attendees of the Ringside Gala was, Mark Brady, William Blair’s Global Head of M&A.  Brady attended the Indy 500 as part of an auction package he won — donated by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Mark Brady and his wife Jamie attended the Indy 500 with renowned Indy Car racer Bobby Rahal, an active contributor to Mercy Home, along with his wife and Mercy Home Board of Regents member, Johann.

Brady’s group began their day at the track with a tour from Bobby of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The group toured the Museum’s collection of race cars from various series along with other memorabilia. Next, they received a private tour of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team’s pit. The day followed with excitement as Brady and his wife watched Graham Rahal, son of Bobby and Johanna Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan team member, lead the Indy 500 for various lengths of the race.

Graham Rahal ended the day finishing 12th, awarding him a 6th place qualification at the Indy Series KOHLER Grand Prix. During his race, Graham sported specially designed helmet as part of a fundraiser for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. The opportunity to create a design for Graham’s helmet was auctioned off during the 2016 Ringside Gala raising $50,000 for Mercy Home.

The generosity shown by the Rahal family and countless others in conjunction with the Ringside Gala directly impacts Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in their fight against childhood poverty, abuse and neglect in Chicago.

Chicago Booth Welcomes Dean Madhav Rajan

University of Chicago Booth School of Business proudly announced its newly appointed dean, Madhav Rajan.  Rajan formerly worked at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, serving as the associate dean.  Rajan completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Madras, India. He holds a Ph.D. and two master’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.  Rajan’s appointment officially began July 1, 2017. Rajan succeeds Sunil Kumar, who was named provost of Johns Hopkins University.

Rajan offers an impressive resume having served as senior associate dean for academic affairs at the Stanford GSB from 2010 to 2016, where he holds the Robert K. Jaedicke Chair in Accounting.  His responsibilities included leadership of Stanford’s MBA program, oversight of admissions, curriculum, student experience and career management. He launched new joint-degree programs with Stanford’s engineering school and pioneered initiatives that thoughtfully integrated with the rest of the university.

Rajan was considered a frontrunner in Chicago Booth’s national search for a new dean after his values, ambition and abilities were determined to fully adhere to the distinctiveness of Chicago Booth’s methodological rigor in its research and education.  “The values I have in research and education are deeply valued at Chicago Booth,” Rajan said. “People come here to do rigorous, empirically based research and analysis, which provides the basis for a transformative student experience and an extremely effective MBA curriculum. We have an exciting opportunity to take Booth’s deep strengths and leverage them here and around the world. I am thrilled to have the chance to be dean at what is unquestionably the greatest academic business school.”