Midwest M&A Overview

2017’s increased economic growth has contributed to a competitive buying market already fueled by low-cost acquisition financing. The Midwest market has benefited with steady deal flow in the healthcare, technology and consumer sectors. Bill Kucera, co-chair of Mayer Brown’s M&A practice in the Americas points out that technology and healthcare would remain the largest components of Midwest M&A.

Technology deal making will continue to be robust, as rapid consumer adoption of new emerging technologies continues. Mark Brady, William Blair’s Head of M&A pointed out that the quick growth and turnover of Chicago based online ticket broker Vivid Seats, bought by Vista Equity Partners in early 2016 which sold 14 months later to GTCR, is emblematic of this exact trend.

A few deals of note that have occurred in the Midwest M&A market include JAB Holdings acquisition of Missouri-based Panera Bread for $7.4 billion and Reckitt Benckiser’s purchase of Chicago-based Mead Johnson Nutrition for $17.8 billion.

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.