Our Team – Chicago
Christine Poorman joined College Possible as the leader of the Chicago office in August 2015. Christine comes to College Possible with experience both in helping low-income high school students achieve success, and in starting up a new site for a national nonprofit organization. Before joining College Possible, Christine led the Chicago office of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), which she launched as a start-up and grew to be one of their highest performing program offices. In her position, Christine was responsible for setting the strategy, board development, fundraising and public relations that supported the mission allowing NFTE Chicago to work with 18,000 young people.
Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Christine working in medical consulting for the Martec Group and also in adult entrepreneurship development with the New City YMCA LEED Council. Through her role at the LEED Council, Christine worked with low-income adults from the Cabrini Green housing development launching businesses.
Managing Director – Head of Market Development, William Blair
Beth Satterfield joined William Blair & Company, LLC in 2015 as Managing Director, Head of Market Development in the Investment Banking group. Beth has over 25 years of banking, private equity and investment management experience. Most recently, she was Chief Operating Officer of Aurora Investment Management, LLC, an investment management firm focused on hedge funds. Prior to that, Beth was with Glencoe Capital, a private equity firm, and served on the firm’s investment committees as Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Before that, Beth was a leveraged finance banker with Bank of America and a commercial banker with JP Morgan Chase.
Beth received her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Beth lives in Bucktown with her three children ages 15, 13 and 8.
Co-Founder, Partner, The Vistria Group
Philip Alphonse is a co-founder, partner and member of the Investment Committee for The Vistria Group (“Vistria”) a private investment firm with $400 Million in assets under management and a focus on building market leading companies in the healthcare, education and financial services industries. Philip co-leads Vistria’s education practice, for which current investments and board positions include: Media Source Inc. (parent company for Junior Library Guild, School Library Journal, Library Journal and The Horn Book) and Penn Foster Inc. Philip also serves as Audit Committee chair for Infilaw Holding, LLC (parent company for Arizona Summit Law School, Charlotte School of Law and Florida Coastal School of Law) as well as a trustee and member of the Executive Committee for The Roxbury Latin School in Boston.
He was formerly a principal at Sterling Partners, a private equity firm with approximately $6 billion of capital under management. Philip spent approximately 10 years at the firm, where he primarily focused and invested in education companies. He has worked on the acquisition of and investments in Professional Career Development Institute, LLC; Infilaw Holding, LLC; Meritas, LLC; Educate, Inc. /Educate Online (Sylvan Learning); and Continental Case, LLC. He served previously on the board of directors for Educate, Inc. and Educate Online.
Philip held previous positions with Thomas Weisel Partners, McCown De Leeuw & Co., and Musa Capital, a prior affiliate of Kingdom Holdings. He began his career as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley. He graduated with honors from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s Degree (government concentration); and from Stanford University, where he received his M.B.A.
Mr. Alphonse is a Commissioner (mayoral appointee) with Chicago’s Community Development Commission. He serves as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, and is a member of The Chicago Club. He is married and enjoys spending time with his wife, Rene, and three daughters, Zoe, Quincy, and Grace.
Martha Boudos has held leadership roles in financial services for more than 20 years. During her 19 years at Morningstar, Martha served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer for six years, guiding Morningstar through its transition from a private to public company. During her tenure, she successfully built the global finance organization, led Morningstar’s open-auction initial public offering, and was instrumental in the company’s acquisitions.
As Director of Community Relations, Martha developed Morningstar’s first community outreach program focusing on employee volunteer opportunities in urban education. The program included a partnership with a Chicago charter high school that won the city’s Best New School Partnership Award in its first year.
Early in her career at Morningstar, Martha served as a marketing manager for its newly-developed software products. She played a key role in the creation of Morningstar.com, the company’s Web site for individual investors, and she was responsible for creating Morningstar’s retirement advice business. Prior to being named CFO, she served for one year as vice president of human resources.
Before joining Morningstar, Martha held roles as a software developer at Design Options, Inc. and as an asset management analyst for The Boston Company.
Martha serves on the boards of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools and College Possible Chicago. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She was named to the Crain’s “40 Under 40” list in 2004.
Chief Executive Officer, Wrightwood Financial
Bruce Cohen is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wrightwood Financial, a real estate investment company. Before forming Wrightwood Financial, Bruce was a Senior Partner in the real estate group of Ares Management, a leading global alternative asset management company. He also served as President and COO of Ares Commercial Real Estate, a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded REIT, where he oversaw more than $1 billion of investment activity. Bruce joined Ares in 2011 upon completing the sale of Wrightwood Capital’s operating platform to Ares. During his tenure, he retained oversight of the Wrightwood Capital portfolio, as well as its third party funds, and continues in this capacity in his role at Wrightwood Financial.
Wrightwood Capital was an institutionally capitalized real estate investment firm that provided short-term, floating- rate first mortgage loans and mezzanine and preferred equity financing to owner-operators around the country. Bruce founded Wrightwood Capital in 2004 and served as its Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, the firm grew its balance sheet to almost $2 billion with total assets under management of approximately $2.5 billion. From its inception in 2004 until 2011, Wrightwood Capital was responsible for more than $4 billion of investment activity.
Bruce earned a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He currently serves on the boards of Wrightwood Capital, Erdman, a preeminent design-build firm focused on healthcare, and Cortland Partners. He is also a member of the real estate advisory boards of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Director of Marketing, Chicago Fundamental Investment Partners, LLC
Chanel Coney is the director of marketing at Chicago Fundamental Investment Partners. Before assuming that role in January 2017, she worked as an associate at Grosvenor Capital Management for seven years. Prior to entering the finance realm in 2010, Coney worked at several theater companies, including Steppenwolf and Congo Square in Hyde Park, where she helped raise enough money for the theater company to ensemble shows again.
She is a graduate of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and Princeton University. Her father, Les Coney, is the executive vice president in Mesirow Fiancial’s Office of the Chairman and former bundler of the Obama presidential campaign.
Ryan J. Flury
Executive Director and Team Lead, J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Ryan Flury is the Executive Director and Team Lead of J.P. Morgan Private Bank. He is responsible for helping clients develop investment strategies and build diversified portfolios utilizing public equity, fixed income, alternative investments, derivatives, hard assets and currencies.
Ryan joined the J.P. Morgan team in 2008. Previously, Ryan spent six years at Silvercrest Asset Management, a boutique investment management firm with $8 billion in assets under management. While at Silvercrest, he was a co-portfolio manager for their US large capitalization value fund, and conducted due diligence for hedge fund and private equity investments.
Ryan earned his MBA at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business and his BA in Economics from the College of William and Mary.
Ryan resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, son, and two daughters.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Metro Edge Technologies
Craig Huffman is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Metro Edge Technologies. Previously, Craig was a Co-Founder and Principal of Ascendance Partners.
Prior to Metro Edge Technologies and Ascendance Partners, Craig served as the Chicago Executive Director and Regional Director of City Year, Inc., a non-profit, community service organization focused on improving under-served communities. Prior to City Year, Craig worked as a special assistant to the President of the Chicago Urban League and served as the Assistant Treasurer for two reelection campaigns of Illinois State Senator Barack Obama.
Craig’s leadership, philanthropic and civic work includes being a graduate of the 2000 class of Leadership Greater Chicago, selection committee for the Richard H. Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, the non-profit board of directors for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (‘NFTE’), Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, John Howard Association, and co-chair of Mayor Emanuel’s 2014 Affordable Housing Task Force.
Craig holds a B.A. from Morehouse College, as well as a master’s degree and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and is a licensed real estate broker in Illinois.
General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer, Numerator
Mohit Kalra is the General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at Numerator. Prior to Numerator, Mohit was Senior Counsel at Google in Chicago. He worked there for nearly 10 years and has previously been a legal advisor for YouTube, Google ads, Google Maps and several other Google products. Prior to Google, Mohit was an associate at Mayer Brown in Chicago where he worked on mergers, acquisitions and securities offerings.
Mohit graduated with Honors with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently is on the Corporate Advisory Council of Cradles to Crayons, a non-profit that is currently working on expanding to the Chicago area. He lives in Chicago and enjoys spending time with wife Manali and his 3 year old Rian.
Kristin Flink Kranias is a consultant. Previously, she was the SVP of Analytics Solutions at HAVI, the global leader in logistics, supply chain management and analytics for the food service industry and also one of the largest private companies in the U.S. Prior to HAVI, Kristin led the global professional services team at ShopperTrak, a market leader in retail analytics owned by Tyco/Johnson Controls. She joined ShopperTrak when they acquired a company she co-founded, SaleTally, a promotion analytics start-up in the retail space. Kristin began her career at Bain & Company in San Francisco where she spent nearly 10 years consulting to a range of industries including retail, CPG, industrials and biotech. She specialized in growth strategy, pricing, operations and organizational projects.
While at Bain, Kristin was active in the probono consulting practice and led projects in strategy, board best practices and customer/donor analytics for two organizations in the Bay Area targeting the homeless. In addition, she was a board observer at Girls for a Change during grad school.
Kristin received her A.B. in Economics cum laude at Harvard and her M.B.A. from Stanford. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband and their 4-year-old twins.
Levy Family Partners
Carol Levy is a woman with a clear vision and confident style. In a world overcrowded with mega stores, Carol has taken the necessary risks to thrive in the competitive retail space. Making a series of opportunistic moves in step with market trends, she has created thirty years of smashing success for Material Possessions. The secret behind the home decor store's stream of loyal shoppers can be attributed to Carol's steady leadership, affinity for function, as well as form, and her customer-centered approach.
Carol attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts until she transferred to and ultimately graduated from Northwestern University. After a successful career in commercial real estate, Carol decided to put her innate business instincts, sharpened by a wealth of life experiences, to a creative use. In 1983, she became Co-Owner of Material Possessions with Peggy Swartchild. With her clever combination of entrepreneurial spirit and imaginative thinking, Carol helped expand the store to a downtown Chicago location.
Carol's achievements are also abundant outside the walls of Material Possessions. In 2004, she and her husband, Larry, founded the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. They took the venture a step further in 2007 and established the Carol and Larry Social Entrepreneurial Lab. Her contributions to the community continue with her work on the Board of Directors for the Marwen Foundation, the University of Chicago Hospitals, and her role as a Lifetime Trustee for the Francis W. Parker School. She sites one of the evidence of her success as the invitation to speak to art students at the Marwen foundation and at the apparel mart speaking to budding new artists.
Chief of Staff, Apollo Global Management
Chris is the chief of staff to the co-founder of Apollo, an alternative investment manager. He previously served in a variety of leadership positions across the U.S. Army, Navy, and the White House, and has worked with Brad Keywell and Mayor Emanuel in Chicago. He helped found Democracy Prep Charter School in Harlem. Chris served in the U.S. Army for 7 years and graduated from NYU as the top student in his class.
Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
Ramkumar (Ram) Ramanan is an Assurance Partner in Ernst & Young LLP (EY), based in Chicago. Ram has 19 years of public accounting experience serving large and medium-size publicly held and privately owned companies and fast growth companies in software/technology, healthcare, business services, consumer products and industrial products. He also serves as the Strategic Growth Markets Leader responsible for the EY’s middle market business in Illinois.
Ram has extensive experience with initial and secondary public offerings, debt offerings, private equity portfolio company audits, acquisitions including purchase accounting and post-integration accounting policy alignment, and consulting with clients on new accounting pronouncements, SEC accounting matters and SEC comment letters. He has significant experience advising clients on complex revenue recognition matters including software accounting and multiple element arrangements, accounting for equity and debt securities, and implementation of internal controls and compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Ram is actively involved in EY’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. He is a co-sponsor of EY’s America's steering committee for the Pan-Asian Professional Network (PAPN) and the executive sponsor for PAPN in EY Chicago.
In addition to these many accomplishments, Ram is also active in the community and serves on the Chicago board of College Possible, a not-for-profit organization focused on making college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support.
Ram was born in India, where he earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree and the Chartered Accountant qualification. Prior to moving to Chicago, where he became an Illinois-licensed Certified Public Accountant, Ram worked at EY Singapore for six years.
Outside of work, Ram enjoys spending time with his wife and his ten- and six-year old sons. He enjoys playing golf, reading and traveling.
Chief Operating Officer, Jenner & Block
Carol Rubin is Jenner & Block’s chief operating officer, providing strategic direction, financial planning and analysis, and operations management for all firm offices. Her career has focused on leading and revitalizing government and nonprofit organizations. Past leadership roles include Associate Director of Schools of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the second largest public transit agency in the U.S., as well as CAO of the Chicago Park District, the largest municipal park system in the country. In addition, she served as head of Corporate Strategy for Exelon Corporation, a major electric utility, and as the director of the Child Care Facilities Development Program of the Illinois Facilities Fund, a national nonprofit agency.
Ms. Rubin holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and French Literature, Phi Beta Kappa, from Colgate University.
Auxiliary Board Members
Consultant, Bain & Company
Meredith is currently a consultant at Bain & Company, with experience in the healthcare and digital marketing practices. Prior to Bain, Meredith founded and ran an independent college counseling practice in New York City, working directly with high school students and their families to provide support during the college search and application process. She also ran the Candidate division at Scouted.io, a recruiting startup that helps companies hire recent college grads.
Meredith earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College, and her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In her free time, she enjoys playing basketball, snowboarding, and letting The Infatuation food blog lead her to as many delicious Chicago restaurants as possible.
Director of Special Projects, Relativity
Tom graduated in 2016 with his MBA from Kellogg’s School of Management. At McKinsey, Tom has worked across many topics and industries while following a passion for improving customer experience in service based clients.
Tom is originally from the suburbs of Detroit and grew up with a house full of 'Michigan Men' before attending the University of Michigan where he received a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Past non-profit involvement includes supporting Chicago-based GLASA, Habitat for Humanity Chicagoland, The Miracle League, and Dance Marathon. In his free time, Tom is an aspiring artist and sailor who enjoys Michigan sports teams, cooking, and traveling with friends.
Account Executive, Stripe
Jono Keedy is currently an Account Executive at Stripe, working with some of its fastest-growing users in the start-up and small business segment. Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Businesses of every size -- from new startups to public companies -- use Stripe to accept online payments and run their business. Prior to joining Stripe, Jono spent three and a half years at Synchrony, working a variety of roles in its Sales organization.
Jono is an MBA candidate at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, expected to graduate in 2022. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College, where he also studied abroad at Boston College, Ireland and University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Outside of his professional life, Jono enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.
Associate Director of Strategy and Integration, Ten35
I believe in the power of a brand's ability to uplift and inspire people beyond transaction. To capture true emotion and real feelings that make for defining moments where brands and consumers align over shared values and common beliefs. As a brand strategist, I revel in unlocking insights that help champion the human emotion our favorite brands unlock within us everyday.
Over the years, I’ve honed my strategic abilities in research, insights, media planning and creative ideation to become a multi-dimensional strategist. My experience extends across a wide variety of industries, helping brands like Courvoisier, Effen, Microsoft, Verizon Wireless, NBC Universal, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, MillerCoors, and Jordan Brand identify insights that connect their brands with consumers over shared values to drive real business results.
As Director of Strategy and Integration at TEN35 today, I've been given the opportunity to help build a young company with an old soul, where I strive to help brands champion their purpose, key consumers, KPI's, and the cultures and communities driving them forward.
Associate Attorney, Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP
Blerta Mileti is an Associate Attorney with the law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP. She concentrates her practice in commercial real estate. Blerta assists clients with drafting and negotiating deal documents, performing due diligence, and facilitating smooth closings. Prior to joining Hinshaw, Blerta worked as in-house counsel for a Fortune 50 company, and also for the U.S. real estate investment advisory division of a global asset management company.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and English from Michigan State University, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Blerta is originally from Albania. She and her family immigrated to the United States when she was eight years old.
Equity Research Associate, William Blair
Courtney is an equity research associate at William Blair & Company, LLC in the Healthcare Group. Her main areas of focus are the pharmaceutical outsourcing, healthcare distribution, and pharmacy benefit management areas. Previously, Courtney worked at GCM Grosvenor where she worked on the investment due diligence team covering the firm’s global equity hedge fund investments.
She graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana – Champaign with a B.S. in Finance. She joined the College Possible Auxiliary Board in the Fall of 2017.
Senior Associate, Weber Shandwick
Madeline is a senior associate at Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm, in its Corporate Affairs practice.
Here, Madeline takes her deep appreciation and understanding of storytelling and focuses on increasing audience awareness and building corporate reputation for her clients. This includes cultivating relationships with local and top tier media, identifying thought leadership and community engagement opportunities for C-suite executives and developing internal communication materials.
A Chicago native, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, strategic communications emphasis. Madeline is an avid college basketball fan and stays active with improv training at Second City and iO in Chicago.
Senior Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Jane Sytsma is a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Financial Services group. Her main area of focus is on large hedge funds, broker dealers, and private equity clients in downtown Chicago. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois with over six years of technical experience. Jane leads the Financial Services Onboarding and Development group within PricewaterhouseCoopers, ensuring that there is adequate training in place for new hires/transfers. She also teaches the national Broker Dealer trainings hosted by PwC in Chicago, with a focus on the securities and futures industries.
She graduated with honors from Ohio University with a B.A. in accounting and played Division 1 collegiate volleyball. She joined College Possible in the Fall of 2016.
President, Chicago Scoops LLC
Kyle serves as president of Chicago Scoops LLC, the largest domestic franchisee of the Cold Stone Creamery brand. Scoops owns and operates over 35 locations in 11 states throughout the United States and started as a single unit operator in May 2014. Kyle also serves as operating partner of Chicago Caesars LLC, a multi-unit franchisee of Little Caesars Pizza in the Greater Chicagoland area.
Prior, Kyle worked for Sizzling Platter LLC, a restaurant management company, as an internal efficiency consultant leading process improvement projects, market acquisitions and new store openings. Kyle is a certified lean six sigma green belt.
Mr. Welch holds a degree in hospitality business from Michigan State University and is a member of the Northern Illinois Franchise Association. Kyle is also the regional co-op president of Baltimore, Boston, Chicago and Milwaukee for the Cold Stone Creamery brand. Kyle is an avid basketball player and enjoys running One Scoop at a Time, an internal charity organization & mentorship program, of Chicago Scoops LLC.
Chief Investment Officer, Cooper Management LLC
As Chief Investment Officer, Elliot evaluates a variety of investment opportunities across private equity, real estate, and public equities. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of Chicagoland Equipment & Supply and Lagunita Franchise Operations. Prior to Cooper Management, Elliot spent three years in the Global Equities division of Citadel where he invested in the consumer sector. Prior to Citadel, he worked at Freeman Spogli & Company, a Los Angeles based private equity firm focused on the consumer and distribution sectors.
Elliot attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He joined the College Possible Auxilliary board in 2017.