The inaugural Results by Degrees benefit is instrumental in College Possible’s ability to support nearly 900 Chicago high school and college students as they strive to get into, persist and graduate from college.

During the event, College Possible Chicago will honor Eric S. Smith, regional president of Fifth Third Bank and Steven Kaplan, Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, for their commitment to education and the betterment of Chicago.

The event will include heavy appetizers with cocktails, and feature a moderated fireside chat with our honorees, providing thought leadership for industry leader attendees.

Event Co-chairs

Marty Nesbit,  Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Vistria

Joe Mansueto, Founder, Morningstar

Beth Satterfield, Chair, Managing Director – Head of Market Development, William Blair


Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019

Time: 5:30 – 7:45 p.m.


Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Event Details:

Heavy appetizers with cocktails, followed by a moderated fireside chat with our two honorees, providing thought leadership for industry leader attendees. Tickets will be sold both individually and as part of sponsorships.

Sponsorship Opportunities:


If you have questions or concerns, please contact Concy Richards at or (312) 638-3511.

Honoree Biographies

Eric S. Smith is regional president of Fifth Third Bank (Chicago), which includes more than $9.7 billion in assets. In this role, he is responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of commercial, wealth & asset management and consumer business, delivering distinctive value to customers and community impact in the region.

Eric has more than 25 years of banking experience. He began his career with Merrill Lynch as a financial analyst in public finance, followed most recently by JPMorgan Chase. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Howard University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Eric has a long history of commitment to the Chicagoland nonprofit and civic community as reflected through his board service and volunteerism. He currently serves as the chairman of the board for the Chicago Urban League. He is a member of the board of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Goodman Theatre. Smith is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Club, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Executives’ Club of Chicago.



Steven Neil Kaplan conducts research on issues in private equity, venture capital, entrepreneurial finance, corporate governance and corporate finance. He has published papers in a number of academic and business journals. Kaplan is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Economics.

Professor Kaplan co-founded the entrepreneurship program at Booth. With his students he helped start Booth’s business plan competition, the New Venture Challenge (NVC).  NVC has spawned over 100 companies, including GrubHub and Braintree/Venmo, that have raised over $600 million and created over $9 billion in value.

Kaplan serves on the boards of Morningstar, Zayo Group and the Illinois Venture Capital Association. He has been a member of the faculty since 1988. He received his AB, summa cum laude, in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard College and earned a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University


College Possible Chicago Board Members

Philip Alphonse, Co-Founder, Partner, The Vistria Group
Martha Boudos, Retired CFO, Morningstar
Bruce Cohen, Senior Managing Partner, Cortland
Chanel Coney, Director of Marketing, Chicago Fundamental Investment Partners, LLC
Craig Huffman, Co-Founder and Principal, Ascendance Partners
Mohit Kalra, Senior Counsel, Google
Kristin Kranias, Chief Revenue Officer, Club Champion
Carol Levy, Director of Philanthropy for Levy Family Partners
Ramkumar Ramanan, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
Carol Rubin, Senior Advisor to the Provost, University of Chicago
Beth Satterfield, Chair, Managing Director – Head of Market Development, William Blair

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