Jim O'Connor, Jr. Interim CEO
Jim O'Connor, Jr.
Interim CEOSend Email | LinkedIn
Mr. O’Connor is a senior investment professional with over a decade of private equity and venture capital experience. Prior to becoming a Managing Director of the Fund in 2008, Mr. O’Connor held senior management positions within Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT). Jim was Managing Director and Co-Founder of Motorola Ventures the venture capital investment arm for Motorola, where he led numerous global transactions. In his most recent role, Jim led Motorola’s Technology Acceleration Program where he worked closely with a global team of technologists, to prioritize technology programs, create value from intellectual property, and guide creative research from innovation through early-stage commercialization. In 2006, Jim was named to the American Ventures Magazine (AVM) “40 UNDER 40” list. Before Motorola, he worked for A.T. Kearney as a management consultant and the U.S. Treasury Department in the areas of Domestic and International Finance as a White House Fellow. Additionally, he held roles at Ariel Capital Management and Sidley & Austin. He is Co-Chair of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) and a Board member of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Urban League, the Big Shoulders Fund for the Archdiocese of Chicago’s inner-city school fund and serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Field Museum of National History.
He holds a BA (Government) and JD from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Northwestern University J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
- See more at: http://www.chicagolandec.org/about/board/#sthash.Zlsa8P2A.dpuf
Kristin Barrett Vice President
Vice President| LinkedIn
As a vice president at the CEC, Kristin helps to manage programming and operations at 1871.
Prior to the CEC, Kristin ran operations for Excelerate Labs, a top-ranked technology startup accelerator, helping build educational programming and mentorship as well as ensuring the program ran smoothly. Kristin also worked with startups and early-stage investments through Hyde Park Angels.
Kristin started in entrepreneurship while working on new ventures and corporate strategy for Redbox. She identified potential new businesses, built business plans and supported fledgling businesses through their pilots. She has also worked in management consulting with A.T. Kearney, touching a variety of industries including pharmacy, logistics, and agricultural goods.
Kristin earned an MBA with Honors at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and her undergraduate degree in journalism and economics from Northwestern University. In her free time, Kristin is working on her fluency in Spanish and can often be found with her nose in a book.
Kristi Dula Events Coordinator
Events CoordinatorSend Email | LinkedIn
Kristi Dula is the Event Coordinator for the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC). In this role, she is the main contact for events and responsible for coordinating and executing all events held at 1871.
Kristi started with the CEC in May of 2012 as an Operations Coordinator, where she managed day-to-day functions of the facility.
Prior to the CEC, Kristi was a Senior Sales Manager for Officebroker.com in Dallas, TX as well as a Client Account Director for Carr Workplaces in Irvine, CA.
Kristi graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University.
Mike Huffstetler VP of Development
VP of DevelopmentSend Email | LinkedIn
As the VP of Development, Mike manages partnerships and fundraising for both the CEC and 1871, including The Momentum Awards Dinner - the CEC's annual fundraiser.
After several years in Washington D.C. working in politics and political consulting, Mike made the move to Boston for an opportunity to get involved with an early-stage digital tech startup called FreeCause that focused on custom loyalty solutions. The company quickly expanded from a converted apartment loft space in Boston's leather district to a team of 60 in downtown Boston. Leading the Business Development efforts for three years, the company was eventually acquired by international e-commerce powerhouse Rakuten.
While in Boston, Mike co-founded the Boston Winter Ball Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young Bostonians to support their local community. In just a few years, the Boston Winter Ball Foundation raised over a half a million dollars for Boston-area causes. The BWB Foundation also hosts one of the most successful and anticipated charity banquets on the Boston calendar, drawing in guests from all over the country for The Boston Winter Ball.
In 2012, after a move to Chicago, Mike began work for the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. Combining his experience with non-profits and a digital technology startup, he now devotes his efforts to fundraising and partnerships for the CEC and 1871.
Mike is a graduate of Boston College.
Melissa Lederer Chief Marketing Officer
Chief Marketing OfficerSend Email | LinkedIn
Melissa Lederer is a marketing consultant and currently serves as the CEC’s Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Melissa is responsible for defining and supporting the organization’s strategic marketing and brand initiatives to build awareness and value in the Chicago start-up community. She is also responsible for the PR and communications for both the CEC and its flagship project, the technology center for digital startups, 1871.
A seasoned marketing and communications professional with nearly 20 years of broad experience in both agency and corporate settings, Melissa has served a variety of digital and traditional businesses of all sizes, and has a passion for working with high-growth startups to help them build their brand foundation.
Prior to starting her Marketing consultancy in 2008, Melissa was the SVP of Marketing for Q Interactive (formerly CoolSavings) where she oversaw all marketing, communications and creative functions and served on the company’s Senior Leadership Team. Before Q Interactive, Melissa served as a Vice President at S&S Public Relations.
Melissa is involved in a number of charitable organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation. She is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Josie Pike Membership Coordinator
Membership CoordinatorSend Email
Josie Pike is the Membership Coordinator for the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. In this role she supports and facilitates the needs of new and current members at 1871. In addition, she helps assist with the daily operations and functionality of 1871.
Prior to working at 1871, Josie served as the Development, Marketing and Finance Assistant at Purdue Convocations in West Lafayette, IN.
Josie graduated from Purdue University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication.
Abbie Torgeson Office Manager
Office ManagerSend Email
Abbie Torgeson is the Office Manager for 1871. She handles the front-of-house and focuses on guest experience as well as day-to-day maintenance of the shared co-working space. Prior to joining 1871, Abbie held positions of executive support in investment banking and front office/ ticketing operations at a live concert venue. Abbie is a Chicago native and is passionate about supporting effective groups of people.