Chicago | SRAM - Staying Privately Owned and Independently Governed

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
05:00 PM - 07:30 PM CST
Willis Tower Watson
233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60606



Learn how one of Chicago’s coolest and most successful companies decided to stay private, be governed by an excellent independent board and make the transition from founder to professional management.





Brian Benzer
VP of Corporate Development

I joined SRAM in the summer of 1995 as a Legal Assistant, and have since worked in a wide variety of roles, including my current position as VP of Corporate Development. Today, I advise the line managers on strategic, legal, and tactical matters, and have full oversight of corporate administration, and risk management. In addition, I assist the CEO with identifying, negotiating, and integrating acquisitions, including Avid, Truvativ, RockShox, Zipp and Quarq. I am also proud to be an inaugural member of the Board of Directors of World Bicycle Relief. In 1988 I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature and in 2001 from the University of Chicago with an MBA, concentrating in Economics and Strategy. During my tenure I have had the opportunity be deeply involved on a diverse and unique group of projects, including: the 2nd anti-trust litigation between SRAM and Shimano; the private equity investment (and divestiture) of Trilantic Capital Partners (nicknamed “SP2” internally); not to mention the above referenced acquisitions.


Eileen Mulry
VP of Human Resources

Eileen joined SRAM in November, 2017 as Vice President of Human Resources. Eileen’s 20 career spans several industries – from heavy machinery to Consumer Products to now being part of coolest bicycle component company in the world. She is a native NYer who moved to Chicago last November.

From 2013 to 2017, Eileen was based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland working for Terex Cranes as Vice President of Human Resources. Before Terex, she was People Director for the NY office of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Earlier in her career Eileen spent 20 years in a variety of Human Resources positions within the Altria family of companies. She worked for several of the business units, including stints at global headquarters, Kraft Foods North America, Philip Morris USA and Kraft Foods Latin America. Her functional experiences included assignments in training & development, compensation & benefits, HR manager for a field sales organization and Global Director for Altria’s executive compensation programs.


Michael A. Smith
Zebra Technologies

Mike serves as Chairman of the Board of Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) which specializes in Enterprise Asset Intelligence. Zebra builds tracking technology and solutions that generate actionable information and insight, providing unprecedented visibility into businesses by giving physical assets a digital voice. He is also a Director of SRAM International (world leader in high end bicycle components), is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow, and is a past Director of NACD-Chicago Chapter.

With 33 cumulative years of public board service, he has served on audit, compensation, nom/gov, CEO search and various other special committees. He has extensive experience with Board reconstitution and Board recruiting as well as shareholder activist risk assessment and dialogue.

Mike also has over 25 years of investment banking experience. He has participated as a panel judge for many years in the entrepreneurship programs at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (his MBA alma mater) and at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Mike currently is also active in private investing.



Don Delves
Executive Compensation Lead
Willis Towers Watson

Don Delves is Executive Compensation practice leader for North America for Willis Towers Watson. In this role, he drives growth across the region’s Executive Compensation line of business by, in part, steering the development of intellectual capital and sponsoring marketing, sales and research initiatives. Delves joined the company’s Executive Compensation practice in 1986. He then founded The Delves Group, a Chicago-based consultancy dedicated to working with corporate boards and compensation committees to improve effectiveness and organization. Delves returned to Willis Towers Watson in 2013. He holds a doctorate in education and principles-based corporate governance from Fielding Graduate University, an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago and a B.A., summa cum laude, in economics from DePauw University.