Chicago Program | From Start up to Sale: The Board's Role

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
05:00 PM - 07:30 PM CST
Willis Towers Watson
233 S Wacker Drive, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60606



Please join the Private Directors Association in Chicago for an evening program featuring a panel discussion on "From Start up to Sale – The Board’s Role".





Rich Lyons
Founder, CEO & President
Lyons Consulting Group

Rich is Founder, CEO and President of Lyons Consulting Group, the industry's premier eCommerce digital agency, serving brands, retailers, and B2B organizations with tailored solutions that maximize their online potential. Rich is responsible for leading the company’s strategy and vision as well as working closely with customers, including Tourneau, Allen Edmonds, GoPro, Patagonia, and many more. He brings more than 10 years of experience in IT consulting, and over 17 years of experience in business development. Prior to founding LYONSCG, Rich served as Vice President of Sales for divine, Inc. in Chicago. He served in that same role as part of marchFIRST and Whittman-Hart. Rich graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BSEE from the University of Michigan and holds a M.B.A. from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Accolades: In 2016, LYONSCG has been named to Consulting’s list of Fastest Growing Firms for the second time, Crain’s Chicago Business Fast Fifty list and the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies. Rich Lyons was named a Top 25 Consultant by Consulting magazine in 2016. LYONSCG’s primary software platform partner, Demandware, recognized LYONSCG as their Delivery Partner of the Year in 2015 and Global Sales Partner of the Year in 2016. In 2016 LYONSCG was named a 101 Best & Brightest Company to Work for in Chicago for the third year in a row. Successful acquisition by Capgemini, which closed November 1, 2017.


Karen Wilson Smithbauer
Former Chairman & CEO
Central Distributors of Beer, Inc.

Karen Wilson Smithbauer the former Chairman and CEO of Central Distributors of Beer, Inc., which was sold in 2007. She was the first woman on the Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler Panel. She was a preschool teacher for ten years and helped to set up the Preschool Board for the Utica Community school system. She is an experienced president, board member, chairman for a host of professional and community organizations including Karen Colina Wilson family foundation, the Cleveland Clinic Brain Tumor Institute National Leadership Board, Monroe Bank & Trust, Southern Wayne Country Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Women Business Owners. She founded the Karen Colina Wilson Foundation which supports women and children issues. She has received many awards and honors including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Alumnae of Michigan State University, she holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.


Scott Stephen
Chief Growth Officer
Guaranteed Rate

Scott Stephen is Guaranteed Rate’s Chief Growth Officer, overseeing the expansion of the company’s ancillary entities such as Guaranteed Rate Insurance and Ravenswood Title Company as well as other growth initiatives across the company. Prior to that, he was the head of Guaranteed Rate’s online division, the hub of the company’s mission to revolutionize the mortgage industry for the digital age. Scott is also deeply involved with the company’s brand awareness and is instrumental in the partnership and naming rights deal with the Chicago White Sox. Prior to arriving at Guaranteed Rate, Scott served as the COO for two influential companies with origins in the Chicagoland area: Playboy Enterprises, home to one of America’s most iconic brands, and Yesmail, a pioneer in the digital marketing arena. Scott’s educational background has ties to Chicago as well; he holds a Bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame in nearby South Bend, Indiana, and an MBA in marketing and organizational behavior from Northwestern University in suburban Evanston. When Scott’s not rallying the troops to maximize Guaranteed Rate’s human potential, he and his family travel the world, where they enjoy whale watching, resting on exotic beaches and exploring new lands. Back home, Scott enjoys watching his beloved Chicago White Sox.



Don Delves
Director of Executive Compensation
Willis Towers Watson

Don Delves is a Director of Executive Compensation in the Rewards Line of Business. Based in Chicago, Don is a leading expert and highly sought-after consultant and speaker on corporate governance and executive pay and performance, with over twenty-five years’ experience consulting with major corporate boards and executive teams across the country. Don leads Willis Towers Watson’s Closely Held Business Practice. Dr. Delves is frequently interviewed and cited as an expert in major media including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, The Today Show, CNBC and National Public Radio. In 2001, he founded The Delves Group, a Chicago-based consultancy dedicated to working with corporate boards and compensation committees. Prior to founding The Delves Group, Dr. Delves was the Managing Director of the Chicago office of iQuantic, a Partner at Sibson and Company, and an executive compensation consultant with Towers Perrin. Delves holds a doctorate in education in principles-based corporate governance from Fielding Graduate University, an M.B.A. degree in finance from the University of Chicago and a B.A., summa cum laude, in economics from DePauw University. He is highly-trained in process- and principles based leadership with certifications from the Wright Graduate University, and is on the faculty of World at Work. Don serves on the boards of The Metropolitan Club of Chicago, the Private Directors Association, the Wright Graduate University, and The Advisory Council of The 100 Year Starship. He is a Certified Public Accountant, and a past president of the Chicago Compensation Association.