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Chicago In-Person Event | Board Priorities for a Myriad of Strategic Issues Facing Mid-Sized Business
The University Club of Chicago
76 E. Monroe St.
Chicago, IL
Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM CDT
Category: Chicago


4:00 pm  Registration Opens
4:30 pm  Social + Networking
5:55 pm  PDA and Sponsor Greetings
6:00 pm  Panel Presentation including Q&A


$30   Founding Member Registration Fee
$40   Member Registration Fee
$50   Non-Member Registration Fee



Join us at The University Club of Chicago on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm, for a lively in-person Social + Networking and Panel-discussion event at the University Club of Chicago that will include light fare and beverages leading up to an exciting Panel discussion on the Board’s role in managing and prioritizing strategic issues facing Mid-Sized Businesses, sponsored by Tucker Ellis LLP and PNC Bank.

The landscape of issues facing growing Mid-Sized Businesses, ranging in size from $25 million to $500 million in sales and from 50 to 1000 employees, is as complex as it has ever been. Successful Mid-Sized Businesses know that a highly effective Board of Directors is essential to successful growth of the organization. These Mid-Sized Businesses rely heavily on the Boards that help the senior leaders prioritize and guide the business’ future direction. Effective Boards are sorting through a myriad of issues and being strategic about how they prioritize initiatives without losing sight of the blind spots.

Panel moderator Art Mertes, the head of PDA’s Private Equity and Family Office Committee of the Chicago Chapter, will be joined by a top “insider” panel. Our experienced panelists will engage in thought-provoking discussion and insights, coming from leaders having first-hand knowledge of how strategic thinking at the Board level is increasingly important to the competitiveness of the organization and its growth. Our panel discussion is geared towards board members, C-level executives, Owners and professionals that regularly advise these Mid-Sized Businesses. We will discuss, among other things, how these Boards are navigating the economy and inflation, digital competitiveness, executive retention and succession, DEI, ESG, M&A prepareness, innovation and other key priorities. We will also explore what these Boards are looking for in their board candidates. If you are involved at a mid-market, growth company, whether it’s on the business, Private Equity, Venture Capital, or Family Office perspective, this is a “no miss’ event for you and your senior leaders. And be prepared to arrive early for the cocktail mixer and stay after for the Q&A sessions.

Thank you to our National Sponsors!

Thank you to our Event Sponsor! 




Kelly Manthey
Kin and Carta Plc


Kelly Manthey was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Kin + Carta on 1 August 2022. Kelly began her career as a software developer at Accenture's emerging technologies lab, joining Solstice (the digital product engineering & innovation firm at the core of Kin + Carta’s Americas business) as employee number one in 2006, and rising to its CEO in 2018. Under Kelly’s leadership, Kin + Carta Americas has been recognized as Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators, Consulting Magazine’s Best Large Firms to Work For, and Fortune Magazine’s Best Places to Work.

Kelly herself has been recognized in The Consulting Report’s Top 25 Women Leaders in IT Services, Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50, and is an active advocate for inclusion, diversity, and raising the visibility of women in the technology sector.

Kelly also sits on the Board of Directors for Skills for Chicagoland's Future.



Cary D. McMillan
Chairman Emeritus – True Partners Consulting, LLC
Board Member – American Eagle Outfitters, Hyatt Hotels Corporation



Cary D. McMillan is Chairman Emeritus of the True Partners Consulting LLC board of directors and one of its founders. Before True Partners, he was Chief Executive Officer of Sara Lee Branded Apparel and Executive Vice President of Sara Lee Corporation. Prior to Sara Lee, Cary held a number of positions at Arthur Andersen, including Managing Partner of its largest office in Chicago.

He currently sits on the board of directors for American Eagle Outfitters as the chair of the compensation committee and a member of the audit committee. He is a member of the board of directors for Hyatt Hotels and sits on the finance and audit committees. He previously served as a member of McDonald’s, Hewitt Associates and Sara Lee’s board of directors. He is also a board member of several nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area, including Chairman of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, WTTW and Millennium Park.

Cary is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois.   


Janet Viane
Board Director



Janet Viane is a Board Director and C-Suite transformational executive with leadership experience in strategic planning, marketing, sales, operations and human resources. Currently, Janet is Chief Strategy Officer at Red Caffeine which is a growth consultancy navigating organizations through their chosen growth lanes. Ms. Viane is also currently an Independent Board Director of Scot Forge, one of the most successful ESOPs in the country and leaders in open die and rolled ring forging. She is also a Board Director at Revieve, a global provider of AI/AR technology platforms that support health, wellness and beauty industries.

Prior, Janet was Chief Operating and Sales Officer of Symbria, an ESOP in healthcare providing clinical and business services including wellness/fitness, rehabilitation, pharmacy and data analytics to post-acute care providers. She also served as CEO and Founder of Evoke Productions, a digital and creative agency, and subsidiary business of Sears Holdings.

Janet has served on the Boards at various nonprofits including GiGi’s Playhouse and the American Heart Association. She has also been an adjunct faculty member of Northern Illinois University in addition to frequent speaking engagements across industry associations, university settings and radio talk shows.

She holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science from Northern Illinois University and a minor in International Economics from the University of Copenhagen.



Art Mertes

The head of PDA’s Private Equity & Family Office Committee of the Chicago Chapter
Tucker Ellis LLP


At Tucker Ellis Art engages in Corporate / commercial law, advises commercial ventures, middle market, tech companies, company buyers/sellers by delivering high caliber, value added, legal counsel. Prior to Tucker Ellis, founded Synergy Law Group abs managed the firm for 18+ Years. Before that, worked at two large Chicago law firms and at an intellectual property boutique. Extensive M&A, IP/Licensing, Securities, Venture Banking, sales experiences (Ingersoll-Rand), and real estate development. university of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign JD Law, MBA, BS Mechanical Engineering. Art serves on charitable and fraternal boards associated with education