Executive Spotlights

Debra A. Cafaro is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ventas, Inc., an S&P 500 company with over $35 billion in enterprise value that owns more than 1,600 healthcare and senior living properties in North America and the United Kingdom. Ventas announced it would move its corporate headquarters to Chicago in 2008, and Cafaro joined World Business Chicago’s board of directors in 2011.

Byron O. Spruell, Vice Chairman, Central Region and Chicago Managing Principal,

Byron Spruell was appointed to WBC’s board of directors in March 2014. In his role as Vice Chairman, Central Region and Chicago Managing Principal of Deloitte LLP, he drives Deloitte’s national strategy for client and business growth and strategic positioning in local markets across 22 states consisting of 31 offices and more than 14,000 Deloitte professionals. In this executive spotlight, Spruell discusses working and living in Chicago.

Patricia Hemingway Hall

Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is the largest customer-owned health insurer in the United States, operating through its Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. HCSC employs 20,000 people across five states (more than 6,000 in the Chicago area) and is continuously noted as one of the most respected companies in the country for compliance, diversity and community outreach. At the helm is President and Chief Executive Officer Patricia Hemingway Hall. Hall serves on WBC’s board of directors and answered the following questions about her experience running a major corporation from Chicago.

Rick Bayless

Award winning chef, resteranteur, cookbook author and television personality, Rick Bayless recently discussed why Chicago is the best place for his business, and gives tips for others who may be looking to locate or expand their business in Chicago.

Larry Kaplan, NAVTEQ CEO

NAVTEQ Corporation is the leading global provider of maps, traffic and location data around the world. Founded in Silicon Valley, NAVTEQ relocated its headquarters to the Chicago area in the 1990s, taking advantage of the city's central location. In this video, CEO, Larry Kaplan talks about how this multi-national company benefits from being headquartered in Chicago.

Mellody Hobson

How long have you been in Chicago? 
I have lived in Chicago almost all of my life—37 years with the exception of college. After graduating from Princeton University, I returned to Chicago to work at Ariel Capital Management, LLC. During my career, I have been fortunate to travel extensively, yet even after visiting many wonderful cities, I can say Chicago is still my favorite. People often refer to Chicago as “the second city,” but in my view it is second to none. 

Patrick G. Ryan, Jr.

What is the best thing about running a business in Chicago? What needs improvement?
The best thing about running a business in Chicago is the “can do” attitude of our people. While it can be challenging to be a tech company outside of a tech center, I am hopeful that with all of the burgeoning activity Chicago will be able to emerge as more of a tech center in the coming years.

Joanne C. Smith, M.D.

"I have always found Chicago to be warm, with Midwestern values, clean and very welcoming. My favorite part about Chicago is its lakefront—and the wonderful and unique juxtaposition of a dynamic urban environment and a beautiful lakefront."