At CEO (Boardroom Media) we track over 1,000,000 startups and over 5,000,000 people who hold key positions in these companies. We use this directory of startups to highlight top employees, founders and board members we think deserve more appreciation than they are currently getting.
This list showcases the top Chicago based CEO’ operating in the Human Resources space. If you think a CEO’ is missing from this list, feel free to contact our editor on [email protected].
The individuals on this list have been included because of exceptional performance in one of the following categories:
- Innovation – Operating as a key part in an extremely innovative business or startup.
- Growth – Operating as a key figure in the growth and upscale of a market leading business or startup.
- Management – Showing exceptional management skills.
- Societal impact – Putting their business on the map for their positive societal or environmental impact.
Our Data – We source our data from OSINT (open source intelligence) and public directories such as Crunchbase, SemRush and many more. The data from these sources should be treated with a degree of caution and verified yourself.
CEO & Co-founder of The Mom Project
After having her son Asher in 2015, Allison identified how universally challenging it can be for American mothers to juggle the demands of motherhood with a full-time career and decided to tackle the issue on a national scale. Prior to founding The Mom Project, Allison spent 8 years at Procter and Gamble working on go to market strategies for leading household brands with a special focus on moms during her tenure on the Pampers brand. As CEO, Allison is responsible for delivering on the company’s mission of building a better workplace for women while supporting our customers through innovative talent solutions that help them attract and retain the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives they need to propel their businesses forward.
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About The Mom Project: The Mom Project is a digital talent marketplace helping women remain active in the workforce.
Founder and CEO of Parker Dewey
Jeffrey is the Founder and CEO of Parker Dewey.
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About Parker Dewey, Parker Dewey: Helps companies work with college students / recent grads on short-term projects both to address immediate needs and improve hiring.
Chief Executive Officer of PerkSpot
Jace grew up on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma. He left the herds and horses at home, but brought his work ethic and resourcefulness with him to Chicago. Jace has had stints in Fortune 500 at State Farm Insurance and Orbitz, as well as online businesses at Cars.com and iExplore. For the past five years, Jace is proud to have helped reshape the face of college admissions at Cappex.com, where millions of college-bound students use the service to change the way they find and pay for the perfect college. Jace currently serves as CEO of PerkSpot, a platform that provides corporate benefit and discount programs to over five million employees at America’s best companies. Jace lives with his family in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood.
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About PerkSpot: PerkSpot is a national service that provides discounts and buying programs for organizations.
CEO of Jellyvision
Amanda Lannert is the Chief Executive Officer of The Jellyvision Lab, 8Inc. and has been a key figure in driving the company’s direction since its founding in 2001. Her focus at The Jellyvision Lab is on furthering the company’s digital strategy, improving processes to better scale operations, and customer acquisition to continue fueling the company’s growth. Under Amanda’s leadership, Jellyvision has doubled its revenue three out of the last four years and has grown to serve hundreds of mostly Fortune 1000 clients with interactive communication solutions for desktop, mobile, and emerging platforms via the company’s digital agency work and ALEX, the Jellyvision Benefits Counselor (www.meetalex.com). Prior to joining The Jellyvision Lab, Amanda managed global brands for Kellogg’s while at Leo Burnett, where she developed strategies and implemented campaigns for Pop-Tarts and Nutri-Grain bars, in addition to spending two years in a new business and new brand development think tank. Amanda was recently named CEO of the Year at the Moxie Awards and has been profiled in the Chicago Tribune. She is also active in Chicago’s startup community, serving on the advisory boards of 1871 and The Starter League, where she also teaches, as well as mentoring at TechStars, where she was named 2013 Mentor of the Year, and Healthbox Industries. Mrs. Lannert also enjoys a good cupcake.
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About Jellyvision: We make learning and decision making delightful. ALEX, our benefits expert, helps millions of employees understand their benefit options.
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of UrbanBound
Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded five high growth businesses over his career. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of UrbanBound, a cloud-based Relocation Management Software company. UrbanBound is reshaping the way employers offer and administer relocation benefits for their employees. Through the platform, employees can learn about their new city, organize their entire move, and get connected to a vetted network of service providers. Michael has spent the past 15 years focusing on the cross section of technology and Human Resources and is also a co-founder and board director of Hireology, a platform that uses data to make better hiring decisions. Michael holds a Bachelors of Business Administration with High Honors from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and is a past-president of the Chicago chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organization. In his spare time, Michael enjoys listening to music, playing piano, cooking, watching Michigan football and spending quality time with his family and friends. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.
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About Hireology, UrbanBound: UrbanBound is a smart software solution designed for employee management and relocation benefits.
CEO of DHR International
Geoff Hoffmann joined DHR International in 1999 and was promoted to the role of chief executive officer in October of 2012. In his current, role Mr. Hoffmann is responsible for directing all functions and operations of the business. Previously Mr. Hoffmann was the chief operating officer. In this capacity he oversaw all corporate marketing, public relations, internal recruiting, research, and strategic planning responsibilities on a global basis. Before that, as executive vice president of strategy, Mr. Hoffmann oversaw all of the firm’s international offices and was accountable for the development and growth of new locations. During his tenure the firm began its global expansion and subsequently established offices in 13 countries with additional openings to follow.
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About DHR International: DHR International provides executive search services, succession planning, and middle management/emerging leaders search solutions.
President & CEO of Renaissance Acquisition Holdings
Pierre Fréchette has 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry in North America and Europe. He founded Renaissance in 2010 in partnership with RoundTable Healthcare Partners after leaving his role of President & CEO at Sandoz Canada Inc., a position he held since 2004 when Sandoz, a division of Novartis, acquired Sabex Holdings Inc. from RoundTable. Mr. Fréchette was President & CEO of Sabex at the time of the acquisition by Sandoz. Under Mr. Fréchette’s leadership, Renaissance built a strong portfolio of companies including Confab Laboratories and DPT Laboratories in the contract development and manufacturing segments plus Renaissance Pharma and Prestium Pharma for the commercialization of niche generic pharmaceuticals and mature brands. Mr. Fréchette received his Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and his diploma in Business Administration from the University of Sherbrooke.
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About Renaissance Acquisition Holdings: specialty and generics business.
CEO & Co-founder of StoryBolt
Nassim Abdi, Co-Founder and CEO of StoryBolt Nassim Abdi is an entrepreneur and educator, dedicated to using the medium of documentary film to raise awareness of critical global issues. As the co-founder of StoryBolt, she set out to provide corporate and academic institutions with access to short documentary films from across the world: the platform offers on-demand streaming of over 3,300+ short films from 112 countries, tackling subjects including mental health, gender equality, food security, and wartime trauma. Most importantly, StoryBolt connects audiences with the filmmakers themselves, initiating vital conversations through live Q&A sessions. The key insights which shaped StoryBolt’s business model were drawn from Nassim’s personal experience. Born and raised in Iran, she studied journalism at the University of Tehran and starred in an internationally acclaimed film, Secret Ballot (Sony Pictures, 2001), which won the Special Director’s Award and the UNICEF Award at the Venice Film Festival and broadly distributed on Netflix, Prime Videos, and many other video platforms. Shortly after the film’s release, Nassim moved to the US as a graduate student, where she was invited to several Q&A sessions related to the film; at the same time, she was studying educational leadership and went on to do a Ph.D. in International Education Policy at the University of Maryland (UMD). She subsequently pursued a career in higher education, teaching courses on women’s studies, alternative education and transnational feminism, at universities including UMD, Purdue University-Fort Wayne and Worcester State University. Nassim has always been driven by a core belief that education is the most powerful force to change the world. Nonetheless, she realized that she needed to innovate a new method of teaching to help audiences engage with stories outside their experience. As a young teacher, Nassim faced the difficulties of conveying the impact of war to American students. When the class failed to connect with her own experience during the Iran-Iraq war, she tried another tactic: screening a short documentary film and inviting the filmmaker for a Q&A session. The reaction from the students was radically different; from that moment on, Nassim resolved to use film as a tool to foster cultural awareness and empathy. Together with her co-founders, she gathered a team of dedicated individuals and launched StoryBolt in 2017. As the company enters its next phase of development, Nassim has become a major spokesperson for the use of social documentaries in education: she is an accomplished public speaker, and has presented at conferences and screenings throughout the US. She has been interviewed on public radio (WBEZ), and is a regular speaker at events run by the Comparative and International Education Society. Based in Chicago, she is a key figure in the city’s film and entrepreneurship scene, and she is committed to helping young people to flourish; she serves as a mentor for the city’s Big Brothers Big Sisters initiative, and is a keen supporter of Launch X, Northwestern University’s young entrepreneurs’ program. StoryBolt started as a resource for academic institutions, but has since expanded to become a powerful tool for corporations to educate and engage their employees. As the CEO of a thriving tech company, Nassim has seen her career take many forms: journalism, acting, teaching, and entrepreneurship. Her vocation, however, remains resolutely the same: to give a voice to underrepresented communities, and to promote radical global change through the power of visual storytelling.
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About StoryBolt: The marketplace of storytellers for employee engagement solutions
CEO / Founder of Fortify
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About Fortify: Team & Talent development consultancy company
Founder, CEO of LaSalle Network
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About LaSalle Network: LaSalle Network, a leading provider of professional staffing and recruiting services, specializing in technology, administrative, and more.
Chief Executive Officer of Envoy Global
Dick Burke is the president and chief executive officer of VISANOW Inc. He is responsible for the development of the overall company strategy, marketing, sales, finance, business development and technology, while managing day-to-day operations. He has vast growth business and management experience as well as legal services insight. Prior to VISANOW, Burke served as president of Apartments.com, where he managed its business operations, including sales, marketing, product development, production, customer service and technology. During his tenure, the business attained record numbers in customers, traffic and revenues. Previously, Burke served as senior vice president of administration and corporate development for Classified Ventures LLC. In this capacity, he oversaw Homegain.com, the company’s online real estate business. In addition, he led the company’s corporate services division, comprised of corporate technology, legal, human resources, communications, facilities and corporate development. He played an integral role in successful acquisitions, including Apartment Home Living. Burke signed the papers that formed Classified Ventures LLC in 1997 and represented the company the same year in its acquisition of Visual Properties LLC, the predecessor of Apartments.com. Burke joined the organization in October 1998 as chief legal officer. Earlier in his career, he practiced law at Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella P.C. and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Burke received a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross and a juris doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
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About Envoy Global: Computer Software, SaaS
CEO & Founder of Code SixFour
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About Code SixFour, Zywave: The Code SixFour Benefits Consulting Cloud empowers insurance agents and benefits brokers to deliver better benefits outcomes to employers.
Founder and CEO of Topgrading
Brad completed his doctorate in Industrial Psychology at Purdue University, entered consulting, and since the 1970s has been in private practice as President and CEO of his own company, now called Topgrading, Inc., based in the Chicago area. Brad is frequently acknowledged to be the world’s foremost expert on hiring. The company consults with many leading companies and hundreds of small and growth companies. Brad has conducted in-depth interviews with over 6,500 executives. He is author of seven books and videos, including Topgrading 3rd Edition: The Proven Hiring And Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance; The Smart Interviewer: Tools and Techniques for Hiring the Best; and the training series Topgrading Toolkit, featuring the 12 Topgrading hiring steps and demos of all the interviews. In addition, he has co-authored the following books: Topgrading for Sales: World-Class Methods to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top Sales Representatives, with Greg Alexander; and Smart Parenting: How to Raise Happy, Can-Do Kids, with Dr. Kate Mursau.
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About Topgrading: Topgrading is the hiring and promotion methodology that assists both for-profit and not-for-profit companies to top-grade.
Founder & CEO of Talent Orchard
Tiffany Nguyen, Founder and CEO of Talent Orchard, is a proven leader in the field of talent acquisition. Bringing 19 years of experience in staffing and professional services, Tiffany has an in-depth understanding and knowledge of talent management and acquisition. The recruiting methodology used at Talent Orchard was developed using Tiffany’s wide range of experience, including an IT staffing agency supporting the Fortune 500, a pre-IPO systems integrator, a Big Five professional service and hi-technology consulting. She has vertical talent acquisition experience in the oil and gas, financial services, high-tech, federal and manufacturing sectors. Tiffany specializes in providing innovative and non-traditional recruiting solutions that give companies a competitive edge. Tiffany credits her Texas upbringing with providing her a strong work ethic. The guidance and influence of her first generation immigrant mother provided her the courage to be an entrepreneur and fortitude to successfully start her own company. Tiffany considers referrals from satisfied and repeat customers to be the ultimate measure of her success. She also takes great pride in her team, many of whom have been with Talent Orchard from the beginning. Tiffany has a BBA from The University of Texas and loves everything about the Longhorns. Tiffany enjoys spoiling her 10 nieces and nephews and skiing in Whistler, BC. She regularly donates her time to provide career consulting to people in need.
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About Talent Orchard: Talent Orchard is a full-service talent acquisition and human capital services company that provides customized long-term solutions.
CEO of Hireology
Adam Robinson is a noted recruiting industry entrepreneur, speaker, and author. He launched his current business, Hireology, (www.Hireology.com) with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions using data. Previously, Adam was the founder and CEO of Illuma, a provider of high-volume recruitment outsourcing programs, and the creator of the Ionix Hiring System, a full suite of interview and assessment tools. From 2000-2004 Adam was Senior Director, Professional Services at Chicago-based Click Commerce, managing a $30M implementation portfolio for this NASDAQ-traded enterprise software provider. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, investing time with a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. He has served in multiple leadership roles for Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), where he helped to develop and launch a national program that teaches core business skills to early-stage entrepreneurs. Adam is also on the Board of Advisors for DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, where he serves as both a resource and speaker for this top-ranked Entrepreneurship program. Adam has a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Specialties: Candidate assessment and selection, entrepreneurship, startups, SaaS, human capital management
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About Hireology: Hireology is a staffing and hiring platform for the franchise and retail-automotive industries.
Co-Founder & CEO of Aleria
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About Aleria: Aleria develops an inclusion assessment platform designed to surface the day-to-day experiences of employees a
President & CEO of Digi-Me
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About Digi-Me: Digi-Me operates in the staffing and recruiting, also termed talent acquisition, segment of the human resources technology market.
Founder, CEO of Veebit
Founder, CEO at Veebit
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About Veebit: Veebit builds winning teams through the power of psychometrics.
Founder & CEO of Skill Scout
Community organizer, visual story teller and audio engineer by trade, Elena is passionate about Skill Scout because she believes job seekers need another way to tell their story and show what they can do. Elena loves helping companies showcase their jobs in a dynamic and exciting way. She is a Chicago native and committed to highlighting local job seekers, who might otherwise be passed over.
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About Skill Scout: They make your hiring better by making job skills tangible.
CEO of Peanut Butter
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About Peanut Butter: Student loan assistance as an employee benefit
Founder & CEO of Errand Solutions
Marsha McVicker is the founder and CEO of Errand Solutions. She received her bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and it was during her MBA program that Errand Solutions was created. What started as a white paper for a scholarship requirement turned into a business idea, which went on to win a business plan competition and a spot in the Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship (WAVE) program. Through WAVE, Marsha collected feedback from local Wisconsin business owners, raised money from individual investors (the first equity holder being the University of Wisconsin itself) and landed her first client, Kraft. To accelerate growth, Marsha completed the Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT, informally known as the “Birthing of Giants”. Marsha has been a guest lecturer on entrepreneurship, work/life balance, rewards and recognition and numerous other subjects at a variety of national and international conferences and academic settings, including Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Women’s Business Development Center, and Crain’s Business Forum and Springboard, the platform for the top female owned businesses in America. She has been featured on MSNBC and MSN Business on Main, and was interviewed by Robert Reich for National Public Radio’s “Future of Success” series. Additionally, Marsha was inducted to the UIC Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, recognized as one of the fastest growing companies by Fortune 500/5000 and is a chair of FEJ – a Haitian Foundation run by Haitians to create sustainable communities.
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About Errand Solutions: Errand Solutions makes employees happy and companies popular.
Founder & CEO of Boone Management Group
Melonie Boone has a passion for business and education. She currently holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources Management from Loyola University of Chicago, a Master of Business Administration in Management from Florida Metropolitan University as well as a Master of Jurisprudence in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Loyola University Law School. Her comprehensive experience in optimizing strategic planning initiatives to achieve organizational goals allows her to work as a trusted adviser to entrepreneurs, business owners and senior management teams. As founder of Boone Management Group Inc and Accelerenium she leads a team of experienced consultants that provide innovative strategic solutions allowing clients to thrive and gain momentum in today’s economy. Her combined business management, human resources, and client services experience bring clients personalized solutions that add value and get results. In addition to her role with Boone Management Group Inc Melonie also serves as Instructor for undergraduate and graduates studies at INSEEC University teaching various courses in Entrepreneurship and Business to international students. She also holds a part-time faculty position at Kendal College where she teaches local and international students in courses on Small Business Management, Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Leadership.
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About Boone Management Group: Boone Management Group is the in-sourced approach, specializing in business strategy, human capital management, and more.
President & CEO of StaffEx Corporation
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About Jobmatic, StaffEx Corporation: Employment, placement, staffing, recruiting & consulting
CEO of Fishman Public Relations
Brad Fishman has devoted the majority of his career to not only building Fishman Public Relations into one of the largest and most respect PR agencies of its kind, but also promoting franchising as a business model and helping educate franchise systems about effective lead generation strategies. Always seeking to stay on top of the latest trends, people, news and legislation impacting the franchise industry, Brad can found as a participant or known presence at nearly every franchising event domestically or overseas. As one of the most well-connected individuals in the franchise industry, Brad has spent more than 20 years helping franchise systems develop franchisee lead generation and consumer awareness campaigns that help them achieve their desired growth. As a successful entrepreneur who knows how to operate a business, Brad has earned the trust and credibility of other entrepreneurs in the industry. His professional involvement in franchising includes sitting on the boards of numerous companies and organizations, as well as serving as past chairman of the IFA’s Franchise Supplier Forum, a past member of the IFA’s board and executive board and the IFA’s Membership and International committees. Brad enjoys skiing, golfing, traveling the world with friends and family and hosting some of the best parties in franchising.
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About Fishman Public Relations: Fishman Public Relations provides publicity and social media support for the franchise industry.
CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas
John Challenger is CEO at Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
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About Challenger, Gray & Christmas: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an executive outplacement firm providing customized, individualized training, coaching, and personal support.