Inspiring Leadership at Chicago’s Top Tech Companies
Known as the Windy City, Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States. Home to more than two million people, Chicago is a growing hub of technology and business. There are several noteworthy technology companies headquartered in Chicago, and their collective impact has created a national identity in the U.S. as a network for innovation.
Continue reading to learn about technology leadership teams featured as some of Chicago's best.
Started in 2012, 1871 was designed to benefit Chicago's technology and entrepreneurial community. Now 1871's 140,000 square foot facility houses roughly 500 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. From traditional coworking space to private offices and meeting rooms, the physical space that 1871 offers is just one component of the membership amenities.
Recognized as the first female CEO of 1871, Betsey Ziegler took on the CEO role back in April 2018 after spending over 6 years as Kellogg School of Management's Chief Innovation Officer. Ziegler continues to be a key player in the Chicago tech scene as she serves as an advisor and investor in many young technology companies.
2. American Standard Circuits
American Standard Circuits (ASC) is a manufacturer of electronics, specifically circuit boards. They provide quick turnaround times and reliable service to turn their clients' prototypes into wonderful products.
ASC's CEO Anaya Vardya has more than 30 years of experience in circuitry development and has served as an executive for several manufacturers since 1997. Vardya is a proven visionary in the manufacturing industry and is well-known throughout his company for anticipating critical issues and developing solutions before it happens.
3. DevBridge Group
DevBridge Group enables investors to configure the funding process to rely solely on ideal outcomes, meaning that they can get what they pay for. This software is crucial for investors to optimize their ROI and incentivize products with successful outcomes.
Martin Stasaitis, a serial entrepreneur and CEO of the company, got the idea to begin DevBridge to defy mediocrity. He currently is in charge of managing executive teams and accelerating the company's vision. A seasoned executive and investor, Stasaitis strives to make investors savvier with their money.
Empist provides state-of-the-art, transparent technological solutions made to help businesses achieve desirable results. They offer customized cloud solutions, full-stack agency support, and IT services all under one roof.
John Kampas has been leading the Empist team since 2000 as his first installment as an executive. Since then, he has transformed Empist into an enterprise that serves more than 10,000 clients worldwide.
tastytrade is a highly-watched financial media network that focuses on making investing fun. Packing in 8 hours of live Market Talk daily, the show offers actionable advice every day during market hours for the do-it-yourself investor. That's on top of the thousands of hours of free video on demand archives.
All of this entertaining programming wouldn't be possible without tastytrade's Co-CEO and President Kristi Ross. Ross even co-hosts the tastytrade show "Bootstrapping in America," where she interviews notable entrepreneurs.
Between being named "Tech Woman of the Year" at the Built in Chicago Moxie Awards and Crain's Chicago's Tech 50, Ross has rightfully earned numerous awards and recognition. Beyond her work with tastytrade, Ross stays involved and maintains active memberships at several technology and trading companies--including The Chicago Network and The Economic Club of Chicago.
6. ICF Olson
ICF Olson is the epitome of a revolutionary marketing agency that intersects with innovative technology. With partners such as Microsoft and Adobe, ICF Olson is a joint corporate giant in both the marketing and technology industry.
Responsible for maintaining the company's growth, John Armstrong serves as president. Armstrong is a hands-on leader with a client roster of over 1,700. He describes himself as one-part business leader and one-part client advisor, thrusting himself into the daily operations of ICF Olson on a regular basis.
7. Peerless Network
Peerless Network allows users to install all of their phone networks on their universal UCaaS platform. The company works diligently with call centers and offices to provide device management, call automation and routing, and fax and recording extensions.
John Barnicle, the president and CEO of the company, has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to his role as CEO at Peerless Network, Barnicle was the CEO of Lynch Interactive Corp, where he led the initiative of increasing the company's revenue by 20% and reducing its reliance on financial support from the Universal Service Fund.
Barnicle's talent for increasing the profitability of his organizations in a short time has allowed Peerless Network to achieve rapid growth in Chicago's competitive technology sector.
rEvolution provides integrated sports marketing for athletic brands. The company has partnered with the likes of premier and global sports leagues, such as the NBA, MLB, and USA sports. Their technology-driven approach to craft hyper-successful marketing campaigns have made them the go-to among athletic marketing companies on the globe.
John Rowady oversees the company as its founder and president, having spent 15 years in the sports industry with the NCAA, F1, and NASCAR, to the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.
Telnyx makes connectivity simple by allowing users to easily connect to applications, devices, and even people the smart way. The company uses cloud-based technology that offers access to voice services throughout the internet.
10. Agency EA
Agency EA is a new-age experimental marketing agency that relies on heavy data to create outstanding and successful campaigns for its clients. Some of their top clients include Samsung, MillerCoors, and Intuit.
Named in Adweek's Top 100 fastest growing agencies, the company is headed by Fergus Rooney who has led Agency EA's development since 1999. Rooney is responsible for scaling the team while promoting a data-centric approach to drive more revenue for clients.
Chicago is, after all, a thriving marketplace lush with organizations changing the way people live and do business. These companies are noteworthy examples of how excellent leadership can transform a simple idea into scalable success.
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