Closing Keynote Speaker

Ted Gonder 


Ted Gonder is a social entrepreneur on a mission to even the odds for future generations by building organizations, bringing people together, and speaking up.  

He serves as founding Executive Director for the non-profit organization Moneythink, which is the only and largest movement of young people working to restore the economic health of America through financial education. Recognized by President Obama as one of the most promising social innovations, Moneythink provides economic opportunity mentoring for teenagers from low-wealth backgrounds in over 30 communities across the U.S.

 Prior to Moneythink, Ted served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Department of Homeland Security, advising the Obama administration on immigration policy for foreign entrepreneurs. He worked with the Kauffman Foundation and the Chilean government on transnational entrepreneurship initiatives, and published research on the topic through MIT Press and McKinsey. Previously, Ted led a number of climate-change-related initiatives, most notably being appointed and serving as the student advisor to The Climate Project, an organization founded by Al Gore. 

Ted plays an active role as a convener, believing that we are better together. He serves as the founding curator of the World Economic Forum's Chicago Global Shapers Hub. 

Ted has spoken at the White House, UN, US Senate, NYSE, and TEDx; he has also spoken at top companies such as PwC, Dell, and Allstate. His work has been featured in the Chicago TribuneMTVWSJForbes and more. 

Besides work, Ted enjoys practicing martial arts, admiring wild animals, and writing on his blog.

Opening Keynote Speaker

Marc J. Lane

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Marc is a nationally recognized business and tax attorney and financial adviser, practices law at The Law Offices of Marc J.Lane, P.C. in Chicago ( 

Marc is an expert on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance, and an influential advocate of best corporate governance practices. Twice a recipient of the Illinois State Bar Association's Lincoln Award, Marc, a “Leading Illinois Attorney” and “Illinois Super Lawyer,” has consistently earned an "AV® Preeminent™" rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory, the highest ranking awarded. Martindale-Hubbell also includes him in its Bar Registry of Preeminent Attorneys.  By appointment of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, he is Chairman of the state’s Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise, and a Commissioner of the Serve Illinois Commission.

An innovator in helping social enterprises, investors, lenders and philanthropists leverage capital to maximize financial results while driving positive social change, Marc teaches Social Enterprise at Northwestern University School of Law.  He is the pioneer behind the Advocacy Investing® approach to socially responsible and mission-related investing (

Marc drafted Illinois' and other states’ Low-profit Limited Liability Company (L3C) legislation, which authorizes the new hybrid business form which can leverage foundations' program-related investments to access trillions of dollars of market-driven capital for ventures with modest financial prospects, but the possibility of major social impact. He continues to champion the form throughout the nation.

Marc is the author of 34 books, including Social Enterprise: Empowering Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs, American Bar Association; Profitable Socially Responsible Investing: An Institutional Investor's Guide, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC; Advising Entrepreneurs: Dynamic Strategies for Financial Growth, John Wiley and Sons; Legal Handbook for Nonprofit Organizations, American Management Association; andRepresenting Corporate Officers, Directors, Managers, and Trustees, Aspen Publishing. 

Opening Remarks

NIU President Doug Baker

Douglas D. Baker, NIU’s 12th chief executive officer, brings a rich background in business, organizational management and higher education leadership to DeKalb. As provost and executive vice president of the University of Idaho from 2005 to 2013, Dr. Baker guided the development, implementation and revision of the institution’s strategic plan during a period of fiscal challenges.

Social Startup Panel

Rajesh Karmani

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Raj Karmani is the founder and CEO of Zero Percent, an Impact Engine tech startup based in Chicago. Zero Percent platform helps food businesses such as Au Bon Pain and Eataly put good surplus food to the best use through food donations.

He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He had been an active volunteer in the Champaign community, becoming the treasurer and president of two organizations that were awarded the Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Award in 2007 and 2010, respectively. During the last year of his PhD, he co-founded Zero Percent that combines his passion for volunteerism, technology and entrepreneurship.

Carl Alguire

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Carl Alguire is the Co-founder and CEO of Smart Gardener. is a leading website for organic food production and management. Their service division Smart Gardner Backyard leverages the over 400,000 US landscape companies and connects them to the over 42 million households growing food. By accelerating support and services around hyper-local food systems Smart Gardener seeks to revolutionize local food capacity.

As a senior level executive he has conceived, funded, launched and driven multiple start-ups to profitability and long term growth. Currently sits on the Board of the Judson University School of Leadership and Business.

Instrumental in the start-up and transformation of Peapod from an unprofitable operation into a profitable, highly scalable business that achieved Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fast Growth companies list.

Graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Horticulture.

Over 25 years of active involvement with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.

Dr. McGee Young

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McGee Young is an associate professor of political science at Marquette University and the Founder and CEO of MeterHero, which began life as H2Oscore. McGee received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 2004 and published Developing Interests: Organizational Change and the Politics of Advocacy in 2010. He served as the Faculty Entrepreneur Fellow at the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship and was selected as a 40 under 40 top professionals by the Milwaukee Business Journal. H2Oscore was awarded a position in the Global Freshwater Seed Accelerator and MeterHero was selected as a finalist for the National Clean Energy Challenge.
MeterHero is your new utility dashboard. It integrates utility, sensor, and personal water and energy readings to provide unparalleled insight into opportunities for conservation. “Your data working for you” is the mantra of MeterHero.

Green Panel

Charles Stephens

Charles is the General Manager of Zipcar’s Chicago market, which includes nearly 600 vehicles serving the car sharing needs tens of thousands of Zipsters in 300 locations around the Chicagoland area.  Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing service with approximately 850,000 members and 10,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria.  Prior to Zipcar, Charles was the VP Operations at Threadless, a crowdsourced design and apparel company that draws its strength from its global online community of artists and designers.  Before Threadless, Charles held strategy roles at performance marketing agency Performics and Gap Inc. Direct, the e-commerce channel of Gap Inc.  These steps on the client side were preceded by a career in consulting with A.T. Kearney and Ernst & Young.  Charles is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, as well as its undergraduate program.

Dave Haft


Highly accomplished, nationally recognized, recently retired PepsiCo / Frito-Lay senior executive seeks challenging consulting opportunities in supply chain, including manufacturing, distribution, environmental sustainability, and productivity.

Mark Eddington

DeKalb Sanitary District

Mark Eddington, P.E. has been the District Manager for the DeKalb Sanitary District since 2010 and is responsible for the day to day administration of a wastewater utility that serves over 45,000 customers.  Mr. Eddington is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and Wisconsin and previously worked for private civil engineering consulting firms whose clients included several municipalities located in the Metropolitan Chicago area.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Marquette University in 1996 and grew up in Elburn, Illinois attending Kaneland District #302 schools.  He lives with his wife, Lisa, and three young children, Ryan (8), Lily (6), and Brendan (3).
Mr. Eddington is an active member of several professional organizations: the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Central States Water Environment Association (State Section Chair), the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies (Vice President – Technical), Illinois American Public Works Association (Audit Committee Chair).

Microfinance Panel

Allison Kooser

Allison Kooser

Allison Kooser is the Manager of Acquisition and Outreach at Opportunity International, a leading global development and microfinance organization providing loans, savings, insurance and training to over 5 million people around the world. Allison works to educate and involve new audiences with Opportunity, and manages the Young Ambassadors for Opportunity and Campus Ambassadors programs. Prior to Opportunity International, Allison led service-learning trips for students in Latin America and built a pro-bono consulting platform in Baltimore. She holds a BA in Religion from Davidson College and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.  

Amy Clinton

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Amy joined Accion as the Marketing and Community Outreach Coordinator through the AmeriCorps*VISTA program in 2011 and became a Loan Officer at the end of her AmeriCorps tenure.  Before coming to Accion, she was a young fellow for Sé Más Microfinanzas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where she focused on new product development and social impact monitoring. Amy graduated from Hope College with a B.A. in International Studies and Business Management. During her time at Hope, she studied and interned in Chile, India, and the Dominican Republic. She serves on the executive committee and the marketing committee of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) – Chicago/Midwest Chapter. She is fluent in Spanish.  

Elly Rohrer

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Eventbrite - 2014 Social Impact Summit Sponsored by Product Development Technologies