2015 Social Impact Summit Speakers

Check out our unreasonable lineup and don't miss out on your chance to partake in powerful sessions from 12 rockstar social entrepreneurs!


Stacy Ratner

Founder of Open Books, a nonprofit social venture that collects used books and sells them in its rainbow-hued stores to support literacy programs serving more than 25,000 students to date. She is also the co-founder of Hooray Learning, an impact startup focusing on engaging students with writing, and the Chicago Literacy Alliance (CLA), which will open the country's first shared workspace built exclusively for literacy organizations in May 2015.

Thirtysomething years ago, Stacy learned to read. This life-changing experience carried her through degrees in law and literature, let her help take three startup companies from idea through a combined total of $30 million in committed venture funding, and finally led to her life’s work: the transformational power of literacy. She  is honored to have received an Emerging Leader Fellowship from the Chicago Community Trust, places on NewCity’s Lit 50 and the national 40 Women To Watch Over 40 list, and the Social Enterprise Alliance’s Innovation award, but is most proud just to be part of the amazing things her colleagues make happen every day.

Stacy writes a novel every year, eats ice cream every day, and is always starting something.

Youth Awareness Panel


Somya Munjal

CEO and Founder, Youthful Savings, a social entreprise that creates and delivers innovative financial education products.

In order to create a meaningful dialogue about money, education and the growing problem of student debt, Somya Munjal started blogging about financial literacy. Two years later, the blog inspired a financial education technology company. 

Somya paid her way through a Bachelor of Science, Master of Accountancy Science, and Master of Business Administration in International Business by applying to as many scholarships as possible and balancing several jobs. She wanted to teach other young adults how to do it. In addition to having the opportunity to work for large firms and corporations, she is a practicing Certified Public Accountant and Social Venture Capitalist through her firm CPA for the People, LLP.

Somya is a firm believer in education as an agent for change. Her greatest joy is being able to inspire the youth to go after their dreams.

John Heybach

President, Altus Academy, a non-profit, college preparatory, middle school designed to foster academic excellence and character development in a 21st century learning environment, serving students and families in some of Chicago's most challenging neighborhoods.

Before founding Altus Academy, John was director of the Midtown Center for Boys, one of the premier non-profit supplemental educational institutions in the country providing underserved boys with programs spanning the 4th grade through post-secondary education. John earned a Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology in 1976, worked as a post-doctoral associate with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and was a research associate at the Bowman Gray Medical School at Wake Forest University. John worked for 30 years as a businessman and entrepreneur developing new businesses for multinational corporations such as Monsanto and Kraft Foods (General Foods) in the United States, Europe and globally, and  more recently his own businesses in the United States. John earned a master’s in Business Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business Management at Northwestern University in 1989.

John has been involved in non-profit organizations for 25 years. His past civic contributions include serving on the board of the Marshall Square Boys and Girls Club in Chicago’s Pilsen Community for ten years, as chair of the Board of Limited Jurisdiction and head of the Strategic Planning Committee for Saint Mary of the Angels Elementary School in Chicago, and as Operations Director for the Lincoln Park Homeless Shelter in Chicago.  He currently serves as Chairman of Board of the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association USA, an organization based in Sarasota, Florida that sponsors medical research and provides a range of support services for individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome, their families, and caregivers.

The founding of Altus Academy was a natural outgrowth of the strategic planning program John led while director of the Midtown Center. Altus was founded to meet the pressing need identified to create an educational environment that promoted the integral human development of the students and community that Altus academy serves. Altus represents a powerful new initiative in putting the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church into action in education.   John lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago with his wife Sue, an elementary school educator and counselor and advisor to Altus and his son Conor. John’s daughter Michelene is an attorney, founding board member and of counsel to Altus Academy.

Joseph Williams

Senior Program Coordinator, One Million Degrees, a nonprofit that empowers low-income, highly motivated community college students to succeed in school, in work, and in life.

Joseph works directly with scholars to support their path from enrollment to graduation, in addition to collaborating with OMD's staff to engage scholars in a focus on career development, civic engagement, and personal well-being. Most recently, he worked at The Thresholds Company, serving young adults either diagnosed with a mental illness or recently transitioned from the Juvenile Justice Department. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies from North Park University, a Masters of Theological Studies from Garrett Seminary, and is a current graduate student in United States History at DePaul University.

Kerry Knodle

Kerry Knodle, Executive Director/CEO and Founder of Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc., has over 30 years’ experience in administration, strategic planning, case management, grant management, affordable housing and interagency programming with youth.  Since founding CCS, Inc. in 1992, Mr. Knodle and the agency have been extensively involved in housing and community development activities, both as a Community Housing Development Organization, and as an operator of the successful YouthBuild Rockford AmeriCorps program.  Since 1994, the agency has served over 1,000 out-of-school youth, built or renovated 100+ units of affordable housing, and is involved in a variety of major housing and other community development projects.    

Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton is Founder and Executive Director of Allowance for Good. She graduated with a master’s degree in International Comparative Education from Stanford University summa cum laude and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Business Studies from Butler University summa cum laude. Prior to attending graduate school, Elizabeth worked in various capacities with the Center for Global Business and the Economy and the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her work endeavors, especially those internationally, led her to value the importance of understanding the local context, creating respectful relationships that honor cultures, values, and communities, and pursuing activities that make a significant, positive impact in the world. Elizabeth has also worked with Net Impact as an AmeriCorps VISTA and the Institute for International Education, and she previously volunteered with Global Glimpse. Elizabeth is the recipient of the 2012 Hilton U. Brown Alumni Achievement Award from Butler University and was highlighted alongside 100 global leaders in Steelcase’s 100 Dreams. 100 Minds. 100 Years. Celebration. She served on the Alumni Board of Directors at Butler University from 2007-2011. Elizabeth is a member of Donors Forum, the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse, the Women’s Club of Evanston, and a frequent mentor for Northwestern University undergraduates. When not reimagining ways for youth to be actively engaged in global philanthropy, Elizabeth enjoys running, cross-country skiing, cooking, hiking, and escaping to the shores of Lake Michigan with her husband and son.

Engineers Without Borders Workshop

Dylan Terrell

Executive Director, CATIS-Mexico, a nonprofit working to improve the lives of rural communities by providing training and ongoing technical assistance in support of community driven use and development of sustainable building, agriculture, and other appropriate technologies. 

Dylan has lived and worked in numerous communities throughout Latin America including Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. He helped to build a community center and health clinic in a low-income community in northwest Indiana, and he worked at an orphanage in Peru where his passion for sustainable development and rural community life first began. Dylan spent several years working for a grassroots, community-based nonprofit in Denver, Colorado, developing various asset-based community programs.

In 2009, Dylan moved to Mexico’s southernmost state, Chiapas, to work with a series of rural, indigenous communities to create sustainability and self-sufficiency through the use of appropriate technologies and social development. 

In April 2011, Dylan moved to San Miguel to act as Program Director for CATIS-Mexico and was more recently named Executive Director. Dylan is fluent in Spanish, certified in mediation and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), and recently received his MA in Global Sustainability and Nonprofit Management.  His final thesis analyzed the effects of neoliberal policy on rural Latin America and the implications of rural-to-urban migration on global sustainability.

Corporate Social Responsibility Panel

Anne Gross

Director, Global Grants Practice and Corporate Responsibility at KPMG US, a global network of professional firms that provides audit, tax and advisory services and industry insight to help organizations negotiate risks and perform in the dynamic and challenging environments in which they do business.

She specializes in work with foundations and corporate giving programs, which make grants and distribute funds around the globe. 

Anne’s focus of practice includes advising private foundation clients and other non-profit organizations (public charities) along with corporate giving programs on a variety of tax and other operational issues, including program and process design, capacity building, advising on issues of governance and compliance for international operations, and other related foundation issues.

Anne has more than 18 years of experience leading and managing non-profit endeavors, including roles with grant-making public charities, universities and volunteer service organizations. She has extensive experience in conducting pre-, interim- and post-grant evaluations as well as working with clients on their approach to grant-making and procedures used to manage the grant-making process.

She earned her bachelor of arts in political science from Indiana University and her master of science in education from there, as well.

Tami Armstrong

Vice President of Brand & Marketing, NB&T, a financial institution with over 145 years of fiscal responsibility and total assets of $600 million headquartered in Sycamore, Illinois.

Tami oversees marketing and communication for all NB&T business lines and divisions including brand management, acquisition, retention, market research, product development, analytics management, website, social media, and electronic/print media. 

She lead a successful rebranding of the 147 year-old banking institution in 2012, was the driving force behind the development of a performance management/CRM system, TAMS (Total Access Management System), and continues to spearhead the development and distribution of new technologies including the NB&T Mobile App, Banker Jr. App, P2P payments, and ATM deposit automation technology.

Tami is a graduate of the ABA School of Bank Marketing and holds M.A, B.A, and A.A Degrees in Communication.

Jenny McColloch

Global CSR and Sustainability Manager, McDonald's Corporation, a leading global foodservice retailer with more than 36,000 local restaurants serving approximately 69 million people in more than 100 countries each day.

She focuses on advancing environmental strategies such as energy, water, and waste management across McDonald's restaurants and supply chain. Jenny previously worked on McDonald's USA's Sustainable Supply Chain team, with a focus on environmental initiatives at supplier manufacturing and distribution facilities, as well as supplier sustainability communications.

Jenny has an MBA from the Yale School of Management with a focus on corporate sustainability and social entrepreneurship. During her time at Yale, Jenny worked on the sustainability team at Nestle Waters North America on energy efficiency projects through the Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps program. She also managed the Yale Global Social Enterprise program, which connected MBA students with social entrepreneurs in emerging economies to provide business consulting support.

Jenny was formerly the Education Director for a non-profit science and sailing education program, Salish Sea Expeditions, in Seattle, WA, where she was actively involved in program management, development, and fundraising. Jenny received her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the interdisciplinary Earth Systems Program at Stanford University.

David Marsh

Chief Supply Chain Officer, Hub Group, a leading world-class logistics solution and transportation provider. Previously, David served as a Chief Marketing Officer since 2007 and the Executive Vice President of Highway since 2004. David was the President of Hub Group Ohio since 2000, and he also assumed the duties of President of Hub Group Detroit in 2002. David originally joined Hub Group in 1991, and became General Manager of Hub City Indianapolis in 1993. During his tenure with Hub Group, David has participated in several key initiatives and groups that helped shape the company into a leading transportation management provider. David received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Physical Distribution from Indiana University – Indianapolis. He was honored as the Indiana Transportation Person of the Year for 1999.

Terri Rivera.jpg

Terri Rivera

Executive Director, Back on My Feet, a national nonprofit that uses the power of running to help those experiencing homelessness run towards jobs, housing and independence.

When Terri learned about Back on My Feet, she knew it was the perfect marriage of her passion and experience.  Terri has completed 14 sprint triathlons, the Chicago marathon and countless 5k races. Terri can often be found running and exploring in Bemis Woods with her triathlete friends and her family.

"I know what the power of running has done for my life, and the friendships it has brought, and I want to share that with others. It is my passion to connect people who care, with a cause that matters and Back on My Feet is the perfect vehicle. Partnering with Back on My Feet-whether as a sponsor, volunteer or FundRacer-can change someone's life and literally get them back on their feet. And it just might change your life in the process too!"

Prior to joining Back on My Feet Chicago, Terri was a Director of Development for a free health clinic where she excelled in relationship management, sponsorships and special events including producing two races and working closely with the running community. She received her Masters of Non Profit Administration from North Park University in May 2010.

Closing Remarks

Elly Rohrer

Founder, Human Connections, a non-profit that uses educational tours, seminars, and internships in Mexico, to bring together international travelers and local Mexican entrepreneurs to share in cultural and personal exchange.

Though raised in Switzerland and upstate New York, Elly has always had a professional and personal interest in Latin America. Elly graduated from Tufts University with a double major in International Relations and Latin American Studies, and has substantial experience living, researching, and working with non-profits throughout Latin America. Elly began working with Investours in 2011 and served as Program Director for two years before initiating the transition to Human Connections in June 2014. She is thrilled to continue living and working in Bucerias as the Executive Director of Human Connections.