The Executives' Club Of Chicago

The Flame

The AEO Edition - January 2018 Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 3


January 2018

In my different roles with the Executives’ Club either as a member, serving on the Board of Directors and now as The Club’s CEO, it has always been a pleasure to start off the calendar year by attending the Annual Economic Outlook luncheon. This memorable event has always provided a great way for me to engage in networking opportunities with members and their guests. Most importantly, the luncheon has served as a great way to gain insights from experts on the American and global economy.



With over 1,700 attendees, this year’s Annual Economic Outlook did not disappoint. Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Grant Thornton LLP, was cautiously optimistic about the future of our economy, citing previous economic trends. Dr. Bob Froehlich, Chairman, First Capital Investment Corporation and FC Global Realty, focused on emphasizing the importance of the e-sports economy, the outer space economy, and the passenger economy. Dr. Arthur Laffer, Founder and Chairman, Laffer Associates, saw further economic gains, citing the potential outcomes of the most recent tax bill. Of course, the program wouldn’t be great without our moderator Terry Savage, Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Terry Savage Productions, who has participated in this program for 38 years.


The focus on finance and the economy doesn’t stop in January. As a member of The Executives' Club, you have the opportunity to join The Club's Financial Services Forum. This forum, sponsored by KPMG LLP, allows finance executives and leaders to meet year round to discuss best practices, trends, the impact of politics and the economy on business, banking, investing and other financial and market issues.


If you are a finance professional I would like to invite you to get involved: come to a Financial Services Forum event, attend a finance related program, or share your point-of-view on MY ECLink.


As always remember that The Club is here to partner with all of you, our members, on your professional journey.


Have a wonderful 2018!


Ana Dutra

Chief Executive Officer

The Executives' Club of Chicago



Member Spotlight

Jeff Adkins

Managing Director

Energy BBDO

Innovation Forum Co-Chair

What is your favorite quote or motto that you live by?

In the wise words of Dory from Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming.” Failures, or pitfalls, are inevitable on the path to achieving important goals. To “Just keep swimming” means to learn the lesson of the failure, then quickly, and optimistically, start pushing forward again. What you do next is what matters most.


What/who inspires you?

My father. He built an amazing career in engineering, without any formal education in the field, mostly by being relentlessly curious and creative. But, more importantly, he always treated people with respect and genuine care. At his retirement party, all of the speeches were about how he was a great friend and mentor, and a person who people could count on. That still inspires me.


What would colleagues be surprised to learn about you?

Maybe the fact that my concentration in Business School was Finance. So, my advertising career has been on-the-job training. But then again, there’s a good chance they’ve noticed.


What would your pet say about you if we asked for a reference?

We have two dogs, and I think they’d say, “he’s an easy mark.” I try to train them, but more often they train me to give them what they want. They’re pretty spoiled.


In one word, describe yourself.



2018 Annual Economic Outlook

A special thanks to Kimia Emami and Jaclyn Simpson for providing the photography for this program. You can see more of their work by visiting their websites.


A Look Back in History

View this newsletter


Programs in Review

Annual Economic Outlook


It’s hard to imagine that a panel on economics could be fascinating, provocative, and funny. But once again, the Annual Economic Outlook at The Executives’ Club of Chicago succeeded on all three measures. Panelists Diane Swonk, Bob Froehlich, and Arthur Laffer offered up thoughtful and challenging perspectives on what we can expect in 2018. Read More...



Tales from the Top: Breaking Barriers in STEM


Wow – what a mind-blowing panel of women spoke at The Executives’ Club program on Breaking Barriers in STEM. They were an amazing array of brainy, successful, articulate women who shared their stories and their wisdom with the audience. Here are some of the intriguing take-aways: Read More...

Unexpected Outcomes: How to Survive a Crisis


When you are the CEO of an electric company in the southern US in 2017, you are eminently well-qualified to talk about “Unexpected Outcomes: How to Survive a Crisis.” Three major hurricanes will test the resilience of any corporation. In his talk to The Executives’ Club of Chicago on November 13, Tom Fanning offered both great anecdotes and astute advice about how business leaders can prepare for and navigate through disasters. Read More...


Sam Zell


The most moving part of Sam Zell’s speech to The Executives’ Club of Chicago on November 1 was his account of his parents’ escape from Europe in 1939. He described how they fled their home on the border of Germany and Poland just one day before the Luftwaffe bombed the railways. With their infant daughter, they made their way east all the way to Japan and finally to America. Read More...

Pharma Innovation: Beyond Blockbuster Drugs


One of the most innovative sectors in American business is the pharmaceutical industry. In the last decade or so, the pharma companies have produced many of the most astounding breakthroughs in medical science. Their innovative productivity and their impact on our lives are matched only by the tech sector. Read More...

A special thanks to Gail Golden, MBA, Ph.D., Principal of Gail Golden Consulting, LLC for providing these program recaps for members of The Club. You can read more of her work by visiting her blog.



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