231 S. LaSalle
Career Freedom – Let’s get REAL
Our careers are not just boxes checked and endless emails sent, they are real life, dynamic experiences with challenges, twists and turns, unexpected circumstances, and joyful successes. This year the Professional Development Committee will focus on reinventing the traditional perception of networking, reflect on how to maximize career opportunities, and explore how to rejuvenate and recharge our careers. Across all of these topics, we will get real and share our actual stories, drawing inspiration from our collective experiences.
Networking is vital and can have a major impact on all of us, in and out of the workplace, but sometimes can be viewed as a challenge rather than an opportunity. Let’s dive into the many different ways to network and its benefits. We will explore internal and external networking, relationship building, and other impactful interactions. Let’s change our perception of networking and reinvent it together.
Officer, Sr. Paralegal
The Northern Trust Company
Eric began his foray into the financial world in 2015 after receiving his paralegal certificate from DePaul University and joining Northern Trust. He currently serves as senior paralegal to the C&IS legal group and is the President of NT Pride, Northern Trust’s LGBTQ+ Business Resource Council.
His dedication to the LGBTQ+ community and DE&I has inspired him to push for promoting intersectionality among internal and external partners, creating educational programming, and helped to establish the bank’s inclusion of pronouns in email signatures and gender-inclusive language usage with marketing and day-to-day communication.
Eric has a BA in English and Art History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA in Management from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. A lifelong Chicagoan, Eric currently lives in the city’s Edgewater neighborhood.
Founder and Principal
Barbara Best is a Founder and Principal of CAP STRAT, and Founder of the CAP STRAT Women’s Forum. Her primary focus is to cultivate awareness and business opportunities for their firm’s asset management, institutional investment advisory, and private wealth advisory services; and she co-leads their Women’s Forum. Barbara also co-leads their Women’s Forum, empowering women to create successful and fulfilling lives – personally, professionally, and financially.
Barbara is recognized as one of Chicago’s Most Influential Women by the Chicago Business Journal and Rotary International Woman of the Year for her broad personal and professional support of others, her community service and leadership. In addition to her past leadership roles chairing and serving on non-profit boards, Barbara is currently on the board of Housing Forward and the Chicago advisory board of CareerSpring, and an active member of Women Leaders in Philanthropy for the OPRF Community Foundation.
Barbara received her B.A. in Economics, magna cum laude, from Boston College and studied at London School of Economics and Faculte des Lettres in France; received a Business Certificate in Finance from the Professional Program of New York University. Barbara has also received the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and PLANSPONSOR Retirement Professional (PRP) designations.
Barbara raised her daughter Cate in Oak Park and River Forest, IL. She and her partner Tom Turk currently live in Oak Park.
Vice President, Leveraged Loans
Rob Keller is an investment professional at Monroe Capital, an alternative credit asset management firm. He currently manages opportunistic and performing corporate credit investments across a variety of sectors including food, consumer and software. Prior to Monroe, Rob was a junior banker at J.P. Morgan where he helped advise corporations on leveraged finance investment banking transactions and has over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Rob is passionate about LGBTQ+ inclusion in the finance industry and has served on the leadership team of Out in Finance, Monroe Capital’s Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee, and J.P. Morgan’s PRIDE Business Resource Group. Rob received his B.S.B. in Finance from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and studied at ESADE Business School in Barcelona.
Rob lives in Chicago with his partner and their French Bulldog Olly.
Elise has specialized in making communication skills and emotional intelligence concrete and actionable for over a decade. She founded her first company while in college to help students secure internships through networking. After working at Kimberly-Clark and in management consulting, she founded Eleview Consulting. In founding the firm, she interviewed hundreds of partners and executives to understand what qualities make someone a superstar. This insight is the foundation of the firm’s programming. Eleview Consulting helps law firms and companies harmonize communication and understanding across their organization through interactive professional development workshops and resources. Their most popular workshop topics include personal branding, navigating critical conversations, improving communication, and strategic relationship-building.
Elise has been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and ABC News. She is LinkedIn’s leading expert on career acceleration and networking. Elise is a sought-after speaker at universities, companies, and conferences.