Joshua Ackerman is an Associate at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP where he represents clients in civil litigation matters including patent infringement, breach of contract, and products liability. Prior to joining Bartlit Beck, Mr. Ackerman served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul Watford of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Mr. Ackerman holds a J.D., with High Honors, and a B.A., with Honors, from the University of Chicago. 

Aparupa Bhattacharya is a Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting, specializing in human capital and organizational strategies/structures to help healthcare executives achieve more integrated health systems that improve upon the quality of care for patients, at a lower cost. A Chicago native, she was selected to be a Chicago Public Education Fund Fellow, and developed a human capital strategy for CPS to better recruit, hire, develop, measure, and retain teachers. Ms. Bhattacharya holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Christopher Hoyes is a Senior Consultant with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants specializing in strategy for the automotive industry. Prior to his work at Roland Berger, Mr. Hoyes worked at the Consolidated Edison Company of New York as a senior analyst in strategic planning. Mr. Hoyes’ experience with community service and development started with his time with the New York Urban League Young Professionals where he served on the community service committee. Mr. Hoyes holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Brian Kates is the founder of ZATA Consulting, an education focused consulting practice. ZATA works primarily with charter schools on strategic planning, financial, operational and facility initiatives. Prior to ZATA, Kates served as the founding Director of Finance & Operations for Intrinsic Schools, a Chicago-based blended learning charter school network serving grades 7 through 12.  He managed accounting, finance, and operations for the startup organization, and led the facility construction project for Intrinsic’s permanent campus. Prior to Intrinsic, he served as the founding Director of Finance and led the finance department for the Achievement School District (ASD) in Tennessee, a state-wide district that works to turnaround the bottom 5% of schools in the state. Prior to the ASD, Brian spent six years at the Charter School Growth Fund on the Investment Management Team. He has worked with over 50 charter management organizations in strategic planning and execution of growth plans. He graduated from Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and holds a M.S. in Finance.

Steve Kraus recently retired from Deloitte Consulting where he served clients as the firm's Midwest Human Capital practice leader, consulting on Human Resources, employee benefits and the employer implications of health reform.  He has served on non-profit and governmental Boards for over 25 years, including leadership and executive committee positions, has been a founding member for a number of organizations, and has taught graduate level courses in Human Resources. Mr. Kraus brings a strong commitment to student achievement and a deep desire to use his professional experience to make a difference in the community. He is a graduate of St. Norbert College (B.A.), the University of Texas at Austin (M.A.) and the Wharton School CEBS - Certified Employee Benefits Program. 

Heidi Paul is currently the founder and President of Paul Design Studio, a residential architecture firm. Prior to founding Paul Design Studio, Heidi held the position of Project Architect at Booth Hansen. She has served on several non-profit Boards over the past decade, holding board leadership positions within the Art Institute and Botanical Gardens. Ms. Paul brings a very strong commitment to use her professional experience to make a difference within the Great Lakes Academy community and is passionate about ensuring that every child has a well-rounded, high quality education. Ms. Paul obtained her B.A. from Emory University and her M. Arch. from The University of Pennsylvania. 

Butch Trusty is the Vice President, Network Impact, at CEE-Trust, a national non-profit dedicated to helping cities ensure all students have access to high-quality public schools. Prior to CEE-Trust, Butch was the Education Program Director at The Joyce Foundation, a strategy consultant with The Bridgespan Group, and an Education Pioneers Fellow. Butch has an A.B. from Brown University and an M.B.A./M.P.P. from Duke University. Butch was featured in Activate ED’s Education Rock Star series and currently sits on the Board of Overseers of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

Ken Tsang is the Director of Technology & Marketing at Standard Market, a specialty food retail and restaurant group based in the Chicago area. In his current role, Mr. Tsang oversees Standard Market's communications, brand identity, public relations, and consumer insights, along with all technology-related functions. Mr. Tsang has past experience as a strategy consultant at the Monitor Group, as well as operational management experience at McMaster-Carr Supply Company. Mr. Tsang holds an A.B. in History from Harvard University, S.M. in computer science from the University of Chicago, and M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Kirsten Villers earned her B.A. in Political Science from Duke University, followed by her M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, with concentrations in Finance and Not-for-Profit Administration. Ms. Villers spent her career working in investment and commercial banking at JPMorgan and its legacy organizations.  During her time at JPM, she spent two years as the Business Manager for the CEO and CFO of Chase Commercial Banking, assisting in all aspects of running a $6 billion business. Subsequently, Ms. Villers worked at Chase Capital, focused on providing subordinated debt and equity capital to Chase customers.  After leaving JPMorgan in 2009, Ms. Villers served as the CFO for a digital media start-up called Rogue Paper.

Sarah Walker Pauls received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) with high honors, and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Ms. Pauls currently serves as Associate General Counsel for JPMorgan Chase, focusing on banking and regulatory matters related to federal and state New Markets Tax Credit community development investment and finance.  Prior to joining JPMorgan, she practiced transactional law at Goldberg Kohn Ltd and later at Goodsmith Gregg & Unruh LLP, where she represented financial institutions in connection with asset-based and cash-flow commercial finance transactions, as well as commercial real estate acquisition-finance and construction loans.   Prior to joining the Great Lakes Academy board of directors, Ms. Pauls served for six years on the board of directors of Polaris Charter Academy, an Expeditionary Learning school on Chicago's west side.