Advisory board

  • Ankur Agrawal

    Partner McKinsey & Company

    Ankur Agrawal

    Ankur Agrawal is a Partner at McKinsey’s Chicago Office and a leader of their global Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) service line. Over the past 12+ years of his affiliation with the CPG industry, Ankur has lived and worked across four continents in Asia, Middle East, Europe and now USA and extensively worked with global Consumer Goods and Retail chains in shaping a variety of leading edge topics like Design for growth, Digital, Value based Pricing, Operations as a competitive advantage, Complexity management and Agility in Supply chain. Ankur has a lot of personal passion for growth and innovation and he mentors several companies and startups across the globe on market entry and growth topics. Ankur also serves on the board of many Non Profits and Startup Clubs including at Business Schools and within McKinsey leads the strategic investments and New Ventures initiative for the Consumer Sector

    Prior to McKinsey Ankur worked at Procter and Gamble and Infineon Technologies in a variety of roles, including leading the startup of the first Baby Care Plant for P&G in India. Ankur holds an engineering degree from Jacobs University in Germany. Ankur is married to Pratiksha who is a Prosthodontist in Chicago.

  • Prakas Bedapudi

    EVP & CTO Lennox International

    Prakas Bedapudi

    Prakash Bedapudi became Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer in July 2008. He had previously served as vice president, global engineering and program management for Trane Inc. Commercial Systems from 2006 through 2008, and as vice president, engineering and technology for Trane's Residential Systems division from 2003 through 2006. Prior to his career at Trane, Mr. Bedapudi served in senior engineering leadership positions for GE Transportation Systems, a division of General Electric Company, and for Cummins Engine Company. He holds a BS in Mechanical/Automotive Engineering from Karnataka University, India and an MS in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

  • Amy Best

    SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer Exelon

    Amy Best

    Profile

    Best became the CHRO upon close of the Exelon-Constellation merger in March 2012. She is responsible for developing, organizing, implementing, directing and evaluating Exelon’s HR function and performance. She participates in the development and implementation of Exelon’s plans and programs as a strategic member of the executive team. Best led post-merger integration work, including staffing and selection of 25 percent of Exelon positions, development of the employee benefit platform, total compensation program alignment, and integration of diversity, talent management and succession processes.

     

    Professional History

    Prior to this role, Best was the vice president of human resources for Exelon Generation, which includes the nuclear fleet, power operations, and power trading. She was responsible for setting the human resources strategy and service delivery for 9,500 employees as a member of the senior leadership team. This includes employee relations, compensation, talent development and retention, recruitment, pipeline development, demographic analysis, and knowledge transfer and retention. She has worked as a lead on prior merger, integration and new business activities. She also was involved with the Nuclear Energy Institute working groups and the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition’s minority business steering committee.

     

    Previously, Best was the director of human resources for Exelon Business Services Company and led the HR function to support the finance, IT, supply and legal groups. She also was the director of leadership development for Exelon. In that position, she was responsible for executive development for the company’s top leadership positions, as well as design and delivery of programmatic leadership training across the company.  She was also accountable for the design and governance of talent management processes that are implemented in all Exelon operating business units.    

     

    Best has worked in varying human resources capacities at Exelon’s Quad Cities Station, Dresden Station, nuclear headquarters, and corporate offices. Prior to Exelon, she worked at Sara Lee Corporation and Ravenswood Hospital while pursuing her master’s degree.

     

    Civic & Board Involvement

    Best is on the board of trustees of The Field Museum and the boards of directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana; Skills for Chicagoland Future; HRMAC (Human Resources Association of Chicago); and WITS (Working in the Schools), a partnership between companies and Chicago Public Schools.  She also is past president of Lyons Township High School Parent Teacher Council. 

     

    Education

    She received her B.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her M.S.I.R from Loyola University Chicago. Best attended the Strategic Human Resource Management Executive Education Program at Harvard University, and Leading Women Executives leadership program. Best is a fellow of the CEO Perspectives leadership program in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management and Chicago Booth School of Business. 

  • Sundaram Nagarajan

    Executive Vice President Illinois Tool Works Inc

    Sundaram Nagarajan

    Sundaram Nagarajan is Executive Vice President of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), a Fortune 200 global diversified industrial manufacturer of value-added consumables and specialty equipment with related service businesses. The Company focuses on solid growth and strong returns across its worldwide platforms and businesses. These businesses serve local customers and markets around the globe, with a significant presence in developed as well as emerging markets. The company has operations in 58 countries that employ approximately 60,000 women and men who adhere to the highest ethical standards. These talented individuals, many of whom have specialized engineering or scientific expertise, contribute to our global leadership in innovation.

    Professional Background

    Sundaram Nagarajan is currently the Executive Vice President –Welding Group. Mr. Nagarajan has worldwide responsibility for ITW’s Welding and Cutting businesses. Mr. Nagarajan originally joined Hobart Brothers in 1991. After various roles of increasing responsibility in Engineering and General Management at Hobart Brothers, Mr. Nagarajan was promoted to Group Vice President, Welding Group in 2006 and Group President, Welding International in 2008.

    Educational Background

    • Mr. Nagarajan holds a BS degree from South Gujarat University, India, an MBA from
    • Wright State University, Ohio, and a MS and Ph.D. from Auburn University, Alabama.

    Professional and Personal Affiliations

    • Mr. Nagarajan is a Board of Director, EWI, Leading North American Engineering and
    • Technology Organization, Board of Directors, Hobart Welding Institute and Technology,
    • Former Board of Trustees, AWS Foundation, Inc, Co-Chair of ITW’s National United Way Campaign (2013 and 2014), member of the Chicago Economic Club, Executive Club of Chicago and American Welding Society (AWS).
  • Soma Somasundaram

    President & CEO Energy segment Dover Corporation

    Soma Somasundaram

    Mr. S. Somasundaram, also known as Soma, has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Energy Segment and President of The Energy Segment at Dover Corporation since August 2013. Mr. Somasundaram served as the President of Fluid Solutions Platform of Dover Corp. since January 1, 2008. He served as Executive Vice President of Dover Fluid Management since January 2010 and as Vice President of Dover Corp. since January 2008. He joined Dover in 2004 and served as President of RPA Process Technologies, and also served as President of the Gas Equipment Group. Mr. Somasundaram began his career at the Baker Oil Tools division of Baker Hughes, and advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in the energy, chemical and process industries before joining Dover. He has strong international business experience having lived and worked in India, Germany, Singapore, and Australia. Mr. Somasundaram has a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

  • Nageswaran Vaidyanathan

    CIO Danske Bank

    Nageswaran Vaidyanathan

    Nag is currently CIO of Personal Banking for Danske Bank accountable for Mobile banking, Mobile Pay, Cards processing, security and Advice and Sales functions. The work is executed globally and serves and supports customers in the Nordics and UK.

    Prior to the current role Nag was a senior director with Allstate Insurance Company’s Connected Consumer Engineering team.  Vaidyanathan was responsible for leading a global team that engineers and develops an open Application Program Interface (API) platform, websites and mobile applications.  Vaidyanathan’s accountability included supporting the Connected Consumer roadmap involving crowd sourcing and technology contests, known as blitzes, with academia and external developers; an evolving, highly strategic, multi-million dollar initiative for the company.

    Earlier Vaidyanathan was senior director with Product Technology.  He was accountable for the completion of the point of sale system catering to more than 15,000 Allstate exclusive agents and their staff, 1,200 independent agents, call centers, and other business units to be able to bind, quote and endorse policies across multiple product lines.  Vaidyanathan was also responsible for retiring Allstate’s 30-year-old legacy point of sale system; work that involved more than 600 resources in multiple continents and was completed per plan.

    Before joining Product Technology, Vaidyanathan was a senior director in Claims Technology, where he led day-to-day operations and solution design of Claims capabilities for the Claims platform.  He fostered the development of a state-of-the-art Claims management system, including back-office payment processing and operational controls, enterprise application integration, reporting, dashboards and analytics capabilities and electronic signature

    Vaidyanathan is the technology organization’s leader in the Allstate Cultural Transformation initiative.. Outside of work, he volunteers for Chicago’s Pratham, a non-profit organization core team involved in helping underprivileged children in India with basic education. Vaidyanathan is on the leadership panel for the Advisory Board of Indo American Community Services (IACS), helping students and entrepreneurs professionally through formal mentoring programs.

    Vaidyanathan received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a Master of Technology in India.  He also received a Master in Business Administration from DePaul University.

  • Srinivas Veeramasuneni

    Vice President, Corporate Innovation Center USG Corporation

    Srinivas Veeramasuneni

    Srinivas Veeramasuneni is vice president, Corporate Innovation Center (CIC), USG Corporation. He leads the CIC organization and the promotion of collaborative research to enhance USG’s competitive position and profitability by continuously developing effective research programs.

    Veeramasuneni has held various research and management positions at USG since 1998. Most recently he served as senior director at the USG Corporate Innovation Center.

    Throughout his career, he has been involved in innovation strategy, talent management, change management, technology roadmapping and process improvements. Veeramasuneni received his Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Utah.

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