David M. Zapata is CEO and Founder of Zapwater Communications, an award-winning integrated communications agency specializing in lifestyle brands with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. Zapata is a public relations executive with diverse government, political and agency experience. He has advised clients ranging from major consumer brands to Fortune 500 companies and technology start-ups to elected officials. At Zapwater, he continues to work with a unique blend of clients in a wide variety of categories including numerous global and trendsetting lifestyle brands. Zapata also advises international governments in economic development, tourism management issues and marketing.
Zapata also uses his experience to champion numerous social causes. He serves on the board of directors of Beat the Streets Chicago, an organization dedicated to building character, discipline and self-esteem in Chicago youth through their participation in wrestling, and Enlace, an organization that empowers local churches in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nepal and Nicaragua to transform their communities. He was also recently named Volunteer of the Year by Oak-Leyden Developmental Services.
Kevin Willer is a veteran of Chicago’s tech community, co-founding Google’s local office in 2000 and spending over 10 years helping to build their presence here. Kevin went on to be the founding CEO of 1871, one of the top-ranked startup incubators in the world. Currently, Kevin is a Partner at Chicago Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund. Willer was named to Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 Under 40” list in 2011 and their 2012 “Tech 50” list. In 2016, he was a founding member of the US Soccer Development Council in Chicago supporting our US National Teams and in 2018, Kevin joined the Board of Directors of the Chicago Fire Foundation.
Learn more about Kevin here.
Brian is the lead investor for several members of the Walsh family, owners of a construction services company founded and headquartered in Chicago in 1898. Brian’s great-grandfather came to Chicago to work as a carpenter at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, an event now represented as one of the four red stars on Chicago’s flag.
Kim Vender Moffat is a native Chicagoan with lifelong loyalty to Chicago sports franchises. She is an investor in and partner to founders, currently as Managing Partner, of Rosa Partners. Prior to founding Rosa, Kim spent almost fifteen years helping build the private equity firm Sterling Partners. Currently, she focuses on supporting companies with social impact.
Marie Tillman is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor. She is the co-founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation, a nonprofit organization that empowers military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders. She served as CEO from 2008-2012 and is now Chairman of the Board. She was the founder and CEO of Mac & Mia, a curated children’s clothing service that was named one of Chicago Crain’s Tech 50 in 2018 and acquired in 2019. Marie is also a sought-after speaker and writer. Her memoir, The Letter, about love, loss and life, was released in June 2012.was released in June 2012.
Marie lives outside Chicago with her husband Joe, their four boys Joey, Johnny, Sam and Mac and their daughter Frankie.
Learn more about the Pat Tillman Foundation here.
Sarah Spain, a native of Lake Forest, is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning sports journalist. In addition to her national ESPN Radio show, “Spain and Fitz,” and her podcast “That’s What She Said with Sarah Spain,” Spain is an espnW columnist, a regular panelist on ESPN television’s “Around the Horn” and “Highly Questionable,” and a frequent contributor to other ESPN properties including “Outside The Lines” and “SportsCenter.”
Prior to her career in journalism, Spain received All-Conference, All-Area, and All-State accolades in high school for basketball, field hockey, and track and went on to be a heptathlete and co-captain of the Track and Field team at Cornell University. Named to the Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” list in 2017, she’s the co-founder of “Hear The Cheers,” which provides hearing aids and equipment to kids so they can continue participating in sports and activities, and is on the board of Embarc, a program that provides community-driven, experienced-based learning opportunities to low-income Chicago high school students.
Learn more about Sarah here.