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Statement from CEC on Leadership Transitions

On August 1, 2017, Howard A. Tullman, CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) and 1871, announced his intention to step down as CEO of 1871 and CEC at the end of 2017. Additionally, CEC board chairman Jim O’Connor, Jr. has also announced his intention to step down from his position as board chair at the end of 2018. 

Both Howard and Jim will continue their service on the CEC board and as members of the CEC Executive Committee.

Tullman has been CEO of 1871 since January of 2014, and has guided the organization to unprecedented growth, including three physical expansion projects and more than tripling the revenue and size of the organization. He is a serial entrepreneur who has launched and exited more than a dozen businesses during his 50-year career.  

O’Connor has been chair of the CEC board since its inception, a period of more than 15 years, dating back to when the CEC was part of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. O’Connor presently is the global head of venture capital for William Blair. He also temporarily served as CEO of 1871 in 2013. 

The CEC will conduct a search for a new CEO, which will begin this week.

Additionally, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the following statement on the leadership transition: 

“Howard Tullman is a dear friend, to me and to this city. His innovative leadership has helped fuel Chicago’s expanding tech sector and support the growth of hundreds of businesses across the city. Howard has mentored countless entrepreneurs and startups that are creating new jobs and changing the face of Chicago’s digital economy, and he has transformed 1871 into one of the leading technology incubators in the world. His imprint on a diverse new generation of leaders leaves a lasting legacy across the city. 

I want to congratulate Howard on his successful leadership of 1871, and I have no doubt his next chapter will be every bit as interesting and significant as this one.”

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