Boardroom Insights Speaker Bios

Byron Spruell, President - League Operations, National Basketball Association

September 1, 2017

As President, League Operations at the National Basketball Association, Byron Spruell oversees critical league operations, including the Basketball Operations, Referee Operations and Basketball Strategy & Analytics departments and the processes regarding the management of rule changes, the evaluation and training of game officials, the enforcement of conduct standards and discipline, and the application of analytics and innovation on the future of the game. Spruell also collaborates with USA Basketball and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to promote the global growth of the game and development of players worldwide.

Prior to joining the NBA in August 2016, Spruell spent 20 years at Deloitte LLP, most recently as its Vice Chairman, Central Region Market Leader. He spearheaded the firm’s client and business growth and strategic positioning across 22 states consisting of 31 offices and more than 14,000 Deloitte professionals across the region. He also served as Chicago Managing Principal, supervising talent and community involvement initiatives in the local office.

Spruell has served on several charitable boards and committees, including World Business Chicago and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and is active in various nonprofit organizations, including the United Way, Big Shoulders Fund, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Chicago Urban League. He is currently on the boards of the Museum of Science and Industry, and Metropolitan Family Services in Chicago and the Jackie Robinson Foundation in New York.

Spruell, who grew up in Cleveland, earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA in finance from the University of Notre Dame. He was an offensive lineman and co-captain of the Fighting Irish’s football team and currently serves on the University’s Board of Trustees and as an Advisor on the Monogram Club. Spruell met his wife, Sedra, at Notre Dame. They have a son, Devyn, and a daughter, Aleah.

Dan Cathy, Chairman & CEO, Chick-Fil- A

September 8, 2017

Dan T. Cathy is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chick-fil- A, Inc, one of the nation's largest family-owned businesses, and is a member of the company's Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Since taking over the business from his father and founder, S. Truett Cathy, Dan represents the next generation of leadership for the Atlanta-based fast-food chicken restaurant chain. 

Dan's career began at age nine when he sang songs for customers and performed radio commercials for the chain's original Dwarf House restaurant in Hapeville, Ga. Named as Chairman and CEO in 2013, Dan served as the president and chief operating officer since 2001. Previous roles include senior director of operations, vice president of operations and executive vice president. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. 

Dan serves on the board of directors for The Georgia Aquarium and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. He is a board member for the Atlanta Committee for Progress, and he serves on the board of advisors for Eagle Ranch, Global Teen Challenge, and Heritage Preparatory School. Additionally, he is a member of the board of councilors for The Carter Center.

Dan and his wife, Rhonda have two sons, Andrew, senior vice president of people at Chick-fil-A, and Ross, Operator of Midland FSR and three grandchildren.

Diane M. Aigotti, Chief Financial Officer & Managing Director, Ryan Specialty Group

October 6, 2017

Diane Aigotti is Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of Ryan Specialty Group (RSG) and has been at RSG since its inception.

Prior to joining RSG, Diane spent almost eight years as a corporate officer at Aon Corporation, where she served as Senior Vice President, Chief Risk Officer and Treasurer. Diane was responsible for global treasury, risk management, acquisitions and divestiture activities. During her tenure, she led the multi-year divestiture program of several major operating units including two insurance subsidiaries resulting in over $4 billion in proceeds.

Prior to joining Aon, Diane served as the Vice President of Finance at The University of Chicago Hospitals from 1998 to 2000. She also served as Budget Director at the City of Chicago from 1995 through 1997 after spending several years in positions in the Mayor’s Office and Budget Office.

Diane joined the Board of Directors of PrivateBancorp, Inc. and The PrivateBank and Trust Company in 2015. Previously she served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago from 2008 until 2015. She received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in economics and government from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Tony Crudele, Former, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Tractor Supply Co

October 27, 2017

Tony Crudele is the former Executive Vice President and CFO of Tractor Supply Co., one of the fastest growing NASDAQ companies in the 2000’s. Crudele also served as CFO at The Sports Authority during their high growth years and Gibson Guitar. He spent his early career in public accounting principally at Price Waterhouse rising to Senior Manager. Crudele graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting. 

Paul Reilly, Chairman & CEO, Raymond James Financial

November 3, 2017

Paul Reilly became chief executive officer of Raymond James Financial in May 2010, after joining the firm’s management team as president and CEO-designate in May 2009. He has served on the firm’s board of directors since 2006.

From July 2007 to April 2009, he was executive chairman of Korn/Ferry International, a global provider of talent management solutions with more than 90 offices in 39 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Mr. Reilly began his tenure with the company as chairman and CEO in 2001. Prior to Korn/Ferry, he was CEO at KPMG International, a firm of more than 100,000 employees with annual revenues of $12 billion. Based in Amsterdam, he was responsible for the overall strategy and implementation of the firm's products, services and infrastructure on a global basis. Before being named CEO at KPMG, he ran the firm's financial services business and earlier had held senior management positions in its real estate consulting group.

Mr. Reilly holds his Bachelor of Science degree and MBA from the University of Notre Dame and remains active with the school, serving on the Mendoza Graduate Alumni Board and the Business Advisory Council, and being recognized as a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2004-2005. In addition to his degrees, he earned the Certified Public Accountant designation.

He is a financial services industry leader, serving on the board of the Financial Services Roundtable and as an executive committee member of SIFMA, and also is active in charitable causes, including involvement with the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, Our Lady of Divine Providence House of Prayer in Clearwater, Florida, the United Way Suncoast, and the American Heart Association’s Tampa Bay Heart Walk.

Kim Jeffery, Retired Chairman & CEO, Nestlé Waters North America

November 10, 2017

Kim began his career with Kraft Foods where he spent four years. He then joined PepsiCo where he also spent four years before joining The Perrier Group of America in 1978 as the Central Division Manager. He was promoted to Western Division Manager in 1980 and then to Vice President of Sales in 1981. In 1987, he became Vice President of Sales and Marketing, COO in 1991 and President and CEO in 1992 when Nestle purchased the global holdings of The Perrier Group in France which included their North American subsidiary. Kim remained in that position until January of 2013 at which time he became the non-executive Chairman.

During Kim’s tenure as CEO, Nestle Waters grew from $650 million in revenue and a 24% share of category to $4.7 billion and a 40% share of category. Over 90% of the growth was organic. Nestle Waters, under his leadership, pioneered the bottled water industry in America and was responsible for the category’s ascendance to the number one most consumed beverage in America. Utilizing vertical integration in manufacturing including self-manufacture of packaging, hybrid distribution, high speed manufacturing and highly efficient logistics, Nestle Waters developed a disruptive business model which was much lower cost than traditional beverage manufacturing and distribution. Coupled with a belief that people and the level of their commitment matters, Nestle Waters became the fastest growing beverage company in America for the 15 years between 1995 and 2010.

Throughout Kim’s career, his commitment to outside stakeholders, the environment, sustainability and the people who worked for Nestle Waters was critical to the success of the company. Mr. Jeffery was the recipient of the Beverage Forum Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, was inducted into the Beverage Industry Hall of Fame in the fall of 2010 and is a member of the International Bottled Water Association Hall of Fame. Kim is a sought after speaker on issues of values based leadership and sustainability.

Kim retired in early 2014. He currently serves on the boards of Kendall Jackson Family Wines, Pratt/Visy Industries based in Melbourne, Australia, Carbonlite Industries, and Stew Leonard’s markets. Additionally, he is an advisor to private equity firm North Castle Partners and serves as Chairman of one of their portfolio companies, Sprout Foods. Kim also serves on the Boards of Keep America Beautiful and Reach Prep, and he and his wife Mary both serve on the Leadership Council of Americares. Kim and Mary live in Greenwich, CT with their four children.

Crane Kenney, President - Business Operations, Chicago Cubs

November 17, 2017

Crane Kenney is in his 24th season with the Cubs organization. Named President of Business Operations following the Ricketts' family purchase of the Cubs in 2009, Crane is responsible for the strategic direction of the Cubs business operations and the development of the Wrigleyville campus. He began his career with the Cubs in 1994 as an attorney, representing the Cubs in sponsorship, concession, media rights, municipal and MLB negotiations. In his current role, Crane is responsible for the organization’s growth, including new business development; design, construction and operation of its facilities; media strategy; government relations; associate recruitment and training; and development of a winning culture.

From 2003-2009, Crane was the principle executive in charge of Cubs operations on behalf of Tribune Company, the previous owner. Overseeing all aspects of the Cubs organization for that period, the Cubs won the N.L. Central Division three times (2003, 2007 and 2008), surpassed 3 million in attendance for eight consecutive seasons and set an all-time attendance record of 3,300,200 in 2008. 

He is responsible for the continuing redevelopment and preservation of Wrigley Field. Under his watch, the Friendly Confines have been in a constant state of change, adding new seating options, new amenities, expanded player facilities and integrated marketing partnerships, all while retaining its historic charm and character. Crane also oversees the current restoration plan for Wrigley Field, named the 1060 Project. He was also responsible for the development of Sloan Park and the Under Armour Performance Center, the Cubs new $100 million training center in Arizona, completed in 2013.

Beginning in 1999, Crane led the expansion of Cubs media rights with the launch of Fox SportsNet Chicago and in 2003, he founded Comcast SportsNet Chicago with Jerry Reinsdorf and has served on the Board of Directors since its formation. Crane also led the Cubs first Hispanic radio broadcast with partner WRTO in 2009.

Crane serves on a variety of boards, including the Board of Directors of Comcast SportsNet, MLB's Long Term Strategic Planning Committee, the Board of Advisors of Winona Capital Management (a Chicago-based private equity firm), the University of Notre Dame Student Athlete Advisory Council, the Board of Governors of Global Sports Management Summit and the Board of Directors of Good Sports. He is also an investor in aXiomatic Gaming LLC, the majority owner of Team Liquid (a leading eSports team). 

He holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife Kelly have four children, Ryan, Sophie, Clare and Caroline.


Jean Meade
Phone: (574) 631-3277