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Luncheon: Engineers / STEM Panel Discussion

Celebrate National Engineers Week

Panel Discussion

Our distinguished panel will discuss the importance of STEM education, particularly for the Chicago economy. 
Presented by The Chicago Engineers Foundation and ROTARY/One.

Please register by Monday, February 19th online:
Luncheon: Engineers / STEM Panel Discussion


Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, IL-08 (Scheduled)

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi represents the 8th District of Illinois, which includes Chicago’s west and northwest suburbs, and serves on the Committee on Education and the Workforce.  In addition, he serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, including as the ranking member, and top Democrat, on the subcommittee on health care and financial services.  Raja’s policy platform focuses on growing and strengthening the middle class by supporting small businesses, making college more affordable, rebuilding our infrastructure, and protecting Social Security and Medicare.

Raja was previously appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as a Special Assistant Attorney General and served as Illinois Deputy Treasurer before becoming president of small businesses in the Chicago area. Raja and his wife, Priya, a physician, live in Schaumburg with their two sons and baby daughter.



Fred Hoch
Founder, Tech Nexus

Ever wonder about disruption in the technology industry and how a company can grow by taking advantage of it? Fred has worked with thousands of companies to strategically address the ongoing transformation and challenges of the industry.

Fred is the Founder and General Partner of Chicago’s TechNexus Venture Collaborative, a venture development and innovation services firm building a new, collaborative model for leading corporations to engage and extract value from the global entrepreneurial ecosystem. TechNexus also operates an incubator from its headquarters in Chicago, where more than 400 ventures have grown.

Fred Hoch is also the Executive Chairman of the Illinois Technology Association – a business services organization with more than 500 member companies with a focus on scaling great tech companies. Serving as a platform for strategic development, ITA drives the success of the Chicago tech industry by helping its member companies grow, build and elevate their business.

Fred has an eclectic background. Fred has founded, worked and invested in multiple technology start-ups. He also led the Software Division at the national Software & Information Industry Association. With a keen interest in international affairs, Fred worked for a time at the U.S. Department of State and has visited more than 50 countries for both work and pleasure. He uses that spectrum of experiences, and a dose of sarcasm, in his daily business and personal endeavors.

A native Californian, now a deep-rooted Chicagoan, he is always seeking out ways to get in the water and enjoy the outdoors through biking, hiking or kayaking with and without his wife, labrador and three children.
Mr. Hoch currently sits on the boards of ChicagoNEXT and SmartBet Charities as well as the advisory boards of the UIC School of Engineering and TechWeek.

Natacha DePaola, Ph.D.
Carol and Ed Kaplan Armour Dean of Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology

Natacha DePaola is the Carol and Ed Kaplan Armour Dean of Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. DePaola’s research investigates the role of physical mechanisms on cellular behavior, stressing its importance in the understanding of human disease, the development of new therapies, and the engineering of functional tissues. In her role as Engineering Dean, Dr. DePaola is committed to excellence in technology-focused education with a renewed emphasis on entrepreneurial and ethical practice of engineering. She is leading distinctive education initiatives emphasized by the opportunity to apply ongoing learning and technical knowledge to the solution of current problems of global impact. Dr. DePaola is a co-inventor of a few biotechnologies, and co-founder, of TermoMechanica, Inc., which within the health science area focuses in the development of instrumentation for biomedical research and diagnostics. Dr. DePaola has received various awards and recognitions, is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological  Engineering (AIMBE), a member of nine other professional societies, and serves/has served in various public and private advisory committees. Dr. DePaola currently serves as the chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC).

John Yonan
Superintendent, Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways 

John Yonan was appointed the Superintendent of the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways (CCDOTH) in January of 2012 by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. In that capacity, Yonan is responsible for all of CCDOTH professional engineering functions, including the programming, design, construction and maintenance of the County’s infrastructure assets which includes over 130 bridge structures, over 570 miles of roads, 350 traffic signals and 4 Maintenance Districts. Recent notable projects include the $22 Million reconstruction of Crawford Avenue from Devon to Oakton and the $11 Million reconstruction of Center Street from 159th Street to 171st Street.

Prior to his appointment as Superintendent, Yonan spent 19 years at the City of Chicago’s Department of Transportation, moving up from an entry level Bridge Engineer to Chief Engineer\Deputy Commissioner in the Bureau of Engineering. During his career at the City, Yonan was responsible for overseeing over $1.5 Billion in construction projects, including Wacker Drive, Morgan Green Line Station, and various transit stations to major roadway reconstruction projects along Grand Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue.

Yonan earned his Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from Southern Illinois University and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 12:10 PM until 1:20 PM
Union League Club
65 W. Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL  60604

Registration is required
Payment In Advance Only
The Union League Club has a dress code policy, strictly enforced, of business or business casual. No jeans, tennis shoes or other casual attire. Overcoats must be checked upon arrival in the building lobby.
No Fee


ROTARY/One Foundation

Rotaract Club of Chicago

Mailing Address:
65 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604 
Meeting Reservations:
All welcome, please register in advance in CALENDAR.
(3 1 2) 8 5 7 - 3 1 6 1
Voice mail  or text message only
Virtual Office:
(3 1 2) 3 7 2 - 3 9 0 0
(not located at ULC)

Khaled Akkawi,

Michael Salamun,
rotaract president

David Phelps,
chief administrative officer

Nancy Phelps,
member services  
Nancy Ashburn,