President – NetEffects Inc.
Jack Bader has always been an entrepreneur. Jack initially focused his career on niche segments that showcased his technical creativity. Years before IBM introduced their PC; he pioneered the creation of PC based accounting systems that powered his small business clients to significant growth. In 1979, Jack founded his first IT consulting company. In the early 80’s, partnering with AT&T, he formed the first local IT consulting company to specialize in the emerging UNIX market, which after substantial growth he sold in the mid 90’s. He went on to form NetEffects in 1995. Working with Fortune 500 firms throughout the United States and various foreign countries, NetEffects provides a broad spectrum of niche consulting skills. NetEffects has grown to be one of the largest privately held IT consulting firms in the St. Louis region. His most recently created company is XperienceLab, a consultancy focused on user-centered and measurable digital solutions in the web/mobile space.
Jack is an instrument rated private pilot and has been involved with the X PRIZE Foundation since 1998 and as a Trustee since 2005. In 2002 he served as Assistant Flight Director for Erik Lindberg’s 75th anniversary flight across the Atlantic. For the 2004 Ansari X PRIZE, he was the Director of Infrastructure, responsible for all Internet and Webcast technical areas.
Jack earned a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974, graduating in the first class to receive this newly created degree.
Former CEO – Cassidy Turley
As CEO, Mark Burkhart directed the operations of Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider with over 3.500 professionals in 60 offices nationwide. The firm completed transactions valued over $22 billion in 2011, manages over 455 million square feet on behalf of private, institutional and corporate clients and supports over 28,000 corporate services locations. Cassidy Turley serves owners, investors and occupiers with a full spectrum of integrated commercial real estate services – including capital markets, corporate services, project leasing, property management, project and development services, and tenant representation.
Mark is a very active leader in the community, serving on the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America Greater St. Louis Area, the Regional Business Council (RBC), Ronald McDonald House, Teach for America, United Way of St. Louis – The Alexis de Tocqueville Society, University of Missouri – Columbia Current Member and Former Chair of The Herbert J. Davenport Society and the Strategic Development Board, University of Missouri – St. Louis Chancellor’s Council, and Webster University Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, Member and Former Chair of The Daniel Webster Society. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Regional Commerce Growth Association (RCGA). He has been recognized by the University of Missouri – Columbia with the Alumni Associate Faculty – Alumni Award (highest honor bestowed to an alumni), and with the Citation of Merit (highest honor awarded from the College of Business).
Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He is is also a Certified Property Manager (CPM), and a Real Property Administrator (RPA).
Charles Wainman Burson
Former Executive Vice President – Monsanto
Charles Wainman Burson was a legal counsel and Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States under Al Gore. He assumed the position of legal counsel from Kumiki Gibson in February 1997 after serving almost a decade as Tennessee Attorney General. In 1999 Charles Burson became Gore’s Chief of Staff, replacing Ron Klain who resigned in August of that year.
Before joining the White House, Charles Burson held a variety of public and private roles. From 1970 until 1988, he worked in private practice as a lawyer. He briefly flirted with active politics in 1978 when he lost a race to Republican Ed Williams for the East Memphis seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. In 1988 he was appointed the Tennessee Attorney General. In this capacity, Burson served on a number of public legal bodies. He was a member of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, of the Tennessee Code Commission and of the Commission on the Future of the Judicial System. Burson also represented the state several times before the Supreme Court of the United States. One notable case he argued was Burson v. Freeman, which established a state’s ability to regulate election advertising on voting day.
After his time in the White House, Burson served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel to the global agribusiness corporation, Monsanto. He presently resides in St. Louis, Missouri and teaches at the Washington University School of Law.
Co-Chairman – Elan Polo International
Mr. Paul R. Cahn Co-founded Elan-Polo, Inc. in 1965 as its Co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Cahn has been President of Elan Polo Imports, Inc. (importer of men’s, women’s and children’s shoes) since 1976. Mr. Cahn served as Chief Executive Officer of Elan-Polo, Inc. He began his footwear career in 1943 at a factory in Montreal, Canada. Mr. Cahn serves as a Director at Parkside Financial, Inc. He served as Director of Enterprise Financial Services Corp. from 1996 to June 1, 2007. Mr. Cahn is a board member of the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Principal – Eidelman Virant Capital
John Virant is a principal at Eidelman Virant Capital, where he focuses on portfolio management and strategic development. Concurrently, he serves as President of leading independent music label Rounder Records, a position he has held for fourteen years. Prior to that he was Rounder’s General Counsel and has been with the company since graduating from law school in 1992. During his tenure at Rounder, John has cultivated and worked with music artists such as 26-time actor/author/musician Steve Martin, and legendary rock group Rush.
John has served on the board of the New York Chapter of NARAS (Grammy Awards) and Folk Alliance International. He has been active in GreenLight Fund, a venture capital firm for non-profit organizations.
John is a graduate of St. Louis Priory School, New York University, and Harvard Law School. John lives with his wife and teenage daughter in Clayton. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and running.