• 2022 Community Champions

  • Palatine High School - Griff Ehrenstrom

    Griff Ehrenstrom is a Senior Vice President and Director of Technical Sales at The Northern Trust Company, a $138 billion financial services firm providing asset servicing and asset management to institutional and high net worth investors around the world. A career in sales to institutional investors in ten countries has given him a perspective on several facets of venture investing, including corporate venture investing, and hedge fund administration.  Palatine residents their entire adult lives, Griff and his wife Nancy have been active in the community while raising two sons.  

    Palatine High School - Lee Grossman

    Lee Grossman is an attorney that has specialized almost exclusively in intellectual property law for 35 years.  In addition to having his own law firm, he is the chief patent counsel at Astronics Corporation, a global aerospace company.  Lee has been involved in the process of the creation of new products to eventual market introduction to the protection by the enforcement of various types of intellectual property.

    Lee has lived in Palatine since 2004 and has had a daughter and 2 sons graduate from Palatine High School and have been enrolled in the Business Incubator class.  Lee has been involved in the Incubator Program at Palatine High School in various capacities since 2016.  

    Fremd High School - Chris Banakis

    Chris Banakis is the Managing Partner of Acuity Advisory Partners, a boutique business and technology advisory firm that provides advisory services to help North American companies penetrate the electric utility market, with a focus on smart grid and distributed energy resource technologies.  His clients have included Motorola Solutions, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), and Zetron. He has also worked extensively with the Perfect Power Institute in Chicago, IL, and Pecan Street in Austin, TX.  Prior to Acuity, Chris served as Vice President and Director of Motorola Inc's Utility Practice in North America.  As head of utility operations, he worked extensively with leading utility companies in North America and was actively involved with numerous industry associations, including Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, and Utility Telecom Council. 

  • Conant High School - Arusha Goyal

    Arusha Goyal is a Global IT Strategy maven. Some people hire personal chauffeurs, while your company hires Goyal Consulting Group to get things done.  Global Information Technology (IT) executive with proven success in leading large global strategic initiatives, consistently recognized for the ability to transform IT organizations from reactive service based models to proactive strategic business partners resulting in reduction of cost and increased organizational efficiency. 

    Schaumburg High School - Humayun Khan

    Humayun Khan is a computer consultant by profession, having worked 25+ years on directed projects in systems and technology for finance, insurance, retail, media, and manufacturing industries.  During his career, he has also designed and taught systems & programming courses within the corporate world.  He is further engaged as an instructor in the Syracuse Online MBA program. When not working or teaching, he spends his time researching emerging technologies in Cloud, Big Data, and Analytics.  He earned an MBA from Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management, an Executive Leadership Certificate from Cornell University, a PMP certification from PMI, and a Master's in Computer Science from BITS (India). As a Principal Consultant with Enterprise Solutions Group, in the Chicago suburbs, his current focus is on data-driven strategies and program management for marketing, financial, and health institutions. 

    Hoffman Estates High School - Jim McKenzie

    James McKenzie is an American entrepreneur most notably known for his business mantra "Build the Machine - Don't Be the Machine."

    He is the epitome of a Renaissance man in the way he fearlessly tackles new and exciting opportunities.  From a humble start as a concert t-shirt salesman, he worked hard to earn his law degree, open his self-named law firm "McKenzie & Associates," create and grow multiple financial and technology-driven companies including Innerwise (sold to Tucows), Network Merchants (sold to Bregal Sagemount, Great Hill Partners, Francisco Partners), and more.

    Today, Jim continues to challenge himself by participating in business ventures and charitable entities meant to give back to the community and grow the next generation of entrepreneurs.