Introducing Your 2018 WCC Board of Directors Candidates

Date and Time
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Sunday, April 1, 2018

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Scroll down to read the eight candidate statements or click to open a Adobe Acrobat table of the same information.


Sandra Altamero-Downing, WG 1993 (MBA: Finance & Marketing)

Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience: I am able to contribute to achieving WACC’s core purpose through 1) My varied work experience from work in publicly traded Corporations, e.g. ITT Sheraton to running a boutique consulting practice 2) Global work experience and education through which I developed a flexible approach to life 3) My long-term affiliation with Chicago. I attended the University of Chicago from grade school through college and have maintained an large network of friends involved in politics, not-for-profits and business 4) Having been an active member of the Alumni Club in Sydney 5) Volunteer experience as a former Board Member and Treasurer of the Vegan Society of New South Wales and as Regional Engagement Lead for Australia and the Pacific for Vegan Leaders in Corporate Management and am still active with this group 6) My interests, including the martial arts, yoga, and veganism and the arts as I am a highly trained classical pianist. My Wharton education continues to contribute greatly to my life and it would indeed be an honor to be able to give back to Wharton as a Board Member. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for a WACC Board position.

Vision for WCC: My vision for the Wharton Club is for it to continue to offer exciting member benefits. I would like to contribute to establishing WACC as an inspiration for other Wharton Clubs through its rich and varied offerings to a large and supportive member base. These are my ideas to further engage the Chicago Wharton Alumni: 1) Establish monthly or bi-monthly after work drinks nights, alternating between Thursdays and Fridays for different schedules. Each meetup would be at a different venue; 2) I would enjoy being an Affinity Group and Diversity Liaison. My activities and interests generally fall outside of the mainstream. For example, during my 2nd year at Wharton, I organised an art show of students and professors. It was a joy to organise and very well attended. 3) Executive Health is another area of great interest to me. It would be my great pleasure to organise an event about this; 4) I would also like to participate in the Social Impact Annual Dinner and/or form a Corporate Social Responsibility Group. It would be a privilege to be able to contribute to this vibrant organisation that is a great example of Wharton’s image as a first-class, forward thinking, high caliber institution.

Lynne Dant, WG 2002 (MBA)

Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience: Board & Volunteer Experience - I have served on numerous non-profit boards in many leadership roles (chair, vice president). After being chosen for LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, I received special training on non-profit board operation and duties. I have been a member of the Wharton Club of Chicago Board since moving back to Chicago several years ago. I have also been involved with many volunteer organizations, most notably the Louisville Jaycees, where I was named both Chairman and Jaycee of the Year.

Professional Experience - My work experience is in marketing, business development, and operations. On the marketing/business development front, I have both led teams and been actively engaged in areas of digital marketing/multiple social media platforms, strategic planning, brand development/management, communications, building pipelines and revenue streams, and event planning. In operations, I am recognized for my solid budget management record, excellent community engagement/communications and customer service skills.

I would be able to translate these skills to the Wharton Club in order to help communicate the Wharton Brand, build the pipeline of both members and events, and contribute to the fiduciary duties of the Board with my depth of experience in board operations, including budget management and planning (annual, strategic).

Vision for WCC: During my current tenure on the Board of Directors for the Wharton Chicago Club, the Club has grown in both number of annual activities and number of active members. I believe the Club is poised to continue this trajectory, and I am energized to be a member of the leadership team that drives the Chicago Chapter to be a model for the Wharton Alumni Clubs. I believe that to continue this trajectory that there are some areas that can be developed, both in outreach and operationally.
Specifically, in outreach, our board has worked to better engage different segments of the membership base by soliciting feedback through surveys and using the feedback in planning events for our membership base. I think the next step is to continue and build on the feedback loop from membership to determine how to fine tune our program offerings, and I am excited to participate in this effort.

As the Club continues to grow and memberships increase, formal board operations will be important to manage this growth without creating equivalent increases in volunteer board member efforts. Operationally, I have been actively engaged over the last 18 months with the Wharton Chicago Club formulating baseline budgeting processes, rewriting the Club bylaws, and converting the Club to the new web platform. With this foundational knowledge, I believe I can contribute in helping the Club optimize how processes are managed as we continue to grow.

Pam DeLeon, W-Undergrad 1988 (Dual Major: Entrepreneurial Mgmt./Marketing) & College/Psychology Major

Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience: I have over 20+ years experience working with Fortune 500 corporations in digital marketing, social media and sales, as a trusted advisor to CxO and VP-level clients. I am a dynamic results oriented self starter with tenacious drive, and a dedicated team player with exceptional integrity. I am currently on the Chicago Board of SOCAP International, a non profit organization for professionals in the customer care industry (see What I can contribute to the Board is a wealth of experience, ideas and contacts to help grow membership and brand awareness of the Wharton Club.

Vision for WCC: My vision is to increase the membership and events in the Chicago suburbs for the Wharton Club, along with helping to broaden the Club’s digital reach. I own a digital marketing company, and feel there is limitless potential to increase both Wharton Club exposure and brand.

Tad Gray, WG 1993 (MBA: Finance)

Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience: My work-life is now in two areas -- personal finance as a certified financial planner, and as a certified professional coach. Outside work, I'm a classical musician and serve on a board of the Fifth House Ensemble. For the club, I currently support the Social Impact Initiative and I'm creating a program entitled: "reimagining retirement.”

Vision for WCC: I'm delighted with the progress the Club has made over the last several years in terms of operations and programming. There is still upside - to provide more value-added programing.

Linda Yan Gu, WG 2000 (MBA),

Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience: I’ve worked in the financial service industry for over 20 years. I am a senior business executive with proven success in launching, managing and growing SaaS based business globally. Over the years, I’ve developed reputation and personal brand as the go-to person for creative problem solving and I’ve consistently delivered exceptional business results through my career. I’ve had a varieties of senior leadership roles in product management, marketing, product development, sales & client services, and led teams up to 100 people in these functional areas. My operational skill in making things happen and the network I’ve built over the years will come handy for making ideas into reality.

Vision for WCC: As a board member of the Wharton Chicago Club, I am interested to a) help elevate the brand image and membership reach of the club to more alums through organization of a varieties of events b) championing and supporting club’s initiatives around social impact c) plug into Chicago’s vibrant tech/startup/investment community to better connect what companies/investment firms are looking for with skills/interests from the Wharton alums.

Chris Nadherny, WG 1979 (MBA: Marketing)

Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience: Early career in brand marketing with Frito-Lay and J&J followed by 30 years with Spencer Stuart as a Practice Leader, Partner, Member of Board Nominations Committee and Chairman of Partner Development Committees. Advisory Board of GVG Capital. Former Advisory Board of Medill School at Northwestern and Museum of Science & Industry.

Creator of “How to Optimize Your Career” seminars utilized by the Wharton Club with much success in generating incremental revenue and attracting new members.

Vision for WCC: One of the key interests for Wharton Clubs across the country is to become greater local resources to alumni for career advice and counseling. Should the Wharton Club of Chicago be interested in adding a Director to their Board who would have prime responsibility for building additional career management capabilities/resources for local membership…I would be very willing to serve as a Board member in this capacity. Additionally, I would bring a well-developed contact base of senior executives who would be interesting speakers for luncheon or dinner events.

Xin Lu Tan, 2017 (Ph.D. in Statistics)

Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience: During my time as a Ph.D. student in Statistics at Wharton, I acted as recitation instructor for two undergraduate Statistics courses, as well as TA'ed a few courses at undergraduate, MBA, and also Ph.D. level. My experience in teaching and coursework preparation have helped me develop strong organizational and communication skills. The rigorous training I received in Statistics also enables me to perform various data analytics / statistics related tasks. I was also an active member of SNAAAP Dragons Toastmasters club during my time at Wharton and have gained comfort and experience giving prepared and impromptu speeches as well as assuming various roles (ah-counter, timer, general evaluator) necessary for a functional Toastmasters meeting.

Vision for WCC: I do not have prior board experience, but I'm very interested in getting involved within the Wharton Club of Chicago and gaining first-hand experience through direct participation. I'm happy to assist with duties that have been determined as crucial by current board members, and identify other opportunities that can benefit the club as I gain better knowledge of the club. I believe that my lack of experience is also my strength as it prompts me to stay hungry in learning through working with other board members. I'm always passionate about learning and I learn fast! Moreover, being a young professional living in downtown Chicago means that I will be able to assist with the various events held in the area. My unique background as a Malaysian Ph.D. graduate in Statistics also allows me to bring diversity to the board.

Cathryn Taylor, WG 1987 (MBA)

Skills, Qualifications & Previous Board Experience: I have been President of the Wharton Club of Chicago for the last two and a half years. I have been actively building the club in terms of events and activities, building the Board, strengthening our local Wharton community. As a result, during the past year membership in the club has doubled. I am also on the Wharton Alumni Executive Board and have been on the organizing committee for my last 3 reunions.

Vision for WCC: I envision the Wharton Club growing in strength and engagement as more people attend more events and become more involved adding their own flavor and spin to the activities available. I have enjoyed my years of involvement with the Board and see us continuing to grow and expand our programming and participation.