March 31, 2016

New Directors join esteemed multi-sector Board; strengthen operational experience, diversity, and global reach to continue to guide first-of-its-kind innovation accelerator

CHICAGO (March 31, 2016) – UI LABS, a Chicago-based public-private applied research and commercialization collaborative, today announced the expansion of its Board of Directors to include preeminent executives from the corporate, academic, and non-profit sectors.

“We are incredibly pleased to welcome these individuals to the Board at a time when the organization is growing and establishing itself as a center of excellence for collaborative transformation,” said UI LABS Board Chairman Warren Holtsberg. “The wealth of operational experience that the new Directors bring will help drive execution and measurable impact in 2016 and beyond.”

New Directors include:

  • Victor (Vic) R. Abate – Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of GE Global Research
  • Ivo H. Daalder – President of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and Former Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Dan’l Lewin – Corporate Vice President of Technology and Civic Engagement at Microsoft Corporation
  • Anne R. Pramaggiore – President and Chief Executive Officer of ComEd
  • Girish Rishi – Executive Vice President of North America and Global Retail Solutions at Tyco
  • Pedro E. Suarez – President of Dow USA
  • Mark A. Tebbe – Chairman of ChicagoNEXT, and Adjunct Professor and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Returning Directors include:

  • Henry S. Bienen – President Emeritus of Northwestern University
  • Caralynn Nowinski Collens – Chief Executive Officer of UI LABS
  • Warren E. Holtsberg – Chairman of UI LABS and Co-Head of Portfolio Management of The Tokarz Group Advisers LLC, and Member of the Board of Directors of MVC Capital, Inc.
  • Eric D. Isaacs – Provost of The University of Chicago and Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor, and Former Director of Argonne National Laboratory
  • Roger L. Plummer – Retired President and CEO of Ameritech Information Systems and Custom Business Services
  • Lawrence B. Schook – Vice President for Research and Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois
  • Pamela B. Strobel – Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Exelon Corporation, and Retired President of Exelon’s Business Services Company
  • Mike S. Zafirovski – Vice Chairman of UI LABS, Founder and President of The Zaf Group, and Executive Advisor to The Blackstone Group (Blackstone)

Douglas R. Oberhelman, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Caterpillar Inc., and Patricia A. Woertz, Retired Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Archer Daniels Midland Company, are stepping down from the Board.

“Our inaugural Board of Directors played an integral role in shaping and guiding UI LABS through its formative stage,” said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, Chief Executive Officer of UI LABS. “We are grateful for their service and will continue to benefit from the contributions of both the returning and departing Directors.”

UI LABS currently has two applied research and commercialization Labs within its portfolio. In February 2014, UI LABS announced the formation of its first Lab, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), through collaboration with the Department of Defense and a host of other partners, to transform American manufacturing through digitization of the supply chain. UI LABS’ second Lab, City Digital, launched in 2015 to digitize the built environment to transform how citizens live, work, and play in cities today and tomorrow. Across both Labs, UI LABS has 200+ members from industry, academic and research institutions, states and cities, and community organizations.

View short bios of the UI LABS Board of Directors here. 


UI LABS solves large-scale challenges by bringing University + Industry together with startups and government to accelerate the deployment of emerging technologies through collaboration. UI LABS is a first-of-its-kind innovation accelerator, developing a portfolio of applied research and commercialization Labs that lead to a return on investment for its partners, improve local, regional and national competitiveness, and transform entire industries. Learn more at www.uilabs.org.