Business Advisory Committee

The Concordia University Chicago College of Business Advisory Committee (BAC) comprises entrepreneurs, industry leaders, friends and alumni who assist with strategic visioning, offer advice and help chart the future course of the College’s development. These dedicated professionals assist the College in maintaining relevant, high quality programs that are value-added to students and employers. The Mission of the BAC is “to assist the deans, chairs, faculty, and staff of the College in achieving its mission and vision.” The BAC formally meets twice per year, and informally as available to work on special projects or initiatives.

2019-2020 BAC Members

Phil Allen

Phil Allen is a life-long learner. By continually developing his knowledge, education, and experience in the information technology (IT) field, Allen delivers maximum impact on projects while innovating processes to increase efficiency and quality. Phil possesses breadth of experience in IT roles, consulting, projects, and organization types. He has led teams in software engineering, quality assurance, database administration, software architecture, business analysis, and project management. He has worked at a variety of organizations including independent entrepreneurial endeavors, a small venture capital funded startup, a billion dollar project at a Fortune 50 company, and numerous global organizations. In his current role, Phil is Vice President of Information Technology at Vitality Group, where he develops and nurtures a lifelong learning approach in others, while leading teams in delivering quality projects and continuous process improvement.

Phil received a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Tulsa. In addition, he holds a graduate certificate in Project Management and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management. When not working, Phil loves to travel and playing volleyball with his wife.

BatthHarry Bath

Harjit Singh Batth (Harry Bath), is the co-founder of Immediate Air Cargo Transit, a firm that specializes in air, land, and sea transportation of goods, both domestic and international.

Batth was born in Punjab, India and attended Ram Sukh Das College, from which he received his Bachelor’s degree in business administration. Having graduated, Batth moved to the U.S. in 1981, where he found a job as a truck driver for Sureway. Over the following eleven years, he honed his leadership and managerial skills and was made responsible for the management of 30+ employees in Sureway’s Chicago office. Motivated by the challenge of building a new business from the ground up, Batth and a co-worker, with the support of an initial investor, used their combined skills and expertise to start their own shipping company. Immediate Air Cargo Transit (IACT) was established in 1993 as a small scale, same-day shipping operation. Over the years it has grown into a full-service transportation company serving several Fortune 500 companies. With a continued dedication to superior customer service and innovation, Batth and his team are striving to make IACT the preferred transporter of goods for businesses on all scales.

Maryann Barrile

Maryann Barrile is a results-driven executive with over 30 years of leadership experience. She has a successful background in business development, human capital leadership, and corporate strategy. With this expertise, Maryann founded Barrile Associates, an executive search and consulting firm, to help companies seamlessly connect with the right top-level executives. Her keen ability to build strong relationships has been the foundation of her success. She acts as an advisor and business partner for clients to ensure collaborative and successful outcomes when business needs require new process implementations and/or new talent strategies to stay profitable. Industries she works with include healthcare and technology, among others. Throughout her career, Maryann has honed her strategic skills in companies big and small, working in both large corporations as well as smaller entrepreneurial ventures. Previously, she worked at Enterprise Recovery Systems, Inc., where she served as the sole strategic advisor to the CEO and was integral in the company’s growth. In that role, Maryann successfully helped sextuple revenues, which led to an eventual successful sale of the company. Additionally, during these high growth years, she built their HR department from the ground up.

Maryann holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Carroll University. Her work with the Lake County Haven empowers homeless women and their children to achieve independent living. When not working, she loves traveling the world.

GalePastor Joshua Gale

Pastor Joshua Gale currently serves as executive director of Lutheran Church Charities based in Northbrook, IL. In this role, Gale oversees national and international disaster- and crisis-response and many other projects, managing a growing professional staff, full-time partners and thousands of local volunteers. Before accepting his current position, Gale served for three years as co-founder and executive director of Castillo Fuerte Casa de Misericordia, a non-profit serving the poorest neighborhoods of Lima, Peru, in the field of education. Prior to Castillo Fuerte, Gale served as mission developer for Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries, where he worked primarily with the homeless and at-risk members of the community, including refugees and displaced single mothers, and partnered at the local level for responsible community renewal.

Pastor Gale is a graduate of Illinois State University. He earned his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. He is a student in the Concordia-Chicago Master of Business Administration program with a specialization in non-profit management. He is married to Amanda, and has two children, Katharina and Zechariah.

Dr. Jen Groh

Dr. Jennifer (Jen) Groh is an outcomes driven leader with research and practical experience in leading the development and implementation of strategies.  She has over twenty years of leadership experience, having worked at Mooseheart International, Coventry Health Care (now Aetna), Aon Hewitt, Deltak-Wiley, DeVry University and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Groh has also served in nonprofit board leadership roles at Girls in the Game and the Illinois Board of Higher Education-Proprietary Advisory Committee. Most recently, Groh serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for the CAEL, an affiliate of the Strada Education Network.  

Groh holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership and a Master of Business Administration degree from Concordia University Chicago. Her research interest is how leaders address the organizational change associated with innovation. Groh’s Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication is from Western Michigan University, where she was a student-athlete playing volleyball. She has also played semi-professional beach volleyball and continues to stay active by rowing crew, practicing yoga, and coaching her nieces and nephews in sports, life, and learning. Groh and her husband enjoy living and working in Chicago.

Trish Lambrecht
Trish Lambrecht

Trish Lambrecht is a conscientious Program Delivery Executive and Management Consultant who specializes in strategic execution.  Her senior management experience allows Trish to approach her engagements with a cross functional perspective.  Her broad experience across functional areas and practical approach to consulting helps Trish direct work effort to activities that add value.  She is both customer- focused and quality-minded in her approach to the delivery of both products and services.

Prior to starting INFUSION, Trish spent 9 years running the sales, marketing, customer service areas of a title insurance company in Chicago.  She had P&L responsibilities and launched a real estate appraisal organization to leverage customer relationships and increase revenue. 

Trish earned her Executive MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.  She is also a Certified Project Management Professional and has extensive experience successfully leading projects in Information Technology, Software Development, Business Process Improvement, Marketing and Sales. She is a results-oriented leader who can facilitate change.   Her holistic approach and business process orientation promotes an understanding of how the project and its outcome impact the business and helps in early identification and mitigation of risks to a successful outcome.

In addition to her work with Concordia, Trish serves on the Patient Family Advisory Council of North Shore University Health Systems.

Dr. Bill Liu
Dr. Bill Liu

Dr. Bill Liu helps U.S. companies enter the Chinese market. Most recently, he has also been assisting Asian companies to enter the U.S. market. Connecting companies and people globally is the focus of Bill’s career.

Bill founded NaviAsia Advisors, where he is a consultant and Principal, which derived from NaviAsia Group, cofounded by Bill in 2001. Bill has consistently generated over 80% of NaviAsia’s business, which earned him the Top China Consultant honor by Crain’s Chicago Business. Bill has helped clients via strategy formulation, cost control, sales and marketing. His clients companies range in annual sales from $3B to under $100M.

Bill also serves as the North America Executive Director of Hurun Report, the premium authority on China’s wealth, assisting Hurun Report to enter the US market. He designs the market entry strategy and acquires sponsors for Hurun’s North America expansion.

Bill has also presented in over 100 conferences and meetings, including Kellogg’s China Conference (key note speaker) and the International Housewares Show. He is a frequent guest lecturer at Kellogg School and an adjunct marketing faculty of Shenyang Jianzhu University, Shenyang University of Technology, and Vietnam National University.

Prior to NaviAsia, Bill was the Global e-Business Manager for Lucent Technologies. His early career consists of time as a management consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and as a biotechnology supervisor and project engineer for the Institute of Gas Technology and Waste Management, respectively.

Bill earned an MBA in Marketing, Finance, and International Business from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was elected to a Diplomat of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and is a registered professional engineer. Bill is bilingual and bicultural, with his native language being Mandarin.

Bill sits on the Corporate Board of Directors for the Standard Rubber Company in Zhuihai, China and Shu-Te Group in Taiwan. Bill is a member of the City of Chicago China Committee; and is the Chairperson and Founder of Asia-Pacific and the Chicago-West Committees for Kellogg’s Alumni Club of Chicago. Bill served as the Chairman of the Board of Xilin Association, the largest Asian social service agency in Illinois.

Bill was nominated by the Mayor of Naperville, Illinois to be the Chairman of Chinese Community. He led the effort to have Naperville become the first Illinois city with a Chinese website. He also served as the Global Ambassador of DuPage County, Illinois.

LuetkensMel Luetkens

Following graduation from Concordia, River Forest, Mel accepted a call to teach at Lutheran North in Michigan.  Following three years of teaching, Mel was offered a role as Lecturer at the University of Michigan and subsequently admitted to its PhD Chemistry program.  He started his industrial career with Amoco Chemicals in Chicago with progressive roles leading to managing European Technology Operations for BP (Belgium) with operations in five countries. 

Across his career, Mel has successfully integrated technology and business expertise to innovate and deliver several new products in the renewable and petrochemical industries. 

In his recent roles, Mel led the use of renewable natural oils (e.g., soybean, canola, corn and sunflower oils) to develop and produce a diverse portfolio of specialty chemical products using a broad range of proprietary, patent protected technologies, including Nobel Prize winning metathesis.

  • As the CEO and Managing Director for XiMo (Switzerland, Hungary), he successfully recapitalized XiMo with funding from a strategic investor (Verbio).  Verbio supports the strategy for XiMo including investment in catalyst and specialty chemical production.  
  • Business co-founder and key inventor for the integrated biorefinery where he managed the engineering and development efforts leading to the construction and safe operation of a world scale (200 Kmt/yr) asset in Indonesia.
  • Managed business and operations based in Singapore engaging major oleochemical producers to assess opportunities for new products within its portfolio.
  • Co-managed the start-up of Elevance including establishing its first commercial and laboratory facilities, IT infrastructure, and key business processes for core functions including technology, HR, HSE, regulatory, and legal.
  • Negotiated multiple agreements including joint development agreements, technology licensing, and joint venture agreements.
  • Divested assets to afford 35 million for continuing operations of Elevance.  During the sale process, the two core businesses sold set new sales and operational records including quality, yields, and production rates.

Historically Mel has managed global businesses, operations, mergers and acquisition projects, marketing, business development, joint collaborations, and technology development.  Mel has been able to consistently demonstrate value capture including profitable growth, monetizing of new opportunities, and demonstrating continuous improvement.  Mel has a PhD from the University of Michigan, an MBA from University of Chicago, and a BA from Concordia, River Forest.

Karolyn Rubin

Karolyn Rubin began her professional career journey in broadcast communications as an assistant producer for CBS television in Chicago.  In her role, she onboarded talent, wrote scripts for hosts, and produced live and recorded talk show segments.  Her experiences in the communication and media industry, opened several entrepreneurial opportunities for Karolyn.  Over several decades, Karolyn has purchased, started, and sold several businesses within the U.S. and abroad.  Karolyn’s background has  prepared her  to specialize in organizational effectiveness through process and people improvement.  Her wealth of knowledge and expertise in sales, operation, and compliance initiatives for businesses has allowed Karolyn to help her clients take their company to the next level through her performance-based organizational, and training and development consulting. As an education consultant, Karolyn currently drives performance-based organizational, and training and development initiatives by designing, developing, and facilitating classroom and virtually-led online education, and adaptive learning modules for a national insurance company.

Karolyn is the recipient of several industry milestone acheivements and recognitions including:

  • Chairperson of the Illinois  Department of Professional Regulations-Licensing and Disciplinary Board
  • Instructor of the Year and Instructor Acheivement Awards from ACA International
  • Collector magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Collection Professionals
  • Credit and Collecton Risk magazine’s Top Five Women in Collections
  • ATD-Chicago Chapter Deborah Colky Award for education and awareness through training  and development innovation in the workplace

Karolyn received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications at Columbia College-Chicago, will receive her  Masters of Arts degree in Training and Development at Roosevelt University (May 2019), and is a doctoral student in the EdD. program at  University of Southern California studying Organizational Change and Leadership.

Outside of her professional accomplishments, Karolyn is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor who assists individuals in achieving their wellness and fitness goals, loves to spend time with her family and friends, and is an avid collector of Wonder Women memorabilia.

Toni Wheatle
Dr. Toni Wheatle

Dr. Toni Wheatle is a Global Brand Strategist and the Founder of Wheatle Peart. She has spent nearly two decades designing nonprofits and managing global business identity before creating global branding implementation models. She has overseen marketing and branding relationships with companies such as Aveda and Lord and Taylor, while serving as a Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing for local Chicago company.  She has overseen social technology, social global employment training, and entrepreneurship program implementation under AmeriCorps, WIA/WIOA, HUD, DOL, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, YouthBuild USA, Comcast, AT&T, and Motorola funding streams.

She is also an International Strategist for one of the international centers founded by Richard Branson-Virgin Unite: Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship - Caribbean. Dr. Toni Wheatle serves as a Strategist and Business Coach for the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship-Caribbean helping business CEOs with entities such as marketing new retail food packaging, establishing labor production line, technology marketing, and expansion implementation for 3 PL - third party logistics warehousing systems.

She is also a former adjunct faculty member and subject matter expert for American Business and Technology University. She has a Bachelor in Political Science from Northwestern University, a MBA from Roosevelt University, and a Doctorate of Business Administration from Argosy University. Her experience can assist with the branding and designing of any business concept within a wide range of industries. Toni is overseeing a global business training session in Dubai with 50 women from Africa.