Recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the city’s most influential business leaders, Gidwitz co-founded GCG Partners in 1998. The highly-regarded strategic consulting and equity firm is based in Chicago. Gidwitz succeeds Emil Brolick, president/CEO of Wendy’s, as chairman of BGCA.
Gidwitz has been an invaluable asset to the national organization’s board, widely regarded as one of the most influential in the nonprofit world. The list of Governors includes: Thomas J. Falk, chairman/CEO, Kimberly-Clark; Rick Goings, chairman/CEO, Tupperware Brands Corporation; Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president, Charles Schwab Foundation; Edward T. Lewis, chairman and founder, Essence Magazine; Ronald L. Sargent, chairman/CEO, Staples; Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State; Jeff M. Fettig, chairman/CEO, Whirlpool Corporation; and Denzel Washington, Oscar-winning actor and BGCA national spokesperson.
“We are extremely fortunate to have a proven leader like Ron Gidwitz as our chairman,” said BGCA President/CEO Jim Clark. “His invaluable leadership skills and expertise, coupled with his stature as our longest-serving active board member, will be vital in promoting the generation-changing effectiveness of our 4,000 Clubs throughout the nation, and on U.S. military installations worldwide.”
During his 38 years of service to BGCA, Gidwitz has realized great success leading the Government Relations Committee, which shapes the organization’s strategy for garnering bi-partisan political support inside the Beltway and beyond. He has also served as Midwest Regional Chair two times, and spearheaded the financial campaign to build BGCA’s Kemper Midwest Center in Schaumburg, Ill. A graduate of Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Gidwitz is a frequent visitor to Washington, D.C., meeting with leaders on Capitol Hill to share the inspirational stories of the 4 million young people served by Boys & Girls Clubs. A mainstay of BGCA’s annual Congressional Breakfast hosted by Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Steny Hoyer, he has served as emcee for many years.
“I am honored to serve as chairman of an organization that is so passionate and committed to ensuring every Boys & Girls Club member has the opportunity to achieve a great future,” said Gidwitz. “As a business executive for more than 40 years, I firmly believe the economic future of America will be determined by how well today’s young people are equipped to be tomorrow’s leaders and workforce.”
Before he co-founded GCG Partners, Gidwitz rose through the ranks at Helene Curtis. He led a number of departments, including sales and manufacturing, before assuming the CEO position in 1979. As CEO, he increased revenues sevenfold to more than $1.2 billion before the company was acquired by Unilever.
In addition to his successful business career, Gidwitz is active in Chicago’s arts communities, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees/Directors for the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Rush University Medical Center.
Gidwitz has also served as Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education. In 2006, he was a candidate for Governor of the State of Illinois.
Married and the father of two, Gidwitz resides in Chicago.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of AmericaFor more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands across the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
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