Elizabeth Connelly, industry head, healthcare high er., not-for-profit, JP Morgan Commercial Bank
My interest in philanthropy started at a young age. My parents expected us to volunteer and help others as they had done throughout their lives. I have served as a volunteer and a trustee for many organizations, with a few key themes in mind.
First, as a mother of four, I am compelled to work to improve the lives of children who don’t have the same opportunities as my children. That is the reason why I became involved in the Shedd Aquarium and Children’s Home & Aid Society.
Second, I believe the arts are essential to a vibrant community, so I serve as a board member for Steppenwolf and Harris Theater. Finally, I serve on the Polk Bros. Board because I believe foundations play a critical role in providing leadership, strategic direction, and continuity in the nonprofit community. It sounds cliché, but I have received so much more than I have given in my volunteer work.
The non-profit board room has proven to be a great training ground for me. I attribute much of my success to all that I have learned through my work with these world-class institutions. One of my greatest achievements and the ultimate reward as a parent has been to see my work come full circle as my children have begun to follow in our family tradition and become involved as volunteers in our community.