Vance Kenney

Co-Founder & Board Chairman

​​Vance Kenney is an established entrepreneur, business leader, and urban economic development expert in the Gary and Northwest Indiana region and is considered one of the pioneers in the ongoing redevelopment of Gary, Indiana. He is the Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of Advance Energy LLC, a multi-million dollar minority-certified fuel supply and transport company with customers including FedEx, Airport Car Rental Agencies at O’Hare and Midway, USS, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and many other regional and national firms. Kenney is also the Managing Partner of 504 Redevelopment LLC, a commercial real estate development firm committed to advancing underserved communities. Additionally, Kenney is the Founder and President of V.R. Kenney & Associates, a business development consulting firm for companies such as Republic Services, the Skillman Corp and others. Kenney is an influential business leader who has served on numerous boards and commissions and holds a B.A. from Northeastern Oklahoma University.

Christie Hefner


Christie Hefner is a seasoned professional with more than thirty years’ experience at executive levels in both public and private companies, as well as multiple company directorships. Presently, her portfolio consists of advisory work for a company with patents to convert CO2 and methane to biodegradable plastic and artificial leather, a company that owns 30 newspapers and four TV stations, and a cannabis company. Hefner also serves as Chairman of the Board of Hatchbeauty Brands and on the Advisory Board of the Offutt Companies, a multi-billion dollar agricultural conglomerate, Previously, Hefner served as Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises for 20 years making her the longest serving female CEO of a publicly traded company. Under her leadership, the company was transformed into an international multi-media, brand driven company. Hefner was one of the founders of both The Chicago Network and the Committee of 200, and is a member of Women Corporate Directors and National Association of Corporate Directors. Hefner holds a B.A. from Brandeis University.

Dr. Shafiq Rab


Dr. Shafiq Rab is a clinical and technical trained executive with over 18 years of experience in leading the transformation of healthcare systems into integrated care technology organizations. Prior to his current position as a Senior Advisor to the CEO of Wellfor ce, Dr. Rab was the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Rush University Medical Center (RUMC). In Dr. Rab’s tenure at RUMC, his vision and leadership in technology led to significant financial savings for Rush and generated significant community impact for the West Side of Chicago. Prior to his work at RUMC, Dr. Rab brought Hackensack University Medical Center to the leading edge of mobile healthcare technology by developing an app that allows patient access to direct appointment scheduling, test results, prescription information and communication with physicians from any device. His team also developed facial recognition technology to accurately match and identify the appropriate patient to his or her data, as well as new technology allowing patients to connect providers to their medical record regardless of the system that was used by a healthcare institution. Some of the notable awards received by Dr. Rab include Becker’s Top 100 Hospital CIO’s to Know, Champion of Consumer Access by the National Association for Trusted Exchange, Cybersecurity Leadership Innovation Award from the Center for Digital Government and Intel Security, and the Distinguished Citizen Award from Boy Scouts of America. Notable past and present civic and non-profit involvement include the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Jersey Health Connect, American Health Information Management Association, and the CHIME Foundation. Dr. Rab’s education includes a Bachelor of Surgery and a Bachelor of Medicine from Dow Medical College, a master’s degree in Public Health from Rutgers University, and an M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Tom Younkin


Tom Younkin has over 29 years of experience working in the ERP software space. He spent 17 years at Oracle in various roles where he received many individual awards, including Oracle HCM Sales MVP in 2005 and 2007. He was also named the 2014 MVP for the Oracle HCM Applications and Cloud Services business, which at the time had over 800 employees. Younkin was deeply involved in many of Oracle’s earliest HCM Cloud deployments starting in 2014 at firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dun & Bradstreet, CDM Smith, Sutherland Global, and Akamai Technologies. Younkin departed Oracle in 2018 to pursue entrepreneurial interests. For the past several years he has served as an independent technology advisor and small business owner. Younkin holds a B.S. in Marketing and Finance from the University of Rhode Island.

Marc Joseph


Marc Joseph is a senior partner at the law firm of Levenfeld Pearlstein, a nationally recognized mid- sized law firm located in Chicago for its innovation, sophisticated business-oriented practice, and commitment to unparalleled client experience. With more than 35 years of legal and business experience and a certified public accountant, Joseph has served his clients as an experienced business advisor and in their complex legal needs. Joseph has served on the firm’s Executive Committee and as an effective member of numerous company and charity boards and committees. He earned his bachelor’s degree (Magna Cum Laude) at the Business School at the University of Illinois and his law degree (Magna Cum Laude, Law Review and Order of the Coif) at the University of Illinois. Joseph is an active investor in various businesses, involved in numerous charities and an avid golfer.

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