J. Coady '02
Profile: Samuel J. Coady '02
the games begin!
hard, play hard" is no cliché to Samuel J. Coady '02
passion is put to the test every day at the Chicago Mercantile
Exchange, where he is director of corporate finance, responsible
for managing a team focused on competitive analysis, mergers
and acquisitions, and joint venture work.
is more satisfying when one discovers that it isn't just about
what you do from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.," says Coady, 40. "Discovering
and pursing one's passions is the key to a full, happy life."
the office, the Kellogg School Executive MBA graduate's enthusiasm
for sports is evident in his contribution to the Gay Games
VII – Chicago 2006, a sports and cultural festival that
celebrates the founding principles of participation, inclusion
and personal best. Coady serves as co-chair of the board of
misconception is that, because of the word 'gay' in its name,
the Gay Games are only for gay people; in fact, the games
are not just a gay thing, but a human thing. The games are
about irradiating stereotypes, eliminating prejudice and celebrating
one's passion for sport or culture," he says.
from Ames, Iowa, Coady attended DePaul University, where he
graduated in 1990 with a commerce degree. Armed with a zeal
for travel and an interest in commerce, he accepted a position
in the internal audit department of The Quaker Oats Co.
international business world was what drew me to Quaker,"
says Coady, who traveled to Europe and South America while
working at the firm, providing eclectic business experience.
nearly a decade in audit and finance at Quaker, he was ready
to embrace new challenges, which arrived in the form of Whittman-Hart,
an Internet consulting firm that went public in 1996. There,
Coady served as a vice-president of strategic finance.
had an opportunity to further develop my finance skills in
a high-growth industry through evaluating joint venture and
partnership growth opportunities," he says, adding that
the firm had 40 percent sales growth annually during the first
four years after becoming a public company. Whittman-Hart
eventually succumbed to the widespread tech bust in 2001.
at Whittman-Hart, Coady embarked for the Kellogg School where
he graduated from the Executive MBA program in 2002. "The
program taught me to keep my contacts strong and that teams
create better results than individuals," says Coady.
2001, Coady accepted a position at the Chicago Mercantile
Exchange (CME) in corporate finance. The 107-year-old Chicago-based
futures and options exchange that started trading "butter
and eggs" has grown into a public firm that has facilitated
the trading and clearing of more than 800 million futures
contracts annually representing a notional value of over $463
am surrounded by a dynamic group of colleagues who keep me
learning and challenged. Having motivated, sharp co-workers
has made CME a great place to work."
recommends always being willing to learn and challenging yourself
to feel comfortable with who you are and what you can contribute.
"By operating from a position of selflessness, integrity
and intellect, you become better equipped to make sound decisions,"
seventh annual Gay Games are scheduled for July 15-22, 2006,
in Chicago. The games are expected to have more than 12,000
participants from 70 countries. With opening ceremonies at
Soldier Field and closing ceremonies at Wrigley Field, the
games plan to offer 30 sports and contribute at least $75
million to the city.
University has been a great partner to Gay Games VII with
over 2,000 athletes expected to compete in six sports on the
Evanston campus," Coady notes.
and Northwestern University — by virtue of their rich
sports traditions, strong corporate community support and
celebration of diversity — are the perfect hosts for
the games," says Coady, whose basketball team placed
fourth when they competed in the 1994 Gay Games in New York
City. "In 1994, walking into Yankee Stadium with over
40,000 cheering you on at closing ceremonies was a life-changing
experience. The Gay Games will make people realize that our
passions, similarities and common human experiences far outweigh
acquainted with Coady aren't surprised by his fervor.
works tirelessly on the 2006 Gay Games and combines his passion
for sports with thoughtful and success-driven business sense,"
says Bernadette Birt, associate director of student affairs
at the Kellogg School's Executive MBA office.
see Sam as a consummate leader who stands tall and speaks
up for what he believes in."