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Joe DePinto ’89, David Chen ’84 and Jim Reynolds ’82 were honored at the “With Gratitude, Kellogg” awards ceremony Thursday, May 1.

With Gratitude

A Grateful Kellogg

Alumni are honored at this year’s “With Gratitude, Kellogg” awards

By Glenn Jeffers

5/1/2014 - Now that’s how you kick off Reunion weekend.

Kellogg celebrated a trio of alumni May 1 for their achievements and their commitment to both the school and community at large.

Jim Reynolds ’82, David Chen ’84 and Joe DePinto ’89 were honored at the “With Gratitude, Kellogg” awards ceremony held at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago.

DePinto, CEO and president of 7-Eleven, received the Wade Fetzer Award for outstanding dedication in supporting the school alumni. Chen, co-founder and principal of Equilibrium Capital Group and lecturer at the school, won the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, which recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to society and, through their professional achievements, have exemplified Kellogg’s dynamic culture and helped shape Kellogg’s strategy, culture and brand.

Reynolds, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Loop Capital, received the Schaffner Award, which honors Kellogg leaders who have made significant contributions to society and, through their professional achievements, have exemplified Kellogg’s dynamic culture.

In thanking the award winners, the alumni and the many friends of the school in attendance, Dean Sally Blount ’92 emphasized the power the Kellogg community possesses to effect widespread change.

“When I consider what we’re creating together, where we’re taking this great school, I’m inspired and so grateful to each and every one of you,” Blount said.

Devoted to school and society

Each recipient was chosen due to the substantial impact he has made over the past few years. Chen not only runs Equilibrium, an impact-investment firm that uses financial instruments to create sustainable food sources, generate renewable energy and more, but also teaches a course on impact investing at Kellogg and helped launch the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge in 2011.

“Twenty- and 30-somethings are at the height of their ability to make a difference in the investment world,” Chen said. “We can give them permission to harness their willingness to think differently.”

A West Point graduate, DePinto has used the team-building and leadership skills he developed in the military — and honed at Kellogg — to run 7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience-store chain.

He also has continued to support his regional alumni club and routinely speaks at Kellogg. He delivered the 2012 EMBA graduation keynote.

“I have so many wonderful friends from Kellogg, and giving back is very important to me and a way to stay connected,” DePinto said.

A strong understanding

With Loop Capital, Reynolds transformed what was a small municipal bond firm into a full-service investment bank, brokerage and advisory firm.

Last year, he partnered with Allstate CEO Tom Wilson ’80 to create the Chicago Public Safety Action Committee, a group that already has raised $45 million to combat gun violence and provide educational opportunities to at-risk youth.

“I have a pretty strong understanding of what young people go through and some of the challenges they have in their lives,” said Reynolds, who grew up in Englewood, one of Chicago’s most crime-ridden areas.

The award ceremony began in the mid-1980’s as a way to celebrate alumni and friends of the school who honor Kellogg with their support.