The Fund Welcomes Eric S. Smith to its Board of Directors

September 20, 2017 – Today, The Chicago Public Education Fund’s Board of Directors announced the election of Eric S. Smith, Regional President of Fifth Third Bank (Chicago), to its Board of Directors. "I’m proud to share that my mother was a public school teacher for 35 years,” Smith said.  To this day she inspires me to contribute however I can to support the important roles our teachers, principals and administrators play in the lives of our youth and in our communities. I am pleased to support them by joining the board of The Chicago Public Education Fund. " Smith serves as the Regional President of Fifth Third Bank (Chicago), which includes more than $9.7 billion in assets. In this role, he is responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of Fifth Third Bank’s Commercial, Wealth & Asset Management and Consumer Businesses to deliver distinctive value to its customers. He also leads the bank’s community investment strategy and execution where education is among its top area of focus. “We are honored to welcome Eric to The Fund’s Board of Directors,” said Heather Y. Anichini, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Fund. “In addition to his professional accomplishments, Eric has a long history of commitment to the Chicagoland nonprofit and civic community, as demonstrated through his board service and volunteerism. We are grateful he will lend his expertise in the service of Chicago’s principals and students on The Fund’s Board.” Smith has more than 25 years of banking experience and began his career with Merrill Lynch as a Financial Analyst in Public Finance. He joined Fifth Third in October 2016 from JPMorgan Chase, where he most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of Middle Market Banking. That unit focuses on companies with annual sales between $50 million and $500 million. Prior to assuming that role in 2011, Smith was a Managing Director in the Investment Bank, where he served as the head of the North American Food & Beverage Group. He also was responsible for advising Fortune 500 consumer product companies on merger and acquisition transactions as well as debt and equity underwritings. Smith joins a Board of Directors comprised of corporate, civic, and education leaders working to ensure that every child in Chicago has access to a world-class public education. Directors pool their dollars, ideas, and time with the belief that strategic investments can have a positive impact on the performance of Chicago’s district and charter public schools. In addition to his work with The Fund, Smith currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Urban League. He is an active member of the board of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Goodman Theatre. He is a member of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, The Chicago Club, Economic Club of Chicago and the Executives Club of Chicago. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Howard University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife Kimberly have two daughters.  

Media Contact: Lauren B. Rapp 317.650.9893

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