The Chicago Public Education Fund Welcomes Eric S. Smith to Its Board of Directors

CHICAGO, January 22, 2021 - Today, The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) announced the election of Eric S. Smith to its Board of Directors. Smith is the vice chair at BMO Harris Bank and previously served on The Fund’s Board from 2017 to 2019.  “I am excited to return to my work with The Fund,” Smith said. “As the son of a public school teacher, I have long believed in the power of public education to transform students’ lives. School leaders are essential to creating the conditions in which students succeed, and I look forward to using my experience to help The Fund find innovative and responsive ways to support educators.”  As vice chair at BMO, Smith is responsible for working with the bank’s U.S. commercial banking team and across other lines of business to develop strategies and products by cultivating new and existing client relationships. He joined BMO in January 2020 from Fifth Third Bank, where he served as the regional president responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of the commercial banking, wealth and asset management, and consumer businesses across the Chicagoland market. Prior to assuming that role in 2016, Smith served as the chief financial officer of middle-market banking for JPMorgan Chase. He has more than 25 years of banking experience, and he began his career with Merrill Lynch as a Financial Analyst in Public Finance. “We are thrilled to welcome Eric back to the Board,” Fund CEO Heather Y. Anichini said. “Over the last four years, we have come to rely on his experience in community initiatives to draw connections across the corporate, philanthropic, education and nonprofit sectors. His thoughtful approach to leadership development enables The Fund to make strategic decisions that center educators and drive school improvement.” Smith joins a Board composed of corporate, civic and education leaders dedicated to creating equitable outcomes for Chicago public school students. 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 Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Urban League and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Foundation as well as immediate past vice chair of the Board for Goodman Theatre. Smith is an Executive Committee Board Member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and an active Board Member of Chicago United, Ravinia Board of Trustees, Northwestern Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, and St. John A.M.E. Church of Aurora. He is also a member of the Commercial Club, Economic Club of Chicago, Executives Club of Chicago, Executive Leadership Council, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Howard University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.    For more information, contact: Elizabeth Greiwe, The Chicago Public Education Fund | (630) 336-7303   About The Chicago Public Education Fund The Fund is a nonprofit organization that improves public schools in Chicago by investing in the talented educators who lead them. We are a catalyst for accelerating student learning and a long-standing leader in identifying and scaling what works for not only teachers and principals, but also their students. To learn more about the principals we serve and the work we do, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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