The premier global leadership network
Young Presidents’ Organization
Comprised of more than 20,000 leaders in 123 different countries, YPO-WPO is the world’s largest network of peers that connects members to exchange ideas, pursue learning and share strategies to achieve personal growth and professional success. Since 1950, YPO has transcended geographic and cultural barriers to inspire members, promote lifelong learning and address the challenges leaders face every day.
Our core mission is to develop “Better Leaders Through Education and Idea Exchange.”
The Power of Peers
No other leadership organization screens it applicants as closely as YPO, because true peer-based learning is the foundation of the YPO mission and experience. YPOers learn from their peers, they exchange ideas, ask for advice, and share best practices in an open and trusting way. CEOs have access to a lot of information, to smart subordinates and perhaps a few too many “yes men.” YPO’s strength is a membership of qualified peers eager to learn and interact and grow as leaders.
The YPO/Chicago Chapter
The Chicago Chapter was founded in 1951 by George Victor of Victor Gasket Corp. to facilitate idea sharing and leadership development among young Presidents in the Chicagoland area. Early meetings took place at the Chicago Athletic Association where members would sit around a table, have lunch, discuss issues, and play cards! Indeed, there were no lavish dinner parties or speakers in the early days, only common interaction among members wanting to help each other succeed in their business and personal lives.
The Chapter experienced rapid growth in the next few decades adding such prominent members as Bob Galvin of Motorola, Harold Meyer of Oscar Meyer, Fred Wacker, and Leonard Lavin of Alberto Culver. The Chicago Chapter continued to flourish in the 90’s, presenting fantastic resources and experiences to its membership. Today, YPO/Chicago has in excess of 165 members and ranks as one of the largest Chapters in the U.S.
Much has changed since 1951, but the Chapter’s mission remains the same - to facilitate idea sharing and leadership development among young presidents in the Chicagoland area.
Read More about YPO History
Today, the Chicago Chapter still remains the third largest chapter in YPO with over 170 members. The Chicago Chapter officer team consists of such prominent Chicago professionals as Greg Jones, Jeff Aronin, Tim Haggerty, Jim Gray, Michael Alter, Jill Belconis, among others. Each year the Education Chair creates their own Education Program (usually one event per month from September through June) that includes truly unique educational program experiences around Chicago, family events, and evocative and engaging offsite trips for the chapter. The goal is to provide our members with practical information they can use, relevant insights and experiential learning that will enhance their businesses and enrich their lives, referring to the events as “only in YPO” because of the exclusive nature of these programs.
In addition, over 80% of our members belong in a forum (a small group consisting of 8-10 members) that meet on a regular basis in an atmosphere of confidentiality, trust and openness to share in each other’s business, family and personal experiences. Indeed, this aspect of YPO has become an extremely valuable feature of our membership.
View YPO Chicago Chapter Officers
Michael W. Ferro, Jr.
Merrick Ventures, LLC.
The Pritzker Group
Member Development Chair
Huizenga Capital Managementr
Oberweis Asset Management, Inc.
Spouse Forum Coordinator
Immediate Past Co-Chairs
Stout Risius Ross, Inc.
To become a member of YPO/Chicago, prospective candidates are advised to review the membership criteria and if you meet the requirements complete the Online Membership Application.