James J. O’Connor
Mr. James O’Connor is one of the original founders of the Big Shoulders Fund and has been Co-Chairman since its inception in 1986. In 1998, James O’Connor retired from his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Unicom Corporation and Commonwealth Edison after 35 years of employment. Since then he has devoted his time to philanthropy.
In recent years, he has served on the philanthropic and corporate boards of a number of organizations including Corning Incorporated, United Airlines, the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago Urban League, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Adler Planetarium, the Chicago Symphony, the Lyric Opera, the Museum of Science and Industry, the 100 Club of Chicago and Northwestern University.
Monsignor Kenneth Velo
For more than forty five years, Monsignor Velo has served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago. In that time, he has held numerous positions including vice chancellor of the Archdiocese, executive assistant to Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, and President of the Catholic Church Extension Society. He began serving as a senior executive in the Office of Catholic Collaboration at DePaul University in 2001.
Monsignor Velo became the President of the Big Shoulders Fund in 2003, and in 2012, he joined John Canning and James O’Connor as a Co-Chairman of the Big Shoulders Fund.
Monsignor serves on the board of Lurie Children’s Hospital and the 100 Club of Chicago. He is a trustee of Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame and he also serves in pastoral duties at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago.
Kent P. Dauten
Kent P. Dauten co-founded Keystone Capital in 1994 and serves as a Chairman of the firm. As part of Keystone, Kent served as the CEO. and President of the firm’s first portfolio company, Record Masters, building it into the nation’s leading healthcare records management company. After the merger of this business into Iron Mountain, he served as the President of their Healthcare Division. Mr. Dauten’s previous experience includes fifteen years with First Chicago Venture Capital and its spin-off Madison Dearborn Partners, Inc., a multi-billion dollar private equity firm which he also co-founded.
Mr. Dauten is Co-Chairman of Big Shoulders Fund and serves on the boards of numerous civic and philanthropic organizations, including the Museum of Science and Industry and Northwestern Medicine. He and his wife Liz are also supporters of numerous initiatives related to mental health including the Dauten Family Center for Bipolar Treatment Innovation at Mass General Hospital.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Joshua Hale began at the Big Shoulders Fund in 2005. He previously served as Director of Development and Public Relations for Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, a nationally recognized model for inner-city college preparatory education.
Mr. Hale is also involved with numerous professional and philanthropic organizations. He was a fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago program and an inaugural member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders Program. Currently, Mr. Hale serves on the Forums Committee of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Board of Directors of The Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago, the Board of Directors of Amerigo, and the Next Generation Ad Hoc Committee of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He is a member of The Chicago Club, the Chicago Commonwealth Club, and of Vistage International. In 2010, Mr. Hale was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business Journal as one of Chicago’s “40 Under 40.”