Lifetime Achievement Award

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The 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award has been awarded to:

Wilbur H. Gantz

President and CEO, PathoCapital, LLC; Chairman, Aptinyx Inc

Over his long career in health care, Bill has founded and helped finance three entrepreneurial ventures. He was Executive Chairman of Naurex, Inc., a company built upon Chicago Area Entrepreneurship 2014 inductee Joe Moskal’s pioneering science to generate new ways to treat central nervous system disorders and recently sold to Allergan. Before that, working with 2005 inductee Jeff Aronin, he was Executive Chairman of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Lundbeck. Before that he was President, Chairman and a founder of PathoGenesis Corporation, which tackled orphan diseases long before anyone else and was sold to Chiron. “It’s the chance to absolutely change the way people are being treated.”

He was President of Baxter International, Inc. from 1987-1992. He joined Baxter in 1976 and held various management positions including Vice President, Europe and President, International Division prior to becoming its Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 1980. At Baxter Bill came to “understand what it meant to be an entrepreneur” as he started companies in countries throughout Europe.

He is currently Chairman of Aptinyx, Inc, a research and development company in CNS disorders, and a director of Medgenics, Inc. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Science Committee for the Field Museum. He has served on numerous boards including Chair of the Harris Financial Corporation, Gillette Company, Baxter Laboratories and W.W.Grainger, Inc. He also is a past Trustee of Princeton University. He has contributed his time and talent generously to building a vibrant, growing biotech community in Illinois.

He has received numerous awards including the Breadth of Life Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Civic iCON Award.

Bill’s efforts are profoundly enhancing the quality of life for millions and creating vibrant companies that attract and retain top biotech talent in Illinois, enhance the global reputation of Illinois as an emerging hub for important biotech, and stand as exemplars for aspiring biotech entrepreneurs.


Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award

The Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Award is the oldest and most prestigious Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Award.

Each year the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Award recognizes innovative business leaders nominated from throughout the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Nominees are distinguished entrepreneurs who have demonstrated entrepreneurial talent and tenacity by founding and growing a successful Chicago-based commercial business or social venture. Your help in identifying potential nominees would be greatly appreciated.

All nominations are evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges and finalists participate in personal interviews with judges and members of the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given on occasion to an individual whose achievements tower as an example of entrepreneurship and citizenship. These individuals are nominated by members of the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.


Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Year Recipient Company
2015 Wilbur H. Gantz Naurex
2013 Gary Rabine Rabine Group
2012 Howard A. Tullman Tribeca Flashpoint Media Art Academy
2011 Andrew J. McKenna McDonald’s Corporation & Schwarz Supply Source
2010 Glen E. Tullman Allscripts
2009 Doris K. Christopher The Pampered Chef
2008 Leonard H. Lavin Alberto-Culver Company
2007 Arthur R. Velasquez Azteca Foods, Inc.
2006 Edward & Bettiann Gardner Soft Sheen Products
2005 Gordon Segal Crate and Barrel
2004 Larry Levy The Levy Organization
2003 Robert A. Pritzker Colson Associates, Inc.
2002 Richard Melman Lettuce Entertain You, Inc.
2001 Patrick Ryan AON Corp
2000 Casey Cowell U.S. Robotics
1999 Michael J. Birch Tellabs Inc.
1998 Robert W. Galvin Motorola
1996 Gerald S. Gicwitz Helene Curtis
1996 Arthur Lukowski Oil Express
1995 W. Clement Stone AON Corp