Illinois State University College of Business Alum Jim Tyree will be the keynote speaker for Business Week 2009. Jim is chairman and chief executive officer of Mesirow Financial, an employee owned financial conglomerate that got its start in 1937 when Norman Mesirow opened a one-man brokerage in the Loop. Today, the Chicago company has $35 billion under management, $451 million in annual revenue, $230 million in capital, 45,000 clients, and 1,100 employees. Its primary service is investment management, but it also offers insurance and consulting. Mesirow opened its first European office in London last year and will open an office in China this year. They are currently building a new 18 floor office high rise in River North to consolidate all six of its businesses under one roof. Since 1990 Jim has made 50 acquisitions and boosted revenue seven and a half times.

Jim graduated from Illinois State in 1978 with a degree in business administration and in 1980 with an MBA. He has served on more than 50 corporate, civic and not-for-profit boards of directors. Civically, Jim provides active leadership and participates in numerous organizations in support of healthcare, education and children. Mayor Daley appointed him as chairman of the board of City Colleges of Chicago, an organization with seven colleges and 110,000 students. In addition, Jim is the chairman for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and past chairman of the Executives Club of Chicago. He is chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. He currently serves on the boards of Illinois State University Foundation, Roosevelt University, Illinois Education Foundation, University of Chicago Medical Center, Big Shoulders Fund, Illinois Emerging Technologies Fund, and University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Advancement Council. Jim also serves on the Advisory Board of the Northwestern University Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Program Project Grant.

The keynote address will be followed by a public reception in Old Main from 3:00-3:45 p.m. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend.

To learn more about Tyree visit

Business Week 2009 runs from Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3. Each activity is designed to develop essential soft-skills that complement classroom instruction and help students make a smooth transition into the professional world. Business Week also helps us build strong relationships with partner firms and alumni that directly benefit the COB.

Thank you for supporting this college-wide event through actively encouraging your students’ participation and by joining us at key events. More details about the events and other guest speakers will be released shortly.

One thought on “Jim Tyree to Keynote Business Week 2009

  1. Thank you for the informative post.