Richard Kincaid

Richard Kincaid was the president and chief executive officer of Equity Office Properties Trust, until its acquisition by the Blackstone Group in February of 2007. He is currently the President and Founder of the BeCause Foundation. The BeCause Foundation is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to creating innovative ways to improve the health, education, and welfare of children. Mr. Kincaid is also an active private investor in early stage companies.


Prior to being named President and CEO in 2003, Mr. Kincaid served as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mr. Kincaid has also served as Equity Office’s chief financial officer. At 33 and one of the country’s youngest CFO’s, Richard developed the financial, technology and integration strategies for the company during its tremendous growth, which included nearly $17 billion in acquisitions.


Mr. Kincaid was with Equity Office since its 1997 IPO, and worked with the company’s chairman, Sam Zell, for over 16 years. Prior to joining Equity Office in 1995, Mr. Kincaid was senior vice president of finance for Equity Group Investments, Inc., where he oversaw debt financing activities for the public and private owners of real estate controlled by Mr. Zell. During his tenure at Equity Group Investments and Equity Office, Mr. Kincaid has supervised more than $11 billion in financing transactions. Prior to joining Equity Group Investments in 1990, Mr. Kincaid held positions with Barclays Bank PLC and The First National Bank of Chicago.


Mr. Kincaid is on the board of directors of Rayonier Inc. (NYSE: RYN), an international REIT that specializes in timber and specialty fibers. He is also Chairman of the Board of Dividend Capital Diversified Property Fund, a real estate company that owns office buildings, grocery anchored retail centers, industrial properties and multi-family properties throughout the U.S. Mr. Kincaid has also formerly served on the board of directors of Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN), a mountain resort operator, and Strategic Hotels and Resorts (NYSE: BEE), an owner of upscale and luxury hotels in North America and Europe.


Mr. Kincaid received his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas, and his bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University.


Leslie Nathanson

Leslie Nathanson is President of Nathanson/Juris Consulting in Santa Fe, NM and was a founding managing director of the Roberts, Nathanson & Wolfson Consulting Group in Chicago (now RNW Consulting). Her consulting emphasizes the implementation of strategy and the development of practices and cultures which help organizations manage complex change. She assists people from chief executive to front line employees learn behaviors that support high-performing organizational climates: leadership, team building, cultural transformation, and conflict resolution.


Leslie advises executives in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, professional service, media, major financial institutions, large and small manufacturing organizations, universities and museums. Her current assignments focus on advising CEOs and their top teams as they negotiate increasing difficult economic and competitive conditions.


Before she founded Roberts, Nathanson & Wolfson in 1995, Leslie began Nathanson & Associates in 1980 and The Carlson/Nathanson Group, Inc. in 1982. She has taught in the Executive Master’s Program at the Kellogg School and the Smith Management Program in Northampton, Mass. She also taught regularly in the executive programs of Northwestern’s Media Management Center. She is co-author of Small Group Problem Solving: an Aid to Organizational Effectiveness (Addison-Wesley, 1981).


Leslie lives in Santa Fe, NM where she continues consulting and spends her time and energy on the Boards of NDI-NM—an organization that helps children believe in themselves; and Creativity for Peace—an organization that brings teenage girls from Israel and Palestine to learn about peace with one other, and to take leadership roles as peacemakers in the Middle East. Leslie also sits on the Boards of Ameristar Casinos and the BeCause Foundation.


Leslie holds a BS degree from Tufts University, an MA from Northwestern University, and a PhD in organization behavior from the Kellogg School, Northwestern University.


Richard V. Gasaway

President and Chief Executive Officer
Sage Vertical Garden Systems, LLC


Rick has over 30 years of progressive senior level accomplishments across a variety of different businesses in manufacturing, software, financial services and healthcare. His primary area of expertise centers on the development of infrastructure and best practices within growth oriented companies to help drive scale in revenues and profits. Rick has participated as a member of the executive team in the development and growth of three privately held organizations that led to successful IPOs. Prior to joining Sage Vertical Garden Systems, Rick was the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Nautic Global Group, the country’s fourth largest recreational boat manufacturer. His responsibilities spanned globally to include distribution, marketing, strategy and product development. Prior to Nautic, Rick served as Vice President of National Sales and Marketing at Morningstar and was responsible for the direct management of Morningstar’s institutional sales organization, corporate marketing group and the operational infrastructure for Morningstar’s global sales effort.


In addition to the roles listed above, Rick has held senior positions in organizations providing technology solutions to the Healthcare and Insurance industries. Rick holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree in Business Management and Marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Rick has completed additional graduate work at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt University.

Harry Eschel

Harry Eschel is a veteran of the mobile technology industry where he has been both an entrepreneur and an executive with industry pioneers Motorola and BlackBerry. The son of educators, Harry learned first hand how interceding on behalf of a child’s education can change their life. He is currently working with the BeCause Foundation to develop the BeCause Scholarships service, whose purpose is to help students pursuing secondary and post-secondary education with education funding and support by connecting them with scholarship foundations, corporate and individual donors, and mentors.


Harry entered the mobile technology industry through Motorola where he held strategy and business operations roles within their cellular business unit and corporate offices. He launched his entrepreneurial career in the earliest days of the mobile Internet, pursuing a vision of allowing consumers to surf the mobile web by talking to it years before Apple’s Siri arrived on the scene. Later, Harry co-founded fastmobile, which created mobile messaging and content services used by customers in the US, Europe and Asia. Harry joined BlackBerry in 2007 when the company acquired fastmobile. After leading the integration of the fastmobile team into BlackBerry, he took on the position of Strategic Alliances director, managing BlackBerry’s partnerships with global Internet Service providers AOL and Yahoo in addition to several technology partners. His most recent role prior to working with the BeCause Foundation was Vice President of Product and Marketing for the mobile application development company mFluent. Prior to his move into mobile technology, Harry was an economic consultant for a Chicago area Intellectual Property and litigation firm. He began his career as an engineer with Lockheed’s Missiles and Space division.


Harry has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and an MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago.