Support The Cats

Campaign Leadership


Steve Wilson
WCAS'70; KSM'74

Evanston, IL

  • Parent
  • Trustee
  • Chairman
  • We Will Campaign Steering Committee

Mike Balkin
WCAS'81

Glencoe, IL

  • Former student-athlete

Chris Combe
WCAS'70

Ocean Ridge, FL

  • Parent
  • Trustee
  • We Will Campaign Co-Chair

Rich Dean
KSM'69

Mequon, WI

  • Parent
  • Trustee
  • Former student-athlete

Ray Farley
KSM ’51; cKSM ’62

Racine, WI

  • Parent
  • Trustee
  • Former student-athlete

Joe Girardi
McC'86

Purchase, NY

  • Former student-athlete

Kim Girardi
SESP'87

Purchase, NY

Tom Hayward
WCAS'62; Law'65

Barrington, IL

  • Parent
  • Trustee

Chap Hutcheson
MDL'68

Houston, TX

  • Trustee

Ethel Hutcheson

Houston, TX

  • Trustee Spouse

Dan Jones
KSM'60

Naples, FL

  • Parent
  • Trustee

Lanny Martin
KSM'68; Law'73

Denver, CO

  • Parent
  • Trustee
  • We Will Campaign Co-Chair

Sharon Martin

Denver, CO

  • Parent
  • Trustee Spouse
  • We Will Campaign Co-Chair

Wendy Nelson
WCAS'91; KSM'99

Minneapolis, MN

  • Trustee
  • Former student-athlete

Pat Ryan
KSM'59; hUniv'09

Winnetka, IL

  • Parent
  • Trustee
  • Major Gift Co-Chair for We Will Campaign

Shirley Ryan
WCAS'61

Winnetka, IL

  • Parent
  • Trustee Spouse
  • Major Gift Co-Chair for We Will Campaign

Tim Sullivan

Wilmette, IL

  • Trustee

Mitchell Slotnick
KSM ’63, KSM ’64, KSM ’68

Northbrook, IL

  • Parent

Valerie Slotnick

Northbrook, IL

  • Parent

Kim Walter
WCAS'85

Chicago, IL

  • Trustee Spouse

Steve Wilson

Evanston, IL

WCAS'70; KSM'74; Parent; Trustee; We Will Campaign Steering Committee


Steve Wilson ’70, ’74 MBA, a trustee of the University and long-time supporter of Northwestern Athletics, has taken a leadership role in the Campaign by agreeing to serve as Co-Chairman of the Athletics Campaign Committee.  Below, Steve shares his thoughts on the importance of supporting Northwestern and its outstanding student-athletes.

Why did you get involved in the Campaign to support Northwestern Athletics?

My family and I have experienced great enjoyment over many years supporting Wildcat football and basketball.  Some would say we raised our kids at the corner of Central and Ashland, as they’ve been to so many games.  This is a chance to ensure that this enjoyment will be available to future student-athletes and fans and to provide a platform for success for the next generation.

What excites you most about undertaking this project?

We have a great opportunity to elevate our athletics program to the next level.  Through hard work, focus and a commitment to excellence, President Schapiro and Jim Phillips have positioned NU to be one of the very few programs that succeed at the highest level both academically and athletically.  The Campaign will provide the fuel to strengthen that position.

What do you see as your role as a co-chair for the Athletics Campaign?

I intend to communicate the commitment and enthusiasm that already exists in and around NU’s Department of Athletics and Recreation and to help translate that into our vision for providing world class facilities, coaching and support for our student athletes.  We have tremendous momentum and now is the time to build on it.  We will be reaching out in many directions and welcome input from anyone who shares our vision for NU Athletics.  We have many supportive alumni and friends today and will work with that network to expand our outreach to new sources of support for the Campaign.

How will the Campaign support the mission of providing a world class experience for NU students and athletes?

The Campaign will support intercollegiate athletics by making major investments in leading edge facilities.  But its benefits are broader than that.  It will integrate student-athletes with the full student body on the main Evanston campus.  And it will expand intramural and general fitness opportunities for all students and provide a new larger venue for major NU events such as Dance Marathon.

What would you say to someone who has not yet made a gift to NU Athletics to encourage them to get involved?

Northwestern has a strong history of doing things the right way: providing first class athletic opportunity to complement a superb academic experience.  In order for our student-athletes to excel on the playing field, they need facilities and other support commensurate with the effort they expend and the results we all seek.  This is your opportunity to become a part of an exciting new movement focused on taking Northwestern to a new higher level of athletic success.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this great initiative?

Chris Combe

Ocean Ridge, FL

WCAS'70; Parent; Trustee Spouse; We Will Campaign Co-Chair


Chris started his career in sales and marketing at American Hospital Supply Corporation (Baxter).  He joined Combe in 1975 developing and eventually managing the international business.  In 1985 he became Vice President of Marketing launching Just For Men hair color.  In 1995 Chris assumed the position of President and in 2000 added the titles of Chairman and CEO.  Chris is now Chairman of Combe Incorporated. 

Chris is past Chairman of the World Self-Medication Industry Association, board member of Malaria No More, Heart Care International and the Boy Scout Advisory Council of Westchester, New York.

Chris graduated from Northwestern University in 1970.  He was elected to Northwestern’s Board of Trustees in 1997 and serves on the Visiting Board of Arts & Sciences and Director of Alumni Admissions Council for Westchester, New York.  He played on the freshman tennis team and is on the board of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Chris and his wife, Courtney, have three daughters:  Cameron Combe (SESP ’09), Christie Shoemacher and Keech Shetty (WCAS ’99, K ’06).

Chap Hutcheson

Houston, TX

MDL'68; Trustee


Edward C. (Chap) Hutcheson, Jr. graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in Journalism in 1968 and served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1968-71.  He held marketing management roles with privately owned companies during his early professional career, moving into operations management in the 1980s. Positions held include President, COO and a director of the NYSE oilfield services company, Baroid Corporation (later merged into Dresser and then Halliburton).

In 1995, he co-founded and served as CEO and director of a venture capital funded start-up that began acquiring wireless communications towers.  Today, Crown Castle International (NYSE) owns and manages over 42,000 wireless communication sites in the U.S. and Australia.   Chap later served as COO of the financial services firm, Pinnacle Global Group, focusing on acquisitions and mergers as the company converted to public ownership.  Today Chap is a Managing Director of the Denver-based private equity firm, Platte River Equity, which is actively investing its third fund.  He remains a director of Crown Castle and several privately held companies and previously served as a director of Titanium Metals Corp., Trico Marine Services and Special Metals Corp.  

Dan Jones

Naples, FL

KSM'60; Parent; Trustee


Dan is the President of NewsBank, Inc., a company he founded in 1972. Dan was a management consultant with Knight, Gladieux and Smith based in New York City and a Vice President of the First National Bank of Madison, Wisconsin.  Dan served as a Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy Supply Corps.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Bankwell bank, Bankwell Financial Group, and Advanced Technology Services, Inc.
Dan is a Trustee at Northwestern University and former President of the Northwestern Alumni Association Board. He also serves on the Board of Governors of the Northwestern University Library. Dan has been a member of the Board of Advisors for the San Jose State University School of Library & Information Science and the Florida State School of Library Science.  He served as President of the New Canaan Library in Connecticut.  
Dan is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society.
Dan graduated from Northwestern with a B.A. degree and from Columbia University Graduate School of Business with a M.B.A degree.
Dan and his wife, Susan, have three children and eight grandchildren.

Wendy Nelson

Minneapolis, MN

WCAS'91; KSM'99; Trustee


Wendy’s accomplished athletic record includes competing as a scholarship athlete for the Division 1 Women’s Tennis team and obtaining world ranking on the WTA Tour. At Northwestern University, Wendy was Academic All Big Ten and ranked in the Top 20 nationally. She also served as assistant tennis coach for both University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University. She entered the business side of sports when her former coach Nick Bollettieri recruited her to join his Sports Academy in a leadership role as well as to lead the efforts to bring his dream of a restaurant bearing the Bollettieri name to life. Today she serves as a member of the national advisory board for Positive Coaching Alliance.

In addition to her leadership roles in sports, Wendy has also pursued a professional business career. She has held several executive positions in marketing and development for the global travel and hospitality company Carlson. Wendy sits on the boards of both Carlson and The CarlsonRezidor Hotel Group. Prior to her affiliation with Carlson, she worked in finance and capital management for a private equity firm in Chicago.

Wendy currently serves as vice chair of the Bush Foundation, vice president of the Carlson Family Foundation, trustee at Northwestern University, overseer at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and is the past board chair of the Guthrie Theater.

Wendy holds a B.A. in philosophy from Northwestern University and a MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern. She lives in Minneapolis with her two children.