Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Hi there!

We are excited to bring you our blog entry for this week. In this week’s WIWG video, we have ask students about the Booth community. In this blog entry, we wanted to explore a particular element of the community and the student experience, which is participating in student groups. While Booth already has over 100 student groups to choose from (ranging from professional clubs to social clubs, to pick-up sports groups), students are encouraged to form their own group if there is none directed towards their interests.

This year, a group of enterprising students started FEAD, the Food, Environment, Agribusiness, and Development group. Read on to learn more from Carolyn Kriss, one of the founding members of FEAD. Carolyn is a first year at Booth interested in general management, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Prior to Booth, she worked almost five years in political campaigns and government, concluding at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she helped launch the Healthy Food Financing Initiative.



First, for those who have already been gotten in, congratulations on your admission to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business! I remember being in your shoes a year ago and then having to make the difficult decision among schools. For those still applying, I hope you’ll find that Booth is a place where you can see yourself fitting in and thriving.

One new ace in Chicago Booth’s pocket—the newly-founded Food, Environment, Agribusiness, and Development (FEAD) group, an official club formed this year for students with a professional interest in food and agribusiness. I had the honor of working with an incredibly talented and dedicated core of first and second year students in founding the group, and our ability to so quickly mobilize interest from students and support from the school is a testament to the hunger for a food and ag group, so to speak, and Booth’s commitment to backing up Dean Kumar’s “Swing for the Fences” ideals with real resources.

While the group may be new, Chicago Booth’s excellence in the food and agribusiness space is anything but. Chicago is the world capitol for agricultural commodities and is poised to become a food hub with cutting-edge agribusiness developments, packaged good conglomerates, and food-focused startups. Over 1,000 Chicago Booth alumni are at the cutting edge of each step of the value chain, from farm to fork, including:

• Charles Harper, former CEO of ConAgra (and namesake donor of the beautiful Harper Center)
• David W. MacLennan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cargill
• Hugh F. Johnston, Chief Financial Officer of PepsiCo. Inc.
• Robert Mariano, CEO of Roundy’s Supermarkets
• Matt Maloney, CEO of

With FEAD, Booth is uniquely positioned to leverage its location and strength in business to empower the next generation of food and agribusiness leaders. And Booth’s commitment to building the bench comes not a moment too soon—by 2050, global food production must nearly double to feed the estimated 9 billion world population.
This humanitarian and business challenge motivates us in everything we do. Already, we’ve organized a trip to the Chicago Board of Trade (photo below), and successfully executed a consulting project with Green City Market, Chicago’s leading, year-round farmers’ market, to help them more effectively process food stamp benefits and provide greater access to fresh, healthy food for low-income families. We’ve held entrepreneurial brainstorms for those interested in launching food-focused startups and will host PepsiCo’s Vice President for Innovation and Strategy in their newly-established Global Nutrition Group.

While we’re very much looking forward to the networking events and consulting projects lined up down the road, we’re looking forward to something else—you. Because FEAD is so new, the class of 2014 will have a huge opportunity to help shape the group, moving it in the direction that matches the passion of its student members. The FEAD Co-Chairs look forward to welcoming you on campus and are available in the meantime to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to reach out, and again, congratulations!

Carolyn Kriss,; Tyler White,, Andres Imaz,; Monica Ganley,; Khairunisa Mohomed;

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