Member Spotlight: Matt Strauss

Matt Strauss Headshot.JPG

Chicago Leadership Alliance is made up of philanthropic minded individuals who are successful and want to better the communities around them. We sat down with the members to gain a better understanding of the faces behind CLA.

What brought you to CLA and why?

I was referred to connect with Jeff Rosset and Michael Stark and I ended up bumping into Michael while I was at the Venture Connects and FUND Conference with our other CLA Member, RJ Pahura. With our busy schedules, it had been difficult to find time to get together, but fortunately CLA offers so many opportunities to connect. Michael mentioned that he kept hearing positive things about me and my work ethic.

A week later, I was accepted! What brought me in are the people. Everyone is so selfless, caring and compassionate. It’s truly like a family every time we see each other.

What is your role within the organization?

I don’t have an official role, I’m just an avid networker. I try to attend as many events as possible.

What do you hope to gain from your membership and interactions with other members?

I hope to gain awareness for my company, Solve, and to help CLA members’ companies hire locally. Solve has actually been accepted to the Civic Accelerator. Megan Christenson, who is a CIVICX Accelerator staff member, has taught the Solve team and myself tons around sprint methodology and innovating our business model.

Describe your most rewarding experience with CLA?

The most rewarding experience so far has been volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House.

What does your membership mean to you?

For me, CLA membership means having a positive impact on the city while building friendships. CLA holds the future leaders of Chicago. I love is how many industries are represented, and I love just how caring everyone is for one another and how willing they are to help. It's truly a network of great people that happen to be up-and-coming leaders.

What do you enjoy most about CLA?

I enjoy the people, the energy—all of it, really!

How would you describe CLA to a potential member? A potential donor? A potential partner organization?

I would describe it as the network for the next leaders of Chicago. The exciting thing is that there are all types of industries represented at CLA. That makes the whole thing appealing to a lot of partners.