Lance Russell appointed CEO of Chicago Tech Academy to continue school’s mission of closing the opportunity gap for women and minorities pursuing STEM degrees and careers.

Chicago, IL– Chicago Tech Academy today announced that Lance Russell will serve as Chief Executive Officer effective June 5, 2017.  Terry Howerton, Co-founder of TechNexus and the high school, will step into the role as Chairman of the Board for a second term.

Lance Russell, tech entrepreneur and current Chicago Tech Academy (ChiTech) board chairman, has been named CEO. Mr. Russell has served on the school’s board of directors for the past 4 ½ years, including the last 2+ as chairman of the board.  Russell will continue refining and growing ChiTech’s project-based learning and college preparatory program with the hope of providing equal access and opportunities for STEM education for students from underrepresented communities in Chicago.

Russell’s new role is part of ChiTech’s push to continue raising the bar on its academics, enrollment, fundraising, and real world learning initiatives to drive improved outcomes for current and future students. Russell will also work closely with the school’s industry partners such as SAP, SAVO Group, GoGo Air, CNA Insurance, and the Illinois Technology Association to build a diverse and qualified pipeline of talent for the tech industry in Chicago. As a technology entrepreneur who co-founded and grew PointBridge into one of the top Microsoft systems integrators in the country before successfully selling the business, Russell has a proven track record of leading high performing teams, driving innovation, and delivering impactful results for stakeholders and partners.  As CEO, Lance will lead organizational strategy, leadership development, finance, student recruitment, external relations, fundraising, and academic and operational excellence for the school.

“Lance’s appointment is an important part of the next chapter for ChiTech,” said Howerton.  “The school has made great strides over the past three years including boasting some of the fastest growing graduation and freshmen on track rates in the city.  Lance is passionate about urban education policy and technological innovation.  He is committed to changing the landscape of education for our students by providing them with the academic rigor, social capital, creativity, and real-world preparedness they need to step into the jobs and careers of the future.”

“I am honored to have been selected as ChiTech’s CEO,” stated Russell.  “It is a privilege to be part of an organization with such an inspiring mission and an impactful story that has captured the attention and hearts of the tech and entrepreneurship community. ChiTech delivers a high quality, unique educational experience for its students through project-based learning, STEM education, real-world learning opportunities and entrepreneurial thinking.  I will work hard to enable our current administration, faculty, and staff to continue fulfilling their passions to inspire, educate, and connect our students and our partners.”

Russell is also a recognized investor and consultant to technology companies and social enterprises on strategy, leadership, marketing, sales, and HR. He is a founding member of the Impact Engine angel investor network, and formerly a partner and investor at Social Venture Partners Chicago. Russell is also a board member at Cara, a Chicago-based workforce development organization, where he has chaired the jobs committee and technology committee. Prior to co-founding PointBridge, Russell served as director of business development for Intrinsic Technologies, and led the Chicago office for Robert Half Technology. Russell grew up in Northwest Indiana and earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Indiana University.


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Kelly Jones
Executive Director for Community Engagement
Ph: 312.404.4127


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