WBEZ | Penny Pritzker http://www.wbez.org/tags/penny-pritzker Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Pritzker faces few tough questions at Senate hearing http://www.wbez.org/news/pritzker-faces-few-tough-questions-senate-hearing-107341 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP090520015810.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago businesswoman and current Commerce secretary nominee Penny Pritzker faced few tough questions at her Senate hearing Thursday. Pritzker, a long-time friend of and fundraiser for President Barack Obama, was nominated to the post earlier this month.</p><p>Pritzker seemed prepared for the two-hour hearing, answering a questions on topics including cyber security, job creation, manufacturing, travel and the fishing industry.</p><p>&quot;The calls you&rsquo;ll get will be about fish,&quot; Alaska Senator Mark Begich (D) told Pritzker. &quot;You will think they&rsquo;re about trade and agreements and tourism&nbsp; - it&rsquo;s gonna be about fish.&quot;</p><p>Pritzker was expected to face tough questioning on a few issues. Her family owned 50 percent of the Superior Bank of Chicago, which failed after losing millions of dollars on risky mortgage loans to borrowers with bad credit. Republican Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the ranking member on the committee, was the only senator to inquire about Pritzker&rsquo;s role in the bank&rsquo;s collapse.</p><p>&quot;Unfortunately, when problems arose, my uncle had recently passed away,&quot; Pritzker responded, saying she was never an officer of the bank or involved in management. &quot;I stepped in on behalf of the 50 percent ownership of my family to try and salvage the situation.&quot;</p><p>Pritzker said after the bank failed, she went to the FDIC herself, and her family voluntarily agreed to pay $450 million.</p><p>When Thune asked Pritzker what she&rsquo;d say to the depositors affected by the bank&rsquo;s failure, she responded that she regretted the outcome of the bank.</p><p>&quot;I feel very badly about that,&quot; she added.</p><p>Pritzker was also questioned about her family&rsquo;s offshore trusts, an issue that was expected to be a point of conflict at the hearing.</p><p>&quot;I am the beneficiary of off-shore family trusts that were set up when I was a little girl,&quot; Pritzker said. &quot;I didn&rsquo;t create them. I don&rsquo;t direct them. I don&rsquo;t control them. I have asked the trustee to remove themselves and appoint a US trustee.&quot;</p><p>Rocky relations between labor unions and the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where Pritzker is a board member, barely entered the questioning. Union members of Unite Here in Chicago have protested Pritzker&rsquo;s nomination over low wages.</p><p>Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) mentioned the back and forth between the union and hotel management in her questioning, but didn&rsquo;t directly ask Pritzker about her role.</p><p>Pritzker was introduced at the hearing by both Illinois U.S. Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin. Kirk was reportedly on the fence at first about Pritzker&rsquo;s nomination, but came out with his endorsement earlier this week.</p><p>&quot;I see her as a voice for business that the president will have to heed,&quot; Kirk told the committee Thursday.</p><p>Pritzker&rsquo;s nomination still has to face the full Senate.</p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this report.</em></p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 23 May 2013 15:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/pritzker-faces-few-tough-questions-senate-hearing-107341 Hotel workers protest Hyatt heir's cabinet nomination http://www.wbez.org/news/hotel-workers-protest-hyatt-heirs-cabinet-nomination-107283 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Pritzker Unions.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A picket line stretched for roughly two blocks in front of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in the south Loop. The demonstration was organized by Unite Here, which represents Hyatt Hotel workers.</p><p>Hyatt is a major source of the Pritzker family wealth and Penny Pritzker currently sits on their board. The union says that a Commerce Secretary&#39;s first concern should be good jobs for Americans but that is not what her work with Hyatt demonstrates.</p><p>The union says the workload for housekeepers is unreasonable and results in injuries.</p><p>Lesley Newson was still in her housekeeping uniform when she showed up to the rally.</p><p>&quot;A lot of us sustain back injury, some have neck or shoulder pain,&quot; she said.&nbsp;</p><p>Cathy Youngblood works at a Hyatt in West Hollywood and has been traveling the country speaking out. She is angry that Hyatt has been hiring more temporary workers at minimum wage and without benefits.</p><p>&quot;Hyatt is leading the industry in the race to the bottom,&quot; Youngblood said. &quot;We think Hyatt could do better. We think it&rsquo;s time for Hyatt to change.&quot;</p><p>In a written statement Hyatt said that Unite Here is spreading misinformation in order to get publicity.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/shannon_h" target="_blank">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Tue, 21 May 2013 07:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/hotel-workers-protest-hyatt-heirs-cabinet-nomination-107283 Kirk holds first public appearance since stroke http://www.wbez.org/news/kirk-holds-first-public-appearance-stroke-107016 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS5453_Sen. Kirk_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In his first public appearance since suffering from a stroke last year, Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R) attested to the progress he has made through rehabilitation, and chimed in on a number of political issues that have been simmering in Washington and Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">The junior Senator sat in a wheelchair as he spoke with media outlets at the LEARN Public Charter School near North Chicago in Lake County on Friday. Next to him were Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D) and Illinois Congressman Brad Schneider (D-10th).</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;My standard walk for rehab was from my house to the Fort Sheridan (water) tower, which is about a block, and it always took 18 minutes,&rdquo; Kirk said on Friday, &ldquo;and yesterday, it took eight (minutes). So it&rsquo;s much, much faster.&rdquo; The stroke impaired movements particularly on the left side of Kirk&rsquo;s body, and kept him off Capitol Hill for a year.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Part of my mission is to tell everybody in Illinois, &lsquo;If you have a mom or a dad who goes through a stroke, that if they get depressed one day to call me and I&rsquo;ll get them up and turn them around,&rsquo;&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">Kirk also chimed in on the immigration overhaul that Durbin and others in the so-called &ldquo;Gang of Eight&rdquo; senators have introduced in Washington. He said he has spoken to one of the Republican leaders on that bill, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) about introducing an amendment to award citizenship to military veterans who have earned Combat Infantry or Combat Action badges.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;My feeling is if you have fought with us, you are one of us,&rdquo; said Kirk. &ldquo;That is something that I&rsquo;ll seek to add to the bill.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">He also said that he is withholding judgment on President Barack Obama&rsquo;s nomination of Chicago business executive Penny Pritzker to the Secretary of Commerce cabinet position until he has had a chance to speak with her. Kirk said he wants to hear about Pritzker&rsquo;s &ldquo;pro-business&rdquo; agenda.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 03 May 2013 17:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/kirk-holds-first-public-appearance-stroke-107016 Pritzker would join growing list of Chicagoans in White House http://www.wbez.org/news/pritzker-would-join-growing-list-chicagoans-white-house-106970 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP766081941098.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Even before Penny Pritzker was nominated to be Commerce Secretary, her detractors had been accusing President Obama of cronyism for even considering her for the job.</p><p>Pritzker, a billionaire Chicago businesswoman, has long been a political ally and big fundraiser for Obama. And if her nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Pritzker would be far from the first Chicagoan to leave the Windy City for the Obama White House.</p><p>The city&rsquo;s reputation for political nepotism has made Obama&rsquo;s hometown appointments an easy target for his critics. But one expert on Obama presidential patronage suggested presidents are wise to promote from within their inner circle.</p><p>After all, Obama helped win election in 2008 with the help of two top advisors, Chicagoans David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett. Once in office, he tapped former Chicago Public Schools chief Arne Duncan to be Education Secretary, University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee to be a top economic advisor, and two successive chiefs of staff to muscle through his agenda &ndash; current Mayor Rahm Emanuel and William Daley, brother to the former mayor, and all are Chicagoans.</p><p>Then there&rsquo;s Rabbi Sam Gordon, of Congregation Sukkat Shalom, in north suburban Wilmette.</p><p>Gordon was appointed last month to the board that oversees the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, one of hundreds of presidential appointments that don&rsquo;t get much press coverage.</p><p>So how&rsquo;d he get it?</p><p>Not likely from the $1,000 he&rsquo;s donated to Obama&rsquo;s presidential campaigns.</p><p>&ldquo;Last time I checked, I&rsquo;m not a major donor, that&rsquo;s right,&rdquo; Gordon joked.</p><p>But Gordon says he did know the president at the genesis of his political career, adding that his daughter even volunteered on one of Obama&rsquo;s early State Senate campaigns.</p><p>So the president already knew Gordon was plugged into the Jewish community &ndash; and, yes, the Chicago connection helped him get the unpaid appointment, he said.</p><p>&ldquo;I wouldn&rsquo;t know the president if it weren&rsquo;t for Chicago,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I mean, that&rsquo;s one of the great things about being in Chicago, uh, and the great things about a community that is so open and where people can know each other so well.&rdquo;</p><p>Not everyone buys the power of Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think it really has too much to do with a geographic location,&rdquo; said Louis B. Susman, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Susman was a top political fundraiser for Obama before getting his ambassadorship &ndash; the kind of cushy posting that&rsquo;s often seen as a reward for top political allies.</p><p>But Susman says that&rsquo;s not the whole picture.</p><p>&ldquo;Look, obviously you appoint people that have worked hard for you, but he&rsquo;s not going to appoint people that he doesn&rsquo;t think can do the job,&rdquo; Susman said of the president.</p><p>Both Susman and Gordon represent two typical types of presidential appointees: The long-time supporter and the political loyalist, said Vanderbilt University&rsquo;s Dave Lewis, who has studied patronage in the Obama White House.</p><p>There is always the risk of bad political optics and the impression of insider dealing when presidents appoint from their own political circles, Lewis said. It&rsquo;s not uncommon: Lewis said President Clinton had his appointees from Arkansas, and President George W. Bush tapped Texans.</p><p>Lewis called Pritzker a &ldquo;triple threat,&rdquo; because she was not only an early Obama supporter and a prolific fundraiser, but her business acumen makes her a good fit as Commerce Secretary.</p><p>&ldquo;And you wanna reward people who have publicly supported you for a long time because that sends the right signal to other people who are considering whether or not to support you, and she fills all of those criteria,&rdquo; Lewis said.</p><p>And, Lewis says, the Chicago connection doesn&rsquo;t hurt, either.</p><p><em>Alex Keefe is a political reporter for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter at <a href="http://twitter.com/akeefe" target="_blank">@akeefe</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 03 May 2013 09:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/pritzker-would-join-growing-list-chicagoans-white-house-106970 Obama taps Penny Pritzker for Commerce secretary http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-taps-penny-pritzker-commerce-secretary-106942 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Bill Healy - Board of Ed pics 374 copy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>President Barack Obama on Thursday chose two old friends with corporate executive experience for top posts on his economic team, naming longtime fundraiser Penny Pritzker as Commerce secretary and adviser Michael Froman as U.S. Trade Representative.</p><p>Pritzker, a Hyatt hotel heiress, businesswoman and philanthropist, is Obama&#39;s pick to fill a Cabinet post that has been vacant since former Secretary John Bryson resigned last summer, after he said he suffered a seizure that led to a series of traffic collisions.</p><p>Froman is one of Obama&#39;s law school classmates and senior economic advisers who previously worked as an executive at Citigroup. The Cabinet-level trade representative performs as the administration&#39;s top adviser and negotiator on international trade. If confirmed by the Senate, Froman would replace Ron Kirk, a former Dallas mayor who stepped down as trade representative in February after serving in the post throughout Obama&#39;s first term.</p><p>Obama made the nominations in the White House Rose Garden just before departing for Mexico. He said the two will help fulfill his top priority to grow the economy and create middle class jobs, in part by opening new markets overseas to sell U.S. products.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;ve got a lot of work to do, and I intend to work them to the bone as soon as they&#39;re official,&quot; Obama said to laughter from a crowd that included the nominees&#39; families and administration staff.</p><p>If she is confirmed by the Senate, Pritzker would become the fourth woman serving as secretary in Obama&#39;s current Cabinet. She also would be the wealthiest in the Cabinet by far, with Forbes estimating her net worth at $1.85 billion and ranking her as the 277th richest American.</p><p>Pritzker is a lifelong Chicagoan who has known Obama since the 1990s and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both of his presidential campaigns. She was his finance chairwoman in 2008, served as co-chair of Obama for America 2012 and gave $250,000 to help put on his inaugural festivities in January.</p><p>Obama selected her for his 16-member Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board in 2009. When that board expired, Obama included her in his 26-member Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.</p><p>Pritzker has led several companies and currently serves as chair of investment firms Pritzker Realty Group and Artemis Real Estate Partners. She&#39;s also on the board of the Hyatt Hotels Corp., the chain co-founded by her father.</p><p>Pritzker has donated generously to education and the arts and resigned from the Chicago Board of Education in March as she was being vetted for the Commerce nomination.</p><p>&quot;She knows from experience that no government program alone can take the place of a great entrepreneur,&quot; Obama said. He also noted he was nominating her on her 54th birthday and joked, &quot;For your birthday present, you get to go through confirmation. It&#39;s going to be great.&quot;</p><p>Sure to come up is the Pritzker family&#39;s co-ownership of Superior Bank, a Chicago-area thrift that failed in July 2001 after losing millions on risky, high-rate mortgage loans to borrowers with bad credit. With about $1.7 billion in assets, it was at the time the largest insured U.S. financial institution to fail since 1992 and cost the deposit insurance fund $286.3 million.</p><p>Federal regulators blamed risky business strategies by Superior&#39;s management for the collapse, but they also cited failures on the part of its auditor Ernst &amp; Young.</p><p>The Pritzker family and its partner in Superior agreed to pay $460 million without admitting any liability in a settlement with the regulators. In exchange, the owners were allowed to receive 25 percent of any money the government recovered from Ernst &amp; Young, which came to about $31 million.</p><p>Froman, Obama&#39;s deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, is steeped in the issues confronting the trade representative.</p><p>He has been Obama&#39;s main representative at international economic summits such as the meetings of the Group of Eight and Group of 20. He is responsible for coordinating White House policy on international trade, investments, energy, climate and development.</p><p>Obama credited Froman with helping negotiate trade agreements for South Korea, Colombia and Panama that the president said have supported tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.</p><p>&quot;He has also won a reputation as being an extraordinarily tough negotiator while doing it,&quot; Obama said. &quot;He does not rest until he&#39;s delivered the best possible deal for American businesses and American workers. He&#39;s fought to make sure that countries that break the rules are held accountable.&quot;</p><p>Froman served during President Bill Clinton&#39;s administration as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. He also worked as deputy assistant secretary for Eurasia and the Middle East and did a White House stint similar to his current job under Obama.</p><p>Before joining the Obama economic and national security teams he worked in various capacities at Citigroup, including as managing partner of the Wall Street bank. He also has been a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund.</p><p>Among the top ongoing trade issues are negotiations over the Trans-Pacific partnership, an Asia-Pacific trading bloc that is key to Obama&#39;s efforts to boost exports to Asia. Members include the U.S., Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Vietnam, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore and Peru. Last month, the U.S. approved Japan&#39;s entry into negotiations on the trading bloc.</p><p>___</p><p>AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace, AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon and AP writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.</p></p> Thu, 02 May 2013 06:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-taps-penny-pritzker-commerce-secretary-106942 Meet the Pritzkers http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-02/meet-pritzkers-105485 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Pritzker%20family.jpg" title="From left: Margot Pritzker, Cindy Pritzker, Jason Pritzker, Abigail and Gigi Pritzker Pucker, Ben Pritzker, Michael Pucker, Brian Traubert, Penny Pritzker, David Pritzker and Bea Barbareschi. (Crain's Chicago Business/Erik Unger)" /></p><p>Despite my distaste for our culture&#39;s ever-increasing <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/08/01/110801fa_fact_lane" target="_blank">fetishization of celebrity</a>, I&#39;ve always held a certain fascination for the mysterious figureheads of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/world/europe/pope-benedict-xvi-says-he-will-retire.html?_r=0">church</a>, <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121212/BLOGS02/121219918/why-are-mike-madigans-staffers-leaving" target="_blank">state</a> and <a href="http://www.luxist.com/2009/04/06/the-classicist-the-history-of-americas-upper-class/" target="_blank">high society</a> who hold court over our daily lives. We see their last names splashed across newspapers and embossed on almost every building downtown, yet their personal attributes (and often, their first names) remain unknown to the vast majority of the general public.</p><p>Can you name a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conrad_Hilton" target="_blank">Hilton</a> besides Paris or a&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barthélemy_de_Lesseps" target="_blank">de Lessups</a> besides &quot;Countess&quot; LuAnn from <em>The Real Housewives</em>? If not, I weep for humanity.&nbsp;</p><p>Maybe I&#39;ve been reading too much <em><a href="http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/batman-the-dark-knight-returns-0">Batman: The Dark Knight Returns</a>,&nbsp;</em>but I find Chicago to be particularly Gotham-esque in terms of the rich and powerful holding the keys to our city. Several old-money families rule our cultural landscape-- <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2016992,00.html" target="_blank">the Daleys</a> in government, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Melman" target="_blank">the Melmans</a> in dining, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_S._Ricketts" target="_blank">the Ricketts</a> in sports-- but if any one Chicago dynasty knows the identity of Batman, it would be the Pritzkers.</p><p><em>Chicago Magazine</em>&nbsp;just released their 2013 list of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/March-2013/Chicago-Power-100/?ref=fader-1" target="_blank">100 Most Powerful Chicagoans</a>;&nbsp;and, per usual, the Pritzker clan nabbed top ranks: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Pritzker" target="_blank">Tom Pritzker </a>at #25, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Pritzker">Penny Pritzker</a>&nbsp;at #6 and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.B._Pritzker" target="_blank">J.B. Pritzker</a>&nbsp;at #3.</p><p>For a multi-generational empire&nbsp;that has hovered near the top of&nbsp;<em>Forbes&#39; &quot;</em><a href="http://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/list/#page:1_sort:0_direction:asc_search:Pritzker_filter:All%20industries_filter:All%20states_filter:All%20categories" target="_blank">America&#39;s Richest Families</a>&quot; list since the magazine began in 1982, the Pritzkers&#39; continued impact as modern-day leaders, philanthropists and cultural gatekeepers is nothing short of astonishing. In 2001, <em>Forbes </em>estimated the family&#39;s net worth at a cool&nbsp;<a href="http://www.forbes.com/2002/12/11/cx_da_1211topnews.html">$15 billion</a>. Over 10 years later, a fortune of&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-18/business/ct-biz-1218-pritzkers-mainbar--20111218_1_hyatt-center-pritzker-military-library-wealth/3">$20 billion</a>&nbsp;and climbing sounds about right.&nbsp;</p><p>Need a refresher course on some notable Pritzkers? Here&#39;s a quick rundown:</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/JB%20Pritzker.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(Crain's Chicago Business)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><u style="font-size: 16px; ">J.B. Pritzker</u></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;">Son of <a href="http://www.hbs.edu/leadership/database/leaders/donald_n_pritzker.html" target="_blank">Donald Pritzker</a>, brother to Anthony and Penny.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Status</strong>: Managing Partner and co-founder of <a href="http://pritzkergroup.com" target="_blank">The Pritzker Group</a>, founder of New World Ventures and principal owner of Hyatt Hotels Corporation and TransUnion Corporation. He is also the creator of the Children&#39;s Initiative, chairman of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, former chairman of the Illinois Human Rights Commission and founder of Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century.&nbsp;</span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Penny%20Pritzker.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(PennyPritzker.com)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><u>Penny Pritzker</u></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;">Daughter of <a href="http://www.hbs.edu/leadership/database/leaders/donald_n_pritzker.html" target="_blank">Donald Pritzker</a>, sister to Anthony and J.B.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Status</strong>: Founder, Chairman and CEO of <a href="http://www.pspcapital.com" target="_blank">PSP Capital Partners</a> and Pritzker Realty Group. She is also co-founder and chairman of Artemis Real Estate Partners, former national co-chair of Obama for America 2012 and national finance chair of his 2008 presidential campaign, co-founder of the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, Stanford University trustee, member of the Chicago Board of Education and frontrunner for the president&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130213/BLOGS10/130219933/pritzker-empire-would-share-the-ugly-glare-at-pennys-hearings" target="_blank">Secretary of Commerce</a>&nbsp;nomination in 2013.&nbsp;</span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tom%20Pritzker.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(NYTimes.com)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><u>Thomas (Tom) Pritzker</u></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;">Son of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Pritzker" target="_blank">Jay Pritzker</a>, brother to Gigi and Daniel.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Status</strong>: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130204006011/en/Pritzker-Organizationw.businesswire.com/news/home/20130204006011/en/Pritzker-Organization-Appoints-Kenneth-H.M.-Leet-President" target="_blank">The Pritzker Organization</a>&nbsp;(TPO) and the Executive Chairman of the Hyatt Hotels Corporation. He is also the founder and Chairman of North America Western Asia Holdings LLC, chairman of the board at the Art Institute of Chicago and organizer of the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium.&nbsp;</span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Anthony%20Pritzker.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(Forbes.com)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><u>Anthony (Tony) Pritzker</u></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;">Son of <a href="http://www.hbs.edu/leadership/database/leaders/donald_n_pritzker.html" target="_blank">Donald Pritzker</a>, brother to Penny and J.B.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Status</strong>: Managing Partner and co-founder of The Pritzker Group, head of <a href="http://pritzkergroup.com/investment-professionals/">New World Opportunity Partners</a> and former Chairman of the Board of AmSafe Partners. He is married with six children and currently resides in Los Angeles.</span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Nicholas%20Pritzker.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(Forbes.com)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><u>Nicholas J. (Nick) Pritzker</u></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;">Son of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoda_Pritzker">Jack Pritzker and Rhoda Goldberg</a>.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Status</strong>: Chairman of the Board and C.E.O of the Hyatt Development Corporation, investor in the recently scandalized electric car company <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2013/0212/Tesla-Motors-CEO-rebuts-New-York-Times-Model-S-review" target="_blank">Tesla Motors</a>, co-founder of Chicago&#39;s Clean Energy Trust and husband of <em>Mother Jones</em>&nbsp;board member Sue Pritzker. While classified as one of the 11 Pritzker &quot;cousins&quot; participating in the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-18/business/ct-biz-1218-pritzkers-family-graphic--20111218_1_primary-residence-three-children-family-tree" target="_blank">family agreement</a>, he is technically a member of the elder generation, a cousin of Jay, Donald and Robert Pritzker.</span></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Gigi-%20original.jpg" style="height: 179px; width: 250px; float: left;" title="(Crain's Chicago Business)" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><u>Jean (Gigi) Pritzker Pucker</u></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;">Daughter of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Pritzker" target="_blank">Jay Pritzker</a>, sister to Daniel and Thomas.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Status</strong>: Owner of Los-Angeles based film production company <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odd_Lot_Entertainment" target="_blank">Odd Lot Entertainment</a>, which backed the hit film <em>Drive</em> in 2011, and producer of the Broadway show <em>Million Dollar Quartet</em>. She is also President and Director of the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation: giving to kidney research, the Chicago Children&#39;s Theatre and various schools.</span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Matthew%20Pritzker.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(Crain's Chicago Business)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><u>Matthew Pritzker</u></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;">Son of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pritzker" target="_blank">Robert Pritzker</a>, brother to Liesel.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Current status</strong>: Head of the Matthew Pritzker Company, owner of Chicago-based Homemade Pizza Company and <a href="http://www.hugonaturals.com" target="_blank">Hugo Naturals</a>. He is also a private equity&nbsp;investor, buyer of distressed real estate&nbsp;and one of several heirs to the Hyatt Hotel fortune.</span></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Liesel-%20original.jpg" style="height: 175px; width: 250px; float: left;" title="(Forbes.com)" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><u style="font-size: 16px; ">Liesel Pritzker Simmons</u></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;">Daughter of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pritzker" target="_blank">Robert Pritzker</a>, sister to Matthew.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Status</strong>: Head of the Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO). As a child actress of the &#39;90s, she played Sara Crewe in Alfonso Cuaron&#39;s&nbsp;<em>A Little Princess&nbsp;</em>and the president&#39;s daughter in <em>Air Force One</em>.&nbsp;In 2002, she filed a <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2003-03-16/the-house-of-pritzker" target="_blank">$6 billion lawsuit </a>against her father and 11 older cousins, claiming they had misappropriated money from trusts established for her and her brother Matthew (the suit was settled by both parties in 2005). She now lives in New York with husband Ian Simmons and serves as Vice President of the <a href="http://www.idpfoundation.org" target="_blank">IDP Foundation</a>.&nbsp;</span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Daniel%20Pritzker_US.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(Forbes.com)" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><u><span style="font-size:16px;">Daniel Pritzker</span></u></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;">Son of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Pritzker">Jay Pritzker</a>, brother to Thomas and Gigi.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px; "><strong>Status</strong>: Trustee of the Jay Pritzker Foundation, overseer of the Jay Pritzker Academy in Ta Chet, Cambodia, filmmaker and professional musician (founder, guitarist and songwriter of Chicago band <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Dada" target="_blank">Sonia Dada</a>). He now lives with his wife Karen in California.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><strong>Still confused about who begat whom? The full list of Pritzker descendants is available&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pritzker_family#Members" target="_blank">here</a>.</strong></em></span></p><p>In many ways, the Pritzkers are like any other family. They&#39;re not perfect, and they&#39;ve experienced their fair share of scandal, struggle and loss. Sure, their wealth projects them into an upper echelon of society that few people will ever reach, but their collective outpouring of support for education (the <a href="http://pritzker.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Pritzker School of Medicine</a>, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.law.northwestern.edu/library/" target="_blank">Pritzker Legal Research Center</a>, etc.), charity (the <a href="http://www.jb-pritzker.com/page/philanthropy" target="_blank">Pritzker Family Philanthropic Fund</a>) and cultural advancement (the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pritzkerprize.com">Pritzker Architecture Prize</a>, the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park_-artarchitecture.html" target="_blank">Jay Pritzker Pavillion</a> in Millenium Park&nbsp;and the wonderful <a href="http://chicagopublicmedia.org/careers/pritzker-fellowships">Pritzker Fellowships </a>here at WBEZ!) proves that silver-spooned socialites can still have hearts.&nbsp;</p><p>The Pritzkers: they&#39;re just like us!</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cindy%20jay%20pritzker_0.jpg" title="Cindy Pritzker and her late husband Jay, son of family patriarch A.N. Pritzker and co-founder of the Hyatt Hotel Corporation. (Pritzker Prize/Hyatt Foundation)" /></div><p><em>Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>&nbsp;or add her on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-02/meet-pritzkers-105485 Twenty-one Illinoisans on Obama 'bundler' list http://www.wbez.org/story/twenty-one-illinoisans-obama-bundler-list-89271 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-17/obama navy pier.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>About twenty Illinois residents have made the list of big campaign fundraisers for President Obama's re-election effort.</p><p>The Obama campaign late last week released a <a href="http://www.barackobama.com/pages/volunteer-fundraisers-Q2">list</a> of about 250 people they're calling "volunteer fundraisers." The more common name for these big ticket supporters, though, is "bundlers." They each raised more than $50,000 for the campaign by getting their friends to give, too.</p><p>The list includes the chairman and CEO of ComEd, Frank Clark, and a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, Laura Ricketts. Also highlighted: Penny Pritzker, who led Mr. Obama's 2008 fundraising committee, and Michael Sacks, an investment banker who last week was appointed to help lead a business commission by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>Emanuel, a recent White House chief of staff, didn't himself donate to his old boss, or make the list of big bundlers. But his brother, Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, did.</p><p>All told, the president raised some $86 million since beginning his fundraising drive in April. That's when he visited Chicago for an evening of back-to-back-to-back events.</p></p> Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/twenty-one-illinoisans-obama-bundler-list-89271 Philanthropist Penny Pritzker talks new role at Chicago Public Schools http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-22/philanthropist-penny-pritzker-talks-new-role-chicago-public-schools-8818 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-22/Bill Healy - Board of Ed pics 374 copy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s school board meets on Wednesday. One of the new members on that board is Chicago entrepreneur and philanthropist <a href="http://www.penny-pritzker.com/penny-pritzker-biography.html" target="_blank">Penny Pritzker</a>. She&rsquo;s a billionaire who&rsquo;s making a mark on Chicago&rsquo;s schools.<br /><br />The executive director of the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation is now the top education official in Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s cabinet and helped define Emanuel&rsquo;s education agenda. Penny Pritzker rarely gives interviews, but she spoke with WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton at length about her new role in the Chicago Public Schools.</p><p><em>To hear the full audio of Lutton&#39;s interview with Penny Pritzker, go to Extras, below.</em><br /><br /><em>Full Disclosure: Penny Pritzker&rsquo;s husband, Bryan Traubert, is a member of Chicago Public Media&rsquo;s board of directors. </em></p></p> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 14:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-22/philanthropist-penny-pritzker-talks-new-role-chicago-public-schools-8818 New CEO, new board, wary teachers http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-mayor-elect-rahm-emanuel/new-ceo-new-board-wary-teachers-85376 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-19/jean_claude_brizard.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago has a new schools chief.&nbsp; His name is Jean-Claude Brizard. He’s currently the superintendent of schools in Rochester, New York.</p><p>But Chicago is getting a lot more than just a new CEO. In a major shake-up, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announced yesterday he is replacing the entire Board of Education, and he named other top CPS administrators as well.</p><p>Jean Claude Brizard is the son of Haitian immigrants, the child of a teacher who grew up to be a teacher himself, then became a principal, then a top administrator in the New York City Public Schools.</p><p>BRIZARD: I remain hopeful, enthusiastic, and even more dedicated to improving the lives of children through education. In my opinion there is no greater calling than to the field of education, where we have the power to change the lives and trajectories of young people.</p><p>Mayor-elect Emanuel wants the trajectory of the district to change as well.</p><p>EMANUEL: To solve the problems confronting our schools system, we will have to come together as one city to embrace reform and change.</p><p>Brizard pushed changes in Rochester, including merit pay and school closures. Those proved unpopular with Rochester teachers; they recently gave him an overwhelming vote of “no confidence.”</p><p>Hiring a guy with that kind of credential could be seen as a not-so-subtle message to Chicago’s teachers union.&nbsp; And president Karen Lewis took it that way:</p><p>LEWIS: So it seems like the agenda’s set, so … here we go.</p><p>Lewis isn’t just referring to Brizard, but also to the rest of Emanuel’s education team. In all, the mayor-elect appointed 16 people yesterday.</p><p>The seven-member powerhouse board of education will include banker David Vitale; Illinois State Board of Education president Jesse Ruiz, and billionaire foundation director Penny Pritzker.</p><p>RADNER: This is really evidence of Rahm Emanuel’s very strategic thinking.</p><p>That’s DePaul University professor Barbara Radner.</p><p>RADNER: Look at this board… Penny Pritzker! Absolutely leader in Chicago foundations, setting the pace for changes—and here she is, on the board. Just remarkable… really, it’s a dream board!</p><p>Depending on what your dream is, of course. Many names announced yesterday have connections to charter schools and school fixes that require all staff to be fired.</p><p>Emanuel announced the appointments at Kelly High School on the working-class Southwest Side. One of Brizard’s biggest challenges will be convincing neighborhood schools like this one that they are a priority, even if they’re not as shiny and new as charters.</p><p>The principal at Kelly, Al Pretkelis, says he liked what Emanuel and Brizard had to say — well, Brizard wasn’t allowed to talk much or take questions from reporters. But Pretkelis liked the idea of giving principals more autonomy. He’s not a fan of merit pay though, which Emanuel said he wants to institute for Chicago teachers and principals. &nbsp;Pretkelis says he’s not motivated by more pay.</p><p>PRETKELIS: Not at all. I never was. That’s why I’m here. If merit pay is your driving force, that’s not a good thing. The driving force should be improvement in the schools.&nbsp; That should be the driving force.</p><p>Emanuel says Brizard is driven by doing what’s right for kids. He’s one of a growing number of schools superintendents trained by the Broad Superintendents Academy. The academy has more than 100 graduates in leadership positions around the country, including in Los Angeles and now Chicago.</p><p>Erica Lepping is a spokeswoman for the group:</p><p>LEPPING The academy basically gives participants an opportunity to travel around the country and learn deeply about the reform efforts that have taken place in many cities. So they look at best practices, they look at case studies, they analyze how to make systems more efficient.</p><p>That will come in handy when Brizard comes face to face with Chicago’s $720 million dollar deficit, wary teachers, and an ambitious new mayor.</p><p>Emanuel says he expects his new school board to be seated in May, when he takes office. Brizard should officially become the city’s schools chief shortly thereafter.</p></p> Tue, 19 Apr 2011 11:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-mayor-elect-rahm-emanuel/new-ceo-new-board-wary-teachers-85376