Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration


Wintrust Financial Center

9700 W. Higgins Rd.

Second Floor

Rosemont, IL 60018

United States


May 14, 2019
5:30 pm
7:30 pm

We’re proud to host our annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration. This year, our esteemed guests include Ji Suk Yi and Sid Bala who will join Wintrust CEO Ed Wehmer for a candid conversation about their experiences, challenges, and accomplishments. Our panel participants are wonderful examples of the Asian community’s contributions to our area. After the discussion, guests will have the opportunity to mingle, network, and continue the conversation. As Chicago’s Bank®, it’s our honor to host events like this that showcase the unique, accomplished leaders and entrepreneurs who make our area so strong.

Event Moderator: Ed Wehmer

Ed Wehmer | President, CEO, Founder of Wintrust

A Wintrust founder, Ed Wehmer has served since May 1998 as president and CEO of the Company. He is responsible for overseeing the execution of Wintrust’s day-to-day operations and strategic initiatives. Prior to his current roles, he served as Wintrust president and chief operating officer since its formation in 1996, and as Lake Forest Bank & Trust president from 1991 to 1998.

Ed has been a director since 1996, and serves as an advisory director of each of the Company’s main operating subsidiaries. He is the only member of the Board who is also a manager of the Company. As such, he provides views of Company management and substantial insight into Company operations. As an employee of the Company since its inception, he also provides historical context for the Board’s discussions.

Ed is a certified public accountant and, earlier in his career, spent seven years with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP specializing in the banking field, particularly in the area of bank mergers and acquisitions.

Ed serves on the board of directors of Stepan Company (NYSE), a chemical manufacturing and distribution company. He also serves as a director of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and the Catholic Extension Society, on the audit committee of Northwestern Memorial Health Care, as a trustee for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Foundation, and on the finance board of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Meet Our Panelists:

Ji Suk Yi | Features Reporter & Host of The Grid video series, Chicago Sun-Times

Ji Suk Yi is a features reporter with the Chicago Sun-Times.

She also hosts Sun-Times digital series “The Grid”-- covering Chicago neighborhoods from what to see and where to eat. The Grid videos highlight the very best each neighborhood has to offer!

She was with ABC-7 Chicago from 2006 to March 2018 and was a co-host on daily talk show Windy City LIVE for seven seasons.

Born in South Korea, Ji Suk immigrated to the U.S. when she was five years old. She had an eclectic childhood growing up in a rural town in western North Carolina eating southern soul food alongside kimchi and rice, long before fusion cuisine was popular!

Ji Suk attended Salem College and went on to get her law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But soon realized her heart was truly set on journalism and decided Chicago was the best city in the nation to learn about news.

Sid Bala | President & CEO, alligatortek

Sid Bala drives the vision and direction of an award-winning software firm dedicated to solving business challenges with technology. alligatortek was established in 1993 to build custom enterprise applications for the web and mobile devices. These solutions address process bottlenecks to improve efficiency, productivity, and the bottom line for clients. alligatortek opens the possibilities for new strategies and business opportunities with software technologies.

Under Sid’s leadership, the company has been recognized as a best-in-class partner, employer and innovator. A Microsoft Gold Managed Partner, alligatortek was the winner of the 2015 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in the category of Innovative Technology for Good Citizenship. The firm is a two-time recipient of the Chicago Innovation Awards for its game-changing solutions. alligatortek has received elite recognition for four consecutive years by the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For and was listed as One of the Top 50 Employers for Gen Y Emerging Talent.

Sid has learned early on of the importance of hiring talented and amazing team members as early as possible, and he believes that the company’s most valuable investment is human capital. He continually strives to build a solid team culture that will attract and retain top talent. The company serves to be a personal and professional launching pad for the team. The leadership team seeks opportunities where they are able to tie a person’s unique ability to his or her role or provide an outlet to discover the individual’s true professional passion.

Throughout the years, Sid has remained an active member of the community. He has served on various charitable foundation boards and business councils. Sid currently holds leadership roles at the Economic Club of Chicago and Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

A Chicago native, Sid attended the University of Chicago for his bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and went on to the State University of New York, Stony Brook for a graduate degree in computer science. He holds a master’s degree from MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program..

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