• One of the most remarkable things about Hal Lewis is that he understood, more than anyone else, that a successful turnaround required far more than financially difficult decisions to cut expenses. Hal knew that we needed to look inward and re-evaluate our reason for being. Notwithstanding the considerable professional and financial risks associated with being captain of a ship that was floundering, Hal took on the assignment and, thank goodness, had the skills and fortitude required to lead the transformation. The turnaround does not happen without Hal’s leadership. I think of Jim Collins who said that “a great leader must maintain unwavering faith that he or she can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and, at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts about the current reality, whatever they may be.” That’s Hal.

    Marc R. Wilkow
    Marc R. Wilkow Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, CEO, M&J Wilkow, Ltd.
  • Hal Lewis is a talented change agent and an enormous asset to the world of communal service. He is a thoughtful listener, adept planner, and erudite strategist as evidenced by his work turning the Spertus Institute around. I have found Hal’s action-oriented leadership to be transformative.

    Caren Croland Yanis
    Caren Croland Yanis President, Crown Family Philathropies (2009-2016)
  • Hal Lewis understands nonprofit leadership better than anyone I know. He assumed the Presidency of a once faltering enterprise and transformed it into one of the nation’s preeminent educational and leadership training institutes. His skillsets range from crisis management where he was able to repair strained or broken relationships by instilling confidence in a donor base that had lost trust in the organization, to visioning, in which he created a new institutional vision and purpose after carefully listening to key constituents and stakeholders. Hal was able to attract younger trustees while also rebuilding a team of talented professionals. He demonstrated an outstanding grasp of complex financial matters, was able to negotiate successfully with lenders and created major streams of additional revenue.

    Philip Gordon
    Philip Gordon Partner, Perkins Coie, Philanthropist, Board Member
  • There is no measuring the impact of Hal Lewis' expertise.  His ability to blend theoretical concepts with practical solutions created an immediate bridge between my learning and work, all the while pushing me to imagine future applications. I have witnessed the frequency with which others return to his teachings and suggestions, and can attest to the forward thinking he instills in those with whom he works.  He is the embodiment of positive leadership and through every meeting continues to guide me towards better leadership and management practices.

    Aleeza Lubin
    Aleeza Lubin Innovation Lead, Upstart (Chicago) & Former Student
  • As a coach and mentor, Hal combines both wisdom and warmth. He is patient and understanding, yet can be laser focused and unrelenting. He has a great deal to share with business and philanthropic communities alike. One of his most compelling traits is his aptitude for taking a theoretical understanding of subject matter and applying it to the real world. This ability, delivered with his incisive wit, has been invaluable.

    Don DeCastro
    Don DeCastro Managing Partner, Mask Restaurants, LLC
  • Hal Lewis’ notable career has been driven by leadership, research and practice. He is all about the future and the promise it holds. He knows that “you cannot solve 21st century problems with 20th century organizations or leadership models.” He is a skilled leader. During his tenure as President and CEO of Spertus Institute, Hal accomplished a great deal in the areas of mission, programming, and financial health. Indeed, he oversaw a financial turnaround and major rebranding that moved Spertus from the brink of bankruptcy to financial viability with an enhanced reputation locally and nationally.

    Dr. Steven B. Nasatir
    Dr. Steven B. Nasatir President and CEO, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Wisdom is great. But if it isn’t matched by a sense of practicality, its value is limited. Hal Lewis is able to combine insight and action. His knowledge of leadership stems from years of academic study that is enhanced by his own experience running a world-class institution. He is an outstanding communicator and agile listener. If you are looking for someone to inspire transformational leadership, Hal Lewis is an ideal choice.

    Kelly Leonard
    Kelly Leonard Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improvisation, The Second City & Author of "Yes, And"
  • Hal Lewis represents great leadership. A leading scholar on the subject, Hal has himself led the transformation of several institutions, most notably Spertus College in Chicago. Combining his broad base of knowledge with a plan of action, Hal accomplished what many thought to be impossible. Given his experience and intellectual capacity, he brings a special mix of talent to addressing challenging organizational issues.

    Alan P. Solow
    Alan P. Solow Partner Resolute Consulting
  • In my role consulting to Fortune 500 companies and large not-for-profit health systems, I have had a chance to work closely with many senior leaders. I generally find that the effective ones fall into the category of “visionary” or “strategist.” Hal Lewis is a rare leader who is effective in both roles. I’ve watched him lead his senior team in setting a vision that inspired staff, donors and students alike, all while bringing his board along the journey. I’ve watched him lead an operational restructuring that has rescued Spertus from the brink of insolvency.  As an advisor, he brings rare empathy to senior leaders and an ability to help them raise their game in setting a vision, a strategy, or in executing against a plan.

    Jeff Gourdji
    Jeff Gourdji Partner Prophet Consulting