Venita E. Fields, Financial Services Leader/Board Director
Ms. Fields is an experienced independent corporate board director and has also served on numerous company boards as an investor. She has over 35 years of financial management in banks and investment firms and serves as a Qualified Financial Expert on boards. Ms. Fields has extensive board experience and serves on public and private company boards. She is currently seeking companies with national and international reach.
Throughout her successful financial services career, Venita has served in numerous leadership roles. In her corporate banking career Ms. Fields structured, closed and/or managed approximately $2.0 billion in senior investments in the automotive, aviation, food, industrial manufacturing, retail, and service sectors, achieving the rank of Senior Vice President with Bank of America.
Ms. Fields is a Partner for Pelham S2K Managers, LLC (“Pelham S2K”), providing junior capital and private equity investments for privately held middle market companies. Formed in 2016, Pelham S2K is the Manager and General Partner of Pelham S2K SBIC, a $100 million Limited Partnership. She manages the Firm’s Illinois office, where she generates investment opportunities in the Midwest.
Previously for more than a decade, Ms. Fields was a Partner with Smith Whiley & Company. She was also a senior member of Smith Whiley’s Investment Committee and oversaw the investment and commitment of 38 mezzanine and private equity transactions that the Advisor directed and managed in its three private equity funds: SW Pelham Fund, L.P., Fund II and Fund III, As an investor, she has served as a Board Director on a dozen portfolio companies in the food and beverage, manufacturing, retail, and business services sectors throughout the USA.
Ms. Fields has a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A. degree from Northwestern University. In addition, she joined the faculty at Kellogg as a Guest Lecturer teaching Entrepreneurial Finance from 2010-2012.
Ms. Fields is a member and/or leader of the following organizations: Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Chicago, Past Chapter President; Chicago Finance Exchange (CFE), Past President; Economic Club of Chicago; National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and Women Corporate Directors (WCD), Ms. Fields is a past Board Director for the Chicago Chapter of the Private Directors Association. She is a current Board Director for the Moran Center for Youth Advocacy (Evanston, IL). Ms. Fields is a member of the Evanston-Northshore Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
Current Board Service:
Superior Group of Companies (NASDAQ: “SGC”)
David’s Bridal, Inc. (“DBI”/Private)
IMA Financial Group (“IMA”/Private)
LifeSpace Communities, Inc., (“Lifespace”/Private)
Derry Enterprises (“Derry”/Private)
Sheila Ronning, Women in the Boardroom CEO & Founder
Leadership and networking expert and board strategist, Sheila Ronning is a trailblazer in working towards gender equality in the boardroom. As the CEO and Founder of Women in the Boardroom, she uses her powerful network to help women achieve their goals of obtaining board membership and has built an impressive track record in connecting influential female executives with the people and tools they need to succeed in business and at the executive level. Under her leadership, Women in the Boardroom has achieved global influence in private and public boardrooms, including Fortune 100 companies. Sheila believes in the power of connecting professionals with the tools they need to succeed in business and in life. As the President and CEO of the leadership and business development firm, Sharp UpSwing, she uses her keen insight into business trends to identify and capture growth opportunities for individuals and organizations in their local marketplace.
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has named Sheila one of the top 25 “Women to Watch” in the Twin Cities as well as to their prestigious “40 Under Forty” list for her entrepreneurial dynamism and reputation as a networking maven. She has been honored by the Minnesota NAWBO with a “Changemaker Award” and by the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce as an “Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist for her positive impact on the small business community. And most recently, a winner of the 2010 Enterprising Women of the Year Award and named a 2010 “Minnesotan on the Move” by Finance & Commerce.
Prior to founding Sharp UpSwing in 1996, Sheila garnered 10+ years of strategic marketing, sales management, and operations leadership experience with companies that range from Fortune 500 leaders to visionary start-ups. She credits her ability to mobilize and organize for Sharp UpSwing’s success.
Sheila’s marketing and leadership development expertise has been featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Pioneer Press, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Chicago Sun-Times, Upsize Minnesota magazine, and dbaWomen. Her podcasts on simple tools for long-term success will soon be available in partnership with Todaysbusinessradio.com (AM1500).