Founding CEO Fred Hoch to become Executive Chairman
Today, the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) named Julia Kanouse as Chief Executive Officer. Kanouse will lead the organization and the tech community at large through its next phase of growth.
“I am honored to be taking on the role of CEO of ITA,” Kanouse said, “ITA has been at the forefront of developing the Chicago technology community for the past 12 years, and the future looks even brighter.”
During the last decade, ITA has crafted a new trade association business model specifically to maximize opportunities for Chicago technology companies to advance through key growth stages. The expansion of ITA has resulted in more than 500 member companies benefitting from 16 distinct service offerings. The most influential aspect of ITA is its power to convene, as in the last year alone more than 5,000 executives from 2,000 companies engaged with ITA.
Kanouse joined the ITA in 2015 to help drive the strategic direction of the organization, leading much of its operations. Her focus on strengthening and expanding ITA’s brand and member value proposition has increased the organization’s overall impact.
“There is a reason successful Chicago tech companies stay in Chicago,” continued Kanouse. “Together, we are charting a course that generates increasing opportunities for ventures from the start-up phase through scaling worldwide. Our team isn’t just ready for what’s next. We’re helping create what’s next.”
An experienced executive, Kanouse spent ten years at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) where she was responsible for developing and delivering programs and marketing strategies that created interest, increased recognition and drove demand for the NRA and its brands.
As part of the leadership shift, founding CEO Fred Hoch will become Executive Chairman where he will lead efforts to expand the presence and collaboration of Chicago’s tech community both locally and nationally. The transition process began last year when Hoch asked the ITA’s executive board to consider what was needed in the next phase of growth.
“We are thrilled that Julia will lead us in the next phase of the organization.” said outgoing Chairman Jim Gagnard. “Since inception, ITA has been on the forefront of our technology industry and that leadership has accelerated as the growth-stage community of tech companies has risen. Ready to continue to build on ITA’s success, Julia is the rig
ht choice to lead the community in its next phase.”