Chris McGowan brings an extensive and diverse background to his role as Senior Advisor at Rise. Currently, he serves as the General Partner of CJM Ventures (CJMV), a private equity firm formed in 2011 to focus on buyouts and growth equity investments located in the Chicago area. CJMV's portfolio includes OPTO International, an Illinois-based manufacturer of retail shelving and display systems; Cedar Capital, a Chicago-based asset management firm; and Autism Home Support Services, Illinois’ largest provider of home-based therapy for children on the autism spectrum. He is also an adjunct professor, entrepreneur-in-residence, and Polsky Center senior advisor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he co-teaches two MBA courses.
McGowan is an active angel investor. He serves on the board of directors and portfolio advisory board of Hyde Park Angels, chairs the limited partner advisory committee for Hyde Park Venture Partners I, and serves as a board observer for Simple Mills and on the advisory board of Spikeball USA. He also sits on The Laboratory Schools’ board of directors, the board of trustees for the Court Theatre at the University of Chicago, and the SHSAA board of trustees for Stuyvesant High School.
Previously, McGowan worked at Madison Dearborn Partners as a managing director, co-heading the private equity investment firm’s basic industries practice for the last five years of his 12-year career there.
He holds an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and a B.A. from Columbia College of Arts and Sciences.