Hawk Talk to feature national business leaders

Marist High School’s leadership program, Explore, will host its first “Hawk Talk” featuring nationally recognized business leaders Gerald Beeson and Mary Tolan. The event will take place on Thursday, February 18, at 6:30pm in the school’s RedHawk Theatre.

The evening’s theme, Sustaining Success in a Snapchat World: Tips & Tools from Business Leaders, aims to give students insider knowledge into having the confidence, skills, and faith to take risks and build a satisfying, ethical career in business.


Beeson, a 1990 graduate of Marist, is a Senior Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for Citadel LLC.  Citadel is one of the world’s leading alternative asset management firms with more than $25 billion in assets under management as well as one of the world’s largest securities dealers.   Prior to becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2008, Mr. Beeson served as Citadel’s Chief Financial Officer, a role he’s held since 2003.   He joined Citadel as an intern in 1993 and was among the company’s first employees.    He received his bachelor’s degree from DePaul University (where he is now a trustee) and his MBA from The University of Chicago.   He is registered as a certified public accountant with the State of Illinois.  He is the Chairman of the school board at Marist High School and heavily involved in supporting educational initiatives such as Big Shoulders Fund and other charitable organizations.


Mary_TolanTolan is Founder and Co-Managing Director of Chicago Pacific Founders, a healthcare private equity firm.  Previously, she was founder, chairman and CEO of Accretive Health, a revenue processing company for healthcare providers, and took Accretive public for $1.2 billion. She was a Group Chief Executive at Accenture, a $16 billion global management consulting company and took Accenture public for $14 billion.  She has received several honors and awards, including being named to Crain’s “Top 40 Under 40” list, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Services 2010 Award, the Distinguished Alumnus University of Chicago and the Illinois Venture Capital Company of the Year Award.  She was elected Trustee of the University of Chicago in 2009 and is a Trustee of Loyola University.  She received a BA from Loyola University in 1982, and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1992.

Inspired by the popular TED Talks series, the program’s director, Anne Brusky, hopes to bring real world knowledge and access to top-tier professionals in a variety of industries to Marist students. These events aim to introduce the importance of networking and professional development to students. The Explore program as whole works to expose students to college and career learning so that students can make better informed decisions about educational and professional choices. It also provides specialized opportunities for mentoring, shadowing and more to students who have a career path in mind.

Students interested in attending need to register in advance via the form below. A capacity audience is expected for this unique and invaluable opportunity to hear from seasoned and lauded business leaders. 

This event is only open to Marist students. If space allows, Marist will open up registration for parents at a later date.