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Katherine Gehl    

Co-Chair of the National Association of Non-Partisan Reformers & Co-Founder of Democracy Fund

As the fourth-generation President and CEO of Gehl Foods, Katherine led an aggressive growth strategy, driving transformations across the company–from management and processes, to facilities and information systems. In order to support continued growth, Katherine oversaw the acquisition of Gehl Foods by a private equity firm in March of 2015.

One thing Katherine learned over the course of her career: in order for a company to compete globally, it needs a workforce of skilled self-starters and problem solvers. This is the very definition of competitiveness: businesses are succeeding, while living standards are maintained or rising for average Americans.

Katherine put this philosophy into practice, and Gehl Foods thrived under her leadership. But she is deeply concerned about the path our nation is on, and the inability of our political system to address the vulnerabilities threatening US competitiveness including the K-12 education system and the tax code. Katherine is passionate about ensuring that community and business leaders are aware of the problems and become part of the solution.

In addition to her experience in manufacturing, Katherine’s background includes roles as Vice President at Bernstein Investment Research and Management, Special Assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley for Technology and Economic Development, Director of Information Technology Services at Chicago Public Schools, and Organizational Development Manager at Oracle Corporation.

In 2010, Katherine was nominated by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the US Senate in 2011 to serve on the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Over the past decade, Katherine has focused on the urgent need for non-partisan political innovation on both state and national levels.

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