Michael Fassnacht, CMO for the City of Chicago and CEO and President of World Business Chicago sits down with Tonya Bakritzes, Managing Director of Marketing at S2G to discuss why and how Chicago is supporting its food and agriculture sector and encouraging growth and innovation. Michael shares why Chicago is particularly well suited to be a food industry hub from its rich history in the sector to its diversity, location, affordability and incredible talent pool, and how the city plans on strengthening the sector and making it a core strategy in Chicago’s economic recovery.
More infomation on World Business Chicago and the Chicago Venture Summit can be found here.
You can also read more highlights from the event covered by Forbes.
President & CEO, World Business Chicago
CMO, City of Chicago
A seasoned marketing leader with more than 25 years of experience, Michael works alongside the Mayor’s office as the Chief Marketing Officer to ensure that all marketing, branding, and business development activities for the city are aligned with Mayor Lightfoot’s economic growth plan focused on inclusive growth across Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. In December 2020, Michael stepped in as interim President and CEO of World Business Chicago to ensure a smooth transition to a new leader while intensifying World Business Chicago’s efforts to attract new companies to Chicago. It quickly became clear that Michael was the right person to lead WBC into the next chapter and he graciously accepted the full time position in May of 2021.
Michael Fassnacht has been a recurring figure in Chicago’s civic community and has led critical pro-bono work for the rebranding of the Chicago Public Library and its foundation, the city’s Amazon HQ2 pitch, the city’s Census 2020 activities, and most recently, “Boards of Change”, an award-winning initiative to encourage residents to register to vote. Additionally, he has been involved as a board member with Marwen, World Business Chicago, and the Civic Consulting Alliance; while providing counsel to P33, the Joyce Foundation and the Chicago Prize by the Pritzker/Traubert Foundation.
Prior to his role as CMO, Michael served for more than 10 years as CEO at one of the city’s oldest and most successful advertising agencies, Foote Cone & Belding (FCB). He led his agency to unprecedented international creative recognition and strong above-industry topline growth over his tenure. Before then, he was a successful start-up entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, and over his long career, he has been recognized as a global expert in building and marketing brands.
Michael was born in Germany and made his way stateside in college where he met his wife, Dr. Rhonda Duffaut. They currently reside in Chicago and have two teenage children, Maya and Ryan.