Joe Aguilar; Director, Investment Analysis and Due Diligence; Illinois State Treasury
As Director of Investment Analysis and Due Diligence at the Illinois State Treasury, Mr. Aguilar’s duties include overseeing all externally managed investment portfolios managed by the Treasurer’s Office, equating to approximately $14 billion in assets. Under his purview include investment programs for the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund, a $1B impact investment fund, two 529 College Saving Plans, the State’s Achieving a Better Life Experience program and the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program. Mr. Aguilar is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the manager selection process, assessment, and monitoring of all external public and private market investment managers including venture/private equity/private credit managers invested through the office’s platforms.
Mr. Aguilar holds a B.S. in Finance and Business & Commerce from Aurora University and an M.S. in Finance from the University of Miami’s Herbert Business School
Mark Aardsma; Managing Partner; First Leaf Capital, LLC
Mark Aardsma is Managing Partner of First Leaf Capital, a venture capital firm in Champaign-Urbana. Before becoming an investor, he launched and led three startups to success. From an engineering base, he leaned on a combination of mentors and don’t-do-that-again moments to learn leadership, management, and marketing skills along the way. His firm invests in technology transfer startups at the University of Illinois, and other startups in the Midwest.