Chicago Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Stacey Kacek, Retired CEO of Contelligent, Elected to Illinois Tech Board of Trustees

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By Howard J. Lee

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CHICAGO—Stacey Kacek, the retired CEO of Contelligent, has been elected to the Illinois Institute of Technology Board of Trustees.

Kacek is an innovative leader with more than 30 years of experience in building and leading high-performing, customer-focused, and scalable software solutions.

“Illinois Tech’s goal to build a culture that kindles curiosity and sparks the innovative spirit of students to prepare them to be impactful leaders in their communities resonates with me personally and professionally,” Kacek says. “I’m honored to join the board of this amazing university and play a role in empowering students with the knowledge, competencies, and human-centered skills to solve the grand challenges of our times and to shape an equitable world.”

Having retired this year, Kacek had served as CEO of Contelligent—a Chicago-based waste container monitoring and analytics solutions company—since 2018. Contelligent was acquired by Waste Harmonics earlier this summer, when she took the opportunity to retire.

Kacek first joined the company to architect its growth from a collection of products to a pinpointed customer-centric company that offers comprehensive solutions integrating hardware, software, and support into existing systems across manufacturing, grocery and retail, property management, donations, and beyond. Contelligent’s patented monitoring and analytics in waste container management system offers the control and visibility to achieve and streamline operational efficiencies, minimize safety incidents, and protect against fraudulent use. Formerly known as OnePlus Systems, Contelligent holds the first patent for remote waste container management and has been at the industry forefront for more than 20 years.

“Stacey’s extensive experience in innovative entrepreneurship will help Illinois Tech embrace opportunities to advance technology as a force for good,” says Raj Echambadi, president of Illinois Tech. “We are honored Stacey is joining in our efforts to make Illinois Tech an opportunity engine for all.”

Kacek started her career in 1989 by serving in a variety of software development and management positions at Motorola. After leaving Motorola in 2007 to serve as vice president of engineering for SmartSignal Corporation, an Argonne National Laboratory spinout that was later acquired by General Electric, she became general manager of asset intelligence for GE Intelligent Platforms from 2011 to 2012. With a short stint as an independent consultant, Kacek returned to the corporate world by taking the helm as chief technology officer—and, later, CEO in just two short years—of Microsystems (now Litera), a legal document lifecycle solutions company. Prior to her appointment at Contelligent, Kacek held tenure as CEO and adviser at Vertex Analytics, a futures trading analytics and visualization company, until 2018.

“Stacey’s perspective as a tech industry business leader will help us reimagine education and create new hybrid capabilities to meet the needs of all learners with flexible offerings that produce the best return on investment for our students,” says Michael P. Galvin (LAW ’78), chairman of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees. “I am delighted that she will be playing a role in our goals to make Illinois Tech an innovator in higher education.”

Kacek continues to actively serve on the Board of Directors for Vertex Analytics. Kacek and her family (the Kacek family) have contributed to the extensive heritage renovation of a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed residential building—officially named George J. Kacek Hall—on Illinois Tech’s main campus thanks to the generous estate commitment to Illinois Tech made by her uncle and engineering alumnus George J. Kacek (EE ’54, M.S. ’55). This year-long, $22.5 million heritage renovation was completed in July 2020, and opened to students that fall.

“Stacey’s commitment to education will help Illinois Tech invest in the academic enterprise, harness efficiencies, and generate revenues through enhanced growth that are critical for continued success,” says Ernie Iseminger, vice president for advancement at Illinois Tech. “I look forward to working with her to establish Illinois Tech as a global university and valued citizen in Chicago and beyond.”

Kacek holds a bachelor’s degree in computer and electrical engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She spends much of her free time experimenting with a variety of recipes and ingredients to cook for family and friends, and is an avid Chicago Blackhawks fan.

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Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused research university. Illinois Tech is the only university of its kind in Chicago, and its Chicago location offers students access to the world-class resources of a great global metropolis. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, computing, architecture, business, design, science and human sciences, and law. One of 22 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities, Illinois Tech provides an exceptional education centered on active learning, and its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Illinois Tech uniquely prepares students to succeed in professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Visit iit.edu.

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