New hire joins Skyway’s majority female-led leadership team
CHICAGO – The Chicago Skyway recently announced the appointment of Kara Lawrence as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective Monday, March 13. A seasoned executive with a background in building businesses and transforming organizations and cultures to deliver superior results, she comes to the Skyway with global experience in start-up, mid-market, and multi-billion-dollar companies.
“This is an incredible addition to the Skyway leadership, and we are thrilled to have Kara join our team,” said Skyway’s Chief Executive Officer Kristi Lafleur. “Her people first leadership style coupled with her exceptional financial skills will benefit the Skyway. I look forward to working alongside her to further our mission of providing the safest, fastest, most convenient, and most reliable route to and through Chicago.”
As part of her new role, Ms. Lawrence will spearhead the company’s finance functions including financial planning and analysis, business strategy and development, and investor relations. Ms. Lawrence will report to the CEO and joins several female executives currently leading the Skyway.
As CFO of FoodChain ID Group Inc., Ms. Lawrence oversaw integration of seven acquisitions in three years, transformed the finance organization, and participated in the successful sale of the company. Prior to FoodChain, she was CFO of Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., a renewable specialty chemical company with leading edge technology. She joined Elevance while the company was being formed and was the key architect in developing and implementing the financial systems and processes, and the financial organization. Additionally, she also held several leadership positions of increasing responsibility at BP, Amoco, and Innovene.
“The Chicago Skyway has a long history in the region, and I look forward to building on that success in the future,” said Ms. Lawrence. “I’m excited to join the team in creating a path forward that leads to sustainable growth for the roadway, while improving the overall customer experience.”
Kara Lawrence is a Certified Public Accountant with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
About the Chicago Skyway:
Built by the City of Chicago in 1958, the Chicago Skyway Toll Bridge is a 7.8-mile-long toll road that connects the Indiana Toll Road to the Dan Ryan Expressway on Chicago’s South Side. The main feature of the Skyway is a 1⁄2-mile-long steel truss bridge, known as the “High Bridge.” The bridge itself spans the Calumet River and Calumet Harbor, a major harbor for industrial ships – its main span extends 650 feet long and provides for 125 feet of vertical clearance.
The City of Chicago maintained and operated the Chicago Skyway until January 2005 when Skyway Concession Company assumed those responsibilities pursuant to a 99-year lease. The lease agreement between Skyway and the City of Chicago was the first privatization of an existing toll road in the United States.