NACD Board Leadership Conference NACD Chapter System

Disruption and Innovation: How Does the Board Adapt?

September 12, 2016
Chicago, IL



Disruption and innovation are hot button issues in companies today.  Sam Yagan, at 39 years old, has already earned widespread recognition: Time Magazine's list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World", Fortune's "40 under 40", Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business", and Crain's Chicago Business' Tech 50 list.  Recently named CEO of ShopRunner, an e-commerce competitor to Amazon Prime, Sam has great entrepreneurial experience in this world of disruption and innovation.  With experience as a director in public, private and not for profit companies, Sam is ideally positioned to share his perspectives on the role of Directors in this fast changing world. 



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Location and Time


The University Club of Chicago
76 E. Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60603

11:15-11:45 a.m. Networking Reception

11:45-1:30 p.m. Lunch & Program

Speaker Spotlight


Sam Yagan

Sam Yagan is the Vice-Chairman of Match Group (Nasdaq: MTCH), a position he assumed after serving as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and leading it through a period of explosive growth that culminated in its IPO. He has co-founded several companies, including SparkNotes, eDonkey, OkCupid, Techstars Chicago, and, Firestarter Fund, & Corazon Capital.

Sam has been a leader in the dating industry since he co-founded OkCupid in 2003 and grew it into one of the most popular dating products in America, amassing over four million active users. OkCupid has earned widespread media acclaim and has been described as “the Google of online dating” and where “dating meets Facebook.” In 2011, Match, Inc. acquired OkCupid for $90 million.

Sam’s prior entrepreneurial ventures in the consumer internet sector include SparkNotes (founded in 1999), still the dominant brand of study guides and eDonkey (founded in 2002), once the largest P2P file-sharing network in the world. He sold SparkNotes to Barnes & Noble, Inc., where he served as Vice-President and Publisher and oversaw the expansion of the previously all-digital brand into an expansive multi-platform media business.

Outside of work, Sam’s primary passion is working with early-stage entrepreneurs. In 2009, he co-founded Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago), a leading start-up accelerator, and served as its first Chief Executive Officer. In 2014, Sam founded Corazon Capital, a small angel fund; he sits on the board of several start-ups, including ShiftGig, SpotHero, Roniin, & Brilliant. He also advises several venture capital funds, including Hyde Park Venture Partners and the FireStarter Fund, which he co-founded. He serves on Target Corp’s Digital Advisory Council and the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management Board.

Sam has been named to TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40,” Crain’s Chicago “40 Under 40”, Billboard Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” Crain’s “Tech 25,” D Magazine’s “Dallas 500” and ranked #19 on Silicon Alley Insider’s “Most Inspiring and Influential People.” He has received the Chicago Innovation Awards’ “Visionary of the Year Award,” IMSA’s “Distinguished Leadership Award,” and the DCIA’s “Pioneer’s Award.” Sam has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and has spoken at the CATO Institute, Digital Hollywood, IRCE, the Federal Trade Commission, and numerous other industry events.



Question about this Event?

Contact Chicago Chapter 1154 Blue Larkspur, Naperville, IL, 60540 phone: 630-527-9579 email: