Ronald J. Gidwitz is a co-founder of GCG Partners, assuming an active role as a partner in September 1998. He shares responsibility for overall management of the partnership.
Prior to becoming active in GCG Partners, Mr. Gidwitz was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Unilever HPC Helene Curtis Business Unit from 1996 to 1998. Previously, Mr. Gidwitz served as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors of Helene Curtis, a Fortune 500 consumer products company. He had served as President since 1979 and assumed the post of Chief Executive Officer in July 1985. Before being appointed President, Mr. Gidwitz held a number of positions within the company, with responsibilities ranging from sales to manufacturing. After Mr. Gidwitz took the helm of Helene Curtis in 1979, revenues increased sevenfold to more than $1.2 billion before its acquisition by Unilever in 1996.
Prior to joining Helene Curtis in 1968, Mr. Gidwitz was Assistant to the Vice President at Walter E. Heller & Co., a former national financial services company headquartered in Chicago.
Mr. Gidwitz also serves as Director on the Board of Continental Materials Corporation and KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation.
Mr. Gidwitz is active in the Chicago business and arts communities. He was named Crain’s Chicago Business Executive of the Year in 1988. He has served as Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education. He is a member of the Board of Trustees/Directors for the Field Museum, Rush University Medical Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has served as Chairman of the following organizations: The Economic Development Commission of the City of Chicago, the Board of Trustees of the City Colleges of Chicago, the Chicago Central Area Committee and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. In addition to serving as Governor and Chairman of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Mr. Gidwitz is currently Chairman of the New Prosperity Foundation and the Economic Freedom Alliance.
In 2006 Mr. Gidwitz was a candidate for Governor of the State of Illinois.
Mr. Gidwitz is a graduate of Brown University, with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He is married with two children and resides in Chicago.
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