Mr. Joel Kanter has served as President of Windy City, Inc., a privately held investment firm, since July 1986.
From 1989 to November 1999, Mr. Kanter served as the President, and subsequently as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Walnut Financial Services, Inc., a publicly traded company (Nasdaq: WNUT). Walnut Financial’s primary business focus was the provision of various forms of financing to small business including equity financing to start-up and early stage development companies, bridge financing to small and medium-sized companies, and later stage institutional financing to mature enterprises. Tower Hill Capital bought the Company in 1999 in a transaction valued at approximately $400 million which made Walnut the 24th largest gainer on Nasdaq that year..
After graduation from Tulane University, with Honors in Political Science and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology in May 1978, Mr. Kanter first worked on the Re-Election Campaign of, and then in Washington, D.C. as a Legislative Assistant to former Congressman Abner J. Mikva (D-Ill.). In that position from January 1979 – mid-1980, Mr. Kanter provided support to Congressman Mikva with respect to activities related to his position on the House Judiciary Committee. Mikva subsequently became the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and then served as White House Counsel to President Clinton.
From 1980 – 1983, Mr. Kanter served as Special Assistant to the National Association of Attorneys General. In that position, he represented the interests of the State Attorneys General in Washington, D.C. in the criminal justice and environmental arenas.
From 1983 – 1985, Mr. Kanter served as the Staff Director of the House Rules Committee’s Subcommittee on Legislative Process Chaired by Congressman Gillis W. Long (D-La.). He also lent considerable support to the activities of the House Democratic Caucus, which was also Chaired by Congressman Long. In particular, Mr. Kanter was intimately involved in the effort to establish a new debate format that was first used during the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire in 1984 and was moderated by Phil Donahue and Ted Koppel. He was also involved in authoring a House Democratic Caucus publication called Blueprint for America which served as the basis for several subsequent Democratic Platforms
From April 1985 through June 1986, Mr. Kanter served as Managing Director of The Investors’ Washington Service, an investment advisory company specializing in providing advice to large institutional clients regarding the impact of federal legislative and regulatory decisions on debt and equity markets. Clients included Amoco Oil, AT&T, Bankers Trust, Chase Manhattan Bank, General Motors, and J.C. Penney.
Mr. Kanter serves on the Board of Directors of various public and private companies in the life sciences, medical devices, and healthcare services sectors, all stemming from his continued involvement in financing such startups.
Mr Kanter is also a current Trustee Emeritus and past President of the Board of Trustees of The Langley School in McLean, Virginia; a former Trustee at the Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.; and of the Union Institute & University, the Country’s first Online University. He is also the current Board Chair of the Black Student Fund, and the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. He also serves on the Kennedy Center’s National Committee on the Performing Arts, as well as on the Board of Voices for Progress.