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Business Leadership & Coordination in COVID Response

Main Stage

Programming Sponsor: Calamos Investments

Media Partner: Yahoo! Finance



  • Reflecting on his role as a CEO during a global pandemic, John Koudounis shared the steps taken by Calamos Investments to get ahead as much as possible. From a business management perspective, Koudounis was committed to not furloughing a single employee, and plans to maintain this approach going forward. 
  • When asked about his motivation to provide relief and recovery to Chicago by Akiko Fujita, Koudounis explained that the idea emerged from his love of the city and the pain that came from seeing what the pandemic was doing to the people of the city. Knowing that his company was in the position to one day recover, Koudounis was ready to come together to help the people that needed it most. 

“Those of us who can help, should help to boost each other,” John Koudounis

  • In response to the pandemic’s far-reaching and long-term impact on society’s most vulnerable populations, Koudounis established the Chicago CEO COVID-19 Coalition, which raised $1.25 million to assist those who were struggling. Selecting ten charities that addressed various issues such as PPE, homelessness, and food security, Calamos was eager to assist in the areas it could. 
  • The ability to have everyone come together for the cause was extremely gratifying to see, according to Koudounis, and encouraged a new narrative and standard for CEOs.

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • The business community has an unparalleled role to play in driving relief and recovery post-COVID, particularly in terms of mobilizing, growing, and sustaining support for the most vulnerable in society.


Session Speakers