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John Pappas

​​Academic Credentials

  • MBA, Leadership and Management, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management
  • BA, Public Administration​, Drake University


John Pappas is a corporate leader, entrepreneur, and business strategist. He is president of Chicago Collaborators, a firm that supports small business and nonprofit leaders in their efforts to build market presence and drive profitable growth. Understanding the complex obstacles faced by businesses today, the firm provides both guidance and hands-on collaboration to drive the achievement of client objectives in a myriad of areas including leadership, business planning, strategic marketing, market development, product and sales management, innovation and creativity, customer service, and global sourcing.

Since 2015, Pappas has been an adjunct faculty member in DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business. Combining his business leadership experience and acumen with his avocation as a presidential historian, he designed a unique Senior Seminar course, entitled Crisis: Presidential Leadership Lessons. He continues to deliver an evolving face-to-face or virtual asynchronous version of this course each year.

In 2014, Pappas retired from his position as senior vice president of corporate marketing for CCI, a leading innovator and manufacturer of products for both industrial and consumer packaged goods markets. He contributed to the company’s tremendous transformation and success, serving in a myriad of senior marketing management and general management roles. He provided critical leadership as the firm grew dramatically in product diversity, market position, and size — from a small family-owned business to a one billion dollar publicly-held corporation.

Pappas holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Drake University and an MBA (Leadership & General Management) from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.