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On July 23, the CAC is proud to present a free, virtual experience you won’t want to miss! We are excited to bring you our annual Gala in a fun, new way this year. Come celebrate the CAC and the 10th anniversary of our Open House Chicago festival.

For information about sponsorship opportunities contact Events Manager Brittany Barnes at or (312) 561-2117

During this FREE virtual event, viewers will have the chance to test their knowledge of Chicago’s neighborhoods, learn more about the impact of CAC Education programs, get a preview of this year’s longest-ever Open House Chicago festival, and celebrate our two extraordinary honorees: Nila R. Leiserowitz and Edward J. Wehmer.

Gala 2020: Open Doors Open Minds is available for viewing on this page as well as via the CAC’s YouTube channel on Thursday, July 23 at 6pm Central Time. Before, during and just after the event, all those who make donations—of any amount—will be entered to win a specially curated, one-of-a-kind Open House Chicago experience. Please help us support this annual festival and the educational mission of the CAC. Click support below to make your donation.

Donate WATCH

Proceeds will support the CAC and Open House Chicago. Hosted by the CAC every October, Open House Chicago (OHC) is a free festival that gives the public behind-the-scenes access to hundreds of architecturally significant buildings across the city. OHC opens doors and opens minds by sharing the richness of Chicago's diverse neighborhoods with all, bridging gaps between communities and turning strangers into neighbors.


Edward J. Wehmer
Founder & CEO 
Wintrust Financial Corporation
For Wintrust's Generous Sponsorship of Open House Chicago

Edward J. Wehmer

As President and CEO, Edward J. Wehmer is responsible for overseeing the execution of the day-to-day operations and strategic initiatives of Wintrust Financial Corporation. The idea for Wintrust began over a card table, a few cold beers and the thought of being the alternative to the big banks. Seeing a real need for a return to true community banking and personalized service in the area, Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company—the original Wintrust Bank—opened in December 1991. More banks in the Chicago suburbs followed, each with the same mission, and with bankers who believed in that mission. After 20 years of exceptional growth, Wintrust saw an opportunity to serve the many diverse neighborhoods in the heart of Chicago, and Wintrust Bank was established. Ed serves on several boards in the area, including boards for the Northwestern Memorial Foundation and the Archdiocese of Chicago. He and his wife, Dorothy, are also involved with many charitable organizations in the Chicago area.

Regional Managing Principal
For her 40 Years of Extraordinary Service in the design industry 

Edward J. Wehmer

Nila has been a leading presence in the design industry for more than 40 years and has established the reputation of Gensler’s North Central region as one grounded in integrity, innovation, and design excellence. She drives thought leadership across multiple disciplines, serving as a leading voice in the conception of Gensler’s Workplace Survey, in the founding of the firm’s healthcare practice through game-changing projects like the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, and with the strategic vision to bring data and analytics into the conversation about design. She has spent her career giving her colleagues the space to seize the opportunity to grow and mentors many professionals in the architecture and design community. She lends her voice, vision, and grace to many organizations in Chicago, including in her role as Trustee at the Chicago Architecture Center.

Gala Co-Chairs

  • Andy Gloor, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bay
  • Ursula Moncau, President, Wintrust Financial Corporation
  • Theodore J. Novak, Partner, DLA Piper
  • John W. Rutledge, Founder & CEO, Oxford Capital Group, LLC
    Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC
  • Grant C. Uhlir, Regional Managing Principal, Gensler

Thank you to our 2020 gala sponsors

For information about 2020 sponsorship opportunities, please contact Events Manager Brittany Barnes at or (312) 561-2117.

Please review the latest COVID-19 Safety Policies.