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Adlai Wertman
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Breakout Session
April 20, 2017 | 10:00 AM

Social Enterprise - How Business Models are Addressing Social Issues

Adlai Wertman, USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab

The presentation will address how the field of social enterprise arose and how non-profit and for-profit social enterprises are impacting social, environmental and health challenges. 


Adlai Wertman is the David C. Bohnett Professor of SocialEntrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business and a Professor of Clinical Education at the Rossier School at the University of Southern California. Professor Wertman originated and spearheads the Marshall School and the University’s efforts in the growing fields of social entrepreneurship, social enterprise and corporate social responsibility.  He is also the Founding Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at Marshall – a center focused on using business models to address global social, environmental and health challenges.

In his role as Director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, Professor Wertman and his team have created and manage a large portfolio of curricular and co-curricular programs for students interested in a career in social impact.  The Lab runs a minor and Scholars Mentoring Program for undergraduates, an MBA Society and Business Fellows Program and several Certificates programs for graduate students.  Professor Wertman is also the creator and Academic Director of the only one-year Masters of Science in Social Entrepreneurship at an American business school.  Additionally, in partnership with the USC Provost’s Office, Professor Wertman designed and directs the Warren Bennis Scholars Program – a highly competitive two-year leadership program for the highest potential USC undergraduate students. 

Prior to joining the faculty at Marshall, Adlai spent seven years as President and CEO of Chrysalis - the only non-profit in Los Angeles devoted solely to helping homeless change their lives through employment. As part of its award-winning program, Chrysalis ran one of the larger social enterprises in the country - Chrysalis Enterprises – with annual revenues over $4.5 million and employing nearly 1,000 clients each year.  During his tenure at Chrysalis, the organization doubled in size, opened a third facility and acquired a permanent home.  Adlai and his team dramatically increased the fundraising profile of Chrysalis, adding over 1,000 donors, creating premier events and raising it visibility in the greater community.  His work at Chrysalisis the subject of a UCLA published case study. He was also integrally involved in policy-making in Los Angeles regarding homelessness, workforce development and poverty.

Prior to Chrysalis, Adlai spent 18 years as an investment banker. His last position was Managing Director and Manager of Prudential Securities' West Coast Public Investment Banking Group. During his career, which included positions as at Bear Stearns and Chase, Adlai served as the senior banker on nearly $25 billion of financings throughout the United States.  He also managed offices in Miami, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

Adlai is a Senior Fellow at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture and the USC Price Center on Social Innovation.  He serves on boards of the USC Sidney Harmon Academy for Polymathic Studies and the USC Casden Institute for Jewish Studies. Adlai Served as a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy where he spent three years as a Lecturer.  Adlai is a recipient of the USC Mellon Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Students and a nominee for the Steven Sample Mentoring Award, and a member of the USC Torch and Tassel Chapter of the Mortar Board.  He also won a Provost’s Office Award for Innovative Teaching.

Adlai served as a Commissioner of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Fund.  He has worked extensively in the Los Angeles community as founder and board member of several non-profits and currently serves as an Advisory Board Member of  the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), TALAand a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Community Foundation.   He is a frequent speaker on the issues of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise.  Adlai has also consulted to numerous local and global NGOs. 

Adlai earned his BA in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his MBA in Finance, Public Policy Management and Strategic Planning from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Janet and their three children.

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