Lane, Polsky join Board of Trustees
The University Board of Trustees elected two new members at its Thursday, June 5 meeting: Robert Lane, chairman and CEO of Deere & Company, and Michael Polsky, founder, president and CEO of Invenergy LLC.
Following an early career in global banking, Lane joined John Deere in 1982, initially managing various operations within the Worldwide Construction Equipment Division and later serving as president and COO of Deere Credit, Inc. In 1992, he joined the Worldwide Agricultural Equipment Division, where as senior vice president, he directed equipment operations in Latin America, Australia and East Asia.
Elected CFO in 1996, Lane subsequently moved to Germany, where he served as managing director, leading Deere’s agricultural equipment operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India and the nations of the former Soviet Union. He returned to the United States as president of the Worldwide Agricultural Equipment Division and thereafter was elected president and COO of Deere & Company.
Lane also serves as a director of General Electric Company and Verizon Communications Inc. He is an honorary director of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and a national director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Lane graduated with high honors from Wheaton College in 1972 and earned an M.B.A. from Chicago in 1974.
Deere & Company is the world’s leading provider of advanced products and services for agriculture and forestry, and a major provider of advanced products and services for construction, lawn and turf care, landscaping and irrigation.
Founded in 1837, John Deere & Company also provides financial services worldwide, and manufactures and markets engines used in heavy equipment.
Polsky, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the energy industry, formed Invenergy in 2001. The company specializes in developing and owning various power generation reserves with an emphasis on renewable resources.
As a widely recognized pioneer and industry leader in the cogeneration and independent power industry in North America, Polsky also founded SkyGen Energy in 1991 and built one of the most successful teams in the independent energy industry. In 2001, Calpine Corporation purchased SkyGen Energy. In connection with the sale, Polsky was appointed to Calpine’s board of directors and became a senior executive at Calpine as well as continuing his role as CEO of SkyGen.
Prior to forming SkyGen, he was co-founder and president of Indeck Energy Services Inc., where he led the development and financing of one of the first portfolios of independent power-generating assets. Polsky previously held various positions at Fluor Engineers, Brown Boveri Turbomachinery and Bechtel Power Corporation. Because of his education, experience and expertise, he writes and lectures regularly on industry topics.
In 2002, Polsky endowed a center for entrepreneurship at the University’s Graduate School of Business, which is named after him.
Polsky currently chairs the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board at the GSB. He also serves on the boards of the American Wind Energy Association, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Chicago, Council of the GSB, CEO Council for the United States Olympic Committee and the World Resources Institute. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Standard Club of Chicago and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.Polsky earned an M.B.A. from Chicago and a MSME degree from Kiev Polytechnic Institute.