PwC, a consulting, assurance, and tax services firm, has supported the Chicago Urban League for 24 years. PwC has provided significant financial support to the League’s signature fundraising events. In the following Q&A, James Kolar, Managing Partner for the Central Market at PwC, and a Chicago Urban League Board Member, discusses why PwC invests in resources that enhance diversity in the workplace, and the motivation for his personal commitment to philanthropy.
James Kolar, Managing Partner for the Central Market at PwC, and Chicago Urban League Board Member
What is your role at PwC?
I currently serve as PwC’s Managing Partner for the Central Market. I am responsible for overseeing a team of more than 5,200 experienced PwC professionals and 380 partners who provide consulting, assurance, and tax services to companies within the greater Chicagoland area, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Peoria, Fayetteville and Des Moines. I oversee a number of client relationships with a focus on the financial services and asset management industries. I was elected to PwC’s Board of Partners and Principals in 2013, and serve on PwC’s Extended U.S. Leadership Team. Lastly, I actively participate in our firm’s recruiting, diversity and corporate responsibility efforts within our market.
Why is PwC committed to diversity in the workplace?
Diversity runs deep within our DNA. We know that each person's unique set of experiences, perspectives and background is crucial to PwC's innovation, services, and business growth. That's why we attract, retain, and advance diverse staff and partners. The value is multi-fold; it helps us fulfill our purpose to build trust in society, develop a rich source of talent for the firm, and foster a sense of
inclusion and trust for our employees so that they can bring their full selves to work and reach their full potential --- both personally and professionally.
How long have you served on the Chicago Urban League Board of Directors, and what motivated you to take on this leadership role?
I have served as a Board Member for the Chicago Urban League for nearly three years. I joined because I am passionate about advancing diversity & inclusion within the workplace and within Chicago. Chicago is one of the most diverse communities in the country and the League has been at the forefront of helping open doors for African Americans in the areas of educational opportunity, economic development and social justice, for over 100 years. They have a tremendous impact in Chicago I am proud to be a part of the Chicago Urban League.
Why is philanthropy and volunteering important to you personally?
Giving back to the communities in which we live to help make them stronger and improve the lives of all is a responsibility that was long ago instilled in me in my upbringing and early in my career at PwC. While I am honored to serve in my board capacity to help organizations like the Chicago Urban League, it is the visible impact and the opportunities to have an impact on an individual that is most rewarding to me.