Age: 35, Vice President, Technology and Office Operations
Code Hennessy & Simmons L.L.C., Chicago, Ill.
A career in technology was a natural step for Ronelle DeShazer. As a boy, he says, he would break VCRs and other electronic appliances just to see how they worked, then he would fix them. “I believe that technology is ever-changing and that is exciting to me,” he says.
A native of the western suburbs of Chicago, DeShazer is vice president of technology and office operations at Code Hennessy & Simmons L.L.C., a Chicago middle-market private equity firm. DeShazer joined the firm in 2000 as manager of information systems and soon was promoted to director of information technology. Today, he manages the IT and administrative staff, as well as the firm’s office infrastructure.
His boyhood summers in the South, where he saw the local community rally behind anyone who was ill or in need, taught him the lesson of giving back. “Community service is a requirement, not an option,” he says. As president of the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League from 2008 to 2009, he led the organization to more than 2,500 community service hours and now serves on the National Urban League Young Professional’s executive board.
DeShazer graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Benedictine University, with a concentration in computer science. He earned his master’s in information systems management from Keller Graduate School of Management and is a Microsoft Certified Professional. Always focused on what lies ahead, he envisions his life at 50, with a Ph.D. and the title of chief information officer.
In his downtime, you will find DeShazer on the basketball court, bike riding or reading an autobiography. He’s currently reading an autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois, historian, civil rights activist and Pan-Africanist.
Dish you cook best: Chicken Alfredo
What actor should play you in a movie: Chris Tucker
Favorite food: Thai
Favorite sports team: Chicago Bulls
Favorite Singer: Luther Vandross
First job: Paper route