New York City. London. Hong Kong. Dave Blowers has lived and worked across the globe. But there’s no denying it – Chicago is his home.
The Vice Chairman of Northern Trust was born in Evanston and grew up in Deerfield, a northern suburb of Chicago. After graduating from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, with a degree in government, he joined the Management Development Program for Commercial Banking at Northern Trust in September 1982. “I thought I’d work there for a year or two and then go to law school. But I loved what I was doing and learning at Northern, and instead of law school, I decided to get my MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern,” Dave said.
Dave’s career at the financial services firm spans four decades – and many different roles. He has served as President of Wealth Management’s East and Central Regions, as well as EMEA and the Eastern Region of the United States for Asset Servicing. He also served as Deputy General Manager of the Hong Kong Branch. “I feel like I have had many different careers within my decades-long journey at Northern Trust,” he said.
Dave’s commitment to Northern Trust is fueled by the firm’s “special culture,” he said, “one that prides itself on viewing its people as partners and having a strong commitment to the communities where we live and work. Our culture is a culture of caring and of giving.”
Northern Trust is rooted in this culture of giving, going all the way back to the founding of United Way of Metro Chicago more than 90 years ago. Following the stock market crash in 1929, a group of business and civic leaders gathered to create a committee in response to countless business closures and hundreds of thousands of people experiencing unemployment. Northern Trust was on the committee that would eventually start the Emergency Welfare Fund – and would later evolve into United Way of Metro Chicago. “It’s no coincidence that our sister company, ITW, was also at that table, and the core values of each of our firms go back to our founders, the Smith family,” Dave said.
Like Northern Trust’s longstanding partnership, Dave’s connection to United Way runs deep. He has been a United Way donor for 41 years, since his first employee giving campaign at Northern Trust when he was hired in 1982. He also serves on the United Way Board of Directors and Tocqueville Committee, where he drives high-impact work with the support of fellow philanthropic leaders.
When he was approached about serving as United Way’s 2023/2024 Campaign Chair, he didn’t hesitate to say yes. “Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to see our community from many different perspectives,” Dave said. “And there has been no time more than now where the good work and leadership of United Way has been more needed.”
As Campaign Chair, Dave is bringing his can-do attitude to the role. He’s overseeing a committee of fellow corporate leaders who will drive the next year of employee giving – and inspire greater impact in our communities. “It is such an honor for me to serve in a role that has been held by so many impressive Chicago leaders, including my own colleagues, David Fox, Bill Osborn, and Rick Waddell,” Dave said. “I am also so very appreciative of the many volunteers giving of their time, talent, and treasure to United Way.”
Dave’s approach to a successful Campaign season includes sharing United Way’s story – and the impact we have when we come together across sectors to build stronger, more equitable communities throughout the region.
“I love what United Way represents as a convener across our city and in our neighborhoods,” Dave said. “Chicago has always been known as the ‘city that works’ because of our tradition of strong collaboration across the public and private sectors, along with our incredibly generous philanthropic community. In my mind, it’s time to get back to that basic formula.”
Join us and support the 2023/2024 Campaign as we work together to build a stronger, more equitable Chicago region. Make a gift today.