Venita E. Fields

Partner, Pelham S2K Managers, LLC, and Director, Derry Enterprises, Inc. 

Fields is an experienced independent corporate board director and also has served on numerous company boards as an investor. With her more than thirty-five years of financial management in banks and investment firms, her experience serving on audit committees, and her MBA from Northwestern University, she can readily serve as a financial expert when serving on boards.
 
Currently, she serves as an Independent Director for Derry Enterprises, Inc., a distribution company in Rockford, IL providing inventory management and supply chain services for fasteners and other Class C items in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
 
In her career, Ms. Fields is Partner for Pelham S2K Managers, LLC (“Pelham S2K”), providing junior capital and private equity investments for privately held middle market companies. Formed in 2016, Pelham S2K is the Manager and General Partner of Pelham S2K SBIC, a $100 million Limited Partnership. She manages the Firm’s Illinois office, where she generates investment opportunities in the Midwest.
 
Previously for eighteen years, Ms. Fields was a Partner with Smith Whiley & Company. She was also a senior member of Smith Whiley’s Investment Committee and oversaw the investment and commitment of 38 mezzanine and private equity transactions that the Advisor directed and managed in its three private equity funds: SW Pelham Fund, L.P., SW Pelham Fund II, LP and SW Pelham Fund III, L.P. As a leader of the Midwest offices of Smith Whiley & Company, she led a team that structured and invested over $145 million in eighteen portfolio companies throughout the country. As an investor, she has served as a Board Director of a dozen Smith Whiley portfolio companies in the food and beverage, manufacturing, retail, and business services sectors.
 
Prior to 1998, Ms. Fields served as Senior Vice President for seven years at Bank of America in Chicago. She led a team of originators of highly leveraged transactions throughout the Midwest. Expanding to the North, she opened Toronto Loan Production Office and initiated asset-based lending in Canada. During her eighteen year banking career, Ms. Fields has structured, closed and/or managed approximately $2 billion in investments in the automotive, aviation, environmental, food, industrial manufacturing, retail, and service sectors.
 
In the community, Ms. Fields is an active and energetic leader in several major community and business organizations in the greater Chicago area, often serving on the Audit or Nominating Committee. Currently,  she serves as a Trustee for the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, IL. In addition, she is on the board as President for the Association for Corporate Growth, Chicago Chapter and she is a Founding Member, and on both the Chicago & International Boards for the Private Directors Association.
 
Ms. Fields has a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a
B.A. degree from Northwestern University. In addition, she joined the faculty at Kellogg as a Guest Lecturer teaching Entrepreneurial Finance from 2010-2012.
 
In recognition of her leadership and accomplishments, she was awarded 2004 YWCA Woman of Achievement and then in 2005 awarded Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. She has been featured as a business leader in Crain’s Chicago Business and she won an Award by the M&A Advisor for Consumer Deal of the Year for one of Smith Whiley’s portfolio companies. Ms. Fields was nationally recognized in the January 2017 edition of Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine as one of “The Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M & A."