Robert Gauch

Robert Gauch

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Board of Regents

Birthplace: New Jersey

Where did you go to college, and what was your major?
Babson College. I had a double major in finance and marketing.

Have you lived in any other cities or countries? If so, where?
I have been fortunate to live in many places: New York City, Boston, Baltimore, and Los Angeles to name the major stops. The absolute best place I have ever lived (sorry Chicago) was the almost 5 years I spent in London.

Where do you currently work? Tell us about your current role.
I am a self-employed consultant. I specialize in corporate credit and risk management assignments mostly for hedge funds, private equity shops, and financial investors. I retired from the corporate life officially in 2021. At the time of my retirement, I was the SVP of Enterprise Risk Management and Chief Credit Officer at Exelon.

What are your passions or hobbies outside of work?
Charity—I serve on several boards in addition to Mercy Home. At the Harris Theater, I lead the audit committee and sit on the executive committee. In Winnetka, I serve on the board of our Community House as chair of the Audit and Finance Committee. I am also active in our local parish, Saints Faith, Hope & Charity.
Surfing, sailing, and beaching—I am a sun chaser and a beach lover. I have spent my whole life on or near the water. As an avid “ocean guy,” I was happily surprised by how quickly I took to the lake after moving to Chicago.
Gardening and cooking—I am a homebody and love just hanging out at home with my dog and hosting friends and family.

When you were in high school, what were your favorite activities outside the classroom?
In high school, I was very active on the student council and yearbook committees. I played varsity tennis and rowed on the crew team. But all my best memories are from time on the water or at the beach and I was a summer lifeguard all through high school and college.

What is your favorite place to travel to? What do you like to do there?
I own a home in Florida and that has become a favorite spot. What do I do there? You can guess. It generally involves the beach! I have to give a shout out to Europe (especially going back to the UK) as my second favorite.

Who is the person who made the greatest impact on your life growing up? How did they help shape you?
I can’t name one. My parents were a team and truly raised up right in (almost) every way that I can think about, especially reflecting as an adult. They shaped it all but had that gift of not helicoptering over us. We had freedom. They trusted us. Manners, courtesy, family time, and honesty were the pillars they lived by. They also threw a great party…

How did you get connected to Mercy Home?
Paula Conrad first connected me to Mercy Home. She is a friend and colleague and thought it would be a great fit. Steve Solomon arranged a meeting with [Board of Regents member] Joe Nolan, [Advancement Vice President] Joe Wronka, and [President and CEO] Fr. Scott and from there it was a “go.”

Why is the mission of Mercy Home important to you?
I feel very lucky and special to have the parents I describe above and wanting to try to “fix” that for kids that have little or nothing. That is why I joined and why I have stayed on the Board of Regents.

What do you consider to be your proudest accomplishment?
Professionally, I am proudest that I changed the risk management culture at Exelon. Personally, I have stayed a happy, positive, and content person through challenge and adversity.

What would you like your legacy at Mercy Home to be?
The paid internships that I have orchestrated and funded. I think it’s so important for the residents at the Home to have an introduction to the working world, hopefully in a field that interests them. It may be the spark that starts them on a journey to a self-sustaining and successful life that they are only dreaming about now.

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