Open Door Advisors is a senior team.
We’ve navigated through challenges, seized opportunities, and will work side by side with you to achieve results.
Lauri Alpern, president of Open Door Advisors (ODA), is a seasoned Chicago‐based social venture business advisor. Lauri started ODA to follow her passion – working with the new breed of entrepreneurs seeking both income and social impact. ODA helps entrepreneurial nonprofits and social purpose and green businesses achieve a triple bottom line: mission, money, and environment through strategy development, business planning, coaching, and investment.
Prior to founding Open Door Advisors, Lauri was a partner in the strategy firm ROI (Return on Inspiration) Ventures, LLC, where she managed a diverse client portfolio centered on social venture strategy and leadership development for a range of highly innovative organizations.
Lauri also served as executive director of The Enterprising Kitchen (TEK), a nonprofit social enterprise, providing workforce development services to unemployed women through a manufacturing company that produced natural soaps and soap products.
Lauri has extensive experience in community relations and community development. She helped found the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she served as associate director. There she created new resources and partnerships among faculty, students, community, and corporate partners all seeking to improve the quality of life in Chicago and other cities. Prior to her years at UIC, with a portfolio that centered on urban industrial development, she served as assistant commissioner for the City of Chicago Department of Economic Development in the administrations of Mayors Harold Washington and Eugene Sawyer.
Lauri serves on the board of Growing Home, Inc., a nonprofit social enterprise, which provides job training through an urban organic agriculture business, the Capital Campaign Committee of Inspiration Corporation, and the Business Advisory Board of Sweet Miss Givings. Lauri, a lifelong Chicago resident, lives in the Lakeview neighborhood with her husband, two teenage sons, and their dog.
S. Cody Engle, principal, is a highly regarded turn-around expert and attorney. As a founding partner of Sam Zell’s Equity Financial Group, Cody focused on all aspects of real estate acquisition, operation, and disposition, including multifamily, office, and retail disciplines. After thirty years with the Zell organization, he began consulting nationally and internationally, focusing on organizational development, financial restructuring, and market growth. Recently, he assisted a leading Chicago-based community development bank with its real estate workout portfolio. Other recent and ongoing projects include teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business; facilitation in the establishment of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at UIC; and consulting with social enterprises and triple bottom line organizations. Clients include SCORE (Chicago);The Enterprising Kitchen (Chicago); Citizen Development Corps (Washington, D.C.; Baku, Azerbaijan; Volgograd, Russia); S.N. Peck Builder/Case Handyman Services (Chicago, Luxury home builder/handyman service); International Executive Service Corp (Vladivostok, Russia); University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research (Guangchou, China); and various Chicago-based nonprofits focused on organizational assessment and strategic planning. Cody is committed to a high level of civic engagement; he chairs the Business Advisory Council at the University of Illinois at Chicago, manages his family’s philanthropic foundation, and mentors emerging leaders who are making a difference in their communities.