cleverbridge Co-Founder Named 2016 Chicago Illini of the Year Award Honoree

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Craig Vodnik selected for his career achievements and positive impact on the Chicago community.

Craig Vodnik, co-founder, cleverbridge

Craig Vodnik, co-founder, cleverbridge

"I'm honored and humbled to have been selected for this prestigious award, among so many distinguished alumni over the years.” ~ Craig Vodnik, co-founder, cleverbridge

cleverbridge, a global ecommerce and subscription billing provider, announces that the University of Illinois Alumni Association and the Chicago Illini Club has named cleverbridge co-founder, Craig Vodnik, a 2016 Chicago Illini of the Year Award honoree. Now in its 20th year, the award recognizes the accomplishments of up to three distinguished Chicago-area alumni of the University each year. The honorees will be recognized at a gala event on March 8 at the University Club of Chicago.

Honored with Vodnik at the gala will be fellow recipients William Barry, senior VP of Draper and Kramer, Inc., and Phillip Goldstick, retired founder, president and chairman of G Equity Investment Group, Ltd. Past honorees include Roger Ebert, film critic and author; Paul Schrage, retired senior executive VP and chief marketing officer of McDonald’s Corp; Jeanne Gang, founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects; Doris Christopher, chair and founder of The Pampered Chef; and Howard T. Griffith, former NFL player, lead in-studio analyst for the Big Ten Network and a co-host for ESPN Radio Chicago.

"I'm honored and humbled to have been selected for this prestigious award, among so many distinguished alumni over the years,” said Vodnik. “As cleverbridge has grown as a global organization over the last 10 years, we’ve spent more time and energy continuing to innovate and give back to our community. I view my participation in helping the next generation of entrepreneurs through being an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at EnterpriseWorks, guest speaking on campus about entrepreneurship, and participating in the Cozad New Venture Competition as just the beginning of what we’ll be able to do together in the future.”

Vodnik was also recently named to the 2015 Techweek100, Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Vault and a finalist for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 in the Midwest and 2014 ITA CityLIGHTS Awards CEO of the Year. Each of the award programs recognize entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Outside of cleverbridge, Vodnik has continued to help develop other entrepreneurs as a mentor at 1871, Catapult Chicago and the Junto Institute. He also serves as a board member of Hyde Park Angels.

The Chicago Illini of the Year Award honoree list is available online at To learn more about cleverbridge, please contact inquiry(at)cleverbridge(dot)com or visit

About cleverbridge
cleverbridge is a proven leader in ecommerce technology, services and expertise for global software and subscription companies that serve consumers and businesses. For more than 300 clients — including Avira, Corel, Dell, Malwarebytes and Parallels — cleverbridge is a true extension of their teams, understanding each client’s billing models, markets, channels and specific ecommerce requirements. cleverbridge provides an unsurpassed customer experience so that clients can strategically leverage ecommerce to effectively build customer relationships and generate more revenue. Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, cleverbridge has offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Tokyo. For more information, visit

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