Solstice Leadership Updates Strengthen Chicago’s Presence on the Global Tech Stage

Dan Ptak,


J Schwan, founder and CEO of Solstice, has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Digital Officer of Solstice’s parent company, St. Ives. Kelly Manthey, Chief Strategy Officer and ten-year Solstice veteran, will be succeeding him as CEO.

In his role as CDO, Schwan will move from Chicago to London to directly oversee a portfolio of St. Ives’ digital businesses; including Solstice, Amaze, Realise, TAB and Branded3. His focus will be to further cross-pollinate all of the unique capabilities and best practices across these firms, resulting in a comprehensive set of digital innovation and transformation services for St. Ives’ global client base.

Greater collaboration between the firms will also create more opportunities in Chicago and London to attract the best worldwide talent in emerging digital areas such as AI.

Chicago’s central location and innovation ecosystem are central to our city’s success as a global business leader,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Our unparalleled investments in technology, talent and transportation give growing companies like Solstice the tools they need to compete in the 21st century economy. I look forward to cutting the ribbon on Solstice’s expanded office in Chicago and seeing them continue to grow and thrive.

In 2016, Mayor Emanuel and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan signed the Chicago-London City Data Alliance, a partnership focused on linking the two cities in economic development efforts and city data technology, policy, and strategy. Building a stronger partnership with London and the United Kingdom is a part of the City of Chicago and World Business Chicago international strategy.

In assuming the role of CEO, Manthey has deep experience running all areas of the Solstice business, most recently serving as Chief Strategy Officer the past two years. During her tenure, she’s overseen the launch of three new practice areas including those dedicated to the development of next generation connected experiences, conversational user experiences and cloud-native experiences.

Manthey will work to continue the momentum created from a strong 2017 in which Solstice won new strategic accounts across all key verticals, launched a new cloud-native practice in partnership with Pivotal and Amazon and hired over 150 new employees.

In 2018, Solstice will be doubling the size of their North American headquarters in Chicago, launching a new augmented intelligence practice area, opening a financial services innovation lab in New York and holding its third annual innovation summit, FWD, in June.