Mr. Joel Kanter has served as President of Windy City, Inc., a privately held investment firm, since July 1986.
From 1989 to November 1999, Mr. Kanter served as the President, and subsequently as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Walnut Financial Services, Inc., a publicly traded company (NMS: WNUT). Walnut Financial’s primary business focus was the provision of different forms of financing to small business, by providing equity financing to start-up and early stage development companies, providing bridge financing to small and medium-sized companies, and providing later stage institutional financing to more mature enterprises. The Company was sold to Tower Hill Capital Group in 1999 in a transaction valued at approximately $400 million.
From 1978 - 1980, Mr. Kanter served as a Legislative Assistant to former Congressman Abner J. Mikva (D-Ill.). In that position, Mr. Kanter provided support to Congressman Mikva with respect to activities related to his position on the House Judiciary Committee. In particular, Mr. Kanter was intimately involved in efforts then underway to reform the Federal Criminal Code. Mikva subsequently became the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and then served as Counsel to President Clinton.
From 1980 - 1983, Mr. Kanter served as Special Assistant to the National Association of Attorneys General. In that position, he represented the interests of the State Attorneys General in Washington, D.C. in the criminal justice and environmental arenas. In particular, Mr. Kanter was involved in the legislative efforts to reenact the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and to enact the original Superfund Legislation.
From 1983 - 1985, Mr. Kanter served as the Staff Director of the House Rules Committee's Subcommittee on Legislative Process Chaired by the late Congressman Gillis W. Long (D-La.). He also lent considerable support to the activities of the House Democratic Caucus, which was also Chaired by Congressman Long. In particular, Mr. Kanter was intimately involved in the effort to provide a new debate format that was first used during the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire in 1984 and was moderated by Phil Donahue and Ted Koppel. He was also involved in authoring a House Democratic Caucus publication called Blueprint for America which served as the basis for several subsequent Democratic Platforms and the policy efforts of the Democratic Leadership Council. Congressman Long passed away in early 1985.
From April 1985 through June 1986, Mr. Kanter served as Managing Director of The Investors' Washington Service, an investment advisory company specializing in providing advice to large institutional clients regarding the impact of federal legislative and regulatory decisions on debt and equity markets. Clients included Amoco Oil, AT&T, Bankers Trust, Chase Manhattan Bank, General Motors, and J.C. Penney.
Mr. Kanter serves on the Board of Directors of several public companies including Magna-Labs, Inc., formerly involved in the development of a cardiac MRI device; and WaferGen which is engaged in the development, manufacturing and sales of state of the art systems for gene expression, genotyping and stem cell research for the life sciences, pharmaceutical drug discovery and development for biomarker discovery and diagnostic products industries.
Mr. Kanter also serves on the Boards of several private concerns including Fibralign Coproration, which makes a collagen based BioBridge that allows for veins and other tissue to regrow where it has otherwise ceased to exist; First Hand Tickets, Inc, which is a concierge secondary ticket sales company; First Wave Technologies, which has developed a product for hospitals and nursing homes that makes crushing pills much easier for the large patient base that cannot swallow them, and is developing a new ventilator for use in hospitals that will provide greater mobility and lower costs in addition to enhanced inhalation therapy; Mercator MedSystems, Inc. a company specializing in medical injection devices; Minds Eye Entertainment Ltd. which is a Canadian film production company; and Serpin Pharma which has developed several peptides that significantly reduce inflammation and therefore can have a dramatic impact on such conditions as cardiac arrest and stroke, diabetes, and various digestive illnesses such as Crohn's and Colitis.
Mr Kanter is also a current Trustee Emeritus and past President of the Board of Trustees of The Langley School in McLean, Virginia, and a former Trustee at the Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C. He is also the current Board Chair of the Black Student Fund, and of the Independent School Chairpersons Association. He is an Executive Committee Member of the Kennedy Center’s National Committee on the Performing Arts, and serves on the Governor’s Virginia Israel Advisory Board.