The Chicago Public Media family has lost a long-time supporter and champion of the station. James W. Mabie passed away Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the age of 85.
Jim first joined WBEZ’s Board of Directors in 1994, serving in numerous capacities, including as CPM’s fourth Chairman of the Board. He was chair and member of the Finance and Investment Committees for many years. Along with his colleague Bud Lifton, Jim led the successful 2004 Campaign for a Sound Future. His leadership skills and his financial and investment expertise have been critical in shaping Chicago Public Media into the organization that it is today. The philanthropic generosity of Jim and his wife, Kay, has had a tremendous effect on the station’s sustainability, growth, and success.
After graduating from Williams College, Jim spent his early career in retail, working at both Marshall Field’s as a buyer and Beeline Fashions as Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising. After 13 years in the retail domain, Jim joined A.G. Becker & Company in wealth and asset management, a field which became his lifelong career. He was affiliated with William Blair & Company for 34 years and was a founding principal of Chicago Capital.
Jim and Kay have been involved with a variety of organizations across Chicago, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, the CARA Program, Thresholds, Old Town School of Folk Music, and Hubbard Street Dance. Jim has held leadership positions in many organizations, including serving as Board Chairman of WTTW/WFMT and as the founding Chairman of the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts). He also has served on the Village Board and School Board in Northfield.
In addition to his financial acumen and leadership expertise, Jim was well-known for his mentorship – for which he had both a passion and a talent. He was always a willing teacher and listener and his insight was much appreciated by those who benefited from his counsel.
We are ever grateful to Jim for his commitment and his generosity, and we extend our deepest sympathy to Kay and the Mabie family.