Nick Fox ’17 was riding a hoverboard around the Butler University campus when he first met Zach Finn, a Clinical Professor of Risk Management & Insurance. Finn sparked a conversation about the logistics and legal implications of hoverboards, and that discussion launched a relationship between Fox and Finn that would become a fundamental part of Fox’s career path.
Fox was a student in Butler’s Exploratory Business program, and as a first-semester junior, he had yet to choose a major. He thought he might want to study law after graduation—an interest sparked through years of watching Law and Order and discussing mock cases with his dad—but Finn encouraged Fox to consider a major in Risk Management & Insurance. Finn said the field involved all the things Fox found most interesting about law, including the need to think analytically. After learning more about the field during his Real Business Experience class, Fox has completed a degree in Risk Management, discovered his passion, and even started his own business.
After graduating from Butler in 2017, Fox moved back home to Chicago and ended up using the analytical and business skills he learned at Butler to become a financial advisor on social media. He created a “MoneyTalkMonday” series, which he uses to help others with their financial questions. He also started working as a risk analyst at Marsh & McLennan, where he has now moved on to serve as a consultant on the Emerging Risks team. All of these roles have allowed him to apply his expertise in ways that empower members of his community.
By the summer of 2019, he had started looking for other ways to build connections with the people of Chicago. He saw opportunities for bringing people together through one of his other passions outside the worlds of finance and risk management: shoes and streetwear.
So, alongside his brother and a friend, Fox launched the clothing brand Gratitude Chicago. The business aims to do more than sell clothes—Fox wants to help change his community’s mindset, encouraging audiences to focus on the things they are grateful for.
“No matter where you come from, where you are going, or where you have been, everyone is grateful for something, and that feeling connects us,” Nick says.
Through a variety of campaigns, Gratitude Chicago encourages people to recognize those in their lives who have helped them get where they are today. Some recent campaigns included the Juneteenth-inspired “Last Generation” project, which raised $5,000 for nonprofit groups Bridging the Gap Globally and Color of Change. Another campaign, “Gift of Gratitude,” focused on helping people discover what gratitude means to them.
For Fox, gratitude means cherishing his family, who instilled in him the desire to have a strong work ethic and to make a difference in any way he can—even if that means pursuing all his passions and holding simultaneous jobs in unrelated fields. (This year, he added on the role of co-leading the Entrepreneurship pillar of ThinkTank, a non-profit organization that works to accelerate economic growth for Black communities in the U.S.) He also appreciates the opportunities that have put him where he is today, many of which he found at Butler. And he’s especially grateful for the mentors, including Professor Finn, who have helped him on his winding path from aspiring lawyer, to financial advisor, to risk analyst, to community-focused CEO.