From corporate America to social impact: How Rachel Kohler helped blaze a trail for whole-person care

Rachel Kohler

After 30 years in corporate America, Rachel Kohler, MBA ’89, resolved to redirect her career to have greater social impact.

“If anyone could take risk in their life, I could,” said Kohler, part of the fourth generation of Kohlers to run the family’s Wisconsin-based business, famous for its high-end bathroom fixtures and luxury golf resorts. “I could take financial risk as well as career risk.”

That career pivot led Kohler to the helm of NowPow, a social venture that uses a highly customized community referral platform to connect people with needed social services to improve their health outcomes. Last September, six years after Kohler came on as co-owner and CEO, NowPow was acquired by its larger competitor, Unite Us, to together become the nation’s leading integrated health and social care referral network.

In a fireside chat hosted by the Polsky Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Kohler told her entrepreneurship story to Chicago Booth classmate Doug Monieson, MBA ’89, an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Polsky Center and executive chairman and CEO of UICO, a rugged touchscreen manufacturing company in Chicago. They discussed why NowPow sold when it did, how it navigated funding, and how Kohler ended up in healthcare innovation after a career spent mostly in interiors.

Click here to read the full story.

This story is first published by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  

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