Colby Burke

Experience

Colby has more than 20 years of leadership and human resources experience in for-profit and non-profit organizations. He started his career at PepsiCo and YUM! Brands serving in several staff and field positions.

He then transitioned to the non-profit sector working for Willow Creek Community Church, a large, progressive, non-denominational church in Chicago’s northwest suburbs with weekly attendance of 20,000 at 8 locations, revenues of $70M, 500 employees, and 6,000 volunteers. Willow Creek hosts the annual Global Leadership Summit, which inspires and equips leaders from around the world to ignite​ transformation.​ This two-day, world-class experience is broadcast every August to hundreds of satellite locations in North America. In the months that follow, the Summit takes place at an additional 900+ sites in 135 countries.

Under Colby’s leadership at Willow Creek, the human resources function was transformed from payroll services to a strategic partner of the CEO and senior team, becoming an essential catalyst and driver of organizational effectiveness. During Colby’s tenure, Willow Creek has consistently been recognized as a best place to work by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute and the Chicago Tribune. ​In 2015 it was recognized​ ​as the top workplace in Chicagoland for midsize employers. Additionally, the organization’s transformational journey has influenced hundreds of other churches across the country and around the world in raising the value of a strategic human resources function.

Colby has consulted with several organizations, helping them establish organizational health by applying best people and talent practices. He equips leaders to find, grow, and keep great people to solve business problems and help the organization achieve its goals. He guides organizations in instituting rhythms and practices that result in engaged and effective workplaces.

Educational Background

Colby has a BA in Economics and Math from Northwestern University, an MBA (Marketing and Strategy) from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and completed the school’s Executive Education Advanced Management Program.

How to Contact Colby:
  • Phone – 1 (847) 529-4008
  • Current Location – Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Works Globally
  • Extensively experienced in the Retail, Food Services, Consumer Goods, and Non-Profit Industries