As a college student, JD had originally planned to attend law school - so a double major in communication and philosophy, with a minor in comparative literature made sense.
When a White House internship changed his mind about working in law, JD decided to complete a PhD in communication. His research on how social networks were being built and maintained in "this new thing called the internet" tied nicely with a job as employee number 26 at a small web content management company.
That company was eventually acquired by Vignette – a web content management company that had one of the largest public market valuations of the time at $9 billion (a milestone surpassed only when Google went public), and JD was hooked on rapid growth.
Eager to repeat that experience, JD built a career with a series of progressive leadership roles at international organizations seeking sales transformations – whether that be strong increases in revenue, preparation for merger, acquisition, or IPO.
His career has included roles at LexisNexis, West Monroe Partners, Workplace Systems, and BravoSolution -- backed by or exiting to private equity firms including Lloyds Development Capital, Insight Partners, Accel-KKR, and Thoma Bravo.
Currently, he is Chief Revenue Officer at Kantata, an Accel-KKR-backed investment that provides purpose-built SaaS solutions for professional and embedded service organizations. He joined following a nearly five year run leading the "SMarketing Team" at Motus - who enjoyed rapid ARR growth, strong EBITDA margins, net retention over 100% and high levels of customer satisfaction under his leadership.
With a PhD in organizational communication, JD’s leadership is marked by the intersection of technology, business, and humanity. He serves as a Board advisor, prolific author and conference speaker on these topics, and his work in the field brought him back to the White House to work on a task force related to minimum wage issues and a national Retail Worker’s Bill of Rights.
A Chicago native, JD is active in the philanthropic community – serving as the Board Chair Emeritus of Care for Friends and a member of the Advisory Board of the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, where he has established the James D. Miller Endowment to support students pursuing business careers. He also mentors company founders at 1871 - Chicago's Tech Incubator.
His work with empowering underserved communities led him to be named one of the 20 Most Inspiring Chicagoans alongside Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a Notable LGBTQ Executive by Crain's Chicago Business.