Jennifer Pritzker

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Colonel Jennifer Pritzker


United States

Birth - Death

1950 -


Entrepreneur, Investor, Philanthropist


Jennifer Natalya Pritzker is an American entrepreneur, investor, historian, philanthropist, and member of the Pritzker family (founders of the Hyatt hotel chain amongst other investments). In August 2013, Pritzker released a statement to employees indicating the change from "James Nicholas" to "Jennifer Natalya" to reflect her status as a transgender woman.

Pritzker retired as Lieutenant Colonel from the US Army in 2001. Her military career began with enlisting as a Private in the U.S. Army in 1974, where she served with the 82nd Airborne Division. After attending the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), at Loyola University, she received an active duty commission as an officer, rising to the rank of Captain. She served with the 101st Airborne Division and VII Corps in the Federal Republic of Germany. After leaving active duty in 1985, she continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve and the Illinois Army National Guard until March 2001 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and upon her retirement, received an honorary promotion to Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.

In 1994 she founded TAWANI Enterprises, a private wealth management group specializing in the development, investment, management, and preservation of real estate properties in the Chicagoland area. A veteran with a love of history, she founded the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in 2003 to promote and preserve the stories of the Citizen Solider. She also founded the TAWANI Foundation and Pritzker Military Foundation to promote both her personal and military philanthropic interests.

As an investor and philanthropist, she is passionate about restoration, preservation, and property management. Her portfolio includes restoring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House and the historic Monroe building located in downtown Chicago, IL. She has been honored with several awards for architectural excellence and preservation to include the 2016 Legendary Landmark by Landmarks Illinois and the 2016 Margery B. Perkins Award by the City of Evanston, Illinois, 2017 Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Award for Architectural Excellence, and the 2017 Design Evanston Award for Stone Terrace.

She currently serves on the boards of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, Squadron Holdings LLC, and the Leadership Council for the Program in Human Sexuality Medical School of the University of Minnesota. In 2013, Colonel Pritzker donated $1.35 million to the Palm Center, an LGBT-focused research organization based at the University of California, Santa Barbara which led to the launch of a comprehensive, long-term project to study transgender integration in the military through the funding of 11 independent studies. Since, her overall contributions to the Palm Center are just under $6M.

Pritzker’s additional awards and recognitions include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Good Conduct Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Star, the Antarctic Service Medal, the Outstanding Military Volunteer Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 20 year Device, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, the State of Louisiana Legion of Merit, the State of Illinois Long and Honorable Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the State of Illinois Military Attendance Ribbon with Numeral 7, the U.S. Army Parachute Badge and the Air Assault Badge as well as the Parachute Badges of Israel, Russia, Canada, Holland, United Kingdom, and Poland. She is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in History, as well as the U.S. Army’s Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Chemical Officer Advanced Course, the Quartermaster Officer Advanced Course, and Command and General Staff College. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Military Science from Norwich University in 2007.

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