President, Dennis Trading Group, Richard J. Dennis is president of the Chicago-based Dennis Trading Group and was recently inducted into the Futures Industry Association Hall of Fame. His career in the commodities industry began at age 17 as a runner at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. At age 21, he held a seat on a small exchange, and by 27 was profiled by The New York Times Magazine as “Prince of the Pit” for his success at the Chicago Board of Trade. Mr. Dennis believed that successful trading was an activity that could be learned, rather than an innate ability. In 1983, to settle a bet with William Eckhardt, friend and former partner, he recruited and trained a disparate group of 23 non-trader neophytes who became known as the Turtles (named for the farm-bred turtles he had seen in Singapore). Over the next four years, they earned an aggregate $100 million dollars, proving the experiment to be the most successful in trading history. Mr. Dennis’ view about trading and public policy have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and The Atlantic Monthly. His commentaries have been heard on the American Public Radio Network, and he has appeared on Firing Line debates on PBS. Mr. Dennis is on the Board of Directors of the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation. Mr. Dennis graduated from DePaul University with a degree in philosophy.