Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) Announces Largest Class of Fellows in 35-Year History

Release Date: 
Friday, June 7, 2019

48 civic-minded leaders from across sectors selected for region’s most prestigious civic leadership development program. One SSA staff member and two SSA alumnae are among the Fellows: Adrian Talbott, Verneé Green, AM '08, and Hina Mahmood, AM '13.

Chicago, Illinois (June 5, 2019) – Today, Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) announced its 2020 Class of LGC Fellows, the largest class of Fellows in LGC’s 35-year history. This select group of 48 accomplished and diverse individuals represents a cross-section of professionals from the corporate, nonprofit, government, and education sectors. They share the organization’s mission to effect transformative change in the community, and join a legacy of building and strengthening the pipeline of civic leaders who will lead the future of Chicago and the region.

Over the course of the 10-month LGC Signature Fellows Program, starting in September, participants will be immersed in key socioeconomic issues facing our city and the region through full-day seminars, community site visits, discussion groups, conversations with subject matter experts, cultural events, and experiential learning opportunities.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented time of transition as a city, region, and state – one that calls on all of us to be bold in our approach to making transformative changes,” said Maria Wynne, LGC Chief Executive Officer. “Welcoming the largest class of Fellows in LGC history signifies Chicago’s continued commitment to civic engagement. It also illustrates the persistent need to provide leaders with a deep understanding of critical socioeconomic issues and their interconnectedness in order to deliver lasting impact and to successfully navigate today's complex and diverse society. On behalf of the LGC Board of Directors, I congratulate our new Fellows and look forward to their contributions to ensure a united and inclusive future for all who call Chicago home.”

The 2020 LGC Fellows are:

Ciere Boatright – Vice President Real Estate & Inclusion, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Inc.

Tim Bresnahan – Senior Director of Gift Planning, The Chicago Community Trust

Andrew Broy – President, Illinois Network of Charter Schools

Sarah Burke – Director, Corporate and Foundation Giving, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

Dr. Kathleen Caliento – Chief Learning and Design Officer, The Academy Group

Jason Coleman – Co-Founder/Executive Director, Project SYNCERE

Aimée Eubanks Davis – Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Braven

Justin DeJong – Vice President, Enterprise Communications, American Medical Association

Rev. Julian DeShazier – Senior Minister, University Church

Beth Gallagher – Director of Community Involvement, Aon

Rodrigo Garcia – Deputy Treasurer & Chief Investment Officer, Illinois State Treasurer

Corliss Garner – Vice President and Senior Advisor, Office of Inclusion, BMO Harris Bank

Nevin Gewertz – Partner, Bartlit Beck LLP

Kevin Goldsmith – Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase

Verneé Green, AM '08 – Chief Program Officer, Mikva Challenge

Chaula Gupta – Vice President, Program & Engagement, The Chicago Public Education Fund

Dylan Hall – Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Safe Rate Inc.

Christa Hamilton – Chief Executive Officer /Executive Director, Centers for New Horizons, Inc.

Emily Heath – Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer, United Airlines

Taneka Jennings – Deputy Director, The HANA Center

Brian Johnson – Chief Executive Officer, Equality Illinois

Miguel Keberlein – Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services

Tomoko Kizawa – Partner, Deloitte

Dr. Tara Leweling – Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Corporate Thought Leadership, Allstate

Dr. Ignacio López – President, Harold Washington College

Dr. Kyle Mack – Attending Physician, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

Hina Mahmood, AM '13 – Lead Program Officer, Woods Fund Chicago

Marissa Martin – Vice President, Executive Search, Koya Leadership Partners

Manas Mehandru – Chief Operating Officer, mHUB

Martin Montes – Vice President, Large Customer Services, Exelon/ComEd

Matthew Muench – Director of Workforce Innovation, City of Chicago - Office of the Mayor

Tyler Murray – Chief, Financial Crimes Section, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

Kellie O'Connell – Chief Executive Officer, Lakeview Pantry

Keyonn Pope – Partner, Reed Smith LLP

Krishna Ramachandran – Vice President, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

Vaishali Rao – Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP

Francie Schnipke Richards – CPS Head of External Affairs, and CFF Executive Director, Children First Fund (CFF): The Chicago Public Schools Foundation

Carina Sanchez – Executive Director, Public Building Commission of Chicago

Kristen Saranteas – Head of Treasury Management, First Midwest Bank

Jeff Skender – Director, Cushman & Wakefield

Elizabeth Spenko – Senior Vice President, Director of Digital Experience Solutions, Northern Trust

Bryan Stokes – Vice President, Early Learning, Illinois Action for Children

Adrian Talbott – Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

Linda Tortolero – President and Chief Executive Officer, Mujeres Latinas en Accion

Drew Vail – Partner, Jenner & Block

Andria Winters – Senior Director, Business Services, CBRE

Meghan Woltman – Vice President, Government and Community Relations, Advocate Aurora Health

Marny Zimmer – Director of Policy, Cook County State's Attorney

In October 2018, LGC began accepting applications for its 2020 Signature Fellows Program. Nearly 100 people applied with the support of their employer. The highly competitive selection process to become an LGC Fellow – which includes a comprehensive written application and an in-person interview with graduates of the LGC Signature Fellows Program – is based on a record of remarkable professional achievements early in their careers, evidence of leadership skills, the potential to influence positive change, and a commitment to the community.  

As the region’s oldest and most prestigious leadership development program, LGC is known for the lasting impact and strong connections of its Fellows. This is evidenced by the more than 100 LGC Fellows who were tapped to work on transition teams and committees, and in some cases hired as staff, for newly elected Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

As LGC marks the 35th anniversary of its first class of Fellows, more than 1,150 leaders have come through its world-class leadership development program, and 85% of those Fellows still reside in Illinois.

A new class of LGC Fellows is selected each year, with the approval of the LGC Board of Directors. The application for the 2021 Program will open on October 1, 2019.

 About Leadership Greater Chicago

Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) is the region’s premiere civic leadership development organization. LGC convenes, connects and mobilizes the area’s most promising leaders around key socioeconomic issues through dynamic education and experiential activities. These diverse individuals represent the most prominent corporate, nonprofit, government, and education organizations.

Since its founding in 1983 by The Chicago Community Trust, LGC has developed more than 1,150 leaders through its Signature Fellows Program – an intensive 10-month program that provides the foundation for a lifelong commitment to civic engagement. The Program equips participants with the resources they need to understand how decisions are made, how complex policies are shaped, and how to influence meaningful change. Using the city as a classroom, LGC Fellows learn through interactions with private, public, and nonprofit decision makers, and work as a group to develop critical thinking, analytical, governance, and leadership skills.

LGC creates connectivity among its Fellows to positively impact not only themselves but their employees, their constituents, their clients, their neighbors, and their families. This connectivity is the backbone and strength of the LGC network, enabling leaders to leverage collective resources to make the Greater Chicago Region a more dynamic, inclusive, and collaborative community.

Additionally, LGC has invested an estimated $5 million to build capacity in the corporate, nonprofit, government, and education sectors.

LGC Fellows are a distinguished group that includes former First Lady Michelle Obama, Managing Partner of Emerson Collective and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Chairman of Urban Partnership Bank David Vitale, General Partner of Henry Crown & Company Steve Crown, President and CEO of World Business Chicago Andy Zopp, Illinois Deputy Governors Sol Flores and Jesse Ruiz, Senior Executive Vice President and CEO of Exelon Utilities Anne Pramaggiore, CEO of Ariel Investments, LLC John Rogers, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion at Northern Trust Connie Lindsey, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago and MacArthur Genius Juan Salgado, President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services Ric Estrada, CEO of American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois Celena Roldan, President and CEO of Cara Maria Kim, President of Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) MarySue Barrett, and President and CEO of Access Living Marca Bristo.

Most recently, LGC launched The Daniel Burnham Fellowship, an accelerated civic onboarding experience for senior executives new to Chicago or new to their role. The Fellowship is designed to inspire these leaders to mobilize and exert their combined influence and intellect to positively impact Chicago, its future, and the continued economic progress of the region. The inaugural cohort of 20 senior executives will complete the Fellowship in June 2019.

LGC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. To learn more about the LGC Signature Fellows Program, please click here.