Leadership Greater Chicago names 2022 Class for Signature Fellows Program

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    Leadership Greater Chicago logo Courtesy of Leadership Greater Chicago

Updated 7/21/2021 5:56 PM

Leadership Greater Chicago recently announced the 2022 Class of its Signature Fellows Program.

This select group of 50 accomplished and diverse individuals represents a cross-section of professionals from the corporate, nonprofit, government and education sectors. With the city as their classroom, participants are immersed in major socioeconomic issues facing the community and build connections that facilitate solutions.


"The 2022 Class will commence following more than a year of unrest in our country where we faced continued social injustice followed by the largest anti-racism movement in our history, all during a global pandemic," said Maria Wynne, LGC Chief Executive Officer. "Developing civic leaders is critical today in achieving equity in our criminal justice, healthcare, and education systems, and in the workforce. We are grateful for the support of the many sponsors who nominated these outstanding individuals and believe in their ability to change the world. We look forward to the contributions of these leaders to ensure an inclusive future for all who call Chicago home."

Those selected for the 2022 Signature Fellows Program share the organization's commitment to lead bold, transformative change in the community. They join a legacy of building and strengthening the pipeline of civic leaders who will shape the future of Chicago and the region.

Over the course of the 10-month program, starting in September, participants will be immersed in key socioeconomic issues facing our city and the region through experiential learning including full-day seminars, community site visits, discussion groups, conversations with subject matter experts, and cultural events. They will learn through interactions with private, public, and nonprofit decision makers, and work as a group to develop critical thinking, analytical, governance, and leadership skills.

Presenting the LGC Class of 2022:

• Angela Dowell, Chief Financial Officer, Chicago Community Loan Fund;

• Anna Edwards, Vice President, Corporate Engagement, United Way of Metro Chicago;

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• Anne Nash, Senior Program Manager, Google;

• Bridget Hayman, Director of Communications, Access Living;

• Charles C. Calloway, Jr., Partner, Chapman and Cutler LLP;

• Clarence A. Carson, CCA, CCP, Chief Facilities Officer, Chicago Public Schools;

• Cory Muldoon, Chief of Staff, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership;

• Damla Gerhart, Senior Managing Director, CBRE, Inc.;

• Dana O. Williams, SVP, Senior Legal Counsel, Northern Trust;

• David Lewis, Managing Partner & CEO, Circumspect Capital;

• Dr. Ali Khan, MD, MPP, Executive Medical Director, Oak Street Health;

• Elizabeth V. Lopez, Managing Counsel, Litigation, United Airlines;


• Elle Ramel, Chicago Director, GET Cities;

• Emily Briskman, Associate Vice President, Campus Affairs & Executive Director, The Hillels of Illinois, Jewish United Fund;

• Fellicia Foster, Vice President, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, BMO Harris Bank;

• Garien Gatewood, Director, Illinois Justice Project;

• Heidi Ortolaza-Alvear, VP of Strategy & Business Development, Esperanza Health Centers;

• Ian Sharping, J.D., Chief Quality Officer, Instituto del Progreso Latino;

• Iris Millán, District Director of Government Affairs, City Colleges of Chicago;

• Jessica Ashley Garmon, Esq., COO & Chief General Counsel, The Will Group;

• John D. Mitchell, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois;

• John M. Skakun III, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP;

• Julio Leon Paz, Chief Development Officer, Chicago Commons;

• Kafi Moragne-Patterson, Ph.D., Director of Student Civic Engagement & The University Community Service Center, University of Chicago, Office of Civic Engagement;

• Kelly N. Hutchinson, Counsel, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP;

• Kenneth Shogren, Regional Director, Illinois Private Banking, CIBC;

• Kenya K. Merritt, Chief Small Business Officer, City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection;

• Khai Yang, Director, Data & Analytics, Allstate;

• Kim H. Tran, Chief of Staff, Chicago State University;

• Liz Buchanan, Managing Director, Customer Success, NielsenIQ;

• Lizette Williams, Global Head of Vertical Solutions Marketing, Facebook;

• Louis S. Chiappetta, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP;

• Mandee R. Polonsky, Program Director, Community Affairs, Northwestern Medicine;

• Mary McClelland, Director of Communications, Environmental Law & Policy Center;

• Nate Pietrini, Ed.D., Executive Director, High Jump;

• Nichole Owens, Vice President, Customer Channels, ComEd;

• Pastor Chris Harris, Sr., Senior Pastor & CEO, Pastor of Bright Star Church Chicago & St. James Ministries COGIC; CEO of Bright Star Community Outreach;

• Prentice C. Butler, Chief of Staff, 4th Ward, City of Chicago, Alderman Sophia D. King;

• Regina S. Cross, Vice President, Goldman Sachs;

• Reginald Champagne, Assistant General Counsel, Beam Suntory, Inc.;

• Rev. Ciera Bates-Chamberlain, Executive Director, Live Free Illinois;

• Ronald Milsap, VP, Mission Banking & CRA Officer, Providence Bank & Trust;

• Ryan C. Green, Chief Investment and Administrative Officer, DL3 Realty;

• Ryan K. Priester, Program Officer, Chicago Commitment, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation;

• Sarah Weiss, Partner, Jenner & Block;

• Shoeb J. Sitafalwalla, MD, Chief Strategy Officer, Advocate Aurora Health;

• Stephen Brokaw, Director, Salesforce;

• Tejus Kothari, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group;

• Timmy Knudsen, Partner, Croke Fairchild Morgan & Beres;

• Virxhini Gjonzeneli, executive vice president, Member Support and Strategy, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

The recruitment and highly competitive selection process for the 2022 LGC Signature Fellows Program was done in a virtual environment. The comprehensive process included a written application and, in some cases, an interview with graduates of the LGC Signature Fellows Program. New this year, applicants were also asked to complete an online assessment developed by and courtesy of AON. Selection is based on a record of remarkable professional achievements, evidence of leadership skills, the potential to influence positive change, and a commitment to the community.

More than 1,200 leaders have successfully completed this world-class civic leadership development program, and 83% of those Fellows still reside in Illinois. A new class of leaders is selected each year, with the approval of the LGC Board of Directors. The application for the 2023 LGC Signature Fellows Program will open on Oct. 1, 2021.

Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) is the region's premier civic leadership development organization, providing the knowledge and network to lead bold, transformative change. 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 1,200 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, leaders 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.

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, General Partner of Henry Crown & Company Steve Crown, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, President of United Airlines Brett Hart, Chairman, Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments John Rogers, Jr., Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity & Inclusion at Northern Trust Connie Lindsey, former Executive Chairman of Urban Partnership Bank David Vitale, Deputy Governors of the State of Illinois Sol Flores and Jesse Ruiz; Director of Illinois Department of Public Health Ngozi Ezike, MD; Chancellor of Chicago City Colleges and MacArthur Genius Juan Salgado, President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services Ric Estrada, President of Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) MarySue Barrett, and President and CEO of Access Living, Karen Tamley.

Most recently, LGC launched The Daniel Burnham Fellowship, an accelerated civic onboarding experience for senior executives. While beneficial to any executive, it is especially beneficial for those who are new to Chicago and provides a rich introduction to an executive new to their role and with market facing responsibilities. 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. To date, nearly 70 C-suite executives have participated in this innovative leadership experience.

Leadership Greater Chicago is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. To learn more about LGC, visit lgcchicago.org. To learn more about the LGC Signature Fellows Program, visit lgcchicago.org/signaturefellowsprogram.

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