CHICAGO – July 15, 2021 – Chicago United has announced its 2021 Business Leaders of Color, 50 diverse, influential and accomplished individuals ready for corporate board directorships. Chosen from a highly competitive field of close to 100 nominees, the individuals selected demonstrate a broad range of professional experiences and proven track records of success in numerous industries.
Chicago United presents this group every other year to expand the pool of diverse, board-ready candidates for corporate boards. Since 2003, there have been 420 individuals to receive this honor who have dispelled the myth that there are not enough qualified, dynamic, visionary and talented executives of color to step into corporate board directorships in Chicago and beyond. Currently, there are Business Leaders of Color who fill more than 300 directorships.
Past Business Leaders of Color include former First Lady Michelle Obama; Manuel Cuevas-Trisán, Vice President, Human Resources, Harvard University; Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments; Gery Chico, lawyer and public official; Nancy Andrade, Commissioner for the Chicago Commission on Human Relations; Don Thompson, retired Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Corporation and CEO and Founder of Cleveland Avenue, LLC; Dr. Karen Eng, President and CEO of CSMI; and Andrés Tapia, Global Diversity and Inclusion thought leader at Korn Ferry.
“Chicago United’s mission is about advancing multiracial leadership,” said Tiffany Hamel Johnson, President and CEO, Chicago United. “We are thrilled to honor these individuals and welcome this cohort into an assembly of history-making trailblazers who have been named bi-annually for almost 20 years. We will honor them along with one company that is a driving force in diversity, equity and inclusion at our upcoming Bridge Awards Dinner.”
Chicago United’s Bridge Awards Dinner, “A Movement, Not a Moment,” will be held Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at the Hilton Chicago at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit https://awards.chicago-united.org/
2021 Business Leaders of Color
Verneda Bachus, CEO, Friend Health
Regina Cross, Vice President, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC
Dr. Roberto Curci, Vice Provost and Dean, Brennan School of Business, Dominican University
Melissa B. Donaldson, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Wintrust Financial Corporation
Jose Flores, President & Chief Operating Officer, Wynndalco Enterprises, LLC
Steve Flores, Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
Michelle Flowers Welch, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Flowers Communications Group
Jose Garcia, President/CEO, Northwest Community Credit Union
Cristy Garcia-Thomas, Chief External Affairs Officer, Advocate Aurora Health
Darius A. Gill, Senior Vice President, National Practice Executive, Northern Trust
Jeanne M. Gills, Esq., Partner, Vice Chair, IP Department, Foley & Lardner LLP
Jesus Gonzalez, Deputy Global Practice Leader, Intangible Assets, Aon plc
Denitra Griffin, President, AGB Investigative Services Inc.
Jasmine Guy, Director of DE&I/Corporate Social Responsibility, Major, Lindsey & Africa
Nickol Hackett, Chief Investment Officer, Treasurer, The Joyce Foundation
Erik Hall, Executive Director, GCM Grosvenor
Douglas E. Harrell, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Special Deputy Receiver
Lisa M. Harrell, Chief Human Resources Officer, Cleveland Avenue
Stephen Harris, President, Medicaid, Health Care Service Corporation
Glenn Harston II, President, The Gemini Group LTD
Anuradha Hebbar, Partner, HR & Talent Advisory, Global DE&I Solutions Leader, KINCENTRIC, a Spencer Stuart Company
Lee Henderson, Assurance Partner and Americas EY Private Leader, Ernst & Young LLP
John O. Hudson III, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nicor Gas
Julieta LaMalfa, Director, Stout
Gordon C.C. Liao, Founder & Managing Partner, Promise Holdings
Gregg Lunceford, SVP, Wealth Advisor, Mesirow Financial
Suzet M. McKinney, DrPH, MPH, Principal, Director of Life Sciences, Sterling Bay
Samara Mejia Hernandez, Founding Partner, Chingona Ventures
Deidra Merriwether, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Lourdes Mesa Gonzalez, Senior Vice President, Primera Engineers
Martín Montes, Vice President, Large Customer Services, ComEd an Exelon Company
Reginald Moore, Vice President & General Manager, Newell Brands
Tracie Morris, Chief Human Resources and Inclusion Officer, BMO Harris Bank N.A.
Marisol Pantoja, SVP, Chief Audit Executive, TransUnion
- Todd Phillips, CEO, Parson Partners
Nadia Quarles, Esq., Assistant Vice President, Office of Business Diversity, University of Chicago
Sumant Ramachandra, President, Pharmaceuticals and Chief Science & Technology Officer, Baxter International
Sendhil Revuluri, Managing Director, PEAK6 Capital Management
Craig Richey, Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Accenture
Derreck James Robinson, Managing Director, National Sales Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Louis Sandoval, President & Chief Executive Officer, Knnected Inc. Dba SupplyHive™
David Segura, CEO, VisionIT
Anne Shaw, President, Shaw Legal Services, Ltd.
Thurman “Tony” Smith, Senior Vice President, Community Development Banking – Market Manager, PNC Bank
Sunitha Thomas, Senior Vice President, National Portfolio Advisor, Northern Trust
Cedric D. Thurman, Executive Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer/ Group Head, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago
Edna Uribe, VP Director of Sales, Univision Chicago
Lizette Williams, Head of Global Vertical Solutions Marketing, Facebook, Inc.
Suzanne Yoon, Founder & Managing Partner, Kinzie Capital Partners LLC
Weifang Zhou, EVP, President of Testing, Inspection & Certification (TIC), UL
About Chicago United
Chicago United is a corporate membership and advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve parity in economic opportunity for people of color by advancing multiracial leadership in corporate governance, expanding the talent pipeline for executive-level management, and growing minority business. Founded in 1968, the organization is focused on transforming the Chicago region into the most inclusive business ecosystem in the nation by engaging the top publicly and privately held corporations in leading talent management and inclusive diversity practices. Chicago United’s signature programs include its Business Leaders of Color publication, which showcases a diverse pool of corporate director candidates, the Five Forward Initiative™, designed to invigorate job creation in communities of color by increasing the scale of large Minority Business Enterprises in the Chicago region, Inside Inclusion featuring the Corporate Diversity Profile, and the Corporate Inclusion Institute, the first-ever citywide business talent development program. www.chicago-united.org