January 31, 2024

Influential Chicago Leaders Selected for 2024 Cohort of Esteemed Civic Leadership Fellowship

LGC Introduces 26 High-Impact Local Leaders for its 6th Cohort

CHICAGO, IL (January 30, 2024) – Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) announced today the selection of 26 top executives for the 2024 Cohort of The Daniel Burnham Fellowship. The Fellowship is a strategic partnership accelerator designed for executives to urgently impact the region’s workforce and economic progress in their roles as change leaders and decision makers. The Fellowship integrates participants into the civic fabric of the city — understanding its history and future trajectory — and builds relationships and networks across the Greater Chicago Region to quickly activate civic engagement and cross-sector partnerships. The Fellowship has welcomed more than 120 high-impact leaders, and collaborations made during the Fellowship have resulted in funding investments, public policy, food distribution, community investments, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and COVID-19 relief efforts.

“I am thrilled to announce the sixth annual Cohort of The Daniel Burnham Fellowship. This diverse group of leaders form a powerful, cross sector network committed to driving positive change throughout our region,” said Myetie Hamilton, CEO of Leadership Greater Chicago and an LGC Fellow since 2016. “Together they develop a deeper understanding of the issues that plague our city and are positioned to activate their collective power to create scalable impact, and transformational change that will contribute to building a stronger and more equitable region,” she added.

An example of a recent collaboration is the expansion of Dominican University into the City of Chicago to further extend educational access and academic programs, formed by Daniel Burnham Fellow Glena Temple, president of Dominican University, and Raul Raymundo (LGC Fellow Since 1996), co-founder and CEO of The Resurrection Project. In partnership with The Resurrection Project, Dominican University will establish a Chicago campus in the Pilsen neighborhood, occupying Resurrection’s La Casa Residence Hall and neighboring Resource Center, providing students in the Near West Side, Lower West Side and North Lawndale communities with resources to find their calling and career path.

“It was a privilege and an energizing experience to have completed Leadership Greater Chicago’s 2023 Cohort of The Daniel Burnham Fellowship with two dozen Chicago executives from corporate, nonprofit, city government, media, arts and legal fields focused on amplifying inclusive civic leadership across our region,” said Daniel Burnham Fellow, LGC Signature Fellow since 2008, and LGC Board Member Andrés Tapia, senior partner and global DE&I and ESG strategist at Korn Ferry. “We absorbed and created powerful learnings and forged invaluable, new relationships for collective good. More than ever, we are ready to serve our organizations, our constituents, and our communities inclusively for transformative good.”

The 26 top executives in the 2024 Cohort are: 

  • Erin Amico – President and CEO, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences
  • Kayce Ataiyero – Chief External Affairs Officer, The Joyce Foundation
  • Nancy L. Berardinelli-Krantz – Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, W.W. Grainger, Inc.
  • Hardik Bhatt – CEO, SDI Presence, LLC
  • Susan V. Booth – Artistic Director, Goodman Theatre
  • Garry Cooper, Jr., PhD – CEO & Co-Founder, Rheaply
  • Roberto Curci, PhD – Vice Provost and Dean, Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business
  • Krista Curell, Esq, BSN, RN – Executive Vice President, Health System, Chief Operating Officer – University of Chicago Health System
  • Nosa Ehimwenman – President and CEO, Bowa Construction
  • Jessica Garascia – Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, AAR CORP
  • Sylvia I. Garcia – Chief Operating Officer, The Chicago Community Trust
  • Veronica Herrero – Executive Vice Chancellor, Chief of Staff and Chief Institutional Advancement Officer, City Colleges of Chicago; and President, City Colleges of Chicago Foundation
  • Erin Inman, P.E. – President & CEO, Primera Engineers Ltd.
  • Arielle Johnson, MPA – CEO, Business Leadership Council
  • Tiffany Hamel Johnson – President and CEO, Chicago United
  • Lucy C. Kim – Chief Advancement Officer, Chicago Public Media
  • Jill Koski – President and CEO, The Morton Arboretum
  • Joshua S. Levin – Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, ComEd
  • Kenya K. Merritt – Deputy Mayor of Business, Economic and Neighborhood Development, City of Chicago
  • Sandeep Nain – President & CEO, SNtial Technologies, Inc.
  • Rahul Nalgirkar – CFO of BMO US and Group CFO of BMO North American Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group
  • Linda Nolan – Group Managing Director, Northern Trust
  • Stephanie Piccirilli – President and CEO, Ignite
  • Mark C. Reed, EdD, MBA – President, Loyola University Chicago
  • Mariana Souto-Manning, PhD – President, Erikson Institute
  • Carole C. Wood, CFRE – President and CEO, Northwestern University Settlement House

The Daniel Burnham Fellowship is the latest addition to a program portfolio that fulfills LGC’s longstanding mission to deliver the knowledge and network to lead bold, transformative change. Some of the prominent executives selected for the Fellowship since inception are President and CEO of Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Michael Ericson; President and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry Chevy Humphrey; Global Head of Inclusion and Giving for Morningstar Melissa Donaldson; President and CEO of the United Way of Metro Chicago Sean Garrett; President and CEO of WTTW | WFMT Sandra Cordova Micek; Vice Chairman of BMO Harris Bank Eric Smith; President of AT&T Illinois and AT&T Great Lakes Eileen Mitchell; President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) Stephen Harris; President of Chicago Advisory Services at CBRE, Inc. John A. Latessa, Jr.; President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation John Palfrey; CEO of Thresholds Mark Ishaug; Senior Vice President for Community Health Transformation and Chief Equity Officer at UChicago Medicine Brenda Battle, RN, BSN, MBA; and Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations for United Airlines Kate Gebo.

About Leadership Greater Chicago
Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) is the region’s premier civic leadership development incubator, delivering the knowledge and network to lead bold, transformative change. LGC convenes, connects and activates 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.

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 Executive Chairman of Urban Partnership Bank David Vitale; Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments John Rogers Jr.; General Partner of Henry Crown & Company Steve Crown; Managing Partner at Cleveland Avenue Andy Zopp; Deputy Governor for Health and Human Services for the State of Illinois Grace Hou; Chairman, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Rachel Arfa; President of United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Brett Hart; Chancellor of Chicago City Colleges and MacArthur Genius Juan Salgado; President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services Ric Estrada; and President and CEO of Access Living Karen Tamley.

Leadership Greater Chicago is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. To learn more, click here. To learn more about The Daniel Burnham Fellowship, click here.