October 27, 2022

Leading in Color Newsletter

October 2022

Chicago United - Leading in Color Newsletter
October 2022

Where We Want To Be

At some point in our careers, we’ve all been asked “Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years.” While this question is often used to gauge an employee’s personal goals and perspectives, the business community can ask itself this same question as we continue to navigate and operate in increasingly inclusive environments.

In a few weeks, Chicago United’s Corporate Inclusion Institute (CII) will host a closing reception for Cohort V. Themed “Celebrating Success,” we will duly honor the mid- to senior-level managers and the emerging leaders of color who’ve dedicated the past nine months to learning opportunities and breakthrough experiences. These participants have assessed their strengths, improvement areas, preferences, and conscious and unconscious biases. They’ve focused on cross-cultural competency and inclusive leadership skills, and they’ve learned to build collaborative and effective teams.

The graduates of Cohort V will join the 152 Corporate Guides and Fellows that have completed the CII program along with 102 Executive Sponsors and Direct Managers. As we prepare for the opening of Cohort VI on February 10, 2023, these graduates will exemplify the importance of building a culture of collaboration that accelerates business performance.

Since 2019, CII has supported this talent development funnel, enhancing career mobility for diverse candidates. That’s the answer to the “Where do you want to be” question. Through CII, Cohort V’s graduates have laid a foundation for the future. They are empowered, more willing to self-advocate. This inclusion imperative will only grow stronger as our workforce continues to experience a long-term multicultural transformation. Equipping our emerging leaders of color with leadership skills is more important now than ever. This is the groundwork for change.

This is corporate reality: When you have representation of People of Color at the table, everyone wins and that’s where we want to be. Our Corporate Inclusion Institute is the necessary tool to build that foundation.


Chicago United Bridge Awards Celebration - The Power of Inclusion Presented By BMO Harris Bank

Coming Soon!
Chicago United’s 2022 Bridge Awards Celebration 

In just a few weeks, Chicago United will host the highly anticipated 2022 Bridge Awards Celebration, presented by BMO. Themed “The Power of Inclusion,” this year’s event takes place Wednesday, November 16.

Chicago United will present the 2022 Chicago Bridge Award to PwC, led by Laura Thonn, Chicago Office Managing Partner. Additionally, CU is excited to introduce two new awards during the Celebration: The BLC President’s Award, honoring a Chicago United Business Leader of Color who stands out in advancing Chicago United’s mission of inclusion in both their work and in their community, will be presented to David Namkung, Founder and Managing Partner of Clarity Partners and a 2017 Chicago United Business Leader of Color. The inaugural CU Impact Award, established to honor an impactful Minority Business Enterprise that is working towards inclusion and economic parity within their organization and in their community, will be presented to Wynndalco Enterprises, LLC, led by David Andalcio, Founder and CEO. 

Join the Bridge Awards Celebration on November 16! Contact Gail Arrigo, Senior Vice President of Strategy & Operations, at garrigo@chicago-united.org or 312.977.3066 to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

Chicago United Programming For Mid-Level Managers

On Thursday, October 6, Chicago United welcomed CII Corporate Guides, Employee Resource Group Leaders, and Employees of Chicago United Member Companies to its Mid-Level Managers Series programming. Sponsored by Wintrust and hosted by Melissa Donaldson, expert speaker Andrés T. Tapia led “What’s Trust Got To Do With It? Managing Intercultural Conflict.” The presentation focused on the importance of understanding how our conflict management style influences our effectiveness in all aspects of our professional and personal lives. Click here to visit Chicago United’s Events Calendar to learn more about upcoming Programming.
Corporate Inclusion Institute: Upcoming Informational Sessions

Corporate Inclusion Institute:
Cohort VI … Enrollment Continues!

Chicago United’s Corporate Inclusion Institute is a nine-month talent development program using a multi-disciplinary approach to bring together four professionals from various levels of an organization into an “Inclusion Cluster.” Equally effective in small- to medium-size firms as well as large corporations, over 250 participants have completed the program to date, having benefitted from the workshops and resources around inclusive leadership competencies.

CII-Cohort 6 is now open for registration, and Chicago United is currently conducting a series of informational session. CU member organizations and companies are encouraged to contact Doris Salomon, Vice President of Programs and Initiatives, at dsalomon@chicago-united.org, to schedule a session and learn how to enroll team members. Please share this information with your network.


Doris Salomón, Chicago United’s Vice President of Programs and Initiatives, was honored for philanthropic achievement during Nuestro Futuro’s Latinx Leadership in Philanthropy. Nuestro Futuro is an initiative of Chicago United Member Company, The Chicago Community Trust.

Debbie Cortez, Chicago United’s Director of Minority Business Partnership, has been appointed to serve on the Procurement Task Force for the State of Illinois. Debbie will work with the Task Force to survey the State’s procurement process and make recommendations for a more equitable and efficient process.

Crain’s Chicago Business 2022 Notable Black Leaders and Executives recognized several Chicago United Business Leaders of Color and Leaders Council Members. BLCs include: Levoi Brown, BMO Financial Group (2019 BLC), John Campbell, US Bank (2019 BLC), Graham Grady, Taft Law (2011 BLC), Patricia Brown Holmes, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila (2013 BLC), Adrienne Hughes, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (2019 BLC), and Dorri McWhorter, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago (2009 BLC). Leaders Council Members include Steven Hunter, McDonald’s Corporation; Leslie Minier, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; and Malik Murray, Ariel Investments.

2015 BLC Rodrigo A. Sierra, was recognized with the 2022 Alumni of the Year award by Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. 

Michael Hernandez, Partner at Franczek P.C. and a 2013 Business Leader of Color was featured in the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Civility’s Lawyer Spotlight series highlighting Illinois lawyers who are demonstrating the ideals of professionalism in their daily lives.

2009 BLC Shundrawn Thomas, formerly with Northern Trust, is now Founder and Managing Partner, The Copia Group, LLC.


The following programs are open only to employees of Chicago United Member Companies. Please click here to view our Community Calendar for additional details and registration links.

Employee Resource Group Symposium: Leading with Purpose

Presented by Shannon Schuyler, Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer, PwC US, a Chicago United Member Company

November 3, 2022, 8:30 am - 10:30 am 

1 North Wacker Drive

Attend if you are:

  • A Chief Human Resources Officer/Chief Diversity Officer
  • An executive or senior human resources professional responsible for resourcing and/or developing ERGs in your organization
  • An ERG Executive Sponsor
  • An ERG Chair/Leader

CEO Roundtable Series

Presented by Gil Quiniones, Chief Executive Officer, ComEd, a Chicago United Member Company

November 7, 2022, 9:00 am - 10:30 am

10 South Dearborn    

This program is open to Chicago United CEO Council members only.

CII Cohort V Closing Reception:
Celebrating Success

Hosted by KPMG LLP, a Chicago United Member Company

November 10, 2022, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

KPMG LLP, 200 E. Randolph Street, 68th Floor - Ignition Center

This program is open to participating companies only.

300 East Randolph Street, Suite 40.200, Chicago, IL 60601-5075
312-977-3060 • www.chicago-united.org