February 15, 2022

Leading in Color Newsletter

February 2022

Black History Month Moving Forward

Welcome to February, Black History Month! Throughout the month, we celebrate the rich heritage of African Americans and pay tribute to those who struggled through injustices and adversity to implement change in this country and ultimately, the world. 

While we rightfully honor these ancestors and their achievements, we should also use this moment to pause to consider where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow. Chicago United and our members are doing just that through honest evaluation of the common challenges business leaders of color face today. I talk a lot about coalitions and armed with this knowledge, we are building coalitions with all allies and stakeholders and working together to implement programs that build the foundation for tomorrow’s inclusive business ecosystem. 

This insight lends to our continuing theme, “A Movement, Not a Moment,” which we will reemphasize throughout the year. Like Black History Month, Chicago United’s work is not the solitary work of a month, it’s partners united in a steadfast movement toward an advanced, diverse business environment that will ultimately be a norm rather than a first.

CII Cohort V Launches

Chicago United’s Corporate Inclusion Institute-Cohort V launched Friday, February 4. This talent development program welcomed 88 professionals from 23 clusters dedicated to driving business performance through inclusion and transforming corporate culture. The year-long program, featuring group learning and one-on-one coaching sessions, provides participants the knowledge, tools and support necessary to drive performance. Learn More >

Katherine Scherer Joins Chicago United's Board

Katherine M. Scherer has joined Chicago United’s Board of Directors as its newest member. Kathy is Vice Chair, Central Region Marketplace Leader and Managing Partner for Deloitte’s Chicago office. Chicago United welcomes Kathy to the Board and looks forward to collaborating with her to further our vision of transforming the Chicago region into the country’s most inclusive business ecosystem.

Pamela Graves Joins Chicago United as Director of Marketing and Communications

Chicago United welcomes Pamela Graves to the position of Director of Marketing and Communications. Pam most recently served as Marketing and Communications Manager for Chicago Community Loan Fund. She is a publishing and marketing industry veteran with an expansive background in marketing, communications, media relations, and brand development.

Save The Date

Annual Meeting
March 30, 2022

Crain’s Chicago Business’ “2022 Power 25 List,” a special report released January 18, noted 25 Chicago-area leaders who found ways to adapt, rebound or build resilience in their power base. Over a quarter of the leaders included in the report are allied with Chicago United, including Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments (2003 BLC); John Rogers, Ariel Investments (CEO Council Member); Maurice Smith, Health Care Service Corporation (2013 BLC and CEO Council member); Helene Gayle, The Chicago Community Trust (CEO Council member); Don Thompson, Cleveland Avenue (2007 BLC); and Martin Cabrera, Jr., Cabrera Capital Markets (2003 BLC and CEO Council member). Chicago United congratulates all on this honorable recognition.

Congratulations to Melissa Donaldson, a 2021 Business Leader of Color, on being named to Diversity Woman Magazine’s “Tribute to Black Women Leaders: Class of 2022.”

Congratulations to Samara Mejia Hernandez, Founding Partner of Chingona Ventures and a 2021 Business Leader of Color, at the firm named one of “30+ Top Latinx-Led Venture Capital Funds” by Beta Boom.

Congratulations to 2017 Business Leader of Color Nichole Barnes Marshall on being named Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Pinterest. 

ERG Symposium

ERG Excellence: Grow High Performing ERGs to Enhance Diversity, Equality, Belonging and Business Impact

Presented by Dr. Robert Rodriguez, Founder and President, DRR Advisors, LLC and 2017 Business Leader of Color.

March 2, 2022 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.


Diversity Officers Roundtable

Hosted by Kathryn Medina Senior Vice-President of People & Culture, Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

March 15, 2022 | 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.


Mid-Level Manager Series

Reducing Unconscious Bias Through Empathy

Presented Melissa B. Donaldson, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer at Wintrust Financial Corporation

March 24, 2022 | 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.


CEO Roundtable Series

Hosted by Carrie Styer, Chicago General Manager, Slalom Consulting

March 29, 2022 | 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.


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312-977-3060 • www.chicago-united.org