April 27, 2023

Leading in Color Newsletter

April 2023

Chicago United - Leading in Color Newsletter
April 2023
Insights from Leadership. Tiffany Hamel Johnson, President & CEO of Chicago United

The Gray Space

Local and national events have only magnified the work we must continue to do!

Banning books on race in local libraries and schools…challenges to race conscious admissions that support diversity, equity and inclusion on college and university campuses…government creating laws that prohibit DE&I training in corporate settings.

With everything going on now, we seem to be moving away from the work we committed to do in the summer of 2020.  Instead of moving forward, it seems we are moving backwards. 

The issues are not about left or right. Our work to ensure equitable access to opportunity is not just a catch phrase. We are creating benefit and what we do now will define our tomorrow.

Companies have a voice and need to use it to take a stand for this work we are doing. They are doing the work internally but they must use their voices to publicly influence the change we all know is needed.

We all share principled accountability.

Be well,

Chicago United Turns 55

Chicago United was founded soon after the riots in Chicago and across the nation following the tragic assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968. Today Chicago United continues to work, as Dr. King stated, “for genuine equality.” Click here to reacquaint with our Mission, Vision and Values as well as our History. Now in its 55th Year, Chicago United will honor this milestone anniversary during the 2023 Bridge Awards Celebration in November.

David Casper, CEO of BMO, a Chicago United Member Company, announced his retirement and has been named Chairman of BMO US holding company. Darrel Hackett, President of BMO Wealth Management-US and former Vice Chairman of Chicago United’s Board of Directors, has been named BMO’s incoming CEO—making him the only African American CEO of a top 15 bank.

During its March 29, 2023, Annual Meeting, Chicago United presented the 2022 Chairman’s Awards to the following: 2022 CEO Council Champion Award—Kathy Scherer, Vice Chair, Central Region Marketplace Leader and Managing Partner, Chicago Office, and a Chicago United Board Member; 2022 Chicago United Leaders Council Champion Award—Nichole Owens, Vice President, Customer Channels, ComEd, An Exelon Company, and Chicago United’s Board Secretary; 2022 Chicago United Benefactor Award—Nicor Gas, accepted by Wendell Dallas, President; and The Toni Cornelius Special Recognition Award—Ed Simon, Director Business Performance and Inclusion & Diversity Officer, California American Water.

Marion Gross, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Supply Chain Officer at McDonald’s Corporation (a Chicago United Member Company) and a 2019 Business Leader of Color, was noted in Supply Chain magazine’s feature, “Top 10 Women in Supply Chain.”

During its 23rd Annual Ripples of Hope Gala, City Year Chicago honored Maurice Smith, President & CEO of Health Care Service Corporation (a Chicago United Member Company) and a 2013 Business Leader of Color, and Gil Quiniones, CEO, on behalf of ComEd (a Chicago United Member Company), along with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. John W. Rogers, Jr., Founder and Co-CEO of Ariel Investments (a Chicago United Member Company), Les Coney, Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman at Mesirow Financial (a Chicago United Member Company) and a 2003 Business Leader of Color, and Seema Pajula, Vice Chair, US Clients, Industries and Insights Leader at Deloitte (a Chicago United Member Company) were among those serving as the Gala’s 2023 Co-Chairs.


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

Employee Resource Group Symposium

Tenacity for Life: Lessons in Life, Business, and the World Around Us

Presented by Lou Sandoval, President and Managing Partner, HALO Advisory
(2021 Business Leader of Color)

Thursday, May 4 | 9:00-11:00 a.m.

1 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago

Learn More →

Diversity Officer Roundtable Series

Hosted by Jill Stein, Inclusion Diversity & Equity Lead, Slalom Chicago

Wednesday, May 10 | 9:00-10:30 a.m.

200 E. Randolph Street, Chicago

Learn More →

Minority Business Partnership Programming

Power In Technology

Hosted by William Everett

Presented by: Ellen Turner, Founder and CEO, William Everett Group; Nidhi Kapoor, President RK Management Consultants, Inc. and a Chicago United Board Member; and Vinu Ilangovan, Chief Technology Officer, VIVA USA, Inc.

Thursday, May 11 | 9:00-10:30 a.m.

35 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago

Learn More →

Mid-Level Manager Series

Trauma Informed Leadership

Hosted by Wintrust

Presented by: Dr. Dawn Emerick, Principal & Owner,
Dawn Emerick Consulting

Thursday, June 15 | 9:00-10:30 a.m.

200 E. Randolph Street, Chicago

Learn More →

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