June 30, 2022

Leading in Color Newsletter

June 2022

This Season

We are in the middle of a season of extraordinary battles. I call it a season because seasons have a beginning and an ending. They don’t last forever, but they are cyclical.

Change is inevitable. Change happens as we move through seasons.

It isn’t easy living in this gray space, but we must remain vigilant—brave enough to take the initiative and lead the charge.

As we live and work in this season, we find ourselves pressed on every side, but we are not crushed. We are all uncomfortable, but we must remain true to our mission to press toward the mark of equity and inclusion.

Be well,

Save the Date: Chicago United’s 2022 Bridge Awards Celebration

Please join us on November 16, 2022 for Chicago United’s Bridge Awards Celebration: The Power of Inclusion. If you're interested in sponsorship opportunities please contact Melanie Sillas.

Enrollment Opening Soon: Corporate Inclusion Institute - Cohort VI

Applications for Cohort VI will open soon. Member organizations and companies are encouraged to enroll their team members. Please contact Doris Salomón for additional information.

CEO Council Members joined Chicago United June 14 for the CEO Roundtable Series, an open and candid conversation with Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. Dr. Gayle’s tenure as the President of Spelman College begins on July 1st; she leaves a great legacy in Chicago which we all can learn from. Chicago United thanks Dr. Gayle for her support and contributions. 

Andrea Sáenz, Chief Operating Officer of The Chicago Community Trust and a Chicago United Board Member, was appointed interim President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, effective July 1.

Mellody Hobson, President and co-CEO of Ariel Investments and a Chicago United 2003 Business Leader of Color, is the first African American woman to own an NFL Team. She will be a part owner of the Denver Broncos.

2021 BLC Martín Montes, has joined the law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP as Partner.

CEO Council Members Dr. Harry Wilkins, CEO at Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, and Carlos W. Cubia, SVP and Global Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, were named 2022 Men of Excellence by The Chicago Defender.

Emma Rodriguez-Ayala, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at LGIM America and a 2017 Business Leader of Color, has joined the Board of Directors at First Bank of Highland Park/First Bank Chicago.

Don Thompson, Founder and CEO of Cleveland Ave and a 2007 Business Leader of Color, was named one of Chicago’s 50 Most Influential Power Players of 2022 by Modern Luxury Chicago Social.

2019 BLC Juan Leyva, General Manager of London House Chicago, was recognized by Negocios Now one of Chicago’s 2021 “Latino 40 Under 40.”

2011 BLC Hugo Chaviano has published the book, “Flight to Freedom: Memoir of a Cuban Exile.”

David Arenas, a 2011 Business Leader of Color, has joined James Drury Partners as Managing Principal.

An easy-to-use Community Calendar with details and registration links is live on our website. Please click here to view.

Chicago United’s Minority Business Partnerships Program

Presented by Jeffery Allan, Director, Economic Equity Advisory Group, BMO Harris Bank 


September 15, 2022 | 11:00AM – 12:00PM

This is a Virtual Event

Attend if you are a Minority-owned Business


CEO Roundtable Series

Presented by Natalie Brown,
President, Mesirow Financial

September 20, 2022 | 8:00 – 9:30AM

353 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL

This event is open to CEO Council Members only


Diversity Officer Roundtable

Presented by Reginald J. Miller, Vice President, Global Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, McDonald’s Corporation

September 28, 2022 | 8:30 – 10:00AM

110 North Carpenter Street, Chicago, IL

A Human Resources Executive, A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, A business leader responsible for inclusive talent development

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