I am overwhelmed with gratitude following this month’s Bridge Awards Celebration! Only a few days ago, nearly 700 of Chicago’s most influential business and civic leaders gathered at the Marriott Marquis Chicago to honor the 55th Anniversary of Chicago United, and meet the 2023 Business Leaders of Color during this, the 20th Anniversary of the distinction.
There are so many to thank for the evening’s success: Our Presenting Sponsor, BMO; Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Illinois, our Chairman's Circle level sponsor; and our Host Committee Co-Chairs and Committee Members. Thank you to our Board of Directors—past and present members, our Member Companies and our supporters who provided sponsorship at various levels. Thank you to ABC 7 Chicago, our Media Partner, and Weekend Anchor and Reporter Mark Rivera who served as an amazing emcee. Thank you to the Chicago Sinfonietta for yet again an engaging performance. To our event management team, PJH & Associates, designer Greg Smith of RE:DESIGN Visual Communications, the Marriott Marquis Chicago’s staff, and Chicago United’s staff…thank you!
Congratulations to our honorees: the 2023 Bridge Award recipient ComEd, An Exelon Company, and Cabrera Capital Markets, recipient of the 2023 CU Impact Award. As these esteemed organizations demonstrate, the work of Chicago United has a far-reaching, long-standing impact when we remain committed in purpose and work together to conquer any challenge.
Let me reiterate: the work of Chicago United will continue bolder and stronger than ever. When we use our collective voice and take direct action, we will elevate equity for the next 55 years.
Chicago United President and CEO
Featured on ABC 7 News
On Sunday, November 12, Chicago United’s President and CEO Tiffany Hamel Johnson was interviewed by ABC 7 Chicago Weekend Anchor and Reporter Mark Rivera. During the segment, Hamel Johnson shared insight into the work of Chicago United and perspectives of the 2023 Bridge Awards Celebration, presented by BMO.
Chicago United Presents
The 2023 Business Leaders of Color!
During the 2023 Bridge Awards Celebration: Elevating Equity, presented by BMO, Chicago United presented the 2023 Business Leaders of Color, a cohort of 45 diverse professionals prepared to take their seats in the Corporate Boardroom. The introduction of this cohort marked the 20th Anniversary of the biennial distinction. Since its inception in 2003, the BLC honor and publication has identified 515 board-ready candidates who have served in nearly 500 corporate directorships. View the 2023 Business Leaders of Color Publication on Chicago United’s Website.
Chicago United Holds CII-Cohort VI Closing Reception
Chicago United held the CII-VI Closing Reception in November. This reception marked the culmination of a nine-month inclusion journey for the program’s Corporate Guides and Fellows, who were presented with a Certificate of Completion. Cohort VI was recognized as the largest cohort since the program’s inception.
Salvador Arana, VP, Operations, Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas delivered the reception’s keynote address entitled “CII Impact in Transforming People Gas’ Culture.” Additionally, Chicago United’s President and CEO, Tiffany Hamel Johnson shared a message on the impact of CII.
CII-Cohort VII is now open for registration. CU member organizations and companies are encouraged to contact Doris Salomon, Vice President of Programs and Initiatives, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn how to enroll team members.
Chicago United Illuminates The City
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, a Chicago United Member Company, displayed Chicago United’s message on its Randolph Street building on November 16. The visual message served as an excellent backdrop to the 2023 Bridge Awards Celebration held later that evening.
Additionally, Wintrust Financial, a Chicago United Member Company, hosted Chicago United on the Wintrust Digital Billboard located along the Kennedy Expressway at North Avenue. The billboard shared Chicago United’s message of Elevating Equity and will be visible until December 1, 2023.
Valarie King-Bailey, Chief Executive Officer, OnShore Technology Group, Inc. and a 2023 Business Leader of Color, was named to the 2024 Chicago Titan 100 distinction, recognizing the area’s top 100 CEOs & C-level executives demonstrating exceptional leadership, vision, and passion.
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