Impact Through Programming


Chicago United is the premier thought leader in advancing inclusion. Our year-long program series provides platforms for attendees to learn, collaborate and engage with peers, and ultimately lead transformative change throughout Chicago’s business ecosystem.


Confidential, peer-to-peer, host-facilitated forums that discuss the issues and challenges critical to implementing bold actions that develop, advance, and sustain an inclusive culture.

Attend if you are:

  • A member of Chicago United’s CEO Council (guests and representatives are not eligible.)

Thursday, March 16 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Hosted by: Laura Thonn, Chicago Office Managing Partner, PwC

Monday, April 24 | 9:30 - 10:30 AM

Hosted by: Torrence Hinton, President, Peoples Gas

Tuesday, June 6 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Hosted by: Celena Roldan, CEO, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois

Thursday, October 26 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Hosted by: Martin Cabrera, CEO and Founder, Cabrera Capital Markets

Wednesday, November 29

Hosted by: Mary Smith, President and Chair, The Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation


Peer-to-peer learning sessions facilitated by executives responsible for their organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, that investigate current trends and leading practices for less common challenges.

Attend if you are:

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

Tuesday, March 21 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Hosted by: Alethia Jackson, Chief Diversity Officer, Walgreens

Wednesday, May 10 9:00 – 10:30 AM

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

Wednesday, August 9 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Hosted by: Kelly Jackson, Vice President, People & Culture Capability, BP America

Thursday, October 5 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Hosted by: Rheanna Guess, Vice President, People & Diversity Officer, Delta Dental of Illinois


Chicago United convenes Employee Resource Group Leaders through this series of programming to create an incomparable peer-to-peer learning experience. Participating Senior-level ERGs will learn from thought-leaders and experts as they share actionable strategies towards systemic change and cultural inclusiveness.

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
  • An ERG Executive Sponsor
  • An ERG Chair/Leader

Thursday, May 4 | 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Tenacity For Life: Lessons in Life, Business, and the World Around Us
Lou Sandoval (2021 BLC), President and Managing Partner, HALO Advisory

Wednesday, September 20 | 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Impacting Culture, Employee Engagement
and Business Performance

Erika Patterson, Americas Corporate Responsibility Leader, EY


Programming that equip Mid-level Managers with the leadership skills to build collaborative and effective teams and further impact their organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.

Attend if you are:

  • CII Corporate Guide
  • Employee Resource Group Leader
  • Employee of a Chicago United Member Company

Wednesday, March 22 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Inclusive Leadership in a Hybrid Workplace
La Toya McClellan, Senior Director – Global Head of Engagement, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Astellas US

Thursday, June 15 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Trauma Informed Leadership
Dr. Dawn Emerick, Principal & Owner, Dawn Emerick Consulting

Tuesday, October 17 | 9:00 – 10:30 AM

Business Chemistry
Science and the Art of Business Relationships


Chicago United works to empower young, diverse
professionals to accelerate their careers and advance multiracial leadership within their organizations. This series features Chicago United Business Leaders of Color who assess the tools necessary to navigate corporate culture toward career advancement.

Attend if you are:

  • CII Fellow
  • Employee Resource Group Member/Leader
  • Employee of a Chicago United Member Company

Tuesday, March 21 | 5:00-7:00 PM

The Unspoken Rules of Corporate Culture
Rebecca Martinez O’Mara (2019 BLC), Independent Board Director, Kadant

July 2023 | 5:00 - 7:00 PM

A Guide to Finding a Mentor/Sponsor
Lee Henderson (2021 BLC), Americas Private Leader, EY

Wednesday, September 27 | 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Leveraging Your Internal Network
Anuradha Hebbar (2021 BLC), Partner and Managing Director, Kincentric


Through the Business Leaders of Color (BLC) Series, Chicago United identifies innovative, global thinkers and unites them to share insights on corporate board governance. Programming in this series connects BLCs to corporate opportunities and provides a platform to engage with accomplished and diverse Chicago-area business executives.

Attend if you are:

  • A Chicago United Business Leader of Color

Friday, March 17 | 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Creating an Impressive Corporate Board Bio
Featuring: Caroline Schoenecker, Experience Director, Center for Board Effectiveness, Deloitte

Tuesday, June 27 | 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Making the Connection Reception
Featuring: Caroline Schoenecker, Experience Director, Center for Board Effectiveness, Deloitte