African American News

Chicago United Announces 2017 Business Leaders of Color Honorees

Corporate Membership and Advocacy Organization Honors Local Executives

CHICAGOOct. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Chicago United is pleased to announce the selection of 50 remarkable business professionals who drive transformational change and make an impact in the business community in the 2017 Business Leaders of Color publication. Released every two years since 2003, the Business Leaders of Color publication serves as a resource to increase inclusion of diverse candidates in Fortune 1,000 corporations’ boards of directors.

The publication features individuals ready for boards of directors’ positions, with a broad range of professional experience and proven track records of success. Through their identification, Chicago United helps to accelerate inclusion of professionals of color in board governance.

The 2017 Business Leaders of Color were selected from a nomination pool of 195 qualified candidates representing a wide variety of product and service industries.

“When we created the Business Leaders of Color publication in 2003, our goal was to highlight and recognize exceptional corporate and civic diverse leaders who were ready to contribute as board directors for Fortune 1,000 companies,” said Gloria Castillo, president and CEO of Chicago United. “It’s been remarkable to see the individuals who have been honored over the years as Business Leaders of Color evolves into a network of the most influential diverse leaders in Chicago. Since the beginning, we have identified and featured nearly 370 board-ready candidates who have served in more than 230 corporate directorships.”

Past Business Leaders of Color members include former First Lady Michelle ObamaValerie B. Jarrett, former senior advisor to former President Barack ObamaAdela Cepeda, managing director, PFM Financial Advisors LLC, and Board director, UBS Funds, Consulting Group Capital Markets Mutual Funds, Mercer Mutual Funds, and BMO Financial Corporation; Michelle L. Collins, president, Cambium LLC, and Board member of The PrivateBank, ULTA Beauty, and Health Care Service Corporation; Sonny Garg, solutions lead, Energy, Uptake; Aylwin B. Lewis, Board member, The Walt Disney Company and Marriott International Inc.; Lou Nieto, Board member of AutoZone, Ryder Systems Inc., and Fresh and Ready Foods; Luis Sierra, CEO – Global Aromatics, BP; and Don Thompson, founder, Cleveland Avenue, and former Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Corporation.

2017 Business Leaders of Color

Shradha AgarwalCo-Founder and President, Outcome Health

Luis A. AvilaGeneral Counsel, Hispanic National Bar Association

Nichole Barnes MarshallVice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, L Brands

Pat Auveek Basu, Senior Vice President, Optum/United Health Group

Cecelia BodenChief Delivery Officer, SDI Presence

Joseph Malik BradleyGlobal Vice President IoT & Digital Services, Cisco Systems

George BurciagaManaging Director of Global Municipal Development & Innovation, CIVIQ Smartscapes

Louis CarrPresident Media Sales, BET Networks

Guoxing ChaiGlobal Head, Retail Banking Product Analytics, HSBC

Eduardo ConradoExecutive Vice President, Strategy & Innovation Office, Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Stephen DavisPresident, The Will Group

Billy DecChief Executive Officer, Rockit Ranch Productions

Peter M. EllisPartner, Chair of Complex Litigation Practice and Executive Committee Member, Reed Smith

Opella F. Ernest, Chief Clinical Officer, Health Care Service Corporation

Verónica Gómez, Senior Vice President, Regulatory & Energy Policy and General Counsel, ComEd, An Exelon Company

Craig A. GriffithPartner, Sidley Austin LLP

Pedro Antonio GuerreroChief Executive Officer, Guerrero Howe Custom Media

Steven V. HunterAttorney, Quarles & Brady LLP

Ted JacksonVice President Operations, Novolex

Rudy Juarez, Vice President and General Manager, MexicoLatin America, Global Export, W.W. Grainger

Michael LeongSenior Vice President, PNC Bank

Marco A. López, Co-Founder, elemento L2

Mike MaaliMidwest Regional Leader, Risk Assurance, PwC

Christopher C. Melvin, Jr.Managing Member, Melvin & Company

Carey MendesRegional Business Leader Global Oil Americas, BP America Inc.

Juan Gabriel MorenoPresident, JGMA

Raj V. Nagarajan, Senior Vice President, Chief Audit Executive, Wintrust Financial Corporation

David C. NamkungManaging Partner, Clarity Partners, LLC

Seema PajulaVice Chairman and U.S. Consumer & Industrial Products Leader, Deloitte & Touche LLP

José Paz Peña, Jr., Senior Vice President, Head of Retail Banking for Illinois and Indiana, Fifth Third Bank

Sergio PereiraPresident, Quill Corporation

Jose Luis PradoChairman and Chief Executive Officer, Evans Food

Maria de J. PradoPartner, Prado & Renteria CPAs, Prof. Corp.

Anjoo Rai-MarchantChief Customer and Technology Officer, HighGround

Terika RichardsonPresident, Advocate Trinity Hospital

Debbie RobertsPresident, East Zone, McDonald’s USA, LLC

Dee M. RobinsonPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Robinson Hill, Inc.

Levoyd E. RobinsonManaging Principal, CFI Partners

Robert RodriguezPresident, DRR Advisors

Emma L. Rodriguez-AyalaFormer General Counsel and Senior Managing Director, Mesirow Financial

Jacobo SchatzChief Operating Officer – Wealth Management, Northern Trust

Stacy SharpeSenior Vice President, Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company

Luther E. SiebertVice President, Global Head of Core Map, Regional Map & Content, HERE Technologies

Srinivas Veeramasuneni, Vice President, Corporate Innovation Center, USG Corporation

Lisa W. WardellPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Adtalem Global Education

Alex E. WashingtonManaging Director, Wind Point Partners

Lynn Watkins-AsiyanbiAssociate General Counsel, John Bean Technologies Corporation

Paul S. WilliamsPartner, Major, Lindsey and Africa/Allegis Partners

Melvin D. WilliamsPresident, Nicor Gas

Ann Marie WrightChief Operating Officer, N.A. Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group

The 2017 Business Leaders of Color will be honored during the Chicago United Bridge Awards Dinner presentation on Thursday, November 9, at the Hilton Chicago. To reserve tickets or request a copy of the 2017 Business Leaders of Color publication, please call (312) 977-3060 or visit the Chicago United website,

About Chicago United

Chicago United is a corporate membership and advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve parity in economic opportunity for people of color by advancing multiracial leadership in corporate governance, executive level management, and business diversity. Founded in 1968, the organization is focused on transforming the Chicago region into the most inclusive business ecosystem in the nation by engaging the top publicly and privately held corporations in leading talent management and inclusive diversity practices. Chicago United’s signature programs include its Business Leaders of Colorpublication which showcases a diverse pool of corporate director candidates and the Five Forward Initiative™, designed to invigorate job creation in communities of color by increasing the scale of large MBEs in the Chicago region.

SOURCE Chicago United

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