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 the 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 Obama; Valerie B. Jarrett, former senior advisor to former President Barack Obama; Adela 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 Agarwal, Co-Founder, and President, Outcome Health
Luis A. Avila, General Counsel, Hispanic National Bar Association
Nichole Barnes Marshall, Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, L Brands
Pat Auveek Basu, Senior Vice President, Optum/United Health Group
Cecelia Boden, Chief Delivery Officer, SDI Presence
Joseph Malik Bradley, Global Vice President IoT & Digital Services, Cisco Systems
George Burciaga, Managing Director of Global Municipal Development & Innovation, CIVIQ Smartscapes
Louis Carr, President Media Sales, BET Networks
Guoxing Chai, Global Head, Retail Banking Product Analytics, HSBC
Eduardo Conrado, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Innovation Office, Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Stephen Davis, President, The Will Group
Billy Dec, Chief Executive Officer, Rockit Ranch Productions
Peter M. Ellis, Partner, 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. Griffith, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
Pedro Antonio Guerrero, Chief Executive Officer, Guerrero Howe Custom Media
Steven V. Hunter, Attorney, Quarles & Brady LLP
Ted Jackson, Vice President Operations, Novolex
Rudy Juarez, Vice President, and General Manager, Mexico, Latin America, Global Export, W.W. Grainger
Michael Leong, Senior Vice President, PNC Bank
Marco A. López, Co-Founder, elemento L2
Mike Maali, Midwest Regional Leader, Risk Assurance, PwC
Christopher C. Melvin, Jr., Managing Member, Melvin & Company
Carey Mendes, Regional Business Leader Global Oil Americas, BP America Inc.
Juan Gabriel Moreno, President, JGMA
Raj V. Nagarajan, Senior Vice President, Chief Audit Executive, Wintrust Financial Corporation
David C. Namkung, Managing Partner, Clarity Partners, LLC
Seema Pajula, Vice 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 Pereira, President, Quill Corporation
Jose Luis Prado, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Evans Food
Maria de J. Prado, Partner, Prado & Renteria CPAs, Prof. Corp.
Anjoo Rai-Marchant, Chief Customer and Technology Officer, HighGround
Terika Richardson, President, Advocate Trinity Hospital
Debbie Roberts, President, East Zone, McDonald’s USA, LLC
Dee M. Robinson, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Robinson Hill, Inc.
Levoyd E. Robinson, Managing Principal, CFI Partners
Robert Rodriguez, President, DRR Advisors
Emma L. Rodriguez-Ayala, Former General Counsel and Senior Managing Director, Mesirow Financial
Jacobo Schatz, Chief Operating Officer – Wealth Management, Northern Trust
Stacy Sharpe, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company
Luther E. Siebert, Vice President, Global Head of Core Map, Regional Map & Content, HERE Technologies
Srinivas Veeramasuneni, Vice President, Corporate Innovation Center, USG Corporation
Lisa W. Wardell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Adtalem Global Education
Alex E. Washington, Managing Director, Wind Point Partners
Lynn Watkins-Asiyanbi, Associate General Counsel, John Bean Technologies Corporation
Paul S. Williams, Partner, Major, Lindsey and Africa/Allegis Partners
Melvin D. Williams, President, Nicor Gas
Ann Marie Wright, Chief 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, http://www.chicago-united.org/.
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 Color publication 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.