Mayor Lightfoot Announces New Appointments to Chicago Boards and Commissions

January 15, 2020

City Council also approves appointments for the Police Board, the Community Land Trust Board and a newly formed Cultural Advisory Council

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot named several individuals to serve on city boards and commissions on Wednesday, including several new chairs to lead the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Councils. Other new appointments were made to reconstitute the City’s Catalyst Fund Board, which will help the city make investments to promote growth in south and west side communities.

Additionally, the City Council approved new appointments to the newly formed Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), which will work with local arts partners to ensure equitable access to arts in every community.

“My top priority is ensuring that City government works to improve the lives of all of our residents, and today’s appointments are essential in giving voice to those who have gone unheard, and to advancing opportunities throughout our communities,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “I am proud to appoint these leaders who represent the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the people who live and work in Chicago and throughout our 77 community areas, and who have dedicated their careers to continuously improving Chicago.”

The Chicago City Council approved the following appointments:

Approved Appointments to the Chicago Police Board

  • Jorge Montes, Principal, Montes & Associates

Approved Appointments to the Chicago-Gary Regional Airport Authority Board

  • Eduardo Cotillas, Principal, Cotillas and Associates (reappointed)

Approved Appointments to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks

  • Suellen Burns, Senior Program Officer, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

Approved Appointments to the Zoning Board of Appeals

  • Sam Toia, President, the Illinois Restaurant Association (reappointed)

Approved Appointments to the Affirmative Action Advisory Board

  • Ellen R. Turner, Founder, President and CEO, The William Everett Group
  • Kimberly D. Moore, President and Founder, KDM Engineering
  • Rey Rivera, Jr., President, CSI 3000
  • Edith De La Cruz, President, Antigua, Inc.
  • Andrew N. Carnegie, Vice President, John Burns Construction Company
  • Gustavo A. Giraldo, Contract Administrator Small Business, Jacobs Engineering
  • Rick Blair, Vice President, General Manager, Turner Construction
  • Nosa C Ehimwenman, President, Bowa Construction (reappointed)

Approved Appointments to the Chicago Community Land Trust Board

  • Joy Aruguete, CEO, Bickerdike Redevelopment (reappointed)
  • Calvin L. Holmes, President, Chicago Community Loan Fund (reappointed)
  • Robert McGhee, Vice President of Community Development, Citi (reappointed)
  • William Towns, Executive Director, Benefit Chicago (reappointed)
  • Juan Sebastián Arias, Manager, Housing and Community Development, Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Ciere J. Boatright, Vice President, Real Estate & Inclusion, Chicago Neighborhoods Initiative Inc.
  • Terri T. Haymaker, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Solutions, IFF
  • Benjamin R. Helphand, Executive Director, NeighborSpace
  • Ailisa M. Herrera, Commercial Real Estate Director, Vice President, Fifth Third Bank Chicago
  • Nyasha D. Nyamapfene, Founder and CEO, Gospel Run
  • Timothy D. Klont, Former Vice President & Manager, Community Investment Programs, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago
  • Kathryn S. Tholin, Former CEO, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Approved Appointments to the Chicago Cultural Advisory Council

  • Paola Aguirre Serrano, Founder, Borderless Studio
  • Alison Cuddy, Artistic Director, Chicago Humanities Festival
  • Sandra Delgado, Playwright & Actor
  • Amina J. Dickerson, Founder & President, Dickerson Global Advisors
  • Juan Díes, Co-Founder, Executive Director, Sones de Mexico
  • Bob Faust, Artist, Nick Cave Studio
  • Robert Gomez, Owner, Subterranean/Beat Kitchen/Underbar
  • Esther Grisham Grimm, Executive Director, 3Arts
  • Tracie D. Hall, Program Director, Joyce Foundation
  • Akilah S. Halley, Executive Director, Marwen
  • Tempestt Hazel, Arts Program Officer, Field Foundation of Illinois
  • Kevin Iega Jeff, Dancer, Choreographer, Founder, Deeply Rooted Theatre
  • Tonika Lewis Johnson, Artist, Folder Map Project
  • Ginger Lane, Coordinator – Arts & Culture Project, Access Living
  • Josephine Lee, President & Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Choir
  • Bill Michel, Executive Director, Reva and Davids Logan Center for the Arts
  • Heather A. Miller, Executive Director, American Indian Center of Chicago
  • Cesáreo J. Moreno, Chief Curator/Visual Arts Director, National Museum of Mexican Arts
  • Margaret C. Murphy-Webb, Executive Director & Co-Founder, South Side Jazz Coalition
  • Coya Paz, Artistic Director, Free Street Theater
  • Claire C. Rice, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois
  • Silvia Rivera, Managing Director, Vocalo
  • Myrna Salazar, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Chicago Latino Theater Alliance
  • David Schmitz, Executive Director, Steppenwolf Theater Company
  • Jennifer Scott, Museum Director & Chief Curator, Jane Addams Hull House Museum
  • Paul J. Sznewajs, Founding Executive Director, Ingenuity
  • Vivian Teng, Managing Director, Cinema/Chicago
  • Omar Torres-Kortright, Executive Director, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
  • Tanner Woodford, Founder & Executive Director, Chicago Design Museum

The Mayor recommended the following appointments to the City Council:

Appointed to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Councils Advisory Council on Equity

  • Esther Nieves, Independent Consultant (Co-Chair)
  • Victor Dickson, President & CEO, Safer Foundation (Co-Chair)

Advisory Council on LGBTQ+

  • Butch Trusty, Principal, The Bridgespan Group (Chair)

Advisory Council on New Americans

  • Karina Ayala-Bermejo, CEO and President, Instituto del Progreso Latino (Chair)

Advisory Council on Veterans

  • Emanuel Johnson II, Program Officer, Robert R. McCormick Foundation (Chair, reappointment)

Advisory Council on Women

  • Jackie Kaplan-Perkins, Donor Advisor, Movement Voter Project (Chair)

Appointed to the Chicago Community Catalyst Fund Board of Directors

  • Juan Carlos Avila, President & Founder, FARO Associates LLC (reappointed)
  • Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO, The Chicago Community Trust
  • Jessica Droste Yagan, CEO, The Impact Engine
  • Gloria Costilla, President and CEO, Chicago United

New appointments to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ Advisory Councils will serve as liaisons between the City and key constituencies, and will be charged with elevating the needs of specific communities and solutions to address them and better support key vulnerable populations in our city. The Lightfoot administration has also amended the code to expand Council leadership—separating LGBTQ+ from the Council of Women – to ensure better representation of all communities. Each Advisory Council is led by a Chairperson responsible for setting the agenda and moving the group’s work forward by collaborating closely with a designated liaison in the Mayor’s Office.

With the appointment of three new members to the Chicago Catalyst Fund Board, and the reappointment of Juan Carlos Avila as a member, the Mayor’s Office is taking steps to reconstitute this board. Pending Council approval, in the coming months the administration will work with the Treasurer’s Office and the new board members to define the priorities of the new board and to ensure investments create new opportunities for areas of the city where the need is greatest.


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