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Board of Directors
Dr. Michael A McAfee
President & CEO, PolicyLink
Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO at PolicyLink, has spent more than 20 years serving as a results-driven leader in the government, philanthropic, and human-service sectors.
He has collaborated with philanthropic, government, civic, business, nonprofit and faith leaders to create more than 3,000 units of affordable housing, 5,000 jobs and systems of cradle-to-career supports that serve more than 300,000 children and their families.
He is on a journey to build a legacy grounded in equity – just and fair inclusion into a society in which all are fully participating, prospering and reaching their full potential.
Sarah M Bernstein
Partner, Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP
Sarah’s practice encompasses the areas of business planning, general corporate and securities matters, mergers and acquisitions and secured lending. She has significant experience counseling both public and private clients in connection with strategic transactions, including asset and stock acquisitions and dispositions, mergers, joint ventures, recapitalizations, reorganizations, tender offers, going private transactions, stock-for-stock acquisitions and acquisitions of minority interests. In addition, Sarah is highly skilled in structuring and documenting complex business arrangements for herclients, such as distribution arrangements, product licenses and agreements relating to the auto manufacturer-dealership relationship. She also representslenders in connection with secured transactions, with a focus on credit facilities secured by partnership and other investment interests.
In addition to working with a broad range of technology, manufacturing, and investment companies, Sarah has specific concentrations in the representation of financial institutions, motor vehicle manufacturers and companies involved inthe renewable energy industry. As a member of the Motor Vehicle Group, Sarah represents motor vehicle manufacturers in a variety of transactions and contractual matters.
Her practice in this area is concentrated in motor vehicle franchise matters, including assisting clients with the appointment of new dealers, drafting and implementing new dealer agreements and operating standards, navigating the sale of a dealership and the manufacturer’s right of first refusal, and terminating adealership and documenting the manufacturer’s repurchase obligations.
Sarah also advises clients in establishing key policies and programs such as brand standards and incentive programs. As a member of the Financial Institutions Group, Sarah handles corporate and securities transactions for financial institutions, specifically in bank branch dispositions and acquisitions, going private transactions for public bank holding companies, and restructuring of bank holding companies for the election of Subchapter S treatment.
Director of Business Development, Trice Construction Company
Gregory previosly served as a Business Development Manager for the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA); a self-supporting public service corporation. He and his team managed an annual Tax Exempt Bond Program of more than $1 Billion in residential mortgage financing. In his capacity he has cultivated and developed new and existing business relationships with Mortgage Bankers, various elected officials, municipalities, Real Estate professionals and other non-profit organizations for the sole purpose of building and crafting community and strategic alliances.
He is also a 16 year real estate veteran with ReMax Premier Properties, in Chicago, with experience extends throughout the commercial and residential sectors and includes development, project management, acquisition and construction. Prior to IHDA, Gregory was a principal consultant at Faulkner Development Corp.; a real-estate brokerage and general contracting firm.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Design from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business degree with a finance concentration from Keller Graduate School of Management. Gregory is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Sweet Beginnings Committee Chair
Founder, Two Bit Ventures
Chris Conley is a co-founder of the innovation consultancy, gravitytank, which integrates research, business strategy and design to help clients create and launch successful new products and services. He is also a former tenured professor of design at the Institute of Design (ID), Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA. At the ID he developed and taught courses in product design, new product definition, economics, research, and design.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a masters degree in design. Conley writes and lectures around the world on the core competencies of design and their relevance to both everyday business problems and efforts aimed at innovation.
He is a sought after speaker in both academic and business organizations for his ability to inspire people on how to bring a creative way of working to their “serious” initiatives. Most recently he spoke at Intuit’s Design for Delight forum sponsored by Intuit’s founder, Scott Cook. There he addressed over 1000 employees on the principles and techniques of Creative Production, Conley’s term for a way of working that shapes an innovation over time through an iterative, collaborative and tangible process.
In 2007 he was invited by Google to give a Tech Lecture on Creative Production. Over the past year he has given lectures to senior leaders responsible for innovative initiatives at Bose Automotive, Samsung, Unilever, Audiovox, and McDonalds. Current presentations at industry conferences include Adaptive Path’s Managing Experience East, IxDA’s Interaction 08, IIR’s Portfolio Management & Youth Marketing Mega Event.Conley was a pioneer in applying design expertise beyond the design department in areas of marketing, strategy, and product & service management.
His early work in activity-based user research, early prototyping, and a transparent and collaborative way of working helped evolve the design industry from a narrow role in product development to areas of product definition, marketing strategy, and business development. Conley was the first design advisor to the president of Samsung Telecommunications where he is helping to broaden the use of design expertise beyond product development. Conley chaired the jury of the 2006 IDSA/BusinessWeek Awards and brought together the most disciplinarily diverse jury the awards had ever assembled.
In 2005 Conley was awarded a planning grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how principles of design could be incorporated across the undergraduate engineering curriculum. In 2008, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded Conley a grant to fund the creation of an alternative path for out-of-school youth to leverage their talents and establish a career path. That has led to workforce.io, an online web platform that connects workforce training organizations with employers and the talent they both serve and seek. Chris has built gravitytank’s services in social innovation which currently serve the Kellogg Foundation, the Center for Care Innovation at the Tides Center, the Gates Foundation, and other non-profit organizations.
Chris lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.
Fundraising Committee Chair
Partner, William Blair & Company
Alaina Anderson is a Partner at William Blair & Company. Alaina joined William Blair in 2006 as a Research Analyst on the International Growth team. As a Research Analyst, Alaina is responsible for providing research and recommendations on stocks within the real estate sector in both developed and emerging markets. In addition to her research responsibilities, Alaina is intimately involved in the client retention, business development and talent recruitment activities of her team and the Firm.
Prior to joining William Blair, Alaina was a Senior Analyst in the Investments Department of the MacArthur Foundation. Her responsibilities included providing research support for internally managed portfolios, as well as investment manager due diligence, selection and monitoring for the Foundation’s U.S., Non-U.S. and hedge fund portfolios. Alaina is the former president of the Chicago Booth School of Business Black Alumni Association, was a 2014 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and now serves on the board of the Leadership Fellows Association of Leadership Greater Chicago. She is also a member of the William Blair Community Impact Steering Committee and a co-chair of the professional development committee of William Blair’s Women’s Initiative Network.
Alaina graduated from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics and earned her M.B.A. from Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in analytic finance and economics. She was awarded the CFA charter in 2006.
David Davenport is a native Chicagoan, growing up in Arlington Heights and living his early adult life in the city, until marriage, work and children pushed him to the suburbs. He loves Chicago and is thrilled to be helping rebuild the strength and industrious heritage of this great city.
Professionally, Dave founded MotherG in 2006 with the belief that no business should accept inferior technology when it is so critical to effective business operations. This is even more true today. Under Dave’s leadership, MotherG has perfected its Light-Switch Technology model which delivers the highest value in managed services in Chicagoland. MotherG has been recognized as an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Business for several consecutive years, and has also been awarded the No. 1 Best Place to Work in Illinois.
Dave has been a passionate technologist for over 30 years. He studied technology at University of South Florida obtaining a degree in Management Information Systems, and received his MBA from University of Chicago. Before MotherG, Dave was COO for TransTech IT Staffing and VP of Marketing for BancTec.
In his free time, Dave loves sailing scows and golfing in the warm months, and skiing in the winter months. You might find him on a bike trail when he’s not sailing or skiing. He is a passionate foodie who enjoys cooking up feasts for his family.
CMO, Chicago Community Trust
Daniel O. Ash is currently chief marketing officer for The Chicago Community Trust. As lead brand manager, he is responsible for developing, overseeing and implementing communications, marketing, public and government relation strategies that advance the Trust's mission to lead and inspire philanthropic efforts that measurably improve the quality of life and the prosperity of our region. Ash is also responsible for the Trust’s newly created civic engagement portfolio.
Prior to joining the Trust, Ash spent nearly 10 years as vice president at Chicago Public Media, production home of WBEZ/91.5FM (Chicago's primary NPR station), This American Life, Sound Opinions, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me and Vocalo.org. In this senior management role, Ash was responsible for the organization's two largest revenue categories—corporate sponsorship and individual giving—and led double-digit growth during his tenure. Additionally, he oversaw marketing and strategic partnership. He was a key voice in shaping Chicago Public Media's overall strategic focus.
Ash's professional career has been focused on developing and using marketing and communication tools to advance social causes. He has worked exclusively in the nonprofit sector on issues including poverty, adolescent health and HIV/AIDS care and prevention. The early stage of Ash's professional career included leadership roles at Sergeant Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Chicago Department of Public Health, Center for Family Policy and Practice and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.
Daniel earned a M.P.P. from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in Economics from Oberlin College. He also completed a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at Princeton University. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Ash resides in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood with his wife Sarah Karp and their three sons DeVonte, Josiah and Zion.
CFO, AvionX The Boeing Company
Mike Kramer is the director for International Business Support for Boeing Shared Services Group (SSG). He reports to the SSG president and is a member of the SSG Leadership Team. He also reports to the president of Boeing International and serves on the Boeing International Leadership Team.
Kramer is responsible for alignment of SSG’s strategies, initiatives and execution with Boeing International and business unit operations. He leads a global organization accountable for SSG service delivery to all non-US locations which includes over 35 international offices, supporting employees in more than 65 countries. His focus includes standardizing and integrating SSG services for these employees and implementing common, lean tools and processes in each international office.
Most recently, he served as director of International Finance and Enterprise Payment Services where he was responsible for non-US accounting, payroll, travel, and business management in addition to all Boeing payments. In this assignment, Kramer also led the establishment of Finance Centers outside the U.S. and the development and deployment of associated finance systems and processes to enable Boeing business and financial compliance.
Throughout his 32-year Boeing career, Kramer has also held a variety of functional and program leadership assignments in Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) and Corporate Finance, including Corporate CFO chief of staff, and director roles over Corporate Treasury Financial Analysis, BDS Business Management, Expendable Launch Systems, Manufacturing, Production Systems, Estimating and Supplier Management.
Kramer received a 2013 Game Changer award for his community impact and Board service at the North Lawndale Employment Network in Chicago, an organization that provides workforce development opportunities and life skills for at-risk members of the local community. Kramer earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California Davis and a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University.
Assistant Vice President, Wintrust Bank - Near West
Senior Vice-President, Allstate Insurance Company