Speakers

October 5th-7th, 2012

Gordon Quinn Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Kartemquin Films

Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for over 45 years. Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun Times, called his first film Home for Life (1966) "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home for Life Gordon established the direction he would take for the next four decades, making cinéma vérité films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. At Kartemquin, Gordon created a legacy that is an inspiration for young filmmakers and a home where they can make high-quality, social-issue documentaries. Kartemquin’s best known film, Hoop Dreams (1994), executive produced by Gordon, was released theatrically to unprecedented critical acclaim. The film follows two inner-city high school basketball players for five years as they pursue their NBA dreams. Its many honors include: the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, Chicago Film Critics Award – Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association – Best Documentary and an Academy Award Nomination. Other films Gordon has made include Vietnam, Long Time Coming, Golub, 5 Girls, Refrigerator Mothers and Stevie. Gordon executive produced Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita and The New Americans (he also directed the Palestinian segment of this award winning, intimate, seven-hour series). Recently he produced a film that deals with the human consequences genetic medicine, In The Family, and executive produced two films, one about community based conservation in Africa, Milking the Rhino, and At The Death House Door on a wrongful execution in Texas. In the role of director, he recently completed Prisoner of Her Past, about a Holocaust survivor suffering from late-onset post-traumatic stress disorder, and co-directed the 2011 release A Good Man, about the dancer Bill T. Jones.


David E. Tolchinsky, Chairman of Northwestern University's Department of Radio-TV-Film

Dave Tolchinsky is a screenwriter, sound designer, producer, curator and academic. He wrote and associate produced the feature film Girl which is distributed by Sony and has been seen internationally. As a screenwriter, he has been commissioned by various Hollywood studios to write feature screenplays. As a sound designer, he has designed the sound for interactive computer environments and video installations that have been exhibited internationally. He was nominated for two Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild Golden Reel Awards for his sound work on the short films Dolly and Lucky. In 2009, he co-curated The Horror Show at Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs in New York City which was featured as The Village Voice “Voice Choice for Art” and on The Village Voice’s blog, Runnin’ Scared. Most recently he was one of the producers of the feature documentary, Fast Talk (fasttalkthemovie.com), winner of Best Documentary at La Femme Film Festival and Iowa Film Festival. He is Chairman of Northwestern University's Department of Radio-TV-Film and Founder/Director of Northwestern University's MFA in Writing for the Screen+Stage, a graduate of Yale (BA) and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (MFA).

Ivan Juzang, Founder of MEE

In 1990, Ivan Juzang, founded MEE (Motivational Educational Entertainment) Productions Inc., a unique and groundbreaking communications, research and marketing firm with offices in Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. MEE specializes in developing cost-effective and culturally relevant messages for hard-to-reach urban and ethnic audiences. Over the past 15 years, Mr. Juzang has become a leading expert in the communications industry, and has an exceptional knowledge of the public health, social and educational issues impacting underserved communities. He has also been the primary researcher on the company’s national research projects, including The MEE Report: Reaching the Hip-Hop Generation (published in 1992), This Is My Reality - The Price of Sex: An Inside Look at Black Urban Youth Sexuality and the Role of Media (published in 2004), and its most recent, Moving Beyond Survival Mode: Promoting Mental Wellness and Resiliency as a Way to Cope with Urban Trauma (published in 2009). Mr. Juzang has been involved in pre-production and marketing of more than 70 films and TV shows targeting urban audiences, including script development, market research and promotions. He has also worked with film executives to attract urban youth to their upcoming releases, generate positive word-of-mouth and ensure a sizable turnout for the all-important first weekend at the box office. His direct experience and proficiency as a media producer is exemplified in MEE’s award-winning documentaries and TV specials.
Mr. Juzang received his BS degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, and his MBA from The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.

Beth Cunningham, Youth Futures Staff Attorney, Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Youth attorney Elizabeth (Beth) Cunningham joined the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless staff in October 2007. A 2005 graduate of University of Denver Law School, she worked 18 months as a Guardian ad litem for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, where she represented abused and neglected children involved in the juvenile court. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2010, after three years with the Law Project, Ms. Cunningham was honored with the Kimball R. Anderson and Karen Gatsis Anderson Public Interest Law Fellowship, awarded by the Chicago Bar Foundation. Ms. Cunningham’s legal work focuses on providing civil legal services to unaccompanied homeless youth and the educational rights of homeless students.


Jay S. Readey, Executive Director of Chicago Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights under Law

Jay S. Readey is the Executive Director of CLC. Jay champions civil rights through his leadership, activism and coalition-building in broad community networks. Prior to CLC, Jay was the founder and President of the MetroAlliance, a consortium of entrepreneurial community change organizations including NeighborScapes and MetroAlliance Consulting, Inc., and had a private legal practice in community development and federal tax credit investments in low income communities. Jay also served as a technical assistance provider to Illinois ResourceNet, helping nonprofit organizations and municipalities access federal funding. Prior to his time with MetroAlliance and Illinois ResourceNet, Jay was a lawyer in private practice in the corporate group at Jenner & Block LLP, and then in the tax-advantaged investing group of the real estate department at SNR Denton (formerly known as Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal), where he was a frequent speaker at national conferences on New Markets Tax Credits. During his time as a lawyer in private practice, Jay maintained an active pro bono practice working with TLP. Jay graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1994 with distinction in both African-American Studies and American Studies, and from Yale Law School and School of Management with a JD and MBA in 2004. Jay teaches as an adjunct professor of community economic development law at DePaul Law School, and was a member of the founding young lawyers' leadership team of the Housing and Community Development Forum of the American Bar Association. Jay is a founding board member for DreamPioneers, Inc. and MoveSmart.org, both of which pursue civil rights by promoting integrated communities.


Howard Saffold, CEO of the Positive Anti-Crime Thrust

Reformer Howard Saffold, a former police officer who has dedicated his life to correcting wrongs in the criminal justice system, was born on January 26, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois to Eva and DeWitt Saffold. Saffold held odd jobs while attending Farragut High School. Upon graduation in 1959, he joined the U.S. Army. He married Carol Randall Saffold in 1960 and completed his military service in 1962. Saffold worked as an expediter for the regional office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs before the Chicago Police Department hired him as a beat officer in 1965. As a police officer, Saffold faced discrimination and witnessed police brutality, causing him to contemplate resigning. When the Afro-American Police League was founded in 1968 by Renault Robinson, he immediately joined, recruited others and eventually served as the League's president. When a 1976 court decision forced the Chicago Police Department to change its discriminatory hiring and promotional practices, membership soared. In 1978, Saffold co-founded the National Black Police Association, serving as its president as well. In 1979, he co-founded Positive Anti-Crime Thrust with fellow Afro-American Police League leader Renault Robinson; promoting cooperation between police and the communities they serve. When Harold Washington unsuccessfully ran for mayor of the City of Chicago in 1977, Saffold provided security on a volunteer basis. When Washington ran again and won in 1983, one of Mayor Washington's first official acts was to name Saffold as chief of executive security, making Saffold responsible for selecting, training and assigning personnel. Saffold served in the same capacity for Mayor Eugene Sawyer after Mayor Washington's untimely death. In 1991, Saffold retired from the Chicago Police Department and resurrected the Positive Anti-Crime Thrust. As CEO, he attempts to stem the flow of young black men into the prison system. Saffold holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Chicago State University and an M.A. in urban studies from Northeastern Illinois University. He was honored by the Midwest Community Council in 1988, the Peoria Afro-American Police League in 1993 and the South Austin Coalition in 1994. He consults community organizing initiatives and community-based organizations, including prison ministries and public schools.


Randolph Stone, Clinical Professor at the University of Chicago School of Law

Randolph Stone directs the Criminal & Juvenile Justice Project of the Clinic offering law and social work students the supervised opportunity to provide quality representation to children and adults. He was the Director of the Mandel Clinic from 1991 to 2001 and previously served as the Public Defender of Cook County where he was responsible for management of a $32M budget and leadership for a 750 person law office. He has also served as deputy director for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, partner in the Chicago firm of Stone & Clark, attorney with the Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County, and as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow for the Neighborhood Legal Service Program in Washington, D.C. Mr. Stone is a past chair of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section, and serves on several boards and committees including the Sentencing Project, Inc., the Federal Defender Program, and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. In addition to clinical legal education, his teaching and writing interests have included criminal law, juvenile justice, the legal profession, indigent defense, race and criminal justice, evidence, and trial advocacy. Mr. Stone attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his JD from the University of Wisconsin.


Patty Morrissey, Director of Groupon Grassroots

Patty Morrissey, Manager of Groupon Grassroots, leads the philanthropic arm at Groupon. Harnessing the collective action platform, Patty developed the Groupon Grassroots initiative to turn deal seekers into do-gooders by tapping into the collective power of the group to respond to local community need. Passionate about volunteer involvement and crafty with online engagement, she has led Grassroots in raising funds and awareness for local charities across the nation. Patty discovered her passion for community development and civic engagement through her experience developing service-learning and experiential education programs for high school and college students. She went on to produce corporate volunteer programs while pursing work in mental health and social service agencies. Patty approaches corporate citizenship and civic engagement from a social work perspective and seeks to create innovative ways to solve social problems through sustainable for-profit models. Patty has a Bachelor’s degree on Psychology from James Madison University, as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago.


Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly, Spargel Productions

Spargel Productions is a film and documentary production company based in New York City. Filmmakers and theater artists
Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly founded Spargel in 2002 to produce their award-winning documentary Asparagus! Stalking the American Life. This feature film premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2006 and went on to win Best Documentary and Audience Choice Awards in festivals across the country, as well as the W.K. Kellogg Good Food Film Award.  Asparagus! was released on DVD in 2008 and broadcast on PBS in 2009. Current projects include The Homestretch, a surprising new documentary feature about homeless youth in inner-city Chicago, which was recently awarded the MacArthur Documentary Film Grant and a Sundance Institute Development Grant. The film is Co-Production with Kartemquin Films and is scheduled for release in 2014.  Spargel is also in development (with writer/producer Elizabeth Hemmerdinger) for The Girl With The Rivet Gun an animated documentary based on the experiences of real-life Rosie the Riveters. This film is inspired by Spargel’s work creating an oral history archive for NYU's Tamiment Labor Archives called The Real Rosie the Riveter Project. Anne and Kirsten share a deep commitment to film and documentary projects that celebrate the transformative power of the human spirit. They have a strong interest in the curious, quirky and wondrous stories of life in the United States and the shifting definition of what it means to be an American. With backgrounds in theatre, including character and story development, they share a dedication to projects in which the individual human experience illuminates the face of society as a whole. 

Anne de Mare
 Before dedicating herself to documentary film, Anne was an award-winning playwright, producer and director. Her original plays have been presented in Chicago, London and New York, where she was a five-year resident artist with Richard Foreman’s legendary Ontological-Hysteric Theater. She is a founding member of The Independent Theater Company, The Nevermore Theater Project and Theaters Against War, and was a resident playwright with The Ground Floor Theater Lab. Her video work has been seen on stage at Lincoln Center and at The Park Avenue Armory.

Kirsten Kelly 
Alongside of her film work, Kirsten is an award- winning theatre director and educator. She is the Associate Artistic
Director of Roots&Branches Theatre, a company that works with senior citizens and builds bridges between generations, and she
is co-creator of “CPS Shakespeare!” with Chicago Shakespeare Theater (see the feature story from NBC Nightly News). Kirsten’s recent theatre directing credits include work with Lincoln Center/Juilliard, Chicago Shakespeare, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre,
Rising Phoenix Repertory, the Public Theater and The Hub in Washington DC. She is currently adapting the young adult Newbery
Honor novel “The Wednesday Wars” for the stage. Kirsten is a graduate of Juilliard’s Master Directing program and is a member
of the Actor’s Studio Playwright Director’s Unit and Rising Phoenix Repertory in New York. Her video and film work has been featured at The Juilliard School and with Beyond the Machine at Lincoln Center where she is a member of the Music Technologies collective.


Jonny Imerman, Chief Mission Officer of Imerman's Angels

Jonny Imerman is a young adult cancer survivor who strives to make sure no one fights cancer without the support of someone who has already triumphed over the disease. After being diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 26, Jonny decided to found Imerman Angels, a non-profit organization, which carefully matches a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Imerman Angels now has more than 4,000 cancer survivors and more than 1,500 caregivers in its network, and has been featured by dozens of news organizations including The Wall Street Journal, Harpo Radio’s “Oprah and Friends” with Dr. Oz, Men’s Health, NBC5 Chicago, CBS2 Chicago, ABC7 Chicago, ESPN Radio Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, LIVESTRONG Quarterly, and Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Jonny received the 2012 Lincoln Park Young Professionals ‘Chicago Best of The Best’ Award; 2011 Twilight Foundation Detroit’s Civic Leadership Award; 2011 Chicago Social Magazine’s ‘Who is Chicago’ Award; the 2010 Jefferson Award for Public Service; 2010 University of Michigan Humanitarian Service Award; 2009 Ulman Cancer Fund For Young Adults ‘Hope Award’; and 2007 Daily Candy ‘Sweetest Thing’ Award. Jonny has been invited to speak at cancer centers such as MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Mayo Clinic, Dana-Farber, City of Hope, Northwestern, Rush, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Jonny grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI and lives in Chicago.

Dr. Ozella R. Barnes

Dr. Ozella R. Barnes was Clinical Director at Teen Living Programs and developed, implemented and managed their direct service programs for 8.5 year. Teen Living Programs is the ONLY agency in Chicago that exclusively specializes in working with young people who are homeless between the ages of 14-21 yrs. old. The core belief of Teen Living Programs is that ALL youth are entitled to a safe and loving home, where they gain an assurance of belonging, a desire for independence, a commitment to competence, and a heart of compassion. Prior to Teen Living Programs, Dr. Barnes had 15 years leadership experience in various residential and child welfare organizations in IL and MO. She frequently presents, consults and trains on integrated milieu-based, trauma informed programming and is a leading voice on issues related to trauma, adolescence and youth homelessness. Dr. Barnes holds both a Masters and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College and a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology from Central MO State University. Her sincere passion continues to be helping young people reach their destinies, as defined in their own words, by any means necessary…and she is honored every time a young person allows her to be a trusted ally on their journey toward independence.


Anthony Lowery -Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Safer Foundation

In 2005, Tony came to Safer Foundation in Chicago, Illinois to direct the organization’s first reentry housing initiative. He is currently the Director of Policy & Advocacy for Safer Foundation, directing the organization’s legislative and administrative efforts to eliminate the systemic barriers to employment for people with criminal records in the state of Illinois and beyond. Tony has consulted, developed and directed programs for people who were chemically dependent with criminal records for the past 20 years. Tony’s previous experience includes directing pre-release reentry programming for the Illinois Department of Human Services and developing Drug Prevention and Economic Development programs in Chicago Public Housing communities were he was the recipient of two National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Official Awards (NAHRO) for his work. Tony holds a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University and certification as an Alcohol and Drug Prevention Specialist in the state of Illinois.


James V. LoBianco, Executive Director of Streetwise

On January 1, 2011, Jim LoBianco became the Executive Director of StreetWise, Inc., which serves the greater Chicago area as a social enterprise designed to help the homeless and those at risk of homelessness out of poverty. Jim was born and raised in Chicago’s Rogers Park community. While attending high school at Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, he began volunteering at a soup kitchen in Uptown. Since then Jim has spent the majority of his professional career working in the areas of homelessness and
poverty. Jim attended graduate school for Human Services and Counseling at DePaul University, and also Northwestern University for Public Policy Administration. His working history has included positions at: Association House of Chicago; Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois, Chicago; and the Chicago Police Department. Just prior to arriving at StreetWise Jim worked for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, first as Deputy Chief of Staff for Human Services and then as Deputy Commissioner in charge of the Office of Homeless Services. During his time with the City, Jim was instrumental in the Mayor’s Plan to End Homelessness. Jim has been actively involved in civic and charitable volunteerism throughout his career. He currently holds board positions with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Franciscan Outreach Association, as well as being a member of the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness. In March 2011, Jim was appointed by Rahm Emmanuel to serve on the Social Services and Healthcare Committee of the Mayor-Elect’s transition team. Jim continues to advise Mayor Emanuel’s administration on issues of poverty and homelessness.


Rachel Cook, Director of The Microlending Film Project film

Rachel Cook is a 2006 graduate of Duke University and the director and producer of The Micolending Film Project a feature documentary chronicling the impact of microloans on the lives of real women around the world. Research done during filming has led her to launch a high-tech startup, Seeds, a social game for mobile that facilitates direct mobile-to-mobile microlending. Rachel left the world of Equities and Futures trading in Chicago and Manhattan to complete The Microlending Film Project, financing a third of production costs herself. She grew up on a farm outside of East Sparta, Ohio and now resides in Manhattan.


Ethan Austin, Co-Founder of GiveForward.com

GiveForward pages empower friends and family to send love and financial support to patients as they navigate a medical crisis. Since of August of 2008, GiveForward has helped thousands of people raise millions of dollars online for things like chemotherapy, organ transplants, mission trips, funeral expenses, and recovery from a natural disaster. Originally from Southern California Ethan graduated from Emory University in 2004 with a B.A. in political science and holds a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law where he was member of the Law Review. He is passionate about helping people battling cancer and volunteers for Imerman Angels, a one-on-one cancer-support organization.


Professor Patrick Murphy, Associate Professor of Management, DePaul University

Dr. Murphy is Associate Professor of Management in the Richard H. Driehaus College of Business and a tenured member of DePaul University's entrepreneurship faculty. He has lectured extensively in the United States, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand. His work has been covered by a range of media outlets such as USA Today, US News and World Report, and Financial Times. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and was previously Organizational Development Specialist at the North American headquarters of French multinational Schneider Electric. He has published over 20 articles in leading scholarly journals and is Chair-elect of the Management History Division of the Academy of Management (2012-2013). He is a member of the editorial boards of Academy of Management Perspectives and Journal of Management History. He has received multiple awards for research and teaching excellence and consulted to entrepreneurs, managers, and companies. Currently he is revising the manuscript of The inversion point, his forthcoming book to be published by Yale University Press. It examines historic cases of mutiny in the Age of Discovery to delineate deep insights into similar phenomena in modern organizations.


Anthony W. Hill, Executive Director of First Defense Legal Aid

Anthony W. Hill's entire career has been devoted, both in the public and private sectors, to representing individuals facing criminal charges. A graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, Anthony began his career at the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office, one of the nation’s leaders in indigent criminal defense. From 2005-2006, Anthony served as a staff attorney at First Defense Legal Aid. In 2007, Anthony founded the Law Offices of Anthony W. Hill, where he continues his work in private practice, representing criminal defendants in trials and appeals in both state and federal cases.


Brittany Martin Graunke, Founder & CEO, Zealousgood.com

Zealous Good helps charities by providing an online platform to solicit specific and general in-kind donation needs, access to vast network of new donors, and a low cost, time efficient way to connect with in-kind donors. Zealous Good harnesses the power of the Internet to help charities and donors maximize their social impact. We connect people with excess goods to local charities in need. By matching specific donations to specific needs, we help reduce the cost and effort of getting goods to charities. We make the donation process easy and meaningful. While she was born in Chicago, Brittany moved nine times across five countries before her family settled in Dallas. Brittany returned to the Midwest to study industrial engineering at Northwestern University. Before starting Zealous Good, she worked at Bain & Company as a management consultant and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago as the strategic engagement manager.


Lynn Toddman, Ph.D, Executive Director, Institute on Social Exclusion

Lynn C. Todman, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Institute on Social Exclusion (ISE) at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. Dr. Todman earned a B.A. from Wellesley College, and a Master's in City Planning (MCP) and Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Todman's work focuses on the ways in which social, political, and economic structures systematically marginalize urban populations and is multidisciplinary, drawing on the fields of economics, political science, sociology, public health, psychology, and system dynamics. She has lived and worked in Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and most recently in Italy, where she worked with urban sociologists and planners investigating the relationship between urban transport policy and social exclusion, the resulting implications for social welfare, and the role of community participation in urban development processes. Outside of work, Dr. Todman is on the boards of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights; the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law Center; the Corporation Visiting Committee for the Department of Social Sciences at MIT; the Advisory Board of MIT's Center for International Studies; and the Board of Regents of Loyola University of Chicago. Dr. Todman was recently appointed by the Michigan Senate Majority Leader to co-chair the Benton Harbor School District Promise Zone. She was also recently appointed to the City of Chicago Community Development Commission.


Margaret Stapleton, Director of Community Justice, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Margaret Stapleton is a staff attorney with 35 years of experience practicing welfare and civil rights law. At the Shriver Center she focuses on public benefits, health care, child support, and former offender issues, always searching for ways to make government and non-government services, programs, and opportunities effective and open to all low-income people, even less popular low-income groups such as noncustodial parents and people with criminal convictions. She serves on the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services' Social Service Advisory Committee and Food Stamp Participation Advisory Committee and the Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services' Child Support Advisory Committee. Before joining the Shriver Center in 1996, Margie worked as a staff attorney in the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago's welfare team for 10 years and with legal services and civil rights organizations in Cairo and East St. Louis, Illinois, for 15 years. She is a member of the Chicago Council of Lawyers and a board member of the Center on Family Policy and Practice.


Ted Gonder, Executive Director of Moneythink

Ted is co-founding Executive Director of Moneythink, a White-House-recognized social venture delivering financial life-skills and entrepreneurship education to urban teens through peer-mentoring and pop-culture curricula. Ted is also an Entrepreneur-in Residence at the Department of Homeland Security, advising the Obama administration on immigration policy for foreign entrepreneurs. He studied Geography as a College Honors Scholar at the University of Chicago, graduating in June 2012. Ted founded the UChicago Entrepreneurship Society and was appointed the Director of Strategy for the Kairos Society, a global student entrepreneurship network. He has also worked with the Kauffman Foundation and the Chilean government on transnational entrepreneurship initiatives. In 2006, he founded a student movement for climate change awareness, launching advocacy groups at 30+ schools in California. In 2007, Ted was appointed Student Advisor to The Climate Project, an organization founded by Al Gore.
Ted has spoken at the White House, UN, US Senate, NYSE, US Chamber of Commerce, the World Foresight Forum, and TEDxAllstate. His work has been featured on MTV, CNN, NPR, the White House blog, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington Post, and GOOD Magazine.


Allison Tibbs, Author and Enterpeneur

Allison Tibbs is an entrepreneur, international author, and speaker who has worked with Fortune 500 companies, professional athletes, celebrities, and entrepreneurs and trained over 1500 small business owners on marketing and social media. She is the owner of 4 companies and founder of The Empower A Girl Foundation, a non-profit organization. She has shared the stage and co-authored over 8 books with world-renowned speakers and authors like Les Brown, Jack Canfield, and Mark Victor Hansen, focusing on marketing, branding, social media and personal development.


Sandee Kastrul, President of i.c. stars

Founded in 1999 i.c.stars provides opportunities to break the cycle of poverty that limits inner-city youth. Through training in technology, in leadership and in business skills i.c.stars prepares change-driven, inner city future leaders to develop skills in business and technology for high-level careers in information technology (IT) and community leadership. As a speaker, Sandee is an engaging and inspiring storyteller drawing the connections between creativity, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. As the founder of a non-profit and social enterprise Sandee discusses the powerful result of optimism and raising the standards for our
communities with a unique perspective on Capitalism and Civil Rights. Sandee has been working in education and transformation for over 2 decades. Her career in education has included focused work on cross-curricular integration strategies, diversity training and curriculum development. She worked as a teacher and consultant from early childhood classrooms through adult education affording
her a wide perspective in effective project based learning techniques, leadership development, reverse mentoring and asset based pedagogy. Some career highlights include implementing a professional development program with Harold Washington College Career Center, designing a comprehensive science and civics interactive program for Jobs for Youth, developing and facilitating diversity trainings and cross cultural curriculum strategies for the Illinois Resource Center, the Merrillville School Corporation and creating artist in residency programs and training artists to work in classrooms for several performing arts organizations in Chicago.
Ms. Kastrul proudly serves on the board of Directors for PAVE, (Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment) and the LEED Council, (Local Economic and Employment Development), and Las Caras Lindas. Sandee received the NFBDPA(National Forum
Black Public Administrators) Community Service Award in 2012 BDPA (Black Data Processors Association) leadership award in 2009, and the BDPA Spirit award in 2004.


Raymond Lambert, President of RCL&Co

Raymond has a broad based business background working with both publicly traded and privately held companies in entertainment, investment banking, and consumer products. The creator of All Jokes Aside comedy clubs, he has served as a consultant on comedy and talent to producers at NBC, HBO, Comedy Central, and BET. He earned an Associate Producer credit for the feature film Slow Burn and served as a writer and producer of the documentary film PHUNNY BUSINESS: A BLACK COMEDY; which chronicles the rise and fall of All Jokes Aside. He currently serves as President of RCL&Co., a diversified holding company, with interest in entertainment, education, and consumer products. In addition to his business and creative accomplishments, Raymond devotes his charitable energies to the Chicago Public Schools iMENtor Program, The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and was recently selected to serve on the Gene Siskel Film Center Advisory Board. An avid runner, Raymond has completed the New York City, Chicago, and Boston Marathons. Raymond earned his undergraduate degree in Marketing from Morehouse College, with honors, and his MBA in General Management from The Darden School at the University of Virginia.


Kevin Short, Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University

Kevin Short is a junior at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, studying broadcast journalism, international studies, and environmental policy. Hailing from sunny Southern California, Short has spent time working with the World Resources Institute, City of Chicago Department of Environment, and OC Weekly newspaper. Short has also reported overseas twice in Amman, Jordan with Refugee Lives, depicting the experiences of Iraqi and Palestinian refugees in an urban context. This December, Kevin co-directed and produced a 12-miunute documentary about the rise of street art in Jordan. At Northwestern, Kevin co-founded and led NU Gives Back, a university-wide day of service and civic engagement. This spring, Kevin will complete his journalism residency at Business Day in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kevin was also the first student in Medill's history to receive the Circumnavigators Travel-Study Grant, enabling him to conduct an independent, international research project in Tanzania, Ukraine, Jordan, India, New Zealand, and Brazil over the summer of 2012. His research is titled "Digital Citizen: How information and communications technologies foster civic engagement and government accountability in developing countries."