The Corporate Coalition team is comprised of leaders with deep business and civic experience in the region:

Jack Crowe, Senior Advisor: Jack is the former Executive Director of Year-Up Chicago, a one-year intensive training program connecting Opportunity Youth to professional careers.  Prior to that, he was the COO of Cristo Rey Network, the largest network of high schools in the U.S., which includes a corporate work study internship.  Before that, he was a longtime partner at the law firm Winston & Strawn. 

Brian Fabes, Managing Director: Brian has led the team since the inception of the Coalition, prior to which he spent fifteen years as CEO of the Civic Consulting Alliance.

Erika Hernandez, Assistant Project Manager: Erika supports our day-to-day operations and the Chicago Resiliency Network. She is a Year Up graduate and previously worked at United Airlines.

Stefanie Hest, Senior Advisor: Stefanie brings her extensive experience in financial services to the Coalition.  Prior to joining the Coalition, Stefanie was a Senior Vice President at Northern Trust with roles focused on investment solutions for institutional clients in addition to leading the Women’s Leadership Development initiatives.  She currently serves as the Board Chair for Chicago based non-profit, Share Our Spare and is a board director at Family Service of Glencoe.

Anne Ladky, Senior Advisor: Anne focuses on the Coalition’s workforce initiatives.  She is an experienced strategist and policy expert on workforce development, job quality, and equity issues.  She served as Executive Director of Women Employed for over three decades.

Eric Patton, Senior Advisor: Eric brings his extensive experience in the private, nonprofit and public sectors to the Coalition. Prior to joining the Coalition, Eric was a Principal at Civic Consulting Alliance, the Executive Director of Genesys Works Chicago, and a Partner in Accenture’s Financial Services practice.

Denean Pillar-Jackson, Founding Executive Director of the Chicago Resiliency Network: Denean leads the Chicago Resiliency Network initiative. Prior to this Denean was a founding staff member of Year Up Chicago, where she spent ten years as a member of their Corporate Engagement team.

Holli Wertheimer, Chief Operating Officer: Holli coordinates the Coalition’s day-to-day operations, leads our Corporate Connector initiative and supports our discovery phase efforts such as our Foodservice Working Group. She previously worked for PwC and UChicago Medicine as a supply chain operations consultant.


Debra Schwartz, Debra is a global impact investing leader and expert in the use of catalytic capital and blended finance, particularly for community development, affordable housing, small business and sustainable development.

Robert Tucker, Robert is the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Programs at Chicago Community Loan Fund. He provides support to the Coalition on the EPIC Fund.

Mark Van Grinsven, Mark acted as project manager for the Diversity in Professional Services Initiative in his role as Senior Consultant at Civic Consulting Alliance.  Previously, he held a variety of senior roles with Northern Trust Corporation.

Debra Wesley, Debra serves as the founding President of Sinai Community Institute, established in 1993 and also serves as Executive Vice President for Community Outreach on behalf of Sinai Health System.  She has developed innovative, community-based programs that have received national recognition.

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