Building Partnerships. Creating Futures.

Edward Hamburg


Edward Hamburg serves on the board of directors of high technology companies and as a venture partner with the private equity group of Morgan Stanley. His directorships include Interactive Intelligence Incorporated (contact center software), Interlink Electronics (components for medical and hand-held devices), Perceptive Software (document management), ThruPoint (information technology services), Core Security Technologies (software for computer perimeter testing), HyPerformix (capacity planning software), and Sendmail (software for managing complex e-mail systems). He is also a director of Leaning Point Associates, non-profit specialists in education policy, teacher training, and performance evaluation. Hamburg was Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations, Chief Financial Officer, and Corporate Secretary of SPSS Inc. from 1992 to 2004. He headed SPSS business and corporate development efforts from 1986 to 1992 after senior roles in sales, marketing, and professional services. Hamburg received a Ph.D. from the department of political science at The University of Chicago and was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his M.A. and B.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Teresa Cordova

Great Cities Institute UIC

Ms. Córdova is Executive Director of Great Cities Institute at UIC, where she is also professor of Urban Planning and Policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. As an applied theorist, political economist and community-based planner, Professor Córdova approaches her work as a scholarship of engagement in which research, pedagogy and service are integrated. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in affecting economic development policy and projects, the provision of infrastructure, local governance and neighborhood change. Teresa received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and her undergraduate degree from the University of Denver.

Peter Cunningham

Education Post

Peter Cunningham is the Executive Director of Education Post, a Chicago-based non-profit communications organization promoting efforts to improve public education. Previously, Peter was President of Cunningham Communications, a Chicago-based communications company serving public, private and non-profit sector clients. He is also affiliated with Whiteboard Advisors, a DC-based education policy and research firm. He recently served as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach in the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama Administration’s first term. Prior to that he worked with Arne Duncan when he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. Peter serves on the board of different organizations involved with education. He earned an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia and a B.A. in Philosophy from Duke.

Garrick Davis

U.S Securities and Exchange Commission

Garrick Davis is the Program Manager at the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. He directs program management efforts for the processing and verification review of more than 97,000 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Prior, he was the Legislative Director for Economic and Financial Policy at the National Urban League Policy Institute in Washington, DC. Garrick, under the Obama administration, was a Policy Analyst in the Office of the Vice President as part of a team assigned with the tactical implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and received his undergraduate degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Victor Dickson

Safer Foundation

Victor Dickson is the President/CEO of Safer Foundation in Chicago IL, a leader in community corrections, prisoner reentry and workforce development. Safer Foundation assists individuals with a full spectrum of services designed to overcome the barriers to reentry. The core of Safer’s mission is job preparation and placement which substantially lowers the rate of recidivism. Safer Foundation helps individuals reenter as productive, contributing members to society. Victor offers not-for-profit and corporate senior level management experience in strategic planning, organizational development, financial management and process improvement. Victor is a member of the State of Illinois Human Services Commission, the State Workforce Investment Opportunity Board and State Commission to Eliminate Poverty. He served on the City of Chicago Police Accountability Task Force and was recently appointed to the Cook County Commission for Social Innovation. Mr. Dickson received his undergraduate degree from Roosevelt University Chicago IL.

Cecilia Estolano (Vice Chair)

Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors

Ms. Estolano served as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). Overseeing an annual budget of over $726 million and a work program covering 32 project areas, Ms. Estolano redefined the role of the largest redevelopment agency in the State of California. Under her leadership, CRA/LA rebuilt its housing department, adopted a landmark policy on local hiring in construction jobs, adopted a Healthy Neighborhoods policy, and created a $42 million Land Acquisition Fund to jump-start development in underserved markets like South Los Angeles. Ms. Estolano was the Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Review Team, Energy and Environment Group for the Obama Presidential Transition Team. She is currently a member of Senator Barbara Boxer’s Judicial Advisory Committee. Ms. Estolano is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law and holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Studies with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges. Ms. Estolano is a Regents Lecturer at UCLA where she teaches courses in Urban Planning.

Doug Gamble (Secretary)


Mr. Gamble was an International Representative of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE) 1995-2002 and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU), 1985-1995. He was associated with the union’s Industrial Development Department, which worked with staff and local unions on developing union-centered “high road” manufacturing and labor-management partnerships. He recently served on the boards of directors of the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee, and the Socio-Technical Systems Roundtable, of which he was President. He was a founder of the Tennessee Industrial Renewal Network and worked as a university professor. He received his undergraduate degree from Maryville College (TN) and an M.A and PhD from Ohio State University.

Susan Helper

Case Western Reserve University

Chief Economist Susan Helper is on leave from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, where she is the Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics. She was formerly the chair of the Economics Department, and has been a visiting scholar at University of Oxford, the University of California (Berkeley), Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research focuses on the globalization of supply chains, and on how U.S. manufacturing might be revitalized. Dr. Helper received her PhD in Economics from Harvard and her BA from Oberlin College in Economics, Government and Spanish. Dr. Helper lives with her husband and three bicycles in Washington, DC.

Rick Mattoon (Treasurer)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Rick Mattoon is a senior economist and economic advisor in the economic research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Mattoon’s primary research focuses on issues that face the Midwest regional economy. His analysis of electricity restructuring and energy issues, higher education policy, regional economic development and state and local government finance has appeared in numerous publications. Mattoon also serves as a lecturer at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Mattoon began his career at the Chicago Fed in 1990. In 1997, he left the bank to serve as a policy advisor for economic development, energy and telecommunications to the Governor of Washington. He later served as director of policy and legislation for the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. He returned to the bank in 2001. Mattoon received a B.A. from Kenyon College and an M.A. from the University of Chicago.

Karen Pittenger

Black Olive

Ms. Pittenger is the founder and President of Black Olive, a marketing communications agency that helps companies move from vision to results. With over 35 years of experience and dozens of awards, including the DMA’s award for Innovation in Direct Marketing, Karen focuses on delivering integrated marketing strategies, strong creative & bottom-line results to clients. As President of three ad agencies over the course of her career, two have appeared on the “Top 100 Agencies” list produced by the DMA, and in the mid-1990s, her agency was integrated into a $7 billion healthcare company. She has been on the board of directors, including Chairman, of StreetWise. In 2008, she was part of the Illinois delegation for the Democratic National Convention, serving on the DNC Rules Committee. Her book “Mom, I Want to Buy a Gas Mask” is scheduled to be published in 2018. Karen received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University.