Team of notable Chicagoland leaders to serve on new nonprofit board

(CHICAGO, IL – November 17, 2016)  Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit organization that provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive, announced today its inaugural Chicago Board of Directors. Six distinguished civic and corporate leaders will spearhead the growth of Chicago’s newest charity for children and provide additional support to the Cradles to Crayons’ National Board of Directors.

Chairing the Chicago Board of Directors is Jack Greenberg, current chairman of the board of directors for Western Union Company and InnerWorkings Inc., a worldwide marketing firm, and former CEO of McDonald’s. The other Chicago board members include John Atkinson, Gery Chico, Amy Hughes, Carrie McNally and Desiree Rogers. The board will play a crucial role in increasing awareness of the national organization in the Chicago area and supporting the charity as it begins to build community support.

“The Chicago board members all share a deep passion and willingness to devote their time and resources to further Cradles to Crayons mission of serving children in need,” said Bernard Cherkasov, executive director of Cradles to Crayons Chicago. “Under their leadership, we can create greater collective impact by working together as a cohesive organization.”

“Chicago has nearly 200,000 children living in poverty or homeless situations, and I am proud to be part of the effort that brings businesses, families, and institutions together to make an immediate impact in the lives of these kids,” said Jack Greenberg, chairman of the Cradles to Crayons’ Chicago Board of Directors.

In the first year of operation, Cradles to Crayons’ goal is to help over 16,000 Chicago children with the essential items they need and deserve to thrive through a network of diverse social service agencies, including A.U.S.L, Heartland Alliance, Communities in School and Casa Central.

Cradles to Crayons Chicago Board of Directors:

Jack Greenberg – Chairman

Jack Greenberg currently serves as Chairman of The Western Union Company board since 2006 and InnerWorkings Inc., since 2010. Prior to serving on several corporate and civic boards, Greenberg was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s Corporation. After 22 years with the publicly-traded global food service retailer, Greenberg now serves on a variety of corporate and civic boards, which includes QuintilesIMS, Board of Trustees for DePaul University, where he previously served as Chairman, Institute of International Education, and the Field Museum.

John Atkinson

John Atkinson serves as a Managing Partner for Willis Towers Watson, working closely with the firm’s teams to help key clients meet their human capital and risk challenges. Atkinson led the merger and integration of Thilman Filippini, one of the nation’s largest privately held brokerage and employee benefit firms, into what is now Willis Towers Watson. Atkinson also serves on several additional Chicago boards and is a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Gery Chico

Gery Chico has an accomplished background in government and education, law and business. Chico has represented leading companies in Chicago and the nation over the past 28 years principally in the areas of real estate and land use, government regulation and business counseling. Currently, Chico serves as Senior Partner at the Chicago law firm of Chico & Nunes, P.C. Previously, Chico served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley before being appointed President of the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third largest school system. Chico is also the former chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education.

Amy Hughes

Amy Hughes serves as the managing director for Illinois and Michigan at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Chicago. Prior to U.S. Trust, Hughes worked for Merrill Lynch as a Director. Amy also serves on the Choose Chicago board.

Carrie McNally

Carrie McNally is a Special Counsel in the Corporate Practice Group at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. Ms. McNally also serves on the Board of Directors of Openlands, an organization dedicating to protecting the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region.

Desiree Rogers

Desiree Rogers is the current Chief Executive Officer of Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Company and its subsidiaries, which include EBONY, JET and Fashion Fair Cosmetics. In 2010, Rogers was recruited as the first non-member to head the company and since then Rogers revitalized all platforms, resulting in substantial company growth. Prior to Johnson Publishing Company, Rogers served as Special Assistant to the President and Social Secretary for the Obama Administration. Rogers also held top level positions within companies such as Allstate Financial and Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Along with serving on the Cradles to Crayons board, Rogers serves as chairman of Choose Chicago and continues to serve on multiple nonprofit and corporate boards.

Cradles to Crayons operates locally from its newly opened Giving Factory, a warehouse at 4141 W. George St. in Chicago’s Logan Square, which gives new life to a former Marshall Field’s distribution center. The Giving Factory supplies families with essential items free of charge by engaging and connecting the communities that have, with communities that need.

About Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons launched in 2002 and has operations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The nonprofit provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive—at home, at school, and at play. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. Cradles to Crayons mobilizes communities of plenty on behalf of communities of need, recycling and reusing high-quality children’s goods and engaging thousands of youth and adults in tangible service activities each year that benefit local children. Individuals and companies wishing to know more about volunteering or donating to the Chicago Cradles to Crayons programs can learn more at https://cradlestocrayons.org/chicago.