WITS Annual Meeting
Join WITS as we celebrate 20 years of corporate partnerships. Today, WITS is the largest activator of year-long corporate volunteer programming in Chicago Public Schools. The event will feature a panel discussing the importance of corporate partnerships for Chicago’s neighborhood schools.
- Julie Chavez – Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Bank of America
- Josh Deth – Founder, Revolution Brewery
- Tena Kunik – CEO, Working in the Schools (WITS)
- Joseph Shoffner – Principal, McClellan Elementary School
- Steve Solomon – Vice President of Corporate Relations and Foundation President, Exelon
- Cheryl Mayberry McKissack – CEO of Nia Enterprises
Cheryl Mayberry McKissackCEO of Nia Enterprises
As a dynamic, inspirational executive Cheryl Mayberry McKissack has a history of stellar success igniting growth by building world-class management teams, leading digital transformations, raising capital from investors and penetrating multicultural markets. She is a respected board member with multifaceted expertise in addition to being a well-known author and speaker. For more than a decade, she challenged and motivated young entrepreneurs as Associate Professor in the MBA program at Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School of Business.
In her role as CEO of Nia Enterprises, Cheryl propels revenue growth with a focus on entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups. In the past, she provided essential data to refine growth strategies for Fortune 500 firms including L’Oréal, Mondelez (formerly Kraft) and Amtrak. Cheryl founded Nia Enterprises, LLC to elevate marketing and growth strategies by delivering data-driven insights with an emphasis on multicultural audiences including the African American and Latino communities, two of today’s fastest-growing markets.
Joseph ShoffnerPrincipal, McClellan Elementary School
Joseph Shoffner is currently the proud Principal of McClellan Elementary, a Chicago Public School, located in the Bridgeport community. McClellan has been a partner school with WITS for over ten years with three programs currently running at the school. Dr. Shoffner attributes relationships developed with WITS mentors as essential in fostering students love of reading.
Josh DethFounder, Revolution Brewery
Josh Deth is the founder and Chairman of Revolution Brewing. He began his brewing career home brewing during his days as a student at the University of Michigan. After graduation, he found positions at the late Golden Prairie and at Goose Island, eventually becoming a Brewer. In 2000, Deth left Goose Island to launch Revolution, but that dream took almost ten years to realize. In the intervening years, Deth worked for a non-profit group on affordable housing issues, opened the Handlebar in Logan Square, and served as the Executive Director of the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce. In 2008, Deth found the building on Milwaukee Ave. that would become the Revolution Brewing brewpub. Two years of hard work and construction later, Revolution Brewing opened in 2010 to a devoted group of local fans. In 2012, Deth and Revolution opened a production brewery on Kedzie Ave. in Avondale. Revolution is currently the largest independently-owned brewery in Illinois, and the 38th largest in the country, according to the Brewers’ Association.
Julie ChavezSenior Vice President and Market Manager, Bank of America
Julie Chavez is the Senior vice president and market manager for Bank of America, responsible for managing a variety of programs in the areas of philanthropy, community and civic engagement, volunteerism, sponsorships, communications, and business integration for the Chicago area.
Steve SolomonVice President of Corporate Relations and Foundation President, Exelon
As Vice President of Corporate Relations of Exelon, the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, and President of the Exelon Foundation, Steve Solomon oversees Exelon, ComEd and Constellation’s corporate relations activities, including corporate giving, sponsorships, employee volunteer programs, and the Exelon Foundation.
Tena KunikCEO, Working in the Schools (WITS)
As Chief Executive Officer, Tena oversees the financial growth and strategic implementation of WITS programs, the largest provider of literacy services to Chicago public elementary schools. Formerly as WITS’ Chief Strategy Officer, she oversaw the doubling of individual giving and development of sustainable funding practices. Over 10 years, she has held leadership roles in a variety of Chicago non-profits, with majority being in the education and youth development space. Tena has served as Assistant Director of Corporate Development at the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business, Director of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program, and Regional Director at Up2Us Sports. Before moving to Chicago she was a Development Officer at Wayne State University, where she also received both her BA in Public Relations and MBA in Marketing and Management. She and her husband Michael live in Logan Square where you can often find her walking the Boulevard with her Newfie/Golden Retriever Mix, Ulysses.