Sean Harden

Sean B. Harden

Chair (Since 2013)
Harden Wright Consulting Group

Sean Harden has over 20 years of experience in leadership roles in both the non-profit and governmental sectors. His past responsibilities included managing large scale economic and workforce development projects for the city of Chicago.

In 2005, he was awarded the Innovative Solutions Award from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for leading one of the most successful community hiring initiatives in the city of Chicago, which resulted in over 1300 Chicagoans being placed into jobs. In 2006, he was appointed by former Mayor, Richard M. Daley to oversee interfaith and community affairs, and to serve as the City’s liaison to foreign dignitaries. In 2014, Mr. Harden started a boutique consulting firm, Harden Wright Consulting Group, that specializes in providing broad-based technical assistance and strategic planning to non-profit community development organizations, for-profit corporations, real estate developers, and municipalities.

Jacqueline Edens

Jacqueline Edens

President/Chief Executive Officer (Since 2012)
The Inner Voice, Inc.

Born and raised in Chicago, Jackie began her 29-year career with the City of Chicago in 1975 in positions including Mobile Crisis Intervention Worker, Shelter Clearinghouse Coordinator; Asst. Director of Legislative and Community Affairs; Director of Homeless Services; Asst. Commissioner, Division of Family Support Services; and Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development. After retiring in 2004, Jackie consulted in workforce development and homeless services. In June of 2012 she joined the board of Inner Voice and became CEO that September. All of Jackie’s kids have paws and they all currently live in Logan Square.

Joel Simon

Joel Simon

Secretary (Since 2013)
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

Joel began his career as a community organizer which cemented his commitment to supporting broad-based, multi-stakeholder efforts that increase educational attainment and employment as a part of communities’ efforts to improve employability, quality of life, civic engagement, equity and inclusion. For the last 20 years, he has worked with communities across to US to align workforce development with economic development, helping multi-stakeholder partnerships to understand their regional economies and make strategic investments in learning and skill development that leads to viable jobs and careers, and that supports continued economic growth. He has served in a variety of non-profit and public sector roles at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, and the Computing Technology Industry Association. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago and lives in Chicago. He has served as faculty for the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the International Economic Development Council, the Institute for Sustainable Communities and the Accreditation Council for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Joel currently chairs the International Economic Development Council’s Higher Education Advisory Committee.

MONA ECHOLS

Mona Echols

Member (Since 2022)
Village Realty

Mona Lisa Echols is an accomplished professional with over 20 years of experience leading successful business ventures across industries. Her experience growing up on the Westside of Chicago shaped and nurtured her personal and professional aspirations to give back to her community. She started her career working at the Cook County Department of Corrections as a Substance Abuse Counselor in their men’s division. In this role, she had a front row seat to inequities in our nation’s penal system. Inspired to change the life trajectories of youth of color and decrease their odds of incarceration, she turned to early childhood education.  In 2000, Mona left her role at the Department of Corrections and started a home childcare service. She has grown that business to now include two commercial pre-schools on the Southside of Chicago that provide enriching educational experiences for upwards of 120 children and youth. She continues to mentor and support many of the students who have graduated from her schools and gone on to college. In addition to her work in early childhood education, her business portfolio includes her work as a real estate broker at Village Realty.

Tyrone Minor

Tyrone Minor

Member (Since 2022)
Local 6738 of the Brotherhook of Railway Carmen

Tyrone Minor is retired after a 42 year career on the railroad, where he served as a Business Agent for Local 6738 of Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, handling the day to day affairs of the Local for 21 years.  A servant-leader, he has served on a number of boards, including the Red Cross, Crusade of Mercy, and the Chicago Chamber of Commerce.

Jose Sifuentes

Jose Sifuentes

Member (Since 2013)
Chicago Department of Family & Support Services

Now retired, Jose dedicated his career to the City of Chicago Department of Human Services where he worked in community outreach, contract oversight, program design and implementation, and provided technical assistance.

Robert Ziemba

Robert Ziemba

Member (Since 2014)
Network for Good

A Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Robert is now a highly skilled project manager with over 10 years’ experience managing small to large scale projects. He currently works on the Customer Success team for a fundraising platform for nonprofits.

Jeffrey Lewelling

Jeffrey Lewelling

Member (Since 2016)
Cook County, Budget & Management Services

Jeffrey Lewelling was named Chief Performance Officer for Cook County, responsible for enhancing and managing the Set Targets, Achieve Results (STAR) performance based management system in Cook County government, by President Toni Preckwinkle in August of 2015.

Lewelling had spent the previous 17 years working at the City of Chicago. From 2008 to 2011 Jeff served as the Director of Performance Management where he managed a City wide system of performance measures, facilitated a management process consisting of more than 40 Executive Review Performance Management sessions annually and produced the Program and Budget Summary book for the City of Chicago annual budget.

From 2011 to 2015 Lewelling served as the 1st Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection which regulates the public passenger vehicle industry including taxis, limos, and rideshare companies as well as, all businesses which require a city issued license (this includes all liquor and non-liquor establishments, retail stores etc.). Lewelling has a bachelor’s degree in History and English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Master of Arts Degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

Lisa Alexander

Lisa Alexander

Member (Since 2024)
Cook County, Office of Contract Compliance

Lisa Alexander has over 30 years’ experience in leadership roles, in both government and non-profit. She retired in 2021, after working for Cook County Government for thirty-three years. Lisa served as the Deputy Director for Cook County’s Office of Contract Compliance in her last position, working to promote racial parity, contract diversity and continued transparency with industry best practices. She has served as a board member of the American Contract Compliance Association (ACCA) for twenty years, an organization dedicated to ensuring equitable employment and contracting practices within the public and private sectors. Lisa has received outstanding recognition and several prestige awards, because of her unwavering selfless service. Her motto is, “if I can help somebody, then my living will not be in vain.” Since retiring in 2021, she has increased her individual commitment to giving back to the community and helping those that are disadvantaged.