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Back to Leadership | Chicago

City Year Chicago Board

Local community and business leaders work together to advance our mission to ensure public schools are places all students can thrive.

Jeff Cohodes, Chair
City Year Chicago Board Chair

Jeff Cohodes has been a dedicated member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2012, most recently board vice chair. Jeff served most recently as president of Northern Trust’s Corporate and Institutional Services Americas until his retirement in 2018. Over Jeff’s 25-year career with Northern Trust, he led a number of business units as chief risk officer, executive vice president in wealth management, chief operating officer in asset management, head of global corporate strategy, and head of middle market commercial lending. Jeff served as a senior lecturer at Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Jeff received his undergraduate degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA degree in finance and accounting from the Graduate School of Business (now Booth) at the University of Chicago and holds an inactive certified public accountant license. Jeff is the president of Temple Chai congregation, a former member of the Board of Directors for the Golden Apple Foundation for 20 years and was a member of the Economic Club of Chicago for 12 years.

Michael Alter 
President, Alter Group

A founding member of the City Year Chicago Board, Michael Alter has served on the board since 1993.

Eyal Altman
Vice President, Chief Digital & Information Technology Officer

Eyal Altman is Vice President, Chief Digital Officer & CIO at Littelfuse, Inc. He is responsible for leading the company’s Digital Transformation initiatives and managing the Corporate & Digital Marketing and global IT organizations. Prior to this role Eyal held executive leadership positions at Littelfuse as a General Manager of a global business unit, and leading Corporate M&A and Strategy. He held Corporate Strategy, M&A, and Finance leadership positions at other organizations prior to joining Littelfuse.

Eyal holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been involved with several nonprofit boards over the past 15 years with a specific focus on education, and currently serves on the board of Epic Academy.

Susan Beverly
Director of and Head of External Relations & Strategic Partnerships for Worldwide Sustainability, Amazon

Susan Beverly is the Director and Head of External Relations & Strategic Partnerships for Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon. Susan is responsible for building and managing Amazon’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy and managing Amazon’s growing number of external sustainability collaborations and partnerships. Susan also leads global content marketing for Amazon’s sustainability initiatives, as well as strategic employee engagement programming.

Prior to joining Amazon, Susan spent 19 years at Abbott, a global diversified healthcare company. During her time at Abbott, Susan led Sustainability & Shared Impact, where she was responsible for developing and advancing the company’s sustainability and shared value strategy globally. Susan was a member of the leadership team that launched shared value at Abbott, which is a core tenet of the company’s approach to deliver sustainable and equitable healthcare.

Under Susan’s leadership, Abbott was twice named to the Fortune Change the World list for its work to build innovative and inclusive health delivery and supply chain management models in new and emerging markets. She also led the development of Abbott’s 2030 Sustainability Plan, which focuses on the intersection between the company’s long-term value creation and societal impact.

Susan serves on the board of directors of City Year Chicago and is a member of the YWCA Impact Investing Advisory Council. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Chicago.

Susan Beverly has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2017.

Steve Birchard
Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Steve Birchard has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2013.

Kate Boege
Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary Wintrust Financial Corporation

Kate Boege has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2016.

David Cousins City Year Chicago
David Cousins
Area Vice President, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Salesforce

David Cousins is the Area Vice President for the Enterprise Pharmaceutical business within Salesforce with a responsibility for the leadership of a team that must grow the cloud-based technology platform business, designed to increase efficiency, connectivity, user experience and end to end view of their business. Prior to that he was the Managing Director for the Core Laboratory business in the Abbott Diagnostics Division of Abbott Laboratories; he had responsibility for the leadership of the commercial business (capital sales, reagent sales and service) for the eastern half of the United States. Before moving to Abbott, he was the Commercial Vice President for the Great Lakes Region of Quest Diagnostics; where he had responsibility for implementing a new commercial model that incorporated 8 unique sales forces along with regional marketing, health plans and directors of strategic alliances. He was also a member of the board of directors at Mid America Clinical Labs, a Quest joint venture. In his prior positions with Novartis and Bayer he had roles of increasing responsibility in Marketing, Sales and Operations, focused on organizational transformation, new market introductions and creating sustainable growth.

David is a transformational commercial executive that energizes teams to achieve sales and operational excellence, through his leadership, and change management expertise. He creates a culture of exceptional execution that has effectively turned around faltering businesses and created durable growth, as well as significant process improvement and cultural changes. He was also a member of the board of directors of Community Health in Chicago, the largest free clinic in the U.S. He has recently been accepted to be a board member for City Year a non-profit that partners with publics schools within Chicago.

David served as an adjunct professor in the marketing department at Loyola University in Chicago where he taught on leadership, strategy and management. He received his B.A. in Economics from Duke University and his M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a veteran having served as an officer in the United States Air Force.

John Crowley City Year Chicago Board
John Crowley
Regional Senior Vice President, Comcast

John Crowley is Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region which serves more than three million residential and business customer relationships in Illinois, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. As Comcast’s market leader, John oversees the region’s nearly 4,000 employees. His overall responsibilities range from residential sales and marketing, business services, finance, technical operations/engineering, human resources, external/government affairs, and customer experience.

John has more than 39 years of experience in the cable industry. Prior to joining Comcast, he served as Charter Communication’s Southeast Region Vice President. Before that, he served as Vice President and General Manager of Charter’s Minnesota and Nebraska operations. Prior to joining Charter, he held various leadership positions with other cable providers.

John currently sits on the City Year Chicago Board of Directors and he was on the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. During his career, he also served on the boards of the Minnesota Cable Communications Association and the Rochester, MN, Area Economic Development Council Inc.

John earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University and his bachelor’s degree from Colby College.

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Maureen Dixon
Partner, Debt Finance, Kirkland & Ellis

Maureen S. Dixon is a corporate partner in Kirkland's Chicago office, focusing her practice on debt financing transactions. Maureen represents private equity sponsors, private and public companies and private lenders and pension funds in connection with the structuring, negotiation and documentation of secured and unsecured financing transactions for both borrowers and lenders.

Maureen has been responsible for financings in connection with major leveraged buy-outs, take-private transactions, asset-based financings, cross-border transactions, and loan workouts and restructurings, including DIP and exit financings.  She has handled transactions including senior bank and subordinated or mezzanine financings, both secured and unsecured, ranging in size from several hundred million dollars to several billion dollars.

William (Will) Flatt
Principal, Free Market Ventures

Will is a principal with Free Market Ventures in Chicago, a boutique real estate investment firm. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer and subsequently Chief Operating Officer of an NYSE listed office Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). In 2012, he founded, and continues to work with, Oxbow Ventures LLC, a venture capital endeavor with James “Jim” Barksdale, known for his role as CEO of Netscape Communications and other career successes.

Will is a member of the Board of Directors of City Office REIT (NYSE:CIO) where he chairs the audit committee and is member of the investment committee. He has served as a guest lecturer on real estate at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business and University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Will is a former Trustee and adjunct professor of economics at Millsaps College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Millsaps College and a Master in Business Administration from University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Realty Club of Chicago.

Will Flatt has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2017.

Ravin Gandhi
CEO & Co-Founder, GMM Nonstick Coatings

Ravin Gandhi began his career at KPMG in Chicago as a CPA. In 1995, Mr. Gandhi joined Coatings and Chemicals Corporation (CCC), a family-owned supplier of nonstick coatings. In 2001, CCC was sold to Akzo Nobel, the world’s largest coatings company, in a deal conceived of and executed by Mr. Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi was named President of the merged entity Akzo Nobel Nonstick Coatings, becoming (at age 28) the youngest Divisional President in the history of Akzo Nobel.

In 2002 Mr. Gandhi left Akzo Nobel and founded Glenborn Partners L.P., an investment company focused on private equity. In 2007, Mr. Gandhi founded GMM Nonstick Coatings, which became one of the world's largest suppliers of nonstick coatings. In 2017, GMM was acquired by SDK, an $8B Japanese conglomerate, and Mr. Gandhi remains CEO after the sale. Ravin has also directly invested in numerous technology startups which have collectively raised over 250M in funding.

Mr. Gandhi holds a BS from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Mr. Gandhi serves on the Board of Directors of Hester Biosciences and is a member of Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).

Mr. Gandhi frequently appears on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News to discuss business and politics. Ravin Gandhi has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2016.

Gerstein headshot City Year Chicago
Bill Gerstein
Senior Advisor, Leadership Greater Chicago

Bill Gerstein has had a long career in education and in business. Most recently Bill led a major effort for the Chicago Public Schools to create a comprehensive community engagement strategy in the Humboldt Park community. Prior to that he was the co- founder and principal of two small high schools. One was the School of Entrepreneurship, a small high school located within the South Shore High School campus in Chicago.

In 2007 he left South Shore to start the Austin Polytech Academy in the Austin community. Mr. Gerstein was a high school social studies teacher and track coach for eight years before he became the owner/operator of a small chain of supermarkets (Mr. G. Finer Foods) in Chicago. While in business, Mr. Gerstein became actively involved in many community activities on the South Side of Chicago including public schools. In 1996 Mr. Gerstein sold his business as part of an effort to expand into a bigger location. After running a community based organization, he obtained a masters degree in school administration.

Working with the community and teachers he helped organize four small schools within South Shore High School as the school converted its structure from a comprehensive model to a campus of autonomous small high schools. Bill currently works as a senior advisor to Leadership Greater Chicago.

Bill has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2021.

Anne Gibson City Year
Anne Gibson
National Practice Leader, Senior Vice President, NELSON Worldwide

With over 20 years of design experience, Anne has developed a deeply rooted passion for the way people interact and work cohesively together in dynamic environments. As the Firmwide Workplace Practice Leader at Nelson, a global design and architecture firm, she leads designers, architects, strategists, and communicators to create compelling workplaces that enhance user experience through strategic processes. An industrial designer by education, Anne has maintained a human-centered design approach throughout her career. Now, during a pivotal moment in time when businesses and communities are rethinking assumptions about workplaces, Anne brings brand experience, as well as healthcare and hospitality design together to support a new workplace that is safe, culturally connected, and transformative.

Some of her most notable work experience was leading the interior design of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Using careful research-driven techniques, Anne shaped the design around how people work, learn, innovate, and heal. The building embodies ‘translational medicine,’ which brings together traditionally disparate disciplines of medicine and research into an integrated approach to improving outcomes. As the first physical manifestation of this practice, Anne brings forth this approach to the workplace to create spaces that support how different roles come together to work in an inspiring, cohesive, and productive manner.

Previously a Studio Director and a Health & Wellness and Workplace Design Director, Anne is a leader with deep expertise in the intersection of purpose, culture, and space in many markets at all scales across the globe. Her hybrid thinker-doer process drives unique solutions through curiosity, empathy, and experimentation while mentoring and growing those around her. She thrives in letting ideas flow and shepherding authentic solutions rooted in her client’s unique challenges and core values, collaboratively shaping the physical and virtual environment to tell stories, communicate values, and make meaningful experiences for all.

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John Gilligan
Partner, BDT & Company

John Gilligan has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2014.

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William Heard
Founder, CEO, and CIO, Heard Capital LLC

William Heard is the founder of Heard Capital LLC and serves as the Firm's Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, leading the Firm's investment process and strategic direction.
Prior to founding and leading Heard Capital LLC, Mr. Heard was a special situations analyst for Stark Investments, a global alternative investment firm.

While at Stark Investments, he covered the telecommunications, media, technology, financials, and energy sectors. Mr. Heard’s investment experience spans asset classes and includes leveraged loans, high yield bonds and equity securities.

Mr. Heard is active in the philanthropic community, focusing his efforts on education and disadvantaged youth. He currently serves on the Leadership Council for A Better Chicago, the City Year Chicago Board of Directors and actively participates in OneGoal: a diverse collective of local organizations creating opportunities for today’s youth and low-income population. Mr. Heard is also a board member of the President’s Circle and Young Professional Network for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.

Mr. Heard is a graduate of Marquette University’s College of Business Administration where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Real Estate. While at Marquette, he founded and established the University’s Applied Investment Management (AIM) Program. AIM was the first undergraduate business program in the nation to be selected as a Program Partner by the CFA Institute.

Mr. Heard was raised in Milwaukee, WI. In his spare time, Mr. Heard serves as a mentor to students on topics such as leadership, globalism and markets.

Michelle Kilkenny headshot City Year Chicago
Michelle Kilkenney
Partner, Debt Finance, Kirkland & Ellis

Michelle Kilkenney is a corporate partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis and is a committee member and the Chicago office Pro Bono Coordinator, of Kirkland’s award-winning pro bono program. Michelle focuses her practice on debt financing transactions and represents private equity groups, commercial lending institutions and other private and public companies in connection with the negotiation, structuring and documentation of secured and unsecured financing transactions for both borrowers and lenders, including senior, mezzanine and subordinated debt transactions, acquisition financings, and loan workouts and restructurings, including debtor-in-possession financings.

Michelle is listed in the 2010–2021 editions of Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and has been described as “talented, bright, creative and incredibly hard-working.” Michelle is also listed in the 2020–2021 editions of Chambers Global, The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business. She has been recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. as a Leading Lawyer in Commercial Lending and IFLR1000 as a Leading Lawyer in bank lending.

Crain’s Chicago Business included Michelle on their list of “Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers 2018.” In 2017, Michelle was awarded “Transaction of the Year: Mega Company” for her work with Texas Competitive Electric Holdings Company LLC by the Turnaround Management Association.

Michelle is an active member of the Catherine Cook School Board of Trustees, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Board of Directors, City Year Chicago Board, the Cradles to Crayons Chicago Corporate Advisory Board, Ohio Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and is a Fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers.

Kedra Newsom City Year Chicago
Kedra Newsom
Partner & Managing Director, BCG Chicago

Kedra joined BCG Chicago in 2009 and has served clients across many sectors and functions. She holds deep experience and expertise in the intersection of people, operations, and technology. Her work has focused on the design and implementation of strategic operating models in asset management, education, and social services to design operating models that improve efficiency and process, recommendations for educational strategy and catalytic community investment approaches for foundations and private investors.

At BCG, she also serves as a member of the Global Asset Management Leadership Team, a Center for Illinois’ Future Board Member and the Great Lakes Black & Latinx Network Lead. Before joining BCG, Kedra worked at Merrill Lynch as a software developer/architect and project manager in Enterprise Data and as an enterprise IT strategist.

Kedra earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kedra has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2021.

Matt Norton
Managing Director, Madison Dearborn Partners

Matt Norton is a Managing Director and Head of MDP's Business & Government Software and Services team. Prior to joining MDP, Matt was with Merrill Lynch in Investment Banking and with MDP as an Associate. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of AEVEX Aerospace, BlueCat Networks, Carnegie Learning, City Year Chicago, CoVant Technologies II, LLC, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, Lightspeed Systems and LinQuest Corporation. In addition, he was formerly on the Boards of Directors of Aderant Holdings, Inc., Boise Cascade Company, Boise Inc., Fieldglass Inc., Fleet Complete, Kaufman Hall, LGS Innovations and NFP Corp.

Matt Norton has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2014.

Seda City Year heasdshot
Michael Seda
Vice President of Corporate Compensation, Exelon Corp

Mr. Seda has served as a board member for City Year Chicago since 2019 and is the Co-Chair for the Human Resources Committee. He has three children who have all gone through or are still attending CPS schools and is a strong supporter of public education and equitable education for all children in Chicago.

Professionally, Mr. Seda has worked in human resources for 25 years and currently works for Exelon Corporation (a Fortune 100 company), headquartered in downtown Chicago, and has worked for them since 2013. Mr. Seda was promoted to VP, Corporate Compensation at Exelon in 2017 and continues to lead that function reporting directly to the Chief Human Resources Officer. He has been involved in several employee resource groups at Exelon, including Developing Young Professionals (DYP) and the Organization of Latinos at Exelon (OLE). In addition, Mr. Seda serves on the LatinX Leadership Council, the Racial Equity Task Force, and participates in the Exelon STEM leadership academy by meeting with high school junior and senior young women in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Chicago to provide professional guidance.

Mr. Seda is active on many boards, including WorldatWork, the Chicago Compensation Association, the National Association for Stock Plan Professionals, and the WillisTowersWatson Executive Compensation Roundtable.

He holds a Bachelors degree from New Mexico State University, a Masters in Human Resource Management from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Masters in Applied Psychology from the University of Baltimore.

Noemie Tilghman
Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Noemie currently serves as Deloitte Consulting’s National Oil, Gas & Chemicals (OG&C) Sector Leader, bringing the full suite of Deloitte's capabilities to the OG&C Marketplace to enable her clients to succeed in today’s ever-changing environment. She has spent her career working closely with her clients to drive transformational change supported by innovative solutions and insights to tackle their toughest issues which include navigating the Energy Transition.

Noemie holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rice University and a Master of Business Administration from the Jones School of Business at Rice. She serves on the Rice Business Partners Board and has served on the Association of Rice Alumni Board of Directors. She currently lives in Chicago.

Noemie joined the City Year Chicago Board in 2021.

Steve Zandpour
U.S. Head, Retail Specialty Sales, BMO Harris Bank

As the U.S. Head of Retail Specialty Sales for BMO Harris Bank, Steve Zandpour owns the advancement and growth of mass affluent, mortgage, and business banking operations throughout the bank’s U.S. footprint. In this role, Steve leads the strategic direction of the Specialty Sales operating model and sales framework, representing total deposits and loans.

Previously, Steve served BMO Harris as President of regional sales in greater Chicagoland as well as Arizona and Florida, where he earned a reputation for building high-performing teams and turning around underperforming markets. His additional experience in the financial sector includes roles as a Commercial Analyst and Relationship Manager for Structured Finance, Commercial and Business Banking, Financial Center Management and management of a retail banking markets.

In the course of his 20-year career, Steve has been recognized as a “Top 40 Under 40” by Arizona Business Magazine, “Who’s Who in Business,” by Arizona Republic, and a multiple-time winner of company sales performance awards. He has served as a hand-selected member of the BMO Harris Bank Process Excellence Forum, and is an advocate for diversity and inclusivity in U.S. recruitment and employee development as Executive Sponsor of the BMO Latino Alliance.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Iowa and is a graduate of Furman University and the Consumer Bankers Association’s Retail Bank Management program, for which he serves as President of his class. Steve is a member of the Executives’ Club of Chicago and, as a passionate supporter of young childhood education, is a proud member of the board for City Year Chicago.

Steve Zandpour has served as a member of the City Year Chicago Board since 2018.

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