Helen Hammond Redding - President & Founder
Helen Hammond Redding recently served as Senior Vice President and State Director for Community Development for CITI in Illinois. As State Director, Helen led Citi Community Development’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Helen managed more than fifty nonprofit relationships and administered a philanthropic budget exceeding $1.5 million for Citi in Illinois.
Helen spent 41 years in the Banking industry, including 19 years with Citibank Illinois as an Area Manager and Financial Center Manager and the past 7 years preceding her retirement in June 2013 as Senior Vice President and State Director in Citi Illinois’ Community Development group. Prior to joining Citibank in 1987, Helen spent 15 years at LaSalle National Bank in the Retail and Commercial Banking Groups.
Helen has received numerous community and business recognitions including the Black & Hispanic Achievers of Industry, the Citibank Service Excellence Award, the Human Capital Award, the Distinguished Community Leader Award, the Monsignor Jack Egan Community Service Award, the 2012 Impact Award for “Outstanding Leadership in the Financial Arena”, the 2013 Rainbow PUSH Coalition Trailblazer in Business Award, and the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Society of Mannequins “Ten Best Dressed African American Women of Chicago” Award which highlights community achievements of impeccably-dressed women. Helen has recently served as a Board member of the Chicago Public Schools Academy of Finance, Mercy Housing Lakefront, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, and the AKArama Foundation of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Theta Omega Chapter. Helen has also served as a mentor for students in the Citi Foundation/UNCF Mentoring Program.
Helen is a member of The Links, Incorporated, Society of Mannequins Trophy Board, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Theta Omega Chapter, where she has served as Chairman of numerous committees. In 2009 and 2014, Helen was voted “Outstanding Soror of the Year” by her Chapter for her service to the Sorority and to the community, and in 2010 was recognized by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Central Region with the “New Century of Leaders Award” for her exemplary leadership and service to the community.
Helen holds an MBA in Finance from DePaul University, a BA in Business Administration from Elmhurst College, and a Certificate in Banking from the University Of Virginia Graduate School of Retail Bank Management.
Michael J. Redding, Sr., Treasurer and Co-Founder
Michael is the Co-Founder of the Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation. He currently serves as a Manager at WOW Cable Company in Schaumburg, Illinois where he supervises 15 cable technicians. Miichael has developed a solid understanding of finance, taxes, business development, and strategic planning during his forty-year career in the business industry, which also includes more than 20 years at General Foods Corporation.
Michael earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois. Michael is actively involved in community activities and volunteerism with such organizations as the Christopher D. Redding Scholarship Fund and Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.
Michael is the proud father of three sons and six grandchildren.
Michael Redding, Jr. - Vice President and Legal Counsel
Michael Redding, Jr. is Associate General Counsel of Dohmen Life Science Services. Mike’s primary responsibilities include negotiating complex agreements with key strategic clients on a national and global scale. Additionally, Mike provides guidance to Dohmen’s internal clients .
Mike is a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of Wisconsin, and Secretary of the Sports Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Mike also serves his community as a member of the Leadership Board of the American Lung Association of Wisconsin, where he has served as the Community Team Co-chair for the ALA’s annual Lung Walk.
Mike earned his undergraduate degree from Truman State University in business administration, summa cum laude, and Phi Kappa Phi. He also played varsity football at Truman State and participated in the prestigious NCAA Leadership Conference, focusing on conflict resolution issues. Mike earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School where he was a St. Thomas More Scholar, vice president of the Sports Law Society, associate editor of the Marquette Sports Law Review, and earned the Sports Law Certificate from the National Sports Law Institute. Mike is a published author, having written a scholarly article addressing the issues and pitfalls leading up to the National Football League Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations and subsequent lockout.
Outside of his practice, Mike enjoys traveling with his wife, spending time with his family, coaching his kids’ teams, and golfing with friends.
Carolyn is a Vice President/Bank Manager at US Bank in West Dundee, Illinois and has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry in the areas of business development, community involvement, customer experience, and bank management. Prior banking experience includes Park National Bank, Harris Bank, and Citibank. Carolyn studied finance and banking at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois and holds Life and Health and Series 6, 63, and 26 Securities Licenses. Community involvement includes: Dundee Township Rotary Board Member/Scholarship Chair; Ambassador, Lake in the Hills/Algonquin Chamber of Commerce; Northern Kane Chamber Board Member; Women in Management Board Member, CASA Committee Member; Boys and Girls Club Committee Member, Elgin, Illinois.
Sheila Barber - Secretary
Sheila is a seasoned bank professional with experience in mortgage processing, origination, compliance, business development and sales. After 10 years at Citibank, she is currently serving as Vice President, CRA Residential Loan Manager at Associated Bank in Chicago, Illinois.
Sheila has a deep commitment to community service and has served on a number of boards over the years, including Neighborhood Housing Services, Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action, North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School, and Lakeside Community Development Corporation.
Sheila is a member of Christ Universal Temple, a Mobile DJ, and a member of the Tee Timers Golf League. Sheila attended Roosevelt University and majored in Business Communications.
Barbara recently served as Executive Director of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation, Inc. (EAF) which has more than $9 million in assets. EAF is the philanthropic arm of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and provides educational opportunities (scholarships) and community assistance awards. During her five years as Executive Director, the Foundation has distributed over $3.5 million to 3,000 students and community organizations around the world.
Barbara holds a BS in Business Administration and Accounting from Roosevelt University and a MBA in Finance from St. Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois. Barbara has developed an excellent understanding of finance, investments, strategic planning, grants and technology and over the years has utilized these skills to enhance the organizations with which she has worked. Barbara’s career has spanned over 40 years and includes technology, accounting and management experience. She has been employed in private industry, not- for- profit and government. Barbara has had an opportunity to grow professionally as a result of her career path working with companies such as BP Amoco for 20 years in various assignments, the Cook County Clerk’s office and the City of Chicago Comptroller’s office where she worked as Assistant Comptroller for 12 years.
Don has built a reputation as a bright, aggressive manager with a proven track record for developing fresh marketing and advertising ideas. Don currently serves as Senior Vice President for marketing at Cracker Barrel. Throughout his career, Don has worked on many successful / award winning advertising programs, contributed to successful new product launches, developed product positioning alternatives and product promotion concepts and managed strategic development of many blue chip marketing programs. Prior to joining Cracker Barrel, Don served as Director of U.S. Client Service and Worldwide Account Director at DDB, leading DDB's efforts for McDonald's in more than 52 countries. Before joining DDB in 1995, Don was Senior Vice President, Management Director at J. Walter Thompson in Chicago. At JWT, Don was responsible for a portfolio of business including major consumer package goods, hospitality, licensing and travel companies.
Prior to JWT, Don was a Senior Vice President with DMB&B Advertising, with responsibility for the US Burger King business. Don’s additional experiences include a wide range of accounts at both Foote, Cone & Belding and N.W. Ayer. Don is an honors graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, a member ofthe 4As and has been a guest speaker for several marketing, educational, sales and business conferences.
Carl is a general insurance manager with more than 30 years’ experience in operations, accounting, and information technology. Insurance experience includes personal lines, commercial lines, reinsurance, and life and health. He also provides management consulting services to small businesses and non-profit organizations.
Carl currently serves as the owner operator of the Jordan Taylor Group, which is an Internal Revenue Service, Authorized Efile Provider, and a Registered Tax Return Preparer. Carl has achieved representation rights by voluntarily completing continuing education requirements on an annual basis. These rights allow him to represent clients in disputes, audits, and other customer service matters before the IRS.
Carl is a Gerson Lehrman Group Educator, Coleman Research Group member, Blue Chip Expert, Vista's Society of Industrial Leaders, Guidepoint Global Advisors, Zintro Expert. He is an active member of Phi Beta Sigma, Incorporated, serving on the Great Lakes Regional Board of Directors and an appointed member of the Phi Beta Sigma’s Risk Management, Finance & Budget committees. Carl serves as the CFO of Foundation MCML, a not for profit formed to provide financial support for the Sigma Beta Club which provides life skills training and opportunities for young men 8 to 18 years old to enhance their development as future leaders, and positive role models for their contemporaries.
Kamari Thompson has been a champion for Asthma Education for nearly a decade and currently serves as the Lead Asthma Educator for Mobile Care Chicago and as Asthma Program Manager for the Childhood Asthma Initiative through the UIC School of Public Health. Prior to her work in asthma, Kamari worked as a Clinical Health Education Specialist. Her work has always been centered on the needs of the community, particularly minority, low income and underserved communities. Kamari is the driving force behind the Roseland Community Initiative. She has lead Mobile Care Chicago and a team of educators in the effort to improve access to quality care for pediatric patients and their families in the greater Roseland community. The Roseland Initiative has been proven successful with a 58% reduction rate of pediatric emergency room visits from 2013 to 2016. The community work that Kamari has done has been rewarded with multiple awards including the American Lung Association 2016 Impact Award as well as the Hospital Charitable Services Award for Programs of Excellence.
Kamari's passion is improving patient education in underserved communities in relation to chronic diseases and health disparities that can severely impact one's quality of life. She believes that in order to be a teacher she must herself be a lifelong student and be willing to share her knowledge freely.
Kamari holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Community Health and a Minor in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University.