J. Michael is a seasoned financial professional, with more than two decades of progressive experience in the field. He has worked at non-profits, at financial institutions, and in corporate settings. He earned his MBA from Roosevelt University, and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Development, also from Roosevelt.
In addition to his many professional accomplishments, J. Michael has overcome major life obstacles. In 2002, he was diagnosed with a stage 2 cancer. After the disease went into remission, he felt the need to contribute something of significance to the community, and he founded the Fathers for the Future Foundation. Fathers for the Future helps working fathers learn to manage their money to provide for their families. In 2008, he had a second setback when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis (fleshing eating bacteria). He spent nine days in a coma, three months in the hospital, and the next 18 months learning to eat and walk again. He is now fully recovered from both diseases.
Recently, he served as the Interim Director of Finance and Administration/CFO at Alternatives, Inc., a major youth nonprofit serving Chicago’s north side. He has been a financial analyst for the Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union; the Controller at Gustafson/Shields, an advertising agency; Controller for BIFCO, Inc., a Las Vegas food and beverage distribution company; Business Manager of Enrollment at DePaul University; an grant manager of at Rotary International; and a field auditor at American National Bank.
A native of Chicago, J. Michael grew up on the city’s south side and attended Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from Roosevelt University. J. Michael has focused his professional talents on the management and development of nonprofit organizations. From 2002-2003, he served as treasurer for the Southeast Rotary Club of Chicago, which was the first African American Rotary Club in the United States. In 2007, J. Michael received the Donald Peterson Foundation Father of the Year award. He plays four musical instruments. Recently, J. Michael was chosen to be a cancer mentor for the Imerman Angels. J. Michael has been honored with the 2014 ComEd Power of One, “Neighborhood Hero”, award for their Black History Month campaign. Finally, Mr. Carr received the 2014 Community Activist of the Year award from the Daughters of Divine Love congregation for his work with marginalized fathers. He is a member of St. Philip Neri in Chicago, Illinois. He and his wife, Kyra, have three children.
Fr. Larry Dowling began his ministry as pastor of St. Agatha Parish/Saint Agatha Catholic Academy in Chicago’s west side community of North Lawndale on January 1, 2007. He previously served as pastor of St. Denis Parish in the south side community of Ashburn for 10 years and as Associate Pastor at St. James in Arlington Heights. He was ordained with his Masters in Divinity (M.Div.) in 1991 from Mundelein Seminary and received his Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 1998. He is dean of Deanery III-D. He is a ’97-‘98 alumnus of Leadership Greater Chicago. He serves on the Board of Consultors to the Cardinal, on the Anti-Racism Implementation Team for the Archdiocese, on the Priests for Justice for Immigrants, Archdiocesan School Board, Archdiocesan Healing Garden Committee, and the Augustus Tolton Scholars Advisory Board. He has served on the board and as Board President for the Illinois Center for Violence Prevention (ICVP) and is currently serving as Board Chair for Arise Chicago and on the board of Sankofa Safe Child Initiative.
James Webb, Jr. founded and operates a certified MBE/DBE commercial paint contracting firm located in the City of Chicago. He holds a Bachelor’s of Finance and Certificate of Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Certificate in Construction Management from Triton College. James is a graduate of the Urban League Contractor Training Program as well as the Turner School of Construction Management. He is a former member of the West Humboldt Advisory Board Council of NHS of Chicago, and participates in NeighborWorks day every year. A single father of 3, and dedicated father of 4, James is a supporter of building strong families by educating and empowering fathers with financial and social skills.
Edward Stokes has had over 30 years of experience in the financial service industry. As an Investment Education Consultant with Fidelity Investments, Mr. Stokes’ responsibilities included the delivery of high quality employee education workshops on the the company’s 401k plan, basic investment strategies and portfolio management. Mr. Stokes is a former Senior Individual Consultant with TIAA-CREF, where he served as the Midwest Region Director of Insurance and Financial Protection Division. Previously he served as the Director of Industrial Retention and Special Projects with the City Colleges of Chicago, where he was responsible for designing and implementing customized training and development programs.
Deirdre Bates is Founder and President of Resilience Partners NFP, which specializes in helping non-profits and social entrepreneurs develop their fiduciary responsibilities. Also, she has been a principal at Blackwell-Bates and Associates since 2003 (an accounting consulting firm specializing in non-profit accounting for small organizations). She was the Chief Financial Officer/Senior Vice President of Goodcity for 19 years. Ms. Bates has more than 30 years’ experience in financial management for several Chicago companies and over 100 nonprofit organizations.
Deirdre has proven expertise in driving efficiency and productivity through evaluation of financial management systems and implementation of process improvements, as well as a demonstrated track record of leading the preparation and analysis of financial reports to summarize and forecast financial position.
As Goodcity’s CFO, Deirdre directed all financial management, human resources, and information technology functions. She oversaw a portfolio of more than 70 organizations that Goodcity services as fiscal sponsor, and an annual budget of more than $2 million. Deirdre was responsible for directing financial management and general accounting functions, including account management, financial analysis, forecasting, cash management, budgeting, cost reductions, corporate taxes, grant management, and regulatory compliance. Deirdre also served on Goodcity’s leadership team.
Deirdre has served as Goodcity’s CFO since 2000. Prior to that, she served as controller and/or accountant for Chicago companies including Financial Controllers, Inc., D-orum Corporation, and Diversified Telecommunications.
Deirdre is an advocate for students with disabilities rights and serves as a QuickBooksPro advisor. She attended Illinois State University. Deirdre has three children and lives in Chicago.
Tasa Proctor – Recent MPA graduate
Tasa Proctor recently receiving a Master of Public Administration, honing her skills in budgeting, public speaking, grant writing, program analysis and more. Her graduate research on Cell Phone Radiation was published in 2013 along with an article she wrote in 2014, both discussing the adverse effects cell phones have on human health.