Chicago United Celebrates 45 years of Advocacy at 10th Annual Changing Color of Leadership Conference and Bridge Awards Dinner

by LP Green, II

Chicago United, a business organization that promotes multiracial leadership in business to advance parity in economic opportunity, will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year during its annual Changing Color of Leadership Conference and Bridge Awards Dinner.

McDonald’s Corp.’s president and CEO Don Thompson will receive the Bridge Award on November 19 at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

The dinner will also honor 45 individuals profiled in the 2013 Business Leaders of Color publication which biennially features viable candidates for Fortune 1000 companies’ boards of directors. The Business Leaders of Color publications provide a talent showcase of individuals eminently qualified to serve on corporate boards. Through their identification, Chicago United aims to accelerate the rate of change of diverse representation in corporate governance.

The 10th Annual Changing Color of Leadership Conference and Bridge Awards Dinner, presented this year by ComEd, isChicago’s premier event for networking with the most diverse group of business leaders in the city. This event offers best practices, guidance and practical tools to CEOs and senior leaders looking to transform their corporate culture.

This year’s Conference features Culture, Inclusion and Diversity, or “CID” Talks. These are a series of discussions aimed to inspire attendees to create their own “big ideas” for culture change, inclusion, and diversity in their companies. Chicago United has assembled a diverse group of transformational leaders from the boardroom to the C-suite to present thought-provoking and innovative ideas to inspire attendees.

Speakers will include John Rowe, chairman emeritus, Exelon Corporation; Elizabeth W. Reese president, Nicor Gas & senior vice president, AGL Resources; Paul Martin, corporate vice president and chief information officer, Baxter International, Inc. and;Nazneen Razi, senior vice president, chief human resources officer, Health Care Service Corporation.

The Bridge Awards Dinner will conclude the conference, and this year’s award will be presented to Don Thompson for his efforts to support intentional inclusion at all levels of his global company and beyond. He is the first Chicago United Business Leader of Color (2007) to receive the Bridge Award.

“This is a most exciting conference for us to chart our progress as an organization and to boldly articulate our future direction,” said Chicago United President and CEO Gloria Castillo. “This event is highly anticipated because it examines effective strategies for inclusion and spotlights role models for diversity.”

For more information about the conference or to register, please call 312-553-2000 or visit

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