Lester L. Barclay
A native of Chicago, Lester Barclay obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree, with honors, from Oberlin College in 1981. He then received his Juris Doctor Degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1986, Mr. Barclay was named a Henry Luce Scholar, having been identified by the Luce Foundation as one of the future leaders of America. As a result of being awarded a Luce Scholarship, Attorney Barclay was assigned to the Ministry of Industry of the Royal Thai Government in Bangkok, Thailand, where he worked to establish trade relations between companies in the United States and Southeast Asia. As an Attorney, Mr. Barclay has distinguished himself as a powerful advocate and champion for many families and businesses in Chicago and throughout the nation.
Kevin Irvine (he/him/his) works at Rush University Medical Center as its Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant, Individuals with Disabilities, Co-Chair of the Rush ADA Task Force and Co-Founder / Facilitator of Rush’s Disabilities Employee Resource Group. Since 2012, Kevin has served on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Transit Authority, where he chairs its Committee on Strategic Planning & Service Delivery. Kevin is also a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow (Class of 2006), an ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Member and a graduate of Purchase College, State University of New York. Kevin’s wife, Karen Tamley, and their 14-year-old daughter, Dominika Tamley, also have disabilities and they all were honored to serve as Co-Grand Marshals for Chicago’s 14th Annual Disability Pride Parade in 2017. Kevin has lived in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood since 2003 and enjoys photography, cycling, walking his dog, Chaka, discovering new music, and exploring cities and public transit systems.
Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes
Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes serves as Senior Pastor of the faith family of West Point Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. He received his elementary education at Nicholas Copernicus and secondary education at Marie Curie Metropolitan of the Performing and Creative Arts High School. Furthering his education, he received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois; the Master of Arts degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
As Senior Pastor of the faith family of West Point Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. Jakes has witnessed numerous spiritual, financial, and administrative successes in the last 17 years. Dr. Jakes is highly involved with local, state and federal policymakers—utilizing his voice as a local pastor to speak truth to power as it relates to social justice, social action and social accountability. His passion, commitment and unwavering voice for social justice have led to policymakers seeking his voice and support on statewide issues such as sensible gun laws, support for same-gender marriage, increasing the minimum wage, education funding reform, etc. Locally, Dr. Jakes proudly served as a working member of The Mayor’s Commission for a Safer Chicago under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and on the transition team for Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Currently, he is a working member of the Faith-Based Leaders Advisory Board of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office and was appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker to serve as a board member for Chicago Transit Authority. Dr. Jakes is a member of the Board of Trustees for Elmhurst College, as well as serves as an inaugural member of the President’s Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Elmhurst College. Additionally, he serves as spiritual advisor to several local and state politicians.
Rev. Johnny L. Miller
Rev. Johnny L. Miller serves as Pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church for over forty years. Over this period, outreach has been one of his primary focuses. With the opening of the JLM Center—a Center that bears his name, and where the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church engages in its weekly worship services—numerous Community Outreach services are provided. He was reared in Tutwiler, Mississippi by his grandparents until the late 1960s and moved to Chicago where he graduated in 1967 from John Marshall High School. Rev. Miller was later drafted into the U.S. Army in 1970 and was honorably discharged in 1972. He served in Germany in the 209th General Dispatch as an SP5. He also furthered his education by attending Wilson Jr. College. Following that, he attended Bishop College in Texas where he received his DOD Degree. From 1973-1976 he attended the Chicago Baptist Institute to further his studies in the Gospel Ministry. Rev. Miller has always been an ambitious and out-going person and still wears many hats. He continues to serve on multiple boards, including being appointed to the Chicago Transit Authority Board.
Arabel Alva Rosales
Arabel Alva Rosales is an entrepreneur that has been described in Chicago Magazine as a “Renaissance Woman” because of her ability to discuss concerns on Wall Street, global issues and what is happening in our communities. She is the President and CEO of AAR Tech, with over 17 years as a successful Management and Technology Firm. In addition, she serves on multiple boards, including the CTA Board of Directors as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She also serves on the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Development Center, and the City Club of Chicago boards.
She is also the Founder of RUNWAY LATINx (RLx) after over thirteen years of experience as the Co-Founder of Latino Fashion Week. RLx is a platform that gives all those in the fashion industry an opportunity to express their creativity and expand their market—without limits. She is also the proud Founder of Pivoting in Heels, NFP (PIH). PIH is a Digital Non-for-Profit focused on empowering women by sharing stories as a way for women to learn from each other. Created to empower women, PIH provides insights and professional tips to successfully pivot through the major areas of their lives.
Alejandro Silva is a Mexican national. He is the son of Mrs. Alejandro Silva Hurtado (Margarita Platt de Silva) and the late Dr. Alejandro Silva Hurtado. He became a United States citizen in 1997. He resides in Chicago, is married and has three children.
Alejandro Silva is former chairman of the Board and CEO of Evans Food Group Ltd., Chicago, Illinois, having acquired Evans in 1985.
Evans Food has plants in Ohio, California, Texas, St. Louis, Missouri and Mexico.
He received his BS in food technology from Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He received his MS in food engineering from the National College of Food Technology in Weybridge Surrey, England. He has, also, received diplomas from the London School of Foreign Trade and from the College of Distribution Trades in Advanced Meat Technology. He attended Alta Direccion de Empress (IPADE) Advanced Management Program, Monterrey, Mexico; Harvard Business School (Owner/President Management Course); Northwestern University and The Kellogg Graduate School of Business. He has attended Directors College at Harvard, University of Chicago, Wharton School, Stanford focused in the new act of Congress of Sarbanes-Oxley and implication in the Board of Publicly Traded Companies. He has, also, taken several courses in commodity trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade. He has also been a guest lecturer at Dartmouth College.