Board of Directors

GW PicGeorge S. Wright – Chairman

Currently, George serves as Director of Community Development for Citibank’s Global Consumer Group. His responsibilities include the advancement of Community Development for the Midwest Region which includes 17 states in the U.S. and Canada. George’s experience in the financial industry covers many areas over a span of eightteen years, of which he has held a leadership role at Citi for a total of eight years. Previous positions with other national financial organizations include Washington Mutual and GMAC Mortgage. In 2005, he served as the Director of Emerging Markets at Washington Mutual. He was responsible for Home Loans to the emerging market consumers. In 2007, starting as the Senior Vice President in Emerging Markets for GMAC Mortgage, his leadership role was expanded in becoming a founding Senior Director of GMAC Bank FSB, where his goal was to increase homeownership opportunities via the development and implementation of “community lending centers” nationally. He was responsible for GMAC Bank’s local assessment area goals and a $6 Billion National CRA commitment, exceeding that goal in a 2 year timeframe. George was also responsible for all branch banking, national ATM deployment / management and the Bank’s customer service call centers, both domestic and international.

In 2001, George began his career at Citicorp / Citibank in Illinois as a Loan Originator and was trained on all Bank sales-related products. Rejoining the Bank in 2007, he was asked to take on the responsibilities of the National Sales Trainer at Citicorp Mortgage where he developed training programs and trained mortgage and bank employees on cross sales, while focusing on the credit insurance business. George then moved to Branch Banking at Citibank where he managed all sales activities for the second largest branch bank in Illinois. He then moved into the position of CRA and Fair Lending National Marketing Manager where he worked with all Citibank entities from a CRA / Fair Lending marketing perspective. George’s current role at Citibank began as the Community Investment Officer for the central region, where he managed all aspects of CRA / Fair Lending.

George received his BS degree in Psychology from St. Joseph’s College and did his graduate studies at Illinois Institute of Technology. His wealth of knowledge and dedication to community development is demonstrated over the years as he has served on over a dozen boards of community organizations and continues his participation in a host of activities that promote fairness in the area of financial services.

 

John Gholar

John Gholar, Esq. – Founding Member/ Executive Committee – Vice President

John Gholar is both a life-long resident of Chicago and a life-long member of Faith Temple Church of God in Christ in Englewood. Faith Temple has had a strong presence in the Greater Englewood community since 1955 and still does today. While still being a member of Faith Temple, John graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and African-American Studies. While at the University of Illinois, he was involved in a number of civic and political student organizations which revolutionized how he viewed politics and social justice. He had the opportunity to meet Barack Obama and was personally invited to assist on his campaign for United States Senate. John worked closely with Barack Obama during his campaign for United States Senate in 2004 and his successful run for President of the United States in 2008.

From his work with both campaigns, John developed a keen sense for community organizing. After graduating from college, John returned to Englewood and led the youth ministry at Faith Temple. As he became more involved with the lives of the youth, he became more entrenched in the ideals of social justice and progressive economic policies for Greater Englewood residents. In pursuit of tangible change, John received a paralegal certificate in 2006 from Northwestern College and a Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School in 2011.

Kimberly JonesKimberly Jones- Board Member/Secretary

Kimberly has worked in the banking industry for over twenty years. She is currently the Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager at U. S. Bank’s Englewood branch. Kimberly is an advocate of “financial literacy” and spends time with young people equipping them for the financial journey ahead. In the spring of 2008, Kimberly’s concern for spreading “financial literacy” prompted her to spearhead an initiative between U. S. Bank and 89.3 WKKC – FM (Kennedy – King College) creating “FOCUS on FINANCE” with Kimberly Jones. The radio show aired at 9:30 am every third Saturday of the month and provided students and community listeners with helpful tips on how to save, manage and invest their finances.

Kimberly is an avid reader and a music enthusiast, who considers her greatest strength to be her diplomacy. Ms. Jones is the very proud mother of a son, Timothy, who is currently serving in the United States Air Force.

lamont RobinsonLAMONT ROBINSON – Board member

Since 2007 Lamont Robinson has been the agency owner of the Allstate Insurance Robinson and Associates, an Allstate Insurance agency located in Chicago, IL. His focus is on protecting his client’s assets and their families from mayhem by ensuring that they have the appropriate products and coverage for their needs. He is licensed in Illinois and Indiana to sell property and casualty, life, accident and health insurance.

In his career with Allstate, Lamont has won numerous awards for providing outstanding customer service and exceeding business expectations. Lamont’s primary focus has always been the customer and he truly prides himself on providing an amazing customer experience to everyone that comes in contact with his agency. Prior to opening his agency, Lamont worked as territory sales representative for another large insurance company marketing property and casualty insurance products. It is this experience that has enabled Lamont to communicate policy information in a clear and easy to understand way.

Lamont is also positively impacting the community he serves by recently being appointed by the Chicago City Council to serve a two year term as a Commissioner to the Special Service Area #51 as a local business owner in the community. The Special Service Area is charged with the responsibility of using economic development to assist in cleaning, beautifying, and revitalizing the 51st street retail corridors. Lamont has always had a passion for teaching. He is an Adjunct Professor at Olive Harvey College one of the City Colleges of Chicago.

A native of Chicago, he holds a BA in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a MBA from National Louis University. Lamont is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and is a mentor with the Kappa League Institute of Chicago.

Staff

TamoraTamora Walls- Program Director

Tamora Walls has worked for corporate institutions utilizing her skills in the areas of graphic design, presentations, computer training, basic IT support, and web development. Tamora completed the SBA Entrepreneurship Courses where she received her Certificates of Completion.
In early 2003, she partnered with Business Services Group (BSG) to support both profit and non-profit organizations with business strategies and development services. In 2005, she developed a training course for entrepreneurs entitled “Who’s the Boss” Entrepreneurship BootCamp Training.

In keeping with her desire and distinctive abilities in assisting small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, Tamora’s grant writing skills are exceptional. She has successfully written grants with a success rate of 80% and has received funding in the amounts of over one-million dollars. Tamora has performed grant review services for the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is a member of the Grants Professional Association and is preparing to become certified in 2016.

For over a decade, Tamora has developed strong collaborative partnerships with various grant writing and business development professionals who collectively have over 45 + years of experience.

She is a core team leader and pastor at The Bridge Network International, Inc. and co-authored the book “Thy Kingdom Come: Living a Life of Dominion, Power and Authority” and is the author of “Reflections of the Heart”.