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Executive Board Members

Tracey Harmon
Vice President at J.P. Morgan Chase,  Treasury Services.

Ms. Harmon’s background is in information technology. Her professional background is in quality assurance, project management, process improvement and team development. From 1983 until joining J.P. Morgan Chase in 2006, Ms. Harmon taught project management and managed the development of information systems for economic development projects in East and Southern Africa, working for international donor agencies.

She holds a BA in Business Administration from the United States International University (Nairobi campus) and is co-inventor of a patented project management methodology for planning and scheduling complex projects: System for Graphically Generating the Sequence and Temporal Relationship among Tasks in a Project, 1997.

Clifton Kirksey
Certified Financial Planner,  C Kirksey Associates

Mr. Kirksey advises individuals and small businesses owners in all aspects of wealth accumulation, retirement planning, and investment management.  He has worked in the financial services industry since 1985.  Prior to 1985, Mr. Kirksey worked in technical sales & marketing for two major US manufacturers of electrical generation and distribution equipment; he has also served in numerous leadership roles while working with elementary schools and civic organizations, such as Rotary International.

Mr. Kirksey is a retired Lieutenant Colonel United States Army with 28 years of service. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University.

Vivian Awumey
Teaching With Primary Sources (TPS) Program Manager, Library of Congress

Ms. Awumey works in the design and implementation of the national TPS educational consortium–comprised of 28 universities, school districts and educational non-profits–which serves to help teachers use the Library of Congress’ vast collection of digitized primary sources. Her professional background is in education, human resources development and management. Since 1981, Ms. Awumey has worked on a number of education and organizational development projects in the U.S. and abroad.  She joined the Library in 2006.

Ms. Awumey holds a BA in Business Administration from the United States International University (Nairobi campus), and an MA in Education from the University of Virginia.

Advisory Board Members

 Jeannette Afi Awumey UN, FAO, RAF

Jeanette has been working with the Regional Office for Africa of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO)in Accra, Ghana for the past 29 years from 1982 to date. I hold a Diploma in Bilingual Secretaryship (French and English) from Ghana Institute of Languages, Accra. I have worked for 25 years as a bilingual secretary and in the past four years I am at Front Desk of the same Office. My Office covers the whole of Africa and Madagascar.


Kelley Baum

Kelley is a lifelong Chicagoan who resides on the North side of the city. She has taught for over 20 years and is a proud Chicago Public School teacher. She currently teaches 2nd grade at Franklin Fine Arts Center in the Old Town neighborhood. Kelley has two children- Kelsey and Jackson, who both attend Franklin. Naomi was in Ms. Baum’s second grade class when she came out of remission in 2010.

Ms. Baum holds a BA Western Illinois University and an MA in Education from Loyola  University Chicago.

Joan McKenzie-Hobbs FACHE, MBA, RHIA

Joan obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Records Administration from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois; an Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA); Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration and Finance from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois; and is board certified in Healthcare Management as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)—a professional society dedicated to promoting the highest standards of professional, educational and leadership performance; the highest ethical standards and conduct; and the advancement of healthcare management excellence.

Joan leads by example, supports the efforts of others to develop and grow by promoting an environment where education and training are not only valued but highly encouraged.  She trusts in the mission and vision of the organization, and demands excellence in her work.

Joan’s son and Naomi were very close friends since she was in kindergarten.

Kanchan Joshi, PMP

Kanchan has over 16 years of professional experience in the Information Technology industry and consulting with 11 years of progressive experience in Software Quality Assurance and Program Management. Proven leadership skills in managing large projects in a globally distributed environment. She has worked in mid-size to large corporations such as Mediaocean, JPMorgan Chase, Capgemeni and iGATE corporation. She is currently consulting and has experience in eCommerce, Media, Marketing, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Insurance industries. She lives in Evanston, IL with her husband and a 2 year old son.

I had the opportunity of knowing Naomi over the years as a caring, loving and enthusiastic kid. I have attended some of Naomi’s school performances and ballet practice lessons and have seen her put in her best effort. Naomi was always an inspiration to others and had a smile that would make everyone feel her warmth and love.


Linda Lutton, WEBEZ Reports

As a WBEZ education reporter, Linda covers schools, education, and issues affecting youth.

Prior to joining WBEZ in 2008, Linda worked as a freelance reporter and radio producer in Michoacán, Mexico. Before that, she was the lead education reporter at the Daily Southtown, where she covered education across 85 school districts in Chicago’s south suburbs.

Linda’s reporting has appeared in the Chicago ReaderIn These TimesEducation Week, theChicago Tribune, and others.  She has contributed radio reports to The WorldMarketplace, and NPR’s Morning Edition.

Linda’s investigation into a corrupt south suburban school superintendent won a national 2005 Education Writers Association first prize award for investigative journalism and a Chicago Headline Club Watchdog Award. She received a 2004 Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.

Linda worked on the award-winning radio series “Fifty-Fifty: The Odds of Graduating.” Her radio work has been recognized with a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, several Edward R. Murrow regional awards, and a Third Coast Audio Festival documentary award, among others.

Linda has a B.A. in Urban Studies and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Catherine Harmon Toomer, M.D.
Medical Officer, Rural Health Services South Carolina

Dr. Toomer  is a Family Practitioner who plays a part in addressing cultural and socioeconomic disparities in health care delivery and outcomes, through direct patient care and community based health education.  Dr. Toomer has worked throughout South Carolina in community health centers for the medically underserved since 1999.  Dr Toomer is a National Health Service Corp Scholar, continuing the programs core principal of providing scholarships to those committed to primary care, and dedicated to working in shortage areas.

Dr. Toomer received her Medical Doctorate from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing and completed her Community Health and Family Medicine residency at Shands Hospitals at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Karyn Osinowo,Attorney at Law Offices of Karyn P. Osinowo

French-speaking Chicago attorney with fifteen years of experience representing individual and business clients in various legal matters including trademark filings, breach of contract, real estate closings, divorce, and immigration.

Extensive courtroom experience in all stages of litigation, including preparing and arguing motions, attending pre-trial conferences and status hearings, trial presentation in criminal court, civil court, domestic relations court, and probate court, statutory summary suspension hearings, license revocation hearings and building condemnation hearings.

Highly qualified legal professional able to assist as needed with case load overflow, discovery, legal research and writing, document review, court coverage, and to serve as either first- or second-chair counsel.

Karyn has a degree in law from J.D. at Boston University School of Law.