Our board

Bringing a wealth of expertise, dedication, and knowledge.

Aditya Burman, MBA

Aditya Burman has been at the crossroads of technology and business solutions as an entrepreneur and as a senior consultant and product manager at Deloitte and IBM. But he has never forgotten the importance of giving back to community. At Deloitte, he helped the State of Wisconsin devise strategies for improving delivery of social services, and recently he’s been volunteering with WITS, the Working In The Schools organization in Chicago, to improve literacy and learning ability among low-income and minority students. Studying entrepreneurship, organizational management, and marketing strategy, Mr. Burman earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business after receiving a BS in Computer Science from Tulane University.

Deila Davis, MBA

Deila Davis is the director of government affairs at Access Community Health Network, Illinois’ largest Federally Qualified Health Center. Before moving to Access in 2005, Ms. Davis gained valuable experience as associate director of development at Chicago’s renowned Providence St. Mel School, a private, coeducational preK-12 college-prep institution, and as a policy analyst for Detroit City Council Member Nicholas Hood III. After receiving her BA in Public Policy and Organizational Development from Brown University, Ms. Davis earned an MBA in Public Policy and was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship from the University of Michigan. She later also earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

Teresa (Tere) Garate, PhD

Dr. Teresa Garate is President and CEO of Anixter Center, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area serving people with disabilities of all ages. She is a recognized authority and advocate in the fields of disabilities, education, human services, and public health and has an extensive background in government, nonprofit and private sectors.Dr. Garate co-chairs the state task force for Employment and Economic Opportunities for People with Disabilities, and serves as a faculty member in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she received her PhD in Special Education.

Fil Mendez Guipoco

Fil Mendez Guipoco is the multicultural initiatives director at the American Heart Association. On both the local and national level, he has led health impact initiatives in multicultural communities by focusing on prevention to build sustainable cultures of health. Mr. Guipoco has been recognized for his work by organizations including the Hispanic Center of Excellence at University of Illinois and received the Rome Betts Award, honoring outstanding AHA staff members for their leadership, professionalism, and dedication. Now in his ninth year as a Board member, Mr. Guipoco is a past Board president. He earned his MA in Clinical Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Gilbert Lichstein, LCPC

Gilbert Lichstein is the clinical director for the Chicago Independence and River North locations of Gateway Foundation Rehab Centers. During his time at Gateway, he has served in, developed, and managed a variety of outpatient and residential programs specializing in the treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Gilbert’s clinical interests include evaluating and implementing evidence-based practices. Gilbert is a MINT-trained motivational interviewing trainer, and has Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology and Aerospace Engineering.

Natalie Ferguson Marquez, JD

Natalie Ferguson Marquez, a partner in the Chicago office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, focuses on corporate transactions and regulatory compliance, primarily in healthcare and real estate. She has represented integrated healthcare systems and advised providers on state and federal regulations such as licensure standards, physician recruitment and retention requirements; HIPAA/HITECH Act compliance, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse laws; Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement and mandatory reporting requirements; and nonprofit corporation law pertaining to formation, charitable care and preservation of hospital tax-exempt status. She began her legal career at the Illinois State Senate as Legal Counsel to the Insurance & Pensions Committee where she counseled Senators on legislative and regulatory issues presented before the Committee pertaining to and impacting the healthcare, insurance and pension industries. She has held several judicial appointments as Guardian ad Litem in cases involving alleged disabled persons and/or minors. Ms. Marquez graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received her law degree from DePaul University College of Law. She is licensed to practice in Illinois, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia. Ms. Marquez is also a licensed Illinois real estate broker with the brokerage firm of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty.

David Reed, PhD

Dr. David Reed was one of our founding influences. He has been an important voice with the organization as well as a powerful force for social justice in Chicago for more than 30 years. After receiving his PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University in 1979, Dr. Reed became involved in research and advocacy for a variety of causes, including juvenile justice, domestic violence, gender bias, and community renewal. He has served in prominent roles with the Chicago Law Enforcement Study Group, the Chicago Community Trust, Community Renewal Society, and the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law. He is principal of his nonprofit consulting firm, David Reed & Associates.

David L. Rieser, JD

David L. Rieser is Of Counsel to K&L Gates LLP in the areas of environment, land and natural resources. With more than three decades of environmental law experience, he has advised a variety of clients on legislative, regulatory, compliance, and enforcement matters; corporate, commercial, and real estate transactions; environmental insurance coverage; and the remediation of contaminated sites. In the legislative and regulatory arena, Mr. Rieser has represented trade associations, industry groups and individual companies in numerous matters involving the U.S. and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agencies. An experienced litigator, Mr. Rieser has argued cases in federal and state courts, including a recent victory in which he represented a coalition seeking to preserve commercial navigation in the Chicago waterways. He previously headed the environmental, regulatory and redevelopment practice at Much Shelist, P.C. Mr. Rieser graduated from the University of Chicago and earned his JD from the Washington University School of Law.

Kimberly Walz

Kimberly Walz is Regional Director of Local Government Relations for Walgreens, with more than a 15 years of experience at the local, state and national level and a record of achievements in public and budgetary policy. Her expertise in building coalitions of diverse stakeholders has been instrumental in government reform efforts in Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois. Previously, as VP of Resolute Consulting, Ms. Walz oversaw multiple client campaigns, offering strategic counsel and managing a project team. Prior to that, she advised, developed and implemented policy, communications, and campaign strategy for political and nonprofit clients, including serving as SVP of Marketing and Communications for Evergreen Health, a new nonprofit co-op health insurance company founded by local doctors to provide a health insurance alternative for Marylanders. She also worked for 10 years for Congressman Mike Quigley in leadership roles in Cook County and his Congressional office. Ms. Walz earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Sodiqa R. Williams, Esq.

Sodiqa Williams is Vice President for External Affairs at the Safer Foundation, where she also serves as General Counsel. Ms. Willams’focus for more a decade has been on government relations, public advocacy and constituent services. She has advocated locally and nationally to advance a progressive agenda for people with arrest or conviction records, including promoting policies and practices that reduce recidivism, eliminating barriers to reentry, creating opportunities in high skill and high wage jobs and educating employers. Previously, she served as the Senior Presidential Advisor at the American Bar Association, and had been a project manager at Conlon & Dunn Public Strategies, a public relations and government affairs firm. She also worked for 8th Ward Alderwoman Michelle Harris and then-Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn. Ms. Williams earned her undergraduate degree In Politics from Princeton University and her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law with a specialization in energy/environmental law. She was sworn into the Illinois bar on November 10, 2011 and is a member in good standing in the State Bar of Illinois.

Honorary Board Member

Linda Gilmore Bathgate, MEd, CRC

Linda Gilmore Bathgate has worked and taught the fields of family counseling, addictions and blindness for many years. Currently, she is a counselor and instructor at South Suburban College in Illinois with special focus on learning styles, personality-type theory, and transition issues for students with disabilities. Ms. Bathgate is a certified rehabilitation counselor and vocational evaluator. She is also a member of AHEAD, the Association of Higher Education and Disability, and was chosen as a presenter at the International Association of Higher Education and Disability in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2010. She earned her master’s degree in Counselor Education and Rehabilitation from Penn State University.