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Board of Directors
Kaberi Banerjee Murthy is the Program Director for Education, Arts & Culture and Civic Affairs at Crown Family Philanthropies. She has over 10 years experience as a grantmaker, working at local, regional and national foundations. Kaberi is on the National Board of Grantmakers for Education. She has served on the board of Resource Generation, was a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and a founding member of the Saffron Circle.
Emmanuel Garcia is a journalist, community organizer and Vice President of the Board of Directors of ElevArte Community Studio, a multi-arts, community based organization that provides free art youth programs. He is the co-founder of the Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA) Scholarship; a scholarship that is awarded annually to two Latino gay, bi youth. Currently he is leading a social marketing campaign in Cicero, IL that addresses the issues of homophobia, transphobia, and HIV/AIDS stigma within the Latino community. Manny is a former Lisa Fittko intern at Crossroads Fund
Susan Eleuterio is a folklorist, educator, and consultant to non-profits. She formerly served as the Director of Ethnic and Folk Arts, Literature and Presenters Programs for the Illinois Arts Council and as the Registrar and Collections Manager at the Museum of Science and Industry. Sue has extensive experience in grants administration and review and has served on grant review panels in Illinois as well as for other Midwestern states and the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, Sue served on Crossroads Fund granmaking panel last cycle.
Alejandra Ibañez is a Program Officer at Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation. She immigrated to the United States from Chile in 1977. Since making Chicago her home in 1989, Alejandra has worked in both the public and non-profit sectors, including serving as Chief of Staff to Illinois State Representative Sonia Silva and serving as Executive Director at Pilsen Alliance.
Robert (Bob) Horton, Board Co-Chair, worked in the finance and investment management business for over 25 years and currently volunteers for various organizations including the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Center on Halsted and the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple. Bob received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1994.
Christopher Long, Treasurer, is a Fee-Only Certified Financial Planner and a Registered Investment Advisor. Prior to founding Long & Associates LLC, Chris had a 15-year career in marketing and general management. Chris has led a demonstration project to bring financial planning services to low-income residents in Chicago and volunteers with Financial Links for Low Income People.
Sharmili Majmudar is the Executive Director of Rape Victim Advocates, an organization committed to ensuring that survivors of sexual assault are treated with dignity and compassion, and dedicated to affecting changes in the way the legal system, medical institutions and society as a whole respond to survivors. She has served on the board of Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, and on the advisory committee for Transforming Silence Into Action, a national gathering of queer Asian Pacific Islander (API) activists and advocates addressing intimate partner violence in API LGBT communities. Sharmili has been a long time supporter of Crossroads Fund.
Christine Kim-Tai Plautz, Board Co-Chair, has an extensive background in philanthropy. She was a staff member at Girl's Best Friend Foundation from 2002 until they closed their doors in 2008. She is a member of the steering committee of the Chicago Chapter of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, and is one of the co-chairs of the Asian Giving Circle at the Chicago Community Trust.
Jennifer Rakstad is the Career Development Attorney at Mayer Brown LLP and a former commercial litigator at the firm. She coaches attorneys on career planning and goal setting and presents on a variety of professional development topics. Jennifer received her law degree from New York University School of Law and was Law Clerk to the Honorable Jaime Pieras, Jr., Senior District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico. Jennifer served on the board of Sarah’s Circle for five years and acted as Board President for two. Jennifer currently serves on her firm’s Women’s Initiatives Committee and is a delegate to the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms.
Mark Rodriguez currently serves as the Executive Director of Changing Worlds. He has worked for over a decade to strengthen Chicago's nonprofits and communities in various roles such as program director, community organizer, education director, community relations manager and consultant through organizations such as National-Louis University, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI), University of Chicago and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. Mark is a co-founder and board member of the Telpochcalli Community Education Project and has conducted grant reviews for organizations such as the Department of Cultural Affairs, CityArts division, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and the Woods Fund of Chicago.
Layla P. Suleiman Gonzalez, Ph.D., J.D. has provided training, policy, research, and evaluation consultation to numerous non-profit, private and public entities at the local, state, and national level for over 20 years. Her practice focuses on human rights and civil rights approaches to capacity building in the human services, particularly child welfare, family support, youth development, juvenile justice and community building. She was on the faculty at both DePaul University and Loyola University where she continues to teach human services and research methodology courses. Dr. Suleiman Gonzalez received her degree in Applied Developmental Psychology at Loyola University of Chicago and her J.D. from DePaul University with a concentration on International Law and Human Rights.
Julie Walther, is the Senior Director of Programs at the Center on Halsted. She has extensive work experience in the nonprofit community both in program management and grantmaking. She has worked hard to expand access of factual, inclusive, sexuality health education materials to young people. She has served on the board of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and the Chicago Public Schools Sex Ed Curriculum Review Committee. She has previously served as Senior Program Officer with The Brinson Foundation, and for Girl’s Best Friend Foundation.
Daryl Woods is a Managing Partner of American Health Resources, Inc. a health care management company. Her background includes philanthropy, public policy, planning, and research. She has worked for the City of Chicago, the Chicago Community Trust, the Woods Charitable Fund, and the Chicago Urban League.