June 10, 2021
Melissa Mister, Chief Program Officer for After School Matters spoke with WBEZ about the upcoming summer program session and 30 years of serving Chicago teens…. More ›
After School Matters is thrilled to welcome four well-respected individuals to their Board of Directors. The new board members will each help support After School Matters on their mission to connect Chicago teens to free world-class program opportunities which empower them to find their passion and their future.
“We’re excited to expand our board with four new members who will bring diverse backgrounds and insight to our work,” said After School Matters CEO Mary Ellen Caron. “We have worked diligently to ensure our board and leadership represents a variety of experts with different skill sets and a deep love for serving our city’s young people and our new board members are no exception.”
Natalie Brown, President of Mesirow
Natalie Brown serves as President of Mesirow, working with the firm’s Chairman and CEO to set and implement all facets of corporate strategy and partner with the Mesirow Board of Directors and the firm’s businesses on financial, operational and organizational issues and opportunities. Brown joined Mesirow in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer. In this role, she led the Accounting and Finance team, overseeing accounting operations, business accounting, audit and tax, and financial planning and analysis. In 2020, she assumed additional responsibilities as Chief Administrative Officer.
Prior to Mesirow, Brown spent nearly two decades with Nuveen, most recently as Managing Director, Head of Nuveen Advisory Services Finance. Prior to Nuveen, she worked at Kraft Foods and KPMG in accounting and finance roles.
Brown sits on the Boards of After School Matters and the Big Shoulders Fund. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Executives Club, where she is also a Women’s Mentorship Initiative Member and serves on the Council of Advisors. She earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Curt R. Bailey, President of Related Midwest
Curt R. Bailey serves as President of Related Midwest and directs a diverse portfolio and pipeline of luxury, market-rate and affordable residential, mixed-use and adaptive re-use properties in Chicago. His vision for the company includes transforming the landscape of Chicago real estate through market-defining projects in neighborhoods across Chicago, with a focus on delivering architecturally significant design, exceptional planning, and wide-ranging community benefits.
At Related Midwest, Bailey’s team leads a mentorship program for small business owners to help support their operations, capacity building, and growth. Well known for his commitment to community hiring, Bailey is dedicated to ensuring local residents, minorities and women gain access to opportunities that lead to successful careers and thriving businesses in the industry.
Bailey is Chair for Start Early, a Director at the French International School of Chicago, a National Advisory Board member of the University of Colorado’s CU Real Estate Center, and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. Bailey holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lives in Streeterville with his wife and four daughters.
Elliott Rodgers, Chief People Officer of project44
Elliott Rodgers was named Chief People Officer of project44 in October 2021 after having previously served as the Chief Information Officer at Ulta Beauty. Prior to being the Chief Information Officer at Ulta Beauty, Rodgers was the Chief Supply Chain Officer since April 2019 and Senior Vice President, Logistics since March 2017. He joined Ulta Beauty as Vice President, Supply Chain Strategy, in November 2013. Before joining Ulta Beauty, Rodgers held operational leadership roles spanning retail, financial services, and logistics at Target, Citibank, and the United States Army. Rodgers serves on the Board of Directors of Levi Strauss & Co.
Gil Medina, Director of Supply Planning at Aspire Bakeries
Gil Medina is Director of Supply Planning at Aspire Bakeries. Aspire Bakeries, formerly Aryzta, develops deep relationships with customer partners that include major quick-serve restaurants, food service providers, and grocery retailers to provide bakery solutions with the highest standards for food safety and sustainability. Prior to Aspire, Medina was a Production Planner for Givaudan and an Inventory Analyst for A. Stucki Company. Medina participated in the ASM Sports Aquatics program at Benito Juarez High School from Fall 2002 through Spring 2006. Medina holds a Bachelor of Finance degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high-quality, after-school, and summer opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college, and beyond. Since 1991, After School Matters has engaged more than 350,000 teens, helping them attain valuable knowledge and skills which have helped them discover their passion in life.
While most programs continue to take place remotely due to the ongoing pandemic, a variety of safe, in-person opportunities for teens are offered across Chicago at After School Matters locations and in partnership with community-based organizations, following CDC, State, and City guidelines. All programs are paid apprenticeships and internships.
Celebrating its 30th year in 2021, After School Matters is a nonprofit organization that provides after-school and summer opportunities to Chicago public high school teens to explore their passions and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college, and beyond. After School Matters programs are project-based, led by industry experts, and provide a pathway to progress in skills development and independence. Teens earn a stipend while participating in programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Over the span of three decades, After School Matters has engaged more than 350,000 teens throughout the city of Chicago. www.afterschoolmatters.org.