Fiscal Year 2022 Board of Directors
Attorney, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Payal focuses her practice on general corporate and transactional matters. She earned her J.D. from Emory University School of Law and her B.S., cum laude, from New York University. Payal speaks Gujarātī, an Indo-Aryan language. Payal also serves on the junior board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Director, Experience Strategy at PwC
Board Vice President
Katie Eng has nearly 15 years of experience developing consumer-centric brand, digital and communications strategies. She is currently the VP of Growth and Innovation, at PACO Collective, an independently owned cross-cultural marketing agency. Katie received her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2018.
Tim Harris has served on Alternatives’ Finance Committee since 2007, and currently serves on its Board of Directors and as its Treasurer. Tim is a retired attorney and has lived with his wife and daughter in Chicago’s Uptown community since 1998.
Senior Manager, Learning and Development
Erin Killingsworth-Walker is passionate about enhancing the lives of others and strengthening the social fabric of society. Erin is a talent development leader and has focused her career on crafting experiences that propel careers. Erin truly has a heart for public service and is engaged in an array of organizations focused on eradicating the social ills that impact communities.
Morning Show Host, 104.3
Jennifer Farina (also known as Jen BT on the air) is a morning show radio personality who is part of the Ed Lover Morning show on 104.3 JAMS from 6 am - 10 am every weekday morning in Chicago. Jen is from the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana where she received a BS in News-Editorial Journalism.
Finance Lead, Cushman and Wakefield
10+ years in corporate finance in Manufacturing, Publishing, Consumer Packaged Foods, and Commercial Real Estate industries. Passionate practitioner of Latin dances including Salsa/Mambo and Bachata. Lifelong "midwesterner" growing up in St. Louis and most recently residing in Chicago.
Manager of Tech and Operations, ChiArts
Vice-Chairman, EN Engineering
Tom Ziegenfuss has worked his entire career of 38 years in the energy industry. In 2004, Tom joined EN Engineering, LLC, and is currently Vice-Chairman. Additionally he served on the Board of Directors for GPRS, LLC in Ohio from 2018 to 2020 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Thayer Power and Communications, LLC in Ohio.
Randall is a retired ordained minister with standing in the United Church of Christ. In addition to 30 years of parish ministry Randall has provided over forty years of volunteer leadership for a variety of organizations focused on racial and economic justice, including work on organizing, housing, healthcare, and youth development. He has been a volunteer at Alternatives for nearly twenty year. This is his second rotation as a Board member having previously served from 2013 to 2020.
President of PQ Business Services
A racial equity warrior and former industrial engineer, Penny Smith is the president of PQ Business Services and a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD). She currently serves as the director of learning and impact at Erikson Institute where she leads the Policy and Leadership Department. She provides coaching to Early Childhood Leadership Academy (ECLA) alumni to operate plans via training, information sharing, policy initiatives, and fellow collaborations.
Assistant Director at the University of Illinois-Chicago Office of Technology Management
Jonathan Gortat is the Assistant Director at the University of Illinois-Chicago Office of Technology Management. He is responsible for managing a portfolio of technologies emanating from social impact research, engineering and medical technologies. This includes technology and market assessment, negotiation and licensing of UIC intellectual property assets for the widest public dissemination.
Join our Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Alternatives has term limits to ensure new perspectives and ideas are included. For this reason, we are always looking for dynamic and committed individuals interested in joining our Board.
Qualifications we are looking for…
- Alignment with and understanding of Alternatives’ Mission, Vision, and Values
- Understanding of Alternatives’ stance on advocacy issues and demonstrate a willingness to learn
- Demonstrate self-awareness of your journey toward understanding and evaluating your own privilege
- Willingness to engage with the organization outside of board meetings
- Serve as an actively engaged member during a 3-year term
- Regularly attend Board meetings 6 times per year
- Engage via committee or task force 5-10 hours per month
- Contribute to annual board member give/get: $2,500
For more information:
If you're interested in joining the board, please fill out the interest form and someone will be in touch with you.