April 2017


Kayla Abrahamson
Business Analyst

Anna Kwawer
Senior Consultant

Earlier this year, Civic Consulting welcomed two Deloitte fellows to the team, Kayla Abrahamson and Anna Kwawer. Over the course of four months, Kayla and Anna supported Cook County's new State's Attorney, Kim Foxx, and her leadership team in developing a change management strategy for an office of more than 1,000 employees, including roughly 800 attorneys.
For Anna, the experience was the perfect opportunity to learn more about Chicago's civic landscape. "I had heard great things about Civic Consulting from my colleagues at Deloitte, and I was looking forward to the opportunity to make a real impact in my adopted home of Chicago. It was inspiring to help create a work environment in which prosecutors could make a difference in the criminal justice system."

"It was e x citing to see that the change management skills I had developed at Deloitte applied dir ectly to the public sector," added Kayla. "Through the project, I had the opportunity to advance important skills that I can bring back to Deloitte while working alongside motivated civic leaders."
In addition to gaining experience in the civic sector, the work was enriching from a professional development perspective for Kayla and Anna. "The mentorship and development I received at Civic Consulting was invaluable. The CCA team took me under their wing, and now I can bring back these lessons to Deloitte," noted Anna. Kayla agreed: "The Civic Consulting Alliance team really made this a noteworthy experience."

For more information on fellowships at Civic Consulting Alliance and how you or your firm can participate, click here or contact Haley Sonenthal.

"Civic Consulting Alliance offered an ideal environment for both me and Black Chicago Tomorrow to grow. I am so fortunate to have worked with a team that challenged me and continually pushed me to drive the most possible impact."

Danielle Harbison
Executive Director,
Black Chicago Tomorrow

In 2016, Sam Scott, retired chairman and CEO of Ingredion Inc., called on Chicago's business community to help set a new course for Chicago's African American community. Scott argued that Chicago's business community could work with the African American community to define and support a strategy to address neighborhood-level challenges and community-wide barriers. This partnership, he argued, would lift up both the African American community and Chicago overall.
This idea led to the recent launch of Black Chicago Tomorrow (BCT). BCT aims to revitalize the African American community through place-based and community-wide initiatives that will drive better coordination of resources and ensure that community voices are heard. The goal, according to Executive Director Danielle Harbison, is to "make all of Chicago more inclusive so that everyone can benefit from what the city offers and the city can benefit from the talent and ingenuity of all of its residents."
With support from pro bono partner A.T. Kearney, Civic Consulting Alliance created a model for neighborhood vitality that included six pathways: Economic Opportunity, Safety and Justice, Education, Public Health, Family Strength, and Community Development. The team then developed an approach to match needs voiced by community members, based on the six pathways, with the resources and expertise of partner corporations and universities. Central to this approach is a focus on initiatives that build off existing neighborhood assets and leadership. BCT is now launching pilot initiatives in several neighborhoods. Additionally, the team is collaborating with private and public sector partners to address issues affecting the entire African American community.
When Scott first developed the idea of BCT, Harbison was an Associate Principal with Civic Consulting. Over a nine-month period, she led a CCA team through the initial development of BCT's strategy and goals, after which she joined BCT as the founding Executive Director. Civic Consulting, according to Harbison, provided the opportunity to incubate and test BCT's vision: "At Civic Consulting Alliance, I learned how to look across Chicago and find opportunities to bridge connections across sectors. These experiences will be critical to BCT's success."

For more information on this project, please contact Antonio Benecchi.
  • Thank you to Chicago Public Library for hosting our recent Civic Cocktails event. More than 80 partners and clients gathered to celebrate the rich community that makes up Civic Consulting Alliance. During the event, we had an engaging conversation on the future of civil society and the American Dream in Chicago.
  • Earlier this month, Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson announced the nomination of Dr. Laura Kunard as the inaugural Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety. The new position was one of the central recommendations from the Police Accountability Task Force (PATF). Over the past six months Civic Consulting Alliance, with support from Lantern Partners, led a nationwide search in collaboration with experts and community members to identify the best candidate for this position.
  • Last summer, Civic Consulting Alliance and pro bono partners CannonDesign and the Kellogg School of Management collaborated with Cook County's criminal justice stakeholders to develop a new design for the County's Central Bond Court. Earlier this month, Civic Consulting released a new case study on the redesign project. Read the case study here.
  • Congratulations to Civic Consulting Alliance Associate Principal Andy Schwarm, who recently made the Dean's Honor List of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business evening program!

Questions? Comments? Contact Leslie Glotzer.

Civic Consulting Alliance is an affiliate of the Civic Committee of the
Commercial Club of Chicago.