Becky Carroll is the Founder and President of C-Strategies, a strategic communications and public affairs firm that serves corporate, advocacy, and non-profit clients leading media, crisis management and public policy campaigns. She served as an adviser to public-sector executives at both Chicago’s City Hall and the Illinois Office of the Governor, while also holding top positions on local, state, and national political campaigns, including National Director of Women for Obama on the 2008 Obama for President Campaign, and most recently as Communications Advisor to Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker’s Transition Committee after serving as an advisor to his Gubernatorial Campaign.
Considered one of Chicago’s top public affairs strategists, Becky is a two-decade veteran of high-profile political and public policy campaigns. She led public engagement and communications strategies to develop and promote bold, new initiatives on education, economic development, housing, pensions, and budget and finance issues. Her public sector experience includes: the City of Chicago Departments of Planning & Development and Housing; Chicago Mayor’s Office; Chicago Public Schools; and the Illinois Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.
As part of her firm’s mission, she focuses on empowering women and elevating both their voices and issues that uniquely impact them through her monthly podcast “The Broad Cast” and quarterly engagement event “The C Chat”.
Becky is a third-generation Chicagoan who attended Chicago Public Schools and graduated from Loyola University Chicago. In October 2017, she was among the co-founders of “Illinois Say No More” an open letter regarding the pervasive culture of sexual harassment in Illinois politics that helped raise the public’s consciousness around this issue. Her civic involvement includes: 1871 Mentor; The Economics Club of Chicago, member; Board member at NARAL Pro-Choice America, Equality Illinois, Chicago Area Public Affairs Group (CAPAG), and One Illinois; and Ambassador Board member of MedGlobal. In 2016, she co-founded a global social media campaign called #StandWithAleppo that engaged more than a billion people across the world in speaking up for peace in Aleppo, Syria and was recognized by Today.com as one of “7 Parents Who Inspired Us” in 2016 for her work on this effort, while receiving the “Making A Difference Award” by the Syrian American Medical Society. In 2017, WeWill named her “Mom of the Year” while she was recognized as a Chicago Business Journal Woman of Influence in 2018. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.
Kelly Emery joined Heartland Alliance in August 2017 as Chief Operating Officer. As a member of executive management, she is responsible for leading the shared service functions that support Heartland Alliance and its nonprofit corporate entities, as well as Heartland’s Research & Policy Division and the National Immigrant Justice Center. Ms. Emery’s key areas of focus are to align the shared services with current and future business needs, drive operational efficiencies, and partner across the enterprise to advance Heartland’s strategic priorities. Her passion for building high-performing teams and developing future leaders, coupled with her experience in financial management and operations, make her uniquely qualified to lead transformational change.
Prior to joining Heartland Alliance, Ms. Emery spent 16 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago working in the Federal Reserve’s Financial Services (FRFS), Finance, Credit Risk Management, and Statistical and Financial Reporting functions. She served as a Bank officer from 2010 to 2017 and held several Bank and System leadership roles, including Vice Chair of the District Leadership Council, Chair of the FRFS Financial Management Leadership Team, and Executive Sponsor of the LGBT employee resource group.
Ms. Emery earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Kent State University, studied abroad at the University of Leicester in England, and received her MBA from DePaul University. She also completed the Women’s Senior Leadership Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Cory Jobe was appointed to the newly established position of Vice President of Communications at Navy Pier in January 2019. Jobe is charged with leading the Pier’s marketing, branding and communications initiatives, and ultimately, helping draw more locals and tourists, alike, to experience the reimagined Navy Pier. To date, under Jobe’s leadership the Pier has adopted a new brand strategy platform and identity, new marketing campaign and paid media strategy to grow attendance and attract new guests to the iconic Pier.
Prior to joining Navy Pier, Mr. Jobe was Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. As the State Tourism Director, Jobe was responsible for leading the state’s tourism industry marketing and development efforts. Mr. Jobe worked in collaboration with tourism industry professionals to promote visitor travel both domestically and internationally, and to help grow the tourism industry throughout the state. Under his leadership, Jobe grew visitor numbers, expenditures, and tax revenues four consecutive years.
Prior to his appointment by Governor Bruce Rauner in January 2015, Mr. Jobe was the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Illinois Office of the Comptroller from 2011 to 2015. In addition, he served on the Springfield City Council as the elected alderman of Springfield’s 6th ward, which includes tourist attractions like the Dana Thomas House and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Mr. Jobe served as leader of the People’s Economic Development Corporation from 2006 to 2010, and as Director of Economic Development for the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office from 1997 to 2006. Outside of work, Mr. Jobe serves on the board of directors for Equality Illinois and the Hope Institute for Children and Families.
Channyn Lynne Parker is a Transgender advocate, public speaker, community-centric leader and Manager of External Relations for Howard Brown Health Center. Prior to her current role, Ms. Parker served as manager of The Broadway Youth Centers, Youth Development Program, and manager of Chicago House Social Service Agency’s, TransLife Project (2017). Ms. Parker, is the first openly transgender woman to work in the Cook County Dept. of Corrections, working with populations in protective custody. Inaugural Trans 100 awardee (2013). White House speaker, National HIV/AIDS Strategy (2015), and Chicago Women’s March speaker (2017, 2018). Ms. Parker is the recipient of the Henrietta Lacks award, Women in Health in Chicago (2018) and Equality Illinois prestigious Freedom Award (2019).
Ms. Parker is quoted as saying, “Equality is the firmest pillar upon which human value stands. If I am named amongst those who are ambitious, and maybe even crazy enough to believe that we, somehow through our actions can leave this world a place. If I have played some small part in reducing the burden of injustice, then I have lived a life well served.”