Welcome the Newest Members of the Library Foundation Junior Board

Categories: Junior Board

It’s hard to believe we’ve already added the first wave of new members to the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Junior Board, but its true!

And who, might you ask, are these young philanthropists? We took some time to chat with Chicago’s up and coming leaders, who are dedcating their time and talent to the curious — and this is what they had to say!

Khadija Ali, Deputy Director of Scheduling at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office

Khadija had always been aware of CPL Foundation, but like so many Junior Board members before her, it wasn’t until meeting another passionate Board Member (Michelle Bess) that she knew she had to get involved. “I didn’t realize that the Junior Board played such an important role in fundraising for Library programs,” Ali explained. “People know the Library exists and think it’s just about borrowing books — but it’s so much more than that.”

If you could have coffee, dinner or drinks with your favorite author, who would it be and what would you have?

I would probably choose Jane Austen, Ali starts. “Dinner, because there are more than a couple Jane Austen-inspired cookbooks out there. (*Which she came across at the Harold Washington Library!)

Elena Cincione, Attorney at Power & Cronin

When attorney Elena Cincione isn’t in trial, she explained her first love started at the Library. “When I was in grade school, me and like 10 friends used to hang out with the librarian in our free time,” she laughed. When asked why she thought giving back was so important, she explained “It speaks to a modern society. It fills the gaps where maybe the system can’t bend and give back — and there’s always those gaps.”

If you could have coffee, dinner or drinks with your favorite author, who would it be and what would you have?

“Coffee with Shel Silverstein,” Cincione exclaimed, “to learn how he came up with his crazy poems and learn how his mind ticks.”

Maureen Horonzy, Director of Alumni Relations at The University of Chicago

While Maureen spends her day developing important alumni relationships for the University of Chicago’s Law School, she admits her first passion started with the Library. Which isn’t surprising when you learn her first job was working as a page at her local library!  On her own philanthropic philosophy, Horonzy explains: “Gifts of any size make an impact.”

If you could have coffee, dinner or drinks with your favorite author, who would it be and what would you have?

“Coffee with S.E Hinton,” McCarthy starts, “to hear more about the inspiration behind her books.”

Eugene Minon, Senior IT Consultant at Clarity Partners

A longtime friend of the Foundation, Eugene made it official this month through an epiphany he had on the job. As the Senior IT Consultant at Clarity Partners, Eugene helps with all things technical on our website cplfoundation.org. By spending time on the site, it was only a matter of time before he asked himself “wait, why don’t I join the Junior Board?” (We couldn’t agree more!)

If you could have coffee, dinner or drinks with your favorite author, who would it be and what would you have?

“Coffee with Bill Watterson, author and artist of Calvin and Hobbes,” he said without missing a beat. “Mainly to ask him to come out of retirement.”

Kim Speckmann, SVP, Finance Director at FCB Chicago

In between her busy career in one of Chicago’s hottest ad agencies, Kim, a self-proclaimed ‘finance geek’ decided to get involved with the Library Foundation. She explained her motivation to join the Junior Board was one we believe many people share, that she wanted to commit her talents to something that could live beyond her career. (Swoon!) In addition to her incredible math skills, Kim hopes to spread what we believe is the Library’s best kept secret, “The library’s not just about checking books out anymore.”

If you could have coffee, dinner or drinks with your favorite author, who would it be and what would you have?

“Dinner with Jay McInerney” Speckmann adds, “big meal, glass of wine — conversation flows from there.”

Brooke Ward, VP, Management Director at FCB Chicago

Brooke first found out about the Junior Board through her tremendous role managing CPL and the Library Foundation’s rebrand. In addition to her account savvy, she looks forward to bringing the unique perspective of a creative agency to help further a philanthropic vision we can get behind: “Small actions add up, even if it feels small at the time, it will have a huge impact.”

If you could have coffee, dinner or drinks with your favorite author , who would it be and what would you have?

Dinner with Ann Patchett at Quartinos in Chicago. “The way she views the world is what I dream it to be,” Ward beams.

Collective Favorites:

What is your favorite book?

-The Outsiders
-Tiny Beautiful Things
-How to Be a Person in the World
-The Dark Tower (Series)
-Wuthering Heights Bridget Jones’s Diary

Favorite Public Space in the city?

-Harold Washington Library
-Thomas Hughes Library
-Millenium Park
-Maggie Daley Park
-Independence Grove
-Mary Bartelme Park 2

Favorite Library Branch?

-Harold Washington
-Merlo (on Belmont between Halstead and Broadway)
-Sulzer (Lincoln Square)
-Water Works (in the heart of downtown)
-Blackstone (Where, yes, we rent out fishing poles!)

In addition to their advocacy and support, the Junior Board & Society helps organize fundraisers throughout the year for the Chicago Public Library Foundation. To date, they’ve raised over $650,000 for Library programming, including throwing the party of the year Night in the Stacks.  If you or someone you admire is interested in becoming a member, click here.