your voice matters – on the table 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Your Voice Matters – On The Table 2016


When we come together as a community to listen to and learn from each other, we have the power to impact both neighborhoods and lives. That’s what On the Table is all about.

For the past two years, On the Table has proven that Chicago-area residents and thought-leaders such as you share a desire to come together, collaborate more, become more civically involved and more committed to our community. While we know that there’s no “quick fix” to the issues facing our region, progress will result from thought-leaders, residents, and organizations working to make contributions that add up to a greater solution that helps unite the place we call home. On the Table is the channel for conversations to take place, so join us as we once again join The Chicago Community Trust and hundreds of Chicagoans in one day of conversation.

Please Note: The format for this meeting will not include the usual half-hour networking.  The meeting will start shortly after 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 9:30 a.m.


Morningstar, Inc.
22 West Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602.

Rufus Williams

President and Chief Executive Officer of BBF Family Services


rufuswilliamsLeader. Reader. Scholar. Philanthropist. Educator. Confidant. These are some of the terms used to describe Rufus Williams.

Rufus Williams is the President and Chief Executive Officer of BBF Family Services, formerly known as the Better Boys Foundation. He is also President and CEO of Olympus, LLC, a financial management and professional representation firm.

Williams is a Certified Public Accountant, having begun his career at Arthur Andersen & Co., where he rose to the level of Senior Audit Manager. He was Corporate Audit Manager at Baxter Healthcare Corporation until he left to join Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo, Incorporated. At Harpo, Williams held several positions: Vice President, Controller, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Financial Planning and Strategy. He organized and managed Ms. Winfrey’s philanthropic efforts. He was also Vice-Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Northstar Lottery Group.

The fifth of six children, Williams was born and raised in Chicago. He attended Crown and Dvorak Elementary Schools in Lawndale before his family moved to the West Garfield community, allowing him to attend Morton Upper Grade Center, Lane Technical High School, and, ultimately, Orr High School, from which he graduated. Williams has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA.

Williams has always been concerned about the welfare of others. His service includes roles as President of the Chicago Board of Education, President of the Children First Fund, President of the Fund for Inner-City Athletic Equipment, President of the Whitney Young Magnet School Local School Council, Treasurer of Francis W. Parker School, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer of Providence St. Mel School and President of the Board of Directors of the Better Boys Foundation, among his many civic and philanthropic endeavors. During his time on Chicago’s Board of Education, he garnered an anonymous contribution to provide shoes for the boys and girls basketball teams in each high school for ten years. He also created the “Real Men Read” program which brought almost 1,000 men to read books to children in elementary schools throughout the city for one day each month, gifting a copy of each book to every child.

Rufus Williams is married with two children and a grandson.

Jennifer Edgcomb

Vice President, Business Development – GEM Realty Capital, Inc.


Jennifer Edgcomb - corportate, cropped April 2016Ms. Edgcomb joined GEM in 2000 and focuses on business development for GEM Realty Securities and GEM Realty Properties.  Prior to focusing on business development, Ms. Edgcomb was involved in operations, compliance and administration for GEM Realty Securities.  Ms. Edgcomb also co-chairs the firm’s charitable contributions committee, GEMC3. Ms. Edgcomb received a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jenné Myers

Executive Officer of Chicago Cares

jennemyersphoto*750xx561-748-40-0Jenné Myers is a lifelong volunteer who has converted her passion into a successful career. As chief executive officer of Chicago Cares, she leads the organization to connect people, communities and causes by mobilizing more than 30,000 volunteers in service each year. In her time with the organization, Myers has worked to expand Chicago Cares’ reach and impact. She has led her team to develop innovative programming that meets critical needs; diversified revenue streams with new funding models; developed an auxiliary board and expanded the existing board; established annual events reaching new audiences; and launched an exciting new brand.

Prior to Chicago Cares, Myers served as Chicago’s first-ever chief service officer, launching an ambitious effort in One Good Deed Chicago, a full-scale, integrated awareness campaign around volunteerism. Prior, she served as executive director for Working in the School (WITS). Myers currently sits on the board of The Mikva Challenge, is a member of the Hands on Network Affiliate Assembly and is also a commissioner for the Governor’s Serve Illinois Commission. She received her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

partnerships creating meaningful volunteer experiences


Tuesday, April 19, 2016


8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. – Continental Breakfast and Networking
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Program


Jenné Myers, CEO, Chicago Cares

Jennifer Edgcomb, Vice President, Business Development, GEM Realty Capital, Inc.

Rufus Williams, CEO, BBF Family Services (formerly The Better Boys Foundation)


How Partnerships Help Create Meaningful Volunteer Experiences.

April is National Volunteer Month, and volunteerism is an enormous part of making progress in strengthening communities. Volunteering is also an important factor in many corporations’ employee recruitment, engagement, and retention strategies.  

Join us for a discussion on methods for making a volunteer experience as impactful as possible for the nonprofit, the local community, as well as the corporate partner. Jenné Myers, CEO of Chicago Cares, will lead a discussion with Jennifer Edgcomb, Vice President, Business Development at GEM Realty Capital, Inc., and Rufus Williams, CEO, BBF Family Services (formerly The Better Boys Foundation), on how Chicago Cares coordinated a partnership with GEM Realty and BBF Family Services to create just such an experience for the GEM Realty employee volunteers, the staff of BBF Family Services and their clients.


Catalyst Ranch
656 West Randolph Street
Suite 3W
Chicago, Illinois