Claudia Freed – President

President and Executive Director, EALgreen

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Claudia is President & CEO of EALgreen, a nonprofit organization that converts surplus business inventory into college scholarships for students with financial need.  EALgreen believes in a global community in which all individuals can improve their lives through education. Whether to improve the management of excess inventory in the supply chain or to fulfill corporate responsibility goals, businesses and higher education partners benefit from EALgreen’s circular economy model and create constructive, lasting change.  For society, EAL empowers individuals to achieve their potential through education; For the environment, it reduces waste and extends the useful life of manufactured products; For the economy, EALgreen improves business efficiencies adding value to the bottom line.

Claudia, born and raised in Argentina, was the first student ever to receive an EAL Scholarship in 1982. She attended North Park University with the support of a scholarship generated from a donation by W.W. Grainger.  Both institutions remain active partners of EALgreen today. More than 15,000 students have received scholarships valued at more than $18 million as hundreds of thousands of pounds of surplus materials have been repurposed or recycled by the organization.

Claudia’s background is in corporate finance, business development, and fundraising.  Her experience includes leading pro-bono consulting teams under Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, managing corporate and institutional relationships for a privately-held investment company specializing in options trading and developing strategic partnerships in higher education and corporate philanthropy.  She is a Board Member of Chicago Public Media (WBEZ) and a Trustee for Robert Morris University.  Claudia is a recipient of Crain’s 40 Under 40 (Class 1995).  Claudia is honored to be the CR Group’s first Latina President.

Laura J. Freveletti – Past President

Senior Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Allstate Insurance Company

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Laura leads Good Starts Young – The Allstate Foundation’s Youth Empowerment signature program. This work integrates strategic philanthropy and corporate responsibility, which includes corporate volunteerism, cultural and civic initiatives. Support for programs and nonprofit partners focus on service-learning where youth develop social emotional learning skills – intrapersonal, interpersonal and cognitive competence – for life success.

Prior to this work, Laura developed and led Community Engagement activating Allstate’s agency owners and employees in service where they live and work around the world. The corporate volunteer platform includes an Officer Nonprofit Board Placement Program, Allstate Fellows – a skills-based initiative, agency owner and employee community service, 110 local Helping Hands committees, and an enterprise-wide volunteer and giving event – Allstate Bring Out The Good Month

Committed to building brand and enhancing organizational reputation through strategic philanthropy, effective communications, stakeholder engagement, and community-facing activities, Laura is an inclusive, collaborative and mission-driven leader. She’s also a successful strategist who translates vision into innovative, results-oriented corporate responsibility programs.

Laura has served on various non-profit boards throughout her career. She is past president of the Corporate Responsibility Group of Greater Chicago and a member of the Community Involvement Roundtable at the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.

Before joining Allstate Laura served as a development executive at YMCA of Metro Chicago and Lyric Opera of Chicago, and led the corporate volunteer program and Kraft Employee Fund at Kraft Foods. She earned her bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Louisville and holds a certificate in corporate community involvement from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

Anne Gross – Vice President Treasurer

Director, Corporate Responsibility, KPMG, LLP.


Gross Anne_profileAnne Gross is an experienced director with KPMG’s Citizenship team and currently leads her firm’s investments in lifelong learning with Junior Achievement, NAF and Enactus.  She has over 20 years of experience as in grant making and community engagement, both a practitioner and advisor.  Anne has worked with and for corporate giving programs, grant making public charities, universities, private foundations and volunteer service organizations; she works with organizations on local, national and global levels.  She has extensive experience in project management, employee engagement and process design & improvement.

Anne recently earned CREI (Corporate Responsibility Executive Institute) designation from Notre Dame University. She also holds a master’s degree in Education and a B.A. in Political Science from Indiana University – Bloomington.  Anne is active in the Chicago community – consistently serving on one or more nonprofit boards.  She is passionate about education and experiencing new cultures.

Kristin Lewis – Director

Public Affairs Manager, U.S. Cellular


Kristin works to advance the position of the company as a responsible corporate citizen by supporting core community relations initiatives nationwide. In this role, Kristin executes the company’s $1 million national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the localized implementation with associates at 67 Clubs in 21 markets. She also supports leadership non-profit board appointments, large scale volunteerism, in-kind donations and the company’s associate matching program. Kristin provides creative support and strategic direction in developing communications to tout the company’s commitment to community via presentations, social media, and internal communications. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio she graduated from Loyola University of Chicago and now lives in Logan Square with her husband and rescue dog.

Ann E. Murray – Director

Philanthropy Director, Northwestern Memorial Foundation


Murray Ann (2)Ann is Philanthropy Director for Northwestern Memorial Foundation of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she has been for thirteen years. Ann served as the Director of Development for the Block Museum of Art and the Medill School of Journalism, both at Northwestern University, and Alumni and Development Director for The John Marshall Law School. Ann earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and graduate degree from Indiana University. She has served in leadership roles for and continues to be involved with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago and Fourth Presbyterian Church.


George Nelson – Director

George Nelson has a background in marketing, communications, fundraising, business development and creative writing. He first became involved with the Corporate Responsibility Group in 2005 while an Associate Director of Corporate Relations at Northwestern University. He joined the board of CRG in 2009. George Nelson has worked with start-up companies, consulting on sales, communication and marketing positioning. Prior, he worked as a Proposal Manager with Anexsys (an e-Government solution provider, formerly a joint venture with JP Morgan Chase and U.S. Bank), and also in the business publishing field and printing and graphic arts sector, in business development and marketing roles. He earned his BA from Kenyon College in English Literature and a Masters of Science in Communication from Northwestern University (where he has served on the MSC steering committee). He is also involved with the Evanston Tennis Association, Chicago Dramatists Theatre and a soccer league.

Amy Newkirk – Director

Central Midwest Community Relations and Marketing Senior Manager, PwC

Amy_Newkirk_Formal_Photo_04252013Amy leads the firm’s community initiatives in Chicago, Milwaukee, Peoria and Des Moines.  In this role, Amy works to build PwC’s community brand in the marketplace by managing the firm’s charitable contributions, board placement of partners and staff, event sponsorships, holiday giving, volunteerism, and local corporate responsibility efforts.  Prior to this role, Amy served as Community Investment Manager at United Way or Greater St. Louis and as Fundraising Manager at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.  Amy earned her bachelor of social work from Arizona State University and master of social work, with a concentration in nonprofit management, from Washington University of St. Louis.  Amy is a native of Grand Haven, Michigan and resides with her husband in Frankfort, Illinois.

Beth Spurgeon – Director

USA Corporate Responsibility Manager, ArcelorMittal

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Beth serves as USA Corporate Responsibility Manager at ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company. She manages corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts specific to the company’s 27 facilities in the United States. She drives forward ArcelorMittal’s U.S. community investment initiatives, including national and local nonprofit partnerships in the company’s focus areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, environment, and health and safety. She also manages national sustainability reporting, employee engagement initiatives, and the company’s employee matching gifts program. Prior to joining ArcelorMittal in 2014, Beth spent nine years in the nonprofit sector, occupying positons at the national headquarters of the YMCA (YMCA of the USA), the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and Housing Opportunities for Women.  She earned her M.A. in Social Science from The University of Chicago in 2004.  Beth currently serves on the Chicago Board of Directors for Step Up.

Jeffrey C. Walter – Director

Senior Public Affairs Specialist, Health Care Service Corporation

Jeffrey WalterJeffrey is passionate about addressing the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems through collaboration between the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors. In his current role as Senior Public Affairs Specialist for Health Care Service Corporation, he oversees company-wide volunteer engagement strategy and execution for 23,000 employees across five states. This includes supporting all corporate community involvement initiatives, including corporate gifts, volunteerism, environmental sustainability, sponsorships, reporting, and internal communications.

Jeffrey has contributed to a robust portfolio of social-environmental initiatives at the local, state, national, and international levels. He has managed over 100 community sustainability leadership projects while working at the City of Chicago Department of Environment; coordinated training events reaching 3,000 international participants; and managed a $4 million public sector grant portfolio that has leveraged $12 million in local community investment.

Outside of work, Jeffrey loves teaching yoga in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. He has travelled to more than 17 countries (most recently to Cuba) with little more than a backpack and his trusted copy of The Lonely Planet guide.

Colleen D. Coughlin

Executive Director – Corporate Responsibility Group of Greater Chicago

142285-006-009hPrior to joining the CR Group as its Executive Director in September 2007, Colleen served for 15 years as an Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Division, in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, and for four years as an Assistant State’s Attorney in DuPage County. She also has her own business, Healthy, Wealthy & ALIVE, an Independent Shaklee Distributorship, currently serves on the board of Bridge to Success, and, for almost 10 years, she volunteered on the Gala fund raiser committee for the UIC Medical Center “Walter Payton Center Guild” and The Bobbie and Marvin Family Fink Liver Clinic” raising funds for education, treatment and research for liver disease and cancer, the liver transplant program and other GI tract diseases. Ms. Coughlin earned her J.D. from Loyola of Chicago School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Illinois – Champaign-Urbana.