CWIP Annual Luncheon 2024

Thank you to all those who attended the 2024 Annual Making a Difference Luncheon!

The event was a great success! Thank you to those who joined us at CWIP’s Making a Difference Luncheon! With your support we raised more than $150,000, the net proceeds of which we will use to deliver programs that empower women to advocate boldly for themselves and their communities. More importantly, we saw old friends, made new connections, and came together in celebration of our collective work and of the remarkable Sharon Bush as the Making A Difference Honoree. What a genuine and powerful conversation we witnessed between her and Kristen Mack.

View event photos here || View event program here

2024 Honorees

2024 Making a Difference Honoree

Sharon Bush, President, Grand Victoria Foundation
Sharon Bush, President, Grand Victoria Foundation

Sharon Bush is the President of Grand Victoria Foundation, a $150 million grantmaking organization with annual giving of $10 million. She is only the second person to lead the Foundation in its 25-year history. With over 20 years in the social sector, Sharon is well-recognized in the field. She is known for being an inspiring voice and passionate advocate for social and racial justice. Throughout her career she has spearheaded transformations of organizations and initiatives that resulted in deeper impact. Sharon has been at the helm of cutting-edge work in philanthropy, including founding the Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative, the first state-wide, multi-issue advocacy organization focused on the needs of Illinois’ black communities. She also co-launched and led Abundance, a nationwide initiative rooted in Black joy with a mission to increase funding to Black-led and Black-centered organizations, and organize the philanthropy sector to transform its policies, practices, and mindsets to better support Black communities. She’s been part of the start-up of several initiatives such as the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance which have endured over time. In 2021, Sharon joined the Board of Trustees of Roosevelt University, a community of educators, scholars, and learners committed to academic, creative, and service excellence. She was appointed to the Chicago Fed Advisory Council on Small Business, Community and Economic Development, Agriculture and Labor, comprised of diverse leaders who advise the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago leadership about issues impacting their industries and communities. Sharon is Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of ABFE, a national philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities. She has been a featured Op-Ed columnist in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on race and equity and Crain’s Chicago Business on diversity and leadership. Sharon was born and raised in Chicago. She has a BS. in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Public Administration from Roosevelt University.

CWIP Annual Luncheon Honorary Co-Chair

Kristen Mack, Vice President, Communications, Fellows, and Partnerships at John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Kristen Mack, Vice President, Communications, Fellows, and Partnerships at John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

As Vice President, Communications, MacArthur Fellows, and Partnerships, Kristen is the organization’s senior communications leader, managing a comprehensive strategy designed to strengthen MacArthur’s reputation, the impact of the organizations it supports, and the communities they serve. Kristen puts storytelling at the center of all of her work and is committed to identifying compelling narratives that amplify individual and collective voices.

She oversees the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation’s most well-recognized program, and manages institutional and executive communications. Kristen also leads MacArthur’s strategic thinking around institutional partnerships and collaborations.

Featured Nonprofit

Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative
Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative

Dedicated to building power through organizing and systems change to secure equity and justice for Black Illinoisans

2024 Annual Luncheon Host Committee

Thank You to Our Sponsors

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

CWIP "Making a Difference" Honorees

The prestigious and amazing women listed below have been honored for their contributions to philanthropy in Chicago:
  • 2023 - Elizabeth 'Liz' Thompson, President, Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education Group
  • 2022 - Unmi Song, President, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
  • 2021 - Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director, IL Department of Public Health
  • 2020 - Barbara Bowman, Co-Founder, Erikson Institute
  • 2019 - Connie L. Lindsey, Executive Vice President, Northern Trust
  • 2018 - Grace Hou, President, Woods Fund Chicago
  • 2017 - Elizabeth Dozier, Managing Director, Chicago Beyond
  • 2016 - Evelyn Diaz, President, Heartland Alliance
  • 2015 - Dr. Melissa Gilliam, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Pediatrics and Chief of Family Planning at the University of Chicago
  • 2014 - Julia Stasch, Vice President of U.S. Programs, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • 2013 - Maria S. Pesqueira, President & CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Acción
  • 2012 - Aurie Pennick, Executive Director and Treasurer of the Field Foundation of Illinois
  • 2010 - Adele Simmons, Metropolis
  • 2009 - Amina Dickerson, Kraft Foods
  • 2008 - Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company (previously President of Peoples Gas)
  • 2007 - Anna Roosevelt, Boeing Company
  • 2006 - Gigi Pritzker
view past annual luncheons