Alejandra Castillo, Esq.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, YWCA USA
Alejandra Y. Castillo is the CEO of YWCA USA, starting September 18, 2017. She has dedicated her life to public service, through her years in the federal government and as an active member in various civic and professional organizations. She believes in the power of partnership and her lifelong career focus is on impacting change and providing opportunities for communities through public-private partnerships, entrepreneurship and social impact investment. With over two decades of professional experience in Washington, D.C., Ms. Castillo has served in two presidential administrations, worked in the U.S. Congress, and worked as a lawyer in various settings. Throughout her public service, Ms. Castillo has been instrumental in the design, execution, monitoring and enforcement of key federal legislative and public policy initiatives focused on civil rights, economic development, children and family law, and health policy.
In 2014, Ms. Castillo was appointed to serve as the national director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), becoming the first Hispanic-American woman to lead the agency. Under Ms. Castillo's leadership, the agency enhanced the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs), securing financing and capital in excess of $19 billion and creating or retaining over 33,000 jobs.
Ms. Castillo considers herself an example of the American dream. Her parents both immigrated separately to the United States from the Dominican Republic, where they had lived under the oppressive Trujillo dictatorship. They settled in New York City, where her mother found work as a seamstress in the New York garment industry and her father as a janitor. The two met in New York, married and had three children, and later opened a grocery store in the Bronx. Her family is now third-generation Americans and second-generation college graduates. Thanks to her multi-cultural upbringing, she is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Ms. Castillo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in economics and political science; a Master of Arts degree in public policy from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin; and a Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law. Ms. Castillo is an active member in various civic and professional organizations, and she is a well-recognized political leader, writer and commentator. She has worked on five presidential campaigns, and has received numerous awards and recognitions, among them the 2016 National Urban League "Woman of Power" Award, Hispanic Business Magazine "Top 100 Influential Latinos in the U.S." and the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia "Rising Star" award. She is proud to have raised two amazing nieces she calls her daughters. A long-standing and committed resident of the District of Columbia, Ms. Castillo is a supporter of the arts and an avid international traveler.
President, Peachtree Investment Solutions
Pete Davis is the president and managing principal of Peachtree Investment Solutions, LLC, a company formed in 2008 to meet the advisory and consultancy needs of clients in the private equity, real estate, and investment banking sectors. Davis has a storied career in financial services having served as a managing director at Credit Suisse’s Global Real Estate Division and as president of two subsidiary businesses. Business activities for these entities included originating multi-family mortgage debt for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA (HUD), syndication of tax credit equity, and various investment banking activities in conjunction with Credit Suisse’s renewable energy platform.
Prior to Credit Suisse’s acquisition of Guilford Capital Corporation in 2005, Mr. Davis served in numerous leadership roles at Guilford where he had direct involvement in development and syndication. In addition, Mr. Davis served as a financial services officer at Regions Bank in Montgomery, AL, and held several positions within the University of Mississippi.
Mr. Davis was educated at the University of Mississippi and holds a Master of Education in Education Leadership and Management and a Bachelor of Arts in English. Mr. Davis is a board member of the National Multi-Housing Council and the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association.
FORMER PRESIDENT AND CEO, CHICAGO URBAN LEAGUE
James Compton is an American businessman and civil rights activist who served as president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League’s board of directors from 1978 until 2006. During his tenure, the Chicago Urban League was restructured to better provide direct care, advocacy, and research in the areas of community empowerment, education, employment, and social services. Mr. Compton has been especially active regarding the issues of education, employment, and voter registration, and with his leadership, the League in 1975, became the first non-governmental agency authorized by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners to register voters.
Born in Aurora, Illinois, Mr. Compton attended Morehouse College where he worked for the legendary educator Dr. Benjamin Mays, then president of the college. Dr. Mays inspired young Compton's interest in civil rights and equality and played a major role in Mr. Compton's decision to major in political science. While at Morehouse, Mr. Compton broadened his horizons by spending a summer in Soviet block countries and later, with the prestigious Merrill Fellowship, studying at the University of Grenoble in France. There, he received a diploma in French literature before graduating from Morehouse in 1961.
Mr. Compton is recognized as an expert in the area of community empowerment. He is consistently called upon to speak on everything from racial profiling to the demise of public housing. Mr. Compton is also President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League Development Corporation, an independent, not-for-profit organization created in 1983 to engage in economic development activities. He sits on several boards and committees including: Ariel Mutual Funds, ComEd, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Northwestern University Board of Community Associates. He has also been honored with numerous awards and an honorary doctorate degree.
The Honorable Alphonso Jackson
Senior Advisor, First Data
Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Honorable Alphonso Jackson currently serves on the International Advisory Board for First Data, a global leader in payment technology and services solutions, where he assists with implementing the board’s mission to expand the corporation's growth in new and existing markets. He previously served First Data as a senior advisor for government and public affairs. In that role, he was responsible for strengthening First Data’s relationships with government entities, advocating for the corporation’s public policy initiatives, and maximizing business opportunities. Additionally, he helps to expand and support First Data’s many diversity efforts.
Appointed the 13th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in March 2004, Secretary Jackson was nominated by President George W. Bush, and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate based on his strong background in housing and community development and expertise in finance and management.
Secretary Jackson’s previous positions include vice chairman of Consumer & Community Banking at JP Morgan Chase, professor and director of the Center for Public Policy and Leadership at Hampton University, and president of American Electric Power. Additionally, he has held various leadership responsibilities within city governments and housing authorities throughout the U.S.
Secretary Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in education administration from Truman State University. He also has a law degree from Washington University School of Law.
founder, head and heart philanthropy
Ms. Christal Jackson is the founder of Head and Heart Philanthropy, a social impact agency focused on improving social, economic, and educational outcomes for communities of color.
Nearly ten years ago, she became an entrepreneur by launching Jackson and Associates Group, LLC, a boutique fund-development and branding firm focused on serving the philanthropic needs of socially conscious people and community organizations.
An EBONY magazine Future 30 Leaders of America, Ms. Jackson’swork in the social impact sector has garnered numerous awards and recognition. She is the author of Women of Color Pray: Voices of Strength, Faith, Healing, Hope, and Courage, and serves on multiple boards including the Harlem Tech Fund, the Howard University School of Divinity-Board of Visitors, and the Motown Museum of National Leadership Council.
Ms. Jackson holds a dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religion from Spelman College and a Master of Theological Studies from Duke University.
Managing Director, Sika Capital Management
Eric Kyereme is the managing director of Sika Capital Management, LLC where he focuses on managing individual portfolios composed of equities, bonds, real estate, business ventures, and commodities. Prior to founding Sika, he was a portfolio manager responsible for absolute return portfolios at Kalman Kushnir Capital, and an asset manager at Capital Asset Management.
Additionally, Mr. Kyereme is involved in numerous leadership roles in the U.S. and abroad as chair of the investment committee for Parkway Investment Management, as a board of chairman for M-Tech, and as a board member at Restore Flow Allograft.
Mr. Kyereme is founder and president of The Milly Battered Women's Shelter located in the Bronx, NY, and assists in developing and funding scholarships for talented young adults across the Northeast. He actively serves on the Rising Leaders’ Council of Christ the King Jesuit College Prep School and on the Rush Associates Board for Rush University Medical Center.
A graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Statistics with a concentration in Actuarial Science, Mr. Kyereme also holds a Master of Business Administration.
Nicholas Sansone, Esq.
Principal, Sansone Group
Nicholas Sansone is a licensed attorney and principal at the Sansone Group, a nationally recognized St. Louis-based commercial real estate firm that specializes in property and facility management, brokerage, and the development and redevelopment of retail, industrial, office, and residential properties. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association as well as an active member of numerous professional organizations.
As an active member of the St. Louis community, Mr. Sansone currently serves as a member of the board for Friends of Immigrants & Refugees in St. Louis and BackStoppers of St. Louis. He is also passionate about The Mission Continues, a charitable organization formed to assist veterans in continuing their missions through community service projects, and formerly served as chair of the leadership committee. In 2011, he was the recipient of The Mission Continues Compass Award for Trust.
Receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Webster University in 2001, Mr. Sansone went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School in 2005.