Skill-based Volunteerism: Use Your Unique Skills to Contribute to Your Community

Date and Time
Thursday, May 9, 2019
5:30pm— 7:30pm
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Horwood Marcus Berk
500 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60661
United States
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A New, Meaningful Way to Support the Causes You Care About

Many local nonprofits need strategic help with growth, operations, and management because they lack capacity or expertise. We'd like to introduce you to two organizations who make "donating your skills" easy and accessible.

Join us for this informative and inspiring panel discussion with the leaders of Compass Pro Bono and Business Volunteers for the Arts®, the Associate Director of the UofC’s Crime Lab, and a fellow MBA volunteer.

We’ll discuss:

  • How it works: training, support, and logistics
  • Your impact as a volunteer using your professional skills and talents
  • Meaningful results enjoyed by beneficiary non-profits
  • Personal satisfaction and growth from meaningful volunteerism


Natalie Tessler, Executive Director - Compass Pro Bono

Kenneth Franco, Director - Business Volunteers for the Arts® 

Julia Quinn, Associate Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab

Sandra Altamero-Downing (WG’93) – Volunteer, Compass Pro Bono

Tad Gray (WG’93) – Moderator

Event Details:

Date and Time: Thursday, May 9th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Location: Horwood Marcus Berk, 500 W. Madison Street, #3700, Chicago IL
Cost: $25

Wharton Alumni: Click Here to Register

Berkeley HAAS Alumni: Click Here to Register

Chicago Booth Alumni: Click Here to Register

HEC Alumni: Click Here to Register

Kellogg Alumni: Click Here to Register

Penn Alumni (Sages): Click Here to Register

MIT Sloan Alumni: Click Here to Register

Stanford Alumni: Click Here to Register


Meet Our Panel:

Natalie Tessler is Executive Director of Compass Pro Bono. She practiced corporate tax and estate planning law at Katten Muchin prior to launching a Chicago-based business, Spa Space, which she owned and operated for 16 years, followed by a successful sale in 2017. She has extensive experience with deal structuring, raising capital, business development and strategy, marketing, and employee management. She received her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her J.D. from American University, and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

Kenneth Franco is Director of Business Volunteers for the Arts® at the Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC). Prior to joining A&BC, Kenneth served as Advancement Manager for Houston Arts Alliance, the designated local arts agency of the City of Houston and Greater Houston region. There he facilitated the agency’s expansive body of work, namely: providing grants to 250+ individual artists, nonprofits, and community organizations; championing private sector investment through the Arts & Business Council of Greater Houston; and helping nonprofits develop business acumen through capacity building services, programs, and incubation.

Julia Quinn is the Associate Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab, sister research organizations that partner with policymakers to design and test the most promising ways to reduce crime and improve educational outcomes at scale. Her work focuses on some of the most important policy challenges of our time, including efforts to help Chicago and other cities prevent violence, improve schooling and income opportunities for those living in communities most impacted by violence, and reduce the harms of the administration of criminal justice. Quinn holds a degree in public policy from Duke University.

Sandra Altamero-Downing (WG’93) is a recent replant to Chicago, after having lived abroad for over 20 years. Most recently, she ran a successful boutique management consulting practice in Sydney Australia after working in Manila and Hong Kong, where she helped businesses assess the viability of their capital projects. She earned her MBA from Wharton, an MA from the University of London and BA from the University of Chicago. Through Compass, she is on a team working with HANA Center (a Korean-American, immigrant community center) with assessing its programs and its strategy.

Tad Gray (WG’93) is a musician, certified leadership coach, and wealth advisor with Buckingham Strategic wealth. He served in leadership and business development roles in corporate banking, derivatives, and capital markets with Bank of America and Wells Fargo.Tad serves on the board of directors for the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble, an 11-person chamber music group focused on redefining the classical music experience and cultivating social change in the community.

Compass Pro Bono’s mission is to inspire business professionals to engage with their local nonprofits to transform communities. Compass delivers strategic guidance to nonprofits in a growing number of cities across the U.S. For almost two decades, we have viewed the strategic challenges of nonprofit leaders as our own, tapping into the wealth of talent within the business community to deliver the best of business – in terms of both people and practices – to local nonprofits. Compass partners with local professionals who advise local nonprofits and guide them toward strategic excellence. For more information, visit:

The Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC) works to develop leadership, the business of the arts, and the art of business of Chicago. It does this by building working relationships between nonprofits and business professionals; providing training in all aspects of arts management and nonprofit board governance; and working to make Chicago a more culturally vibrant—and culturally equitable—city. Business Volunteers for the Arts®, its inaugural program, recruits skilled professionals, trains them in nonprofit practice, and connects them with organizations in need of management assistance. For more information, visit

As part of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, the University of Chicago Urban Labs works to address challenges across five key dimensions of urban life: crime, education, health, poverty, and energy & environment. The Crime Lab partners with civic and community leaders to design, test, and scale promising programs and policies to reduce crime and violence. Crime, particularly violent crime, is very regressive in its impact, often concentrated in a society’s most economically marginalized and racially segregated communities. Reducing crime and the social harms associated with the criminal justice system is critical to the long-term vitality and economic health of cities. For more information, visit

Map & Directions

Horwood Marcus Berk

500 W Madison St, #3700, Chicago, IL 60661, United States,
by public transit by car by bike Walking