Who We Are

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Nearly 1 in 4 Americans has a disability, yet individuals with disabilities are vastly underrepresented in professional and civic leadership roles.

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership has a bold strategy and groundbreaking programs—the first of their kind in the nation—for bringing greater disability inclusion to tables of power and influence in the Chicago region.

What We Do

    ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is creating a Chicago region where people with disabilities:

    Four concentric circles within a web of interconnected lines. The circles are embedded within each other to indicate the expanded network that a person participating in the program could have access to. The smallest innermost circle says Leadership Institute followed by Members Network followed by Civic Connections Project. The largest outermost circle says Diverse Leadership of the Chicago Region indicating the overall goal of the program.
  • LEAD - Our Civic Connections Project increases the number of people with disabilities in professional and civic leadership positions.

  • CONNECT - Our Members Network: provides mentoring, support, and ongoing civic engagement opportunities for leaders with disabilities.

  • GROW - Our Leadership Institute: is a year-long leadership development program for emerging leaders with disabilities.

144 Civic Advancements

Two rows of people featuring established disability rights leaders

113 Members and Fellows

Large group of Fellows gathered together

Vision And Mission

OUR VISION: People with disabilities leading with power and influence for full participation and equal opportunity as a vital part of the civic fabric in the Chicago region.

OUR MISSION: To increase civic engagement and diverse leadership in the Chicago region by developing and building a network of leaders with disabilities — consistent with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Executive Committee


  • Kenton Klaus, Principal, Deloitte
  • Karen Tamley, Commissioner, The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities


  • Mary Anderson, Chicago Director, AARP
  • Adam Hecktman, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Chicago, Microsoft
  • Mark Ishaug, CEO, Thresholds
  • Ann Manikas, Director, Organization Development and Learning, American Medical Association
  • Tricia Myers, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, BMO Financial Group (US)
  • Steve Solomon, Vice President, Corporate Relations, Exelon
  • Manika Turnbull, Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, Health Care Service Corporation

Program Committee


  • Ann Manikas, Director, Organizational Development and Learning, American Medical Association Chicago
  • Karen Tamley, Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities


  • Laurie Dittman, Senior Policy Analyst, City of Chicago
  • Bridget Evans, Patient Safety Analyst, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
  • Daisy Feidt, Executive Vice President, Access Living
  • Joanie Friedman, Director of Civic Partnerships, University of Chicago - Office of Civic Engagement
  • Tsehaye Geralyn Hebert, Playwright
  • Sarah Helm, Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Management, Discover Financial Services
  • Bob Eichinger, Director of Donor Services, The Chicago Community Trust
  • Melissa Reishus, President, Seaglass Group


  • Emily Harris, Executive Director
  • Robin Burnett, Program Manager
  • Risa Rifkind, Program Manager
  • Alexandra Perez-Garcia, Program Associate

Be Part of The Change!

Learn how you can help build a region where people with disabilities lead with power and influence.