4111 West 21st Place

Chicago, IL 60623
Phone: 773-521-3137
Fax: 773-522-1832
Website: www.valeriefleonard.com
E-Mail: consulting@valeriefleonard.com
Statement of Qualifications



Valerie F. Leonard is a community development consultant with a mission to strengthen the
capacity of organizations to make a positive impact on the communities they serve through
technical assistance, specialized workshops, resource and organizational development and project
management. Ms. Leonard’s relevant experience includes developing comprehensive community
and organizational assessment tools; developing organizational regulatory compliance tools, board
policies and procedures; developing grant making programs, policies and procedures; conducting
compliance reviews for grantees; and developing workshops and technical assistance for
organizations seeking government funding. Other experience includes developing grant proposals
for projects funded through federal programs such as President Obama’s Broadband Technology
Opportunities Program (BTOP), HUD Section 202, HUD Section 242/FHA and CDBG; coordinating
site review and compliance activities for federally funded programs from the funded agencies’

Ms. Leonard has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Spelman College, and a Master of
Management degree in finance and marketing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Continuing education includes online courses in nonprofit management from the University of
Illinois at Chicago Great Cities Institute; seminars in strategic nonprofit management from the
Kellogg Graduate School of Management; and training in new markets tax credits, low income
housing tax credits and historic tax credits. Ms. Leonard has completed a course in online
instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has taught online courses in finance and
budgeting for nonprofit organizations through the Great Cities Institute’s Professional Education
department. Ms. Leonard’s experience is described in further detail on the pages that follow.

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Organization: North Lawndale Small Grants
Human Development Corporation
Role: Executive Director

Prior to starting her consulting practice, Ms. Leonard was the executive director of the North
Lawndale Small Grants Human Development Corporation (Small Grants). Under Ms. Leonard’s
leadership, the group was transformed from an initiative of the Steans Family Foundation into a
separate 501 (c) (3) organization completely controlled by the community. Ms. Leonard managed
day-to-day operations and resource development activities for the $500,000 neighborhood
program. This included developing internal management and financial systems for board and staff,
and coordinating a strategic planning process that included community stakeholders from all walks
of life. In addition to managing the small grants program, she spearheaded the development of the
Target Block Program, Housing Resource Center and African Garden Project.

Ms. Leonard

 Promoted internal and external organizational leadership development and capacity
building, including hiring consultants for team building and strategic planning, installing
accounting software, implementing a technology plan, developing a fundraising plan and
providing technical assistance to grantees.

 Developed board and management policies and procedures, including
A. Grant making guidelines, policies and procedures for board, staff and grantees
B. Financial policies and procedures manual
C. Personnel policies and procedures manual
D. Board recruitment criteria and policies and procedures manual

 Coordinated a community-wide research and planning process for North Lawndale African
Garden. Worked with NeighborSpace to acquire 5 vacant lots valued at approximately
$125,000. Total investment from the community, foundations, corporations and the City of
Chicago exceeds $200,000. NeighborSpace uses the project as a case study for best practices
for community gardening.

 Developed the Share the Vision and North Lawndale African Garden Project direct mail
campaigns, resulting in cash and in-kind donations exceeding $30,000 within 6 months

 Developed a computer model to quantify impact of grant making and volunteer activities

 Organized Target Block residents to secure in excess of $500,000 in infrastructure

 Coordinated site selection and relocation activities, including purchasing and soliciting
donations of new furnishings and equipment; installation of a computer network and DSL
and negotiating a lease agreement.

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Capacity Building

Organization: Illinois ResourceNet
Role: Visiting Program Coordinator

Illinois ResourceNet: A Funding Access Initiative (IRN) is a university-based resource providing
Illinois nonprofits and local governments with the competitive assets to access federal funding. IRN
offers organizations a unique approach to grant access centered on providing information and
resources on an interactive website, working with experienced technical assistants on designing
high caliber proposals, and connecting with a diverse group of partners to meet proposed project

Ms. Leonard serves as a Visiting Program Coordinator, responsible for providing technical assistance
to non-profits and local units of government in the state of Illinois. This includes conducting outreach for
the purposes of generating federal proposals; assessing organizations’ readiness to apply for federal
funding; working with the organizations to search for federal funding opportunities and develop work
plans; reviewing the full proposal for completeness, clarity, and adherence to the guidelines set forth in
the RFP; proving expert critique and advice on all aspects of the proposal to insure high quality; and
completing all of the appropriate documentation.

Ms. Leonard provided comprehensive technical assistance in the preparation of a successful BTOP
Sustainable Adoption application for My Way Village, Inc. The $7.2 million project is in the
implementation phases, and will impact 23 publicly-funded senior housing buildings in Illinois, including
communities in Oak Park, Chicago, Rockford, Joliet, Moline and Lake Villa. The project scope includes
training for residents on the My Way Village applications, e-mail transmittals, Facebook, and learning to
navigate the Internet to support basic life skills including job searches, paying bills and ordering
prescription drugs. Ms. Leonard’s role included researching national NTIA research and policies,
analyzing numeric and spatial broadband data at national, state, local, Census Tract and Census Block
levels to make inferences about adoption rates among low-income minority communities and seniors vis a
vis the general population; working with interactive Census mapping tools and CMAP to develop
prototype maps depicting adoption rates at the Census Tract level; providing technical assistance in the
development, coding and analysis of resident survey instruments; providing technical assistance in the
development of the program evaluation segment of the proposal; brokering relationships between My
Way Village, Sankofa House and My Way Village as subsequent project partners; reviewing the proposal
within BTOP guidelines and providing feedback as to how the proposal might be improved.

Ms. Leonard developed Capacity Building Blocks
a 10- week series of capacity building workshops in
her own practice. These include modules on board development, fundraising, strategic planning, etc. Ms.
Leonard’s capacity building series became the model upon which IRN conducted a series of facilitated
online technical assistance conversations with IRN clients, in partnership with the Lumpkin Family
Foundation and GoodWorks Connect.org. Ms. Leonard facilitated a discussion on program evaluation,
including the development of a theory of change, program logic models, development of goals, objectives
and program outcomes. A description of Ms. Leonard’s Capacity Building Blocks program is described in
more detail in the Workshops and Meeting Facilitation section.

Ms. Leonard coordinated a comprehensive technical assistance workshop on the Second Chance Act.
The workshop included an overview of the Second Chance Act by Congressman Danny K. Davis, the
Act’s chief sponsor; a joint presentation by representatives from the Department of Justice and

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Department of Labor featuring the sections of the Act that will be funded; an overview of the Illinois
ResourceNet and best practices in developing prisoner re-entry programs. This workshop was also
simulcast as a webinar for organizations in East St. Louis, Illinois. Over 180 people were in attendance,
and the Power Point presentation and handouts have been used by the Department of Justice for further
technical assistance. The handouts from the workshop are archived on the Illinois ResourceNet’s website,
at www.illinoisresource.net.

Ms. Leonard also worked with IRN to develop a statewide conference, “Yes You Can! Demystifying
Federal Funds”, which was held on March 20, 2009. The conference, which drew nearly 500 people from
all over the state of Illinois, included representatives from federal agencies. Workshop topics included
collaboration planning and federal proposal development; navigating Grants.gov; developing federal
budgets and justifications; the nuts and bolts of grant seeking; federal grant writing, federal funding
accountability and the Transparency Act; and building political support and networking. Ms. Leonard
provided workshops on federal grant writing.

Ms. Leonard developed content and taught online courses and workshops an online course in
federal proposal writing, and federal grants compliance and administration.

Organization: Chi-West ResourceNet
Role: Visiting Program Coordinator

Chi West ResourceNet, a project of the University of Illinois at Chicago Neighborhoods Initiative
(UICNI), is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Compassion Capital Fund
and The Chicago Community Trust. The initiative provided capacity-building group training for up
to 70 community-based and faith-based organizations located in seven Chicago
communities: Pilsen, Near West Side, South Lawndale (Little Village), North Lawndale, East Garfield
Park, West Garfield Park, and Humboldt Park. Within these 70 organizations, 35 received intensive
one-on-one capacity building technical assistance - provided by seasoned professionals - in four
critical areas: Leadership Development, Organizational Development, Program Development and
Community Engagement.
Ms. Leonard conducted detailed needs assessments and assisted a cohort of ten organizations in the
development and implementation customized capacity building plans in a number of areas,
including board development, fundraising, proposal writing, strategic planning and community
needs assessment.
Ms. Leonard facilitated a workshop for students on the principles of asset based community
development. Workshop content included an overview of asset based community development,
constructing theories of change; the relationships between the theory of change and program
design and evaluation.

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Organization: Quad Communities Development Corporation
Role: Consultant, Project Manager

The Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC)’s mission is to convene residents,
organizations, businesses, and institutions within the Quad Communities to plan, guide, support,
and monitor human infrastructure and community development activities that will create a
sustainable, healthy, mixed-income neighborhood. Immediate outcomes of their work includes the
mitigation of the effects of poverty, improved social and economic conditions in the community and
increased capacity of local residents and community based organizations to take control of their
economic environment. QCDC’s work is mission-centered, and is supported by a comprehensive
network of local residents, institutions, the Office of the 4
Ward, QCDC board, staff and interns,
consultants, the University of Chicago, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Ms.
Leonard was engaged by the QCDC to implement intensive organizational capacity building
strategies identified by the board of directors during their board planning retreat in August, 2005.

Between April, 2006 and January, 2007, Ms. Leonard worked with the board and staff to develop
and implement work plans around financial management, board development, staff development
and recruitment and fundraising. Project deliverables included monthly status reports to the board
of directors; development of a board recruitment and orientation binder; development of a
financial policies and procedures manual; conversion of financial system to Quick Books; board and
staff training on roles and responsibilities as they relate to financial management and compliance;
training on Quick Books and financial management; preparation for a financial audit; development
of financial, regulatory and programmatic compliance schedule; a staffing and recruitment plan for
an executive director and project manager; development of a fundraising plan; creation of a boiler
plate proposal and identification of funding prospects; development of an annual fund campaign;
reviewing and enhancing the process for recruiting board members; providing input into the
application for directors’ and officers’ insurance; writing relevant board resolutions; facilitating the
creation of a fundraising committee; enhancing organizational by laws.

The contract was completed in November, 2006, and culminated in a board retreat. Ms. Leonard
provided input into the development of the retreat agenda and supporting documents and provided
a written and oral report of the results of capacity building activities with recommendations for
future capacity building efforts. A closing presentation to the Board of Directors was provided in
January, 2007. As a result of these activities the organization has enhanced its capacity to sustain its
growth over the long term.

Organization: Chicago Area Project
Role: Consultant, Workshop Facilitator

The Chicago Area Project (CAP) is a private, not-for-profit organization with a distinguished history
and demonstrable track record of over sixty years of work in delinquency prevention and service in
disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. The original mission of CAP has not changed since its
inception: To work toward the prevention and eradication of juvenile delinquency through the
development and support of affiliated local community self-help efforts, in communities where the
need is greatest.

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Ms. Leonard was retained by the Chicago Area Project to provide comprehensive organizational
assessments and to develop individualized capacity building plans for a cohort of its affiliates in
Chicago, the Far South Suburbs and Near Western Suburbs. The three year project is now in its
implementation phase, and Ms. Leonard has been invited to serve as one of two consultants to
provide strategic planning services for select affiliates. In this capacity, Ms. Leonard will work with
the agency and a national consultant to develop a standard process that may be replicated among
the affiliates, while delivering a product that addresses specific needs of the individual agencies.

Organization: Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation
Role: Consultant

The Christopher D. Redding Youth Asthma Foundation was founded in 2013 by Helen and
Michael Redding, Sr., in memory of their son, Christopher. Christopher was a student
leader and athlete who died of exercise-induced asthma while jogging. The Foundation’s
mission is to educate, advocate, and provide services for families and youth suffering from
asthma, with a focus on lessening the potentially adverse health effects on asthmatic
children, youth, and young adults involved in athletics. The Foundation’s vision is to ensure
a level playing field for asthmatics in athletics by providing:

• asthma education to families and athletic personnel
• asthma control devices to youth in athletic settings
• recreational facilities for asthmatic youth
• scholarship opportunities for asthmatic athletes
• advocacy and education in public policy and legislative settings

Ms. Leonard has been retained by the Foundation to develop a business plan to accompany
the organization’s application for tax exemption. In so doing, she facilitated brainstorming
sessions to reaffirm the organization’s mission, goals and objectives; assess the
organizational leadership capacity; conduct an environmental scan; analysis of potential
clients and partners; prioritize programs and resources; develop an evaluation strategy
and hiring plan and to develop a 3-year work plan and financial projections.

Organization: Prevention Force Family Center
Role: Consultant

Prevention Force Family Center (PFFC) is a tax-exempt community based organization
located in the North Lawndale community. PFFC’s mission is to create an environment
where individuals are self-sufficient, responsible and productive residents of the
community. This is achieved through youth mentoring and entrepreneurship, and related
family supports.

Ms. Leonard is currently working with PFFC to upgrade its financial system, including
financial policies and procedures, updating QuickBooks, assisting with reports to auditors
and regulators and training staff.

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Organization: After School Matters
Role: Consultant, Project Manager

After School Matters is a non-profit organization that partners with the City of Chicago, the Chicago
Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Department of
Children and Youth Services, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and Community-Based
Organizations to expand out-of-school opportunities for Chicago teens.

ASM engaged Ms. Leonard to work in tandem with ASM and LISC/NCP agencies to review
targeted strategies within LISC communities in relation to fitness, nutrition, and truancy-
prevention programming for Chicago teens. Ms. Leonard examined the prevailing research
surrounding fitness and nutrition, and truancy prevention. This included the research of
existing program models on a national and local level; examination of ASM and LISC/ASM
internal documents, websites and collateral materials; review of articles pertaining to fitness,
nutrition and truancy prevention; facilitating meetings between ASM regional directors,
LISC/NCP directors and their community partners; designing and administering organizational
assessments; and analysis of data related to fitness, nutrition, truancy, graduation and dropout
trends in Chicago and the LISC/NCP communities.

The end result was the development of a set of program recommendations and implementation
roadmap to inform the development of future program designs and collaboration between ASM,
NCP and their respective partners. This included identification of potential partners, models of
collaboration, development of program logic models and development of initial cost estimates for
separate initiatives for fitness and nutrition and truancy prevention and intervention.

Organization: Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
Role: Consultant, Project Manager

The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance (GPCA), a non-profit organization, strengthens community
through the unique combination of the Garfield Park Conservatory Campus, other botanical
resources, and the engagement of community members. With its innovative programs, the Alliance
enhances the environmental, social and economic vitality of Chicago’s West Side and encourages
the larger community to explore the fundamental connection between plants and human life.

Ms. Leonard worked with the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance (GPCA) to explore alternative
structures and relationships that will enable GPCA to focus on its core mission, while continuing to
build upon the momentum created by the New Communities Program (sponsored by the Local
Initiatives Support Corporation) and the Quality of Life Planning Process. This will require
simultaneous capacity building for GPCA’s NCP staff and the Neighborhood Development Council.

Ms. Leonard facilitated a council member workshop and staff retreat to set the stage for a 3-year
strategic plan, and potentially, comprehensive organizational development activities in the future
(if the Council becomes a separate entity). Ms. Leonard assessed staff, management and
organizational capacity; assessed the capacity of the Neighborhood Development Council to
transition to a board of directors and presented her findings to the Neighborhood Development
Council. The presentation outlined roles and responsibilities of the Board of Directors and
Executive Director.

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Organization: LaCasa Norte/Teen Living Programs
Role: Consultant

La Casa Norte is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for homeless and
abandoned people, where they will benefit from a comprehensive program of education, guidance
and counseling in a community setting. Teen Living Program’s mission is to create hope and
opportunity for youth who are homeless by assisting them to permanently leave the streets, secure
stable housing, and build self-sufficient, satisfying lives. La Casa Norte is based in Humboldt Park,
on Chicago’s Near West Side and Teen Living Programs is based in Bronzeville, on Chicago’s Near
South Side.

Ms. Leonard partnered with Heather Parish and Lisa Pickens to develop a comprehensive business
plan to evaluate the feasibility of developing and implementing joint job training and placement
programming for homeless youth on Chicago’s Near South and Near West sides. The primary focus
of the business plan included examination of alternative models of collaboration and governance;
analysis of risk factors; evaluation of alternative structures; examination of alternative decision
making models; identification of high level marketing strategies among major segments, including
clients, funders and the community; and financial feasibility. Ms. Leonard’s role included developing
a road map for implementation, developing the 3-year financial plan with alternative scenarios, and
identification of marketing strategies.

Federal Funding/
Capital Projects

Organization: Chicago Lawndale Amachi Mentoring Program (LAMP)
Role: Proposal Writer

Chicago LAMP, a local affiliate of the National Amachi Program established in 2006,
involves collaboration between University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), 13 Chicago
elementary schools, and District 11 of the Chicago Police Department. Chicago LAMP is
currently working with 238 North Lawndale children whose parents have been
incarcerated, ensuring that they have sufficient academic and social supports. While
research suggests that children with incarcerated parents, more than likely, repeat the
pattern of incarceration, only one Chicago LAMP student has ever been incarcerated the
entire time the program has been in operation in North Lawndale. Chicago LAMP’s current
target includes youth who are between the ages of 4 and 18. Chicago LAMP incorporates
group and one-on-one mentoring opportunities, recreation and academic enrichment, and
the enhancement of relationships with professional adults, community members, and
college-students to create positive healthy behavioral outcomes.

Ms. Leonard prepared a proposal to the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention, Community Violence Prevention Field Investigation, Research and Evaluation
program. Ms. Leonard worked with researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago
to develop a proposal for a research and evaluation project to measure the effectiveness of
the Chicago LAMP program to prevent violence in North Lawndale's community. This
required a research of literature concerning existing research and best practices;

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identification of project goals and outcome measurements; the development of research
logic models and subsequent design of the research project; delineating roles and
responsibilities and organizational structure for the initiative and the development of a 3-
year budget and implementation schedule. If funded, the findings of the research will be
used to inform national policy and future federal investments in violence prevention

Organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ACF)
Role: Grant Reviewer

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS), recently
awarded grants to experienced organizations to provide nonprofit organizations serving as project
partners, with capacity building training, technical assistance, and competitive financial assistance.
The focus of this program is to build the capacity of funded projects' nonprofit partners in order to
address the broad economic recovery issues present in their communities, including helping low-
income individuals secure and retain employment, earn higher wages, obtain better-quality jobs,
and gain greater access to state and Federal benefits and tax credits. Ms. Leonard served as a peer
reviewer. In this capacity, she worked with peer reviewers from across the country to review
applications and make funding recommendations.

Organization: Habilitative Systems, Inc.
Role: Principal Grant Writer

Habilitative Systems, Inc. (H.S.I.) exists to alleviate human suffering by developing and providing
resources to promote maximum independence, personal responsibility and dignity for mentally,
physically, socially and emotionally disabled persons. HSI began in 1978 as a dream of a small
group of church folk. The agency has grown from four (4) programs to fifty (50) programs which
serve over 7,000 persons annually in 14 sites on Chicago's West and South sides. "Freeing the
Human Spirit" is the all pervasive concept of the agency's dedication to develop disadvantaged
persons into capable, competent, contributing citizens.

H.S.I. engaged Ms. Leonard to develop a needs assessment and write the community involvement
section of a comprehensive proposal to finance the Enola A. Dew Apartments with proceeds from a
HUD Section 202 grant.

The needs assessment was used to establish the level of market demand for supportive housing for
independent living senior citizens in the Austin community on Chicago’s west side. Ms. Leonard
presented evidence demonstrating sustained effective demand for supportive housing for that
population in the market area to be served; evaluated state and local data on the limitations in
activities of daily living among the elderly in the area; assessed patterns for aging in place in
existing assisted rentals; researched trends in demographic changes in elderly population and
households; estimated the numbers of income eligible elderly households by size, tenure and
housing condition; assessed the types of supportive services arrangements currently available in
the area; and the use of such services as evidenced by data from local social service agencies or
agencies on aging.

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The Enola A. Dew Apartments are being developed with significant community involvement.
Ms. Leonard conducted a focus group discussion with tenants and members of the resident council;
interviewed the president of a neighboring block club; administered a survey; and interviewed the
local property manager and service coordinator. She convened community meeting, inviting local
residents, tenants, members of the Chicago Police Department (community policing division), and
representatives from community-based organizations. More than 40 people, most of whom were
senior citizens--were in attendance. Data gleaned from these sources will be used to capitalize on
opportunities to inform the design process and to be responsive to end-user needs to the fullest
extent possible. Ms. Leonard created all the assessment tools and designed the questions for the
focus groups and interview, and analyzed the data. It should be noted that this engagement was
completed within an extremely tight time frame-- less than 20 days. The client was awarded
$4,000,000 in federal funding. The $10,000,000 project was completed in the spring of 2011.

Organization: Habilitative Systems, Inc.
Role: Market Consultant

The Sponsor, Habilitative Systems, Inc. (HSI) retained Valerie F. Leonard to conduct a market study
for the construction of 8 residential facilities for persons with disabilities at various locations in the
North Lawndale community. HSI will serve as Sponsor the development, which will provide 64 new
units of housing for people with disabilities. The project will serve 32 existing HSI clients and 32
new clients from the surrounding neighborhood and nursing facilities. Ms. Leonard assessed the
current market for the proposed development, taking into account the latest trends in housing
supply and demand for people with disabilities on a national and local level. In so doing, Ms.
Leonard assessed the need for accessible housing; desirable unit types and amenities, and to
explore the local demand for housing for people with disabilities. The market study included field
observations to determine site feasibility, including access, visibility and marketability; assessment
of supportive and community services; analysis of housing and economic characteristics and
demand analysis.

Organization: Community Development
Advisory Committee(CDAC)
Role: Co-Chair, Public Services Committee

The CDAC promotes neighborhood participation in identifying needs and priorities for funding and
advises the City on the CDBG citizen participation process and the City's annual program
submission to HUD. Members of the CDAC are chosen from among Chicago residents, nominated by
community and city-wide organizations. The annual CDBG budget surpasses $100,000,000 per

Ms. Leonard is a former co-chairperson for the Public Services Sub-Committee. In this capacity, she
chaired meetings in the absence of the Chairman, and served as co-author of the final report of
budget recommendations regarding the Public Services segments of the CDBG budget, including the
Fire Department, Chicago Department of Public Health, Department of Cultural Affairs, the Mayor’s
Office for People With Disabilities, the Department on Aging, Mayors Office for Workforce

Development, the Mayors’ Office for Violence Prevention, the Department of Youth and Family
Services, and the Department of Human Services. The Subcommittee’s regular duties included
holding program and budget review meetings with department commissioners, advocacy for

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funding and programs, and providing recommendations as to how funds could be allocated to yield
the greatest impact to communities across the City of Chicago.

Organization: Mount Sinai Health System
Role: Financial Analyst

Sinai Health System (SHS”) is the parent organization for Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center
(“Mount Sinai”, or “the Hospital”), Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and Care Network (Schwab”),
and Sinai Community Institute (“SCI”). SHS maintains affiliations with a network of clinics that
provide ambulatory care services and referrals to Mount Sinai and Schwab. Together these
institutions serve as a vital health care resource and community anchor to an economically
disadvantaged part of the City of Chicago.

As a financial analyst at Mount Sinai Health System, Ms. Leonard worked closely with the Chief
Financial Officer to coordinate all aspects of a $107 million FHA mortgage backed financing to cover
renovation of Mount Sinai’s obstetrics unit, emergency room, outpatient clinics, and the addition of
a skilled nursing unit for Schwab. The three-year process was quite complex, and required
coordination with the Board of Directors, its Finance and Budget Committee and every major
department head within the Health System. External players included organizational attorneys,
transaction attorneys, investment bankers, mortgage bankers, architects, contractors, developers
and city and state regulators.

The due diligence process included detailed review, analysis and disclosure of financial and
operating performance for each entity within the Mount Sinai Health System, projection of
operating and financial performance of the proposed construction projects, review of long range
plans and implementation; examination of governance structures, board composition and meeting
effectiveness for each entity; and compliance with state and national regulations. Significant project
milestones included securing separate certificates of need (CON) for Mount Sinai and Schwab;
completing project feasibility studies; and submittal of an application that was jointly reviewed by
the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Ms. Leonard developed financial models to track construction draws and reconcile project financial
reports on a monthly basis with internal accountants, federal regulators, mortgage bankers and
commercial bankers. She also assisted the Vice President for Development with the development of
$500,000 Kresge Foundation challenge grant proposal. Proceeds were used to complete a $10
million capital campaign for Mount Sinai Hospital

Ms. Leonard worked very closely with the Chief Financial Officer for Sinai Health System and the
CEO of the Sinai Community Institute to spin off existing Hospital public health programs into a
newly-created Sinai Community Institute. This included developing consolidated program budgets
and submittal of the applications for tax exempt status (501 (c) (3)). Ms. Leonard also prepared the
$5,000,000 financing proposal to the Illinois Development Finance Authority to redevelop a vacant
sausage factory into office space for the new programs. These processes required interfacing with
line managers, commercial banks, investment banks, attorneys, architects and contractors.
Ms. Leonard also assisted the Chief Financial Officer in developing total quality management and
continuous quality improvement initiatives for Mount Sinai Health System. She identified ways to
streamline billing, accounts payable and contract management procedures. Ms. Leonard also

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trained administrative staff to create data bases to track HMO and PPO contract terms and
conditions, effective dates and renewals.

Organization: City of New York
Office of the Deputy Mayor
For Economic Development
Role: Assistant to the Director of Public Finance

While working for the City of New York Office of the Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic
Development, Ms. Leonard worked with inter-disciplinary teams consisting of representatives from
the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, Comptroller’s Office, Economic Development
Corporation, Public Development Corporation, Board of Education, Police Department, investment
banks and attorneys to develop and execute strategies for structuring and marketing a total of $8
billion in New York City General Obligation bonds and notes. This included review, analysis and
disclosure of financial and operating performance of the City of New York and its major agencies in
a transparent manner; addressing issues of concern to investors; targeting key segments of
financial markets; emphasizing leadership capabilities and reinforcing the New York City brand
during an economic downturn; coordinating investor conferences, meetings and budget reviews
and coordinating economic development tours.


Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago
Great Cities Institute
Role: Instructor-Operations Management
The University of Illinois at Chicago Online Certificate in Nonprofit Management emphasizes
interactive learning, with seasoned instructors guiding every class. Students learn management
principles across disciplines through dialogue with other nonprofit practitioners and interaction
with Certificate in Nonprofit Management faculty. The program is entirely online, which allows
participants from across the country and around the world to work together and learn from each
other in a stimulating e-classroom. The Certificate is comprised of six non-credit, intensive five-
week courses delivered via the Internet. Each class can be taken on a stand-alone basis, but
students must successfully complete all six courses to earn the Certificate*. (*non-credit Certificate
of Completion)
Ms. Leonard teaches Operations Management and provides input into updating the multi-media
course. This course provides an overview of nonprofit operations and explores four significant
facets of operations management that are not currently addressed elsewhere in the certificate
curriculum: human resource management; information technology; performance management; and
IRS compliance and transparency. Upon completion of this course, learners are able to:

 Understand the scope of activities commonly referred to as “operations”, the role of an
operations manager and current trends in nonprofit operations management
 Recognize fundamental principles and best practices of effective human resource

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 Identify trends and key issues related to managing information technology in a nonprofit
 Explain what the growing emphasis on performance management is all about and identify
methods used to track performance
 Understand how IRS compliance requirements have changed and what nonprofits need to
do to maintain compliance and function with transparency

Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago
Great Cities Institute
Role: Instructor-Strategic Management

Ms. Leonard teaches Strategic Management: Aligning Mission, Vision and Values This course
presents the concepts of strategic planning and management with innovation and agility, so that an
organization's mission, vision, values, programs and resources may be fully aligned. Students will
learn the skills needed to develop these key aspects of a strategic plan and manage its successful

This intensive five-week course explores the following topics:

• How strategic management benefits a nonprofit organization.
• The role strategic planning plays in the larger context of strategic management.
• Using mission, vision and values to guide the development of a strategic plan.
• Strategies to help successfully implement the strategic plan.
• Maintaining sustainable strategic planning practices.

At the end of the course, students are able to:

• Understand the fundamentals of strategic management.
• Define mission, vision, values and strategy in the context of leading an organization.
• Identify issues, participants and information essential to a strategic planning process.
• Apply key elements of this course to the analysis and development of a completed strategic
• Discern an organization's success in aligning programs with mission, vision and values.

Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago
Great Cities Institute
Role: Instructor-Financial Management

Ms. Leonard taught Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations and provided input into
updating the course. The course examines the use of financial statements as a management tool, the
elements of an accounting system and how they are used in a nonprofit organization, the basic
methods of internal controls and preparation for an external audit, the budget cycle and filing tax

This intensive five-week course explores the following topics:

 Nonprofit financial statements and analysis
 Accounting system overview
 Internal controls and the external audit

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 14 | P a g e

 Budgeting and taxes

At the end of the course, students

 Understand the roles and responsibilities of the board, senior management, program staff
and financial staff in an organization's financial management system.
 Create a budget that supports the strategic objective of the budgeted time-frame.
 Identify the difference between restricted and unrestricted funds and be able to reconcile
reporting from accounting and fundraising.
 Interpret financial data and communicate financial position to internal and external users.
 Analyze the components and purpose of Form 990, including the marketing aspect.

Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago
Great Cities Institute
Role: Project Manager

Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago (“Great Cities”) worked with the Steans
Family Foundation (“Steans”) to better understand and support the needs of non-profit
organizations in the North Lawndale community, located on the West Side of Chicago. Central to
this effort was the recognition by Steans and Great Cities that the effectiveness of community-based
organizations in North Lawndale is not only determined by their individual capacities, but also their
broader collective capacity to connect with the resources required to effectively address the
challenges faced by the North Lawndale community.

Ms. Leonard served as the project manager, with responsibility for day-to-day coordination off all
aspects for the engagement. The Steans/Great Cities partnership engaged North Lawndale non-
profits in a survey and assessment of their organizational and collective capacities in an effort to
identify resource gaps, the potential for individual organizational growth, and ways that groups in
North Lawndale can enhance communication and work together more effectively. The tools were
used to inform the Steans Family Foundation’s grant making and capacity building efforts, and
enabled them to be more responsive to the community’s needs.

The engagement also included the development of the first phase of the North Lawndale Knowledge
Base Website, courses in program development and proposal writing and technology planning,
follow up assessments for course participants and convening a community-based advisory group to
provide input into the program design for the Capacity Co-Op. The North Lawndale Nonprofit
Knowledge Base website will enhance communication among non-profit groups in North Lawndale,
and will eventually serve as a central location for community and organizational data; on-line
resources to improve organizational effectiveness; an electronic directory of North Lawndale
organizations and a map of community assets. Organizations in North Lawndale will have the
opportunity to link to the site, as well as have access to modify the content that they provide.

Ms. Leonard taught a course in program development for proposal writing for emerging groups and
provided follow up assessments for course participants. She also ensured the delivery of a second
course in utilizing technology to enhance operations. Results from student pre-and post-course
assessments indicate a 35% increase in program design and proposal writing knowledge, and a
27% increase in technology planning knowledge over 8 weeks.

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To ensure that the capacity-building efforts are informed by the community, Ms. Leonard convened
an advisory group consisting of 23 community-based organizational leaders, including block clubs,
church ministries, community-based organizations and a local hospital.

Meeting Facilitation

Organization: Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
Role: Conference Workshop Presenter

The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) has hosted this conference every six months since
May 1994. The T/MC is dedicated to improving the availability and quality of volunteer-
based tutor/mentor programs in high-poverty areas of Chicago and other large US cities
through an ongoing, dynamic exchange of ideas.

Ms. Leonard will be providing a workshop, If I Build It, Will They Come? How to Develop
Youth Programs that Are Relevant and Impactful. Attendees will learn

 How to build a team
 Engaging internal and external stakeholders to maximize buy-in
 The differences between programs and services
 Developing a framework for programs that align with the organization's
mission, values, goals and objectives
 Relationships between a theory of change, strategic planning and program logic
model development
 Using the program logic model at various phases of program development
 Conducting program needs assessments
 Laying the groundwork for program evaluation
 Developing realistic program budgets
 Program funding
 Developing and monitoring work plans
 Developing program infrastructure

Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for
Policy and Civic Engagement
Role: Advisor/Presenter

The Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) focuses on transforming democracy
by creating a more fully engaged citizenry with more effective leaders. As a catalyst for
learning and action, the Institute creates opportunities for scholars, concerned citizens,
students, and government officials to actively participate in social discourse, research, and
educational programs on policy issues and social trends.

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IPCE held a community dialogue on childhood trauma and early education with a broad
range of North Lawndale stakeholders, including residents, parents, and residents from
community based organizations and early childhood care providers. The dialogue was held
to answer the following questions: 1) In the midst of massive school closings, violence and
other social ills, how can we put the well being of our children first-now and in the future?
2) How can we transform our community into a safe and stable environment where our
children could learn and be healthy? 3) How can we get them ready for school and
equipped to learn? 4) How can we also highlight the great work already being done in
North Lawndale?

Ms. Leonard served on the planning and advisory committee; prepared a presentation on
shared responsibilities for childhood development and ensuring equal opportunity so that
all children can thrive. She also prepared a resource guide highlighting public benefits and
medical resources for children in the North Lawndale area, and shared state and city
standards for early childhood development.

Organization: Chicago Democracy Project
Role: Advisor

The University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) is
partnering with the University of Chicago Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture
to update the data websitewww.chicagodemocracy.org . The goal of the update is to create
a resource that includes demographic data, political data, maps, and other information in a
simple user interface. Ms. Leonard provided input into the potential design of the site and
how the site could be a resource to community advocates.

Organization: DePaul University Steans Center for
Community Based Service Learning
Role: Workshop Facilitator

The Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning provides educational opportunities
grounded in Vincentian community values to DePaul students. The Center seeks to develop
mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationships with community organizations in order to develop a
sense of social agency in our students through enrollment in CBSL courses, community internships
and placements, and community-based student employment. Ms. Leonard worked with local North
Lawndale organizations to provide new students with an overview of the conditions of the North
Lawndale community, including its history, and snapshots of housing, education, employment and
economic development in preparation for their studies.

Organization: Students of Urban Planning and Public Affairs
University of Illinois at Chicago
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs
Role: Workshop Facilitator/Advisor

The College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs is a nationally recognized innovator in education,
research, and engagement in support of the nation's cities and metropolitan areas. The school's

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 17 | P a g e

adherence to its unique blend of basic research, university-community engagement, policy analysis,
and profession-based graduate programs attracts the best and brightest students and reinforces the
connections between its research centers and academic programs.

The purpose of the Students of Urban Planning and Affairs organization is to create awareness of
urban issues; encourage interested students to volunteer; take active part in the public decision-
making process and participate in various conferences related to urban and social issues. Ms.
Leonard prepared an overview of the social and business climate in North Lawndale in preparation
for their development of a comprehensive capacity building effort for emerging businesses in the

Organization: The Monroe Foundation, Westside Ministers Coalition
Small Business Boot Camp
Role: Workshop Facilitator

Ms. Leonard facilitated a workshop for small businesses and emerging nonprofits. With a theme of
Navigating the Winds of Change, Positioning Your Organization for Success, Ms. Leonard
developed a presentation outlining the similarities and differences between strategic plans and
business plans. Participants were provided sample business plans for a nonprofit and for-profit
business; resources for new business startups and organizational capacity assessment tools. In-
class exercises included the development of SWOT analyses for participating organizations and
writing business plans on the back of an envelope to help participants focus on the most relevant
parts of their plans and to communicate ideas succinctly. Ms. Leonard also negotiated discounts of
20%-40% for Business Plan Pro software for workshop participants. Citibank, one of the event
sponsors, has approached Ms. Leonard regarding the possibility of hosting a similar workshop for
the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce.

Organization: Ask the Expert Webinars
Role: Webinar Co-Facilitator

In 2011, over 18,000 Illinois tax exempt organizations lost their exempt status for failure to file
form 990 for three consecutive years. At the same time, the IRS substantially redesigned Form 990
to require more disclosure from board members, among other changes. Ms. Leonard teamed up
with Terrance Harrington, CEO of HOPE, Inc., to provide a webinar on nonprofit compliance.This
session provided basic, useful information about the filing requirements and information needed to
prepare Form 990, e-postcard, and 990-E-Z, as well as other annual reports and filings required by
state agencies.

Participants learned

• The roles of the IRS, Attorney General’s Office, Secretary of State’s Office and Department
of Revenue in regulating nonprofit organizations and helping them to succeed
• The roles and responsibilities of board members and key organizational leadership in
record keeping, financial reporting and maintaining compliance
• What to do if you lose tax exemption
• The consequences and penalties of late filings and registrations
• Which forms you need to register nonprofits and professional fundraisers
• Which forms you need to file on an annual basis, including annual reports, form 990’s and
AG-990’s and 941’s (payroll taxes)

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 18 | P a g e

• The relationships between good board governance, fundraising, and regulatory compliance

Organization: Citizens to Elect Valerie F. Leonard
Role: Candidate, Alderman of the 24
Ward, Chicago

Ms. Leonard recently ran for Alderman of the 24
Ward in Chicago, finishing 4
in a field of 18
candidates. Running on a platform, “Building Community, Restoring Trust”, Ms. Leonard developed
a 5-week series of town hall meetings on the following topics

 Education
 Economic Development, Workforce Development and Job Creation
 Public Health and Safety
 Housing
 Chicago’s Budget and Finances

Ms. Leonard used the results of a public opinion poll she designed for 24
Ward voters, to identify
the issues and conduct relevant research to develop the content. Each meeting included guest
experts, an outline of key issues voters deemed important, and Ms. Leonard’s proposals to address
the issues. The question and comment segment of the meetings were used to incorporate public
comments in the platform going forward. The town hall meetings were reinforced with meeting
notes that were posted on Ms. Leonard’s campaign blog, as well as a 5-week talk show—“24

Ward Talk with Valerie F. Leonard” on CAN TV 21.

Organization: Housing Action Illinois
Role: Workshop Facilitator

Housing Action Illinois’ mission is to increase and preserve the supply of decent, affordable,
accessible housing in Illinois for low and moderate-income households. Housing Action Illinois
provides technical assistance and training to community based developers and CHDOs on the
development process and how to work with their communities. This work is made possible by
funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Illinois Housing
Development Authority.

Ms. Leonard facilitated a two-day workshop on the development process. The topics included an
overview of becoming a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO), an overview of
developing housing needs assessments; understanding the competitive environment; developing
strategic goals and objectives; an overview of the development process; putting together a real
estate development budget and cash flow projections; and review of other sources with which to
leverage HOME funds. Ms. Leonard developed a case study based on the East Springfield
Neighborhood so that participants could apply lessons learned from the workshop.

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Organization: Westside Minister’s Coalition
Role: Workshop Facilitator, “There’s No Place like Home”,
Workshop on Developing Community Housing
Development Organizations (CHDO’s)

The purpose of the Westside Ministers Coalition, WMC of Chicago INC., is to work with other
organizations sharing similar values in accomplishing its goal of initiating self-help efforts to
improve the Westside communities of Chicago in the areas of housing, health, energy, education,
economics and community development.

In an effort to increase the capacity of faith-based and community organizations to develop
affordable housing on the West Side of Chicago and Cook County, the West Side Ministers Coalition
invited Ms. Leonard to provide an overview of the HUD sponsored HOME Investment Partnership
Program and to assess their readiness to take advantage of the HOME program. Program content
included definitions of Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO’s), board and legal
structures for the entities, allowable program expenditures; program requirements and activities;
and an organizational assessment tool to assess participants’ readiness to start a CHDO.

Conference: City of Chicago Department of Children and
and Youth Services Conference
Role: Facilitator, Workshop on Government Funding

Ms. Leonard delivered a workshop on public funding for the City of Chicago Department of Children
and Youth Services conference, “Partnerships in Quality: Voice, Cultivate, Impact”. Co-sponsors
included After School Matters and Out of School Time Project. The conference was designed to
provide capacity building for the City’s delegate agencies. Ms. Leonard’s presentation and resources
were designed to help participants

 Develop their program concepts utilizing a program logic model
 Identify sources for demographic and socioeconomic data
 Write a compelling needs assessment
 Develop realistic goals and objectives
 Design a program using sound methodology
 Identify potential public funding resources
 Garner community support for their ideas
 Develop a program budget and evaluation plan
 Position their programs for long term sustainability

The interactive workshop included handouts from the Power Point presentation, an organizational
self-assessment, a checklist for nonprofit regulatory compliance, a list of free and low-cost
resources and examples from government grant proposals that were actually funded. Materials
from this workshop have also been distributed to affiliates of the Chicago Area Project as part of
their ongoing capacity building efforts.

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Conference: Breakin’ It Down Conference
Role: Facilitator, Workshop on Government Funding

Ms. Leonard delivered a workshop on public funding during the recent Breakin’ it Down Conference
sponsored by Loyola University of Chicago and Polk Brothers Foundation. Co-sponsoring
organizations included Blacks in Development, Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy, Chicago
Latinos in Philanthropy, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and Latinos in
Development. The conference was designed to allow representatives from emerging minority-led
nonprofits an opportunity to interface with members of the philanthropic community and to gain
valuable insights into fundraising and proposal writing techniques. The presentation and resources
were designed to help participants

 Write effective proposals for government funding
 Locate statistical, empirical and spatial data to support their cases for funding
 Access the federal government’s clearing house for over $400 billion in grant funding
 Access an interactive grant writing tutorial provided by the federal government
 Find samples of proposals that have already received federal funding
 Understand the types of supplemental documentation that may be required
 Locate publications provided by the state and federal government to guide them step by
step through the proposal planning, development, writing and submittal process for public
funding opportunities

These documents provided participants with all the necessary tools to get started writing effective
proposals to government agencies. The Power Point Presentation and workshop handouts have
been uploaded to www.valeriefleonard.com.

Organizations: Steans Family Foundation,
Congressman Danny K. Davis
Role: Meeting Facilitator, Visioning Process for Fannie Mae
American Dream Communities Application

Ms. Leonard was retained by Steans Family Foundation and Congressman Danny K. Davis to
facilitate a series of meetings to develop a vision for a proposal to be submitted to the Fannie Mae
Foundation in connection with their American Dream Commitment. The scope of work for the
engagement included the facilitation of 4 work group discussions to establish project boundaries,
explore potential resources, propose a project scope and establish strategies for community
involvement; and the design of a survey to get community input on the proposed project. Data
gleaned from the meetings were compiled and distributed to the project leaders, who finalized the
project scope and developed the proposal. Work products included the following:

 Development of worksheets to focus discussion, and to facilitate decision making
 Detailed meeting notes summarizing key decisions and task assignments
 Project team list serve to facilitate effective communication between meetings
 Community survey to gauge demand for housing products
 Comprehensive project data binder
 Research for funding sources, relevant articles, community maps, demographic data,
housing statistics and other raw data.Technical assistance for work team members as they
completed research assignments between meetings

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Organization: Blocks Together
Role: Workshop Facilitator

Blocks Together (BT) is a multi-issue, direct-action community organization made up of residents,
schools, and churches in the West Humboldt and North Garfield Park communities of Chicago. For
over 11 years, BT has been dedicated to developing grassroots leadership and empowering
residents to create systemic change. Its mission is to increase the community’s capacity to take
action to address important issues; challenge members to develop skills to advocate for their
community and themselves; address the root causes of inequality; create neighborhood stability by
ensuring that needed resources are invested in the community; and unite residents on the basis of
equality to engage in building a social and economic justice movement.

Ms. Leonard was invited to present a workshop on effective strategies for TIF advocacy at the
grassroots level. Topics covered included an overview of the TIF approval process; a Power Point
presentation outlining lessons learned from Lawndale; a financial report for the Chicago Central
Park TIF; and pointers for hosting effective TIF Town Hall meetings. Commissioner Mike Quigley
also provided a presentation on the need for transparency and accountability for Cook County’s

TIFs. Immediate outcomes from the workshop include an invitation from a member of the Douglas
Park Advisory Council to share information as to how to access TIF funds for improvements in the
park; and an invitation from a member of the Little Village Community to make a presentation in
that community.

Organization: University of Chicago
SSA CPOD Program
Role: Workshop Facilitator

The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) is dedicated to working
toward a more just and humane society through research, teaching, and service to the community.
As one of the oldest and most prestigious graduate schools of social work, SSA prepares working
professionals to handle society's most difficult problems by developing new knowledge, promoting
a deeper understanding of the causes and human costs of social inequities, and building bridges
between rigorous research and the practice of helping individuals, families, and communities to
achieve a better quality of life. SSA’s programming includes the “Community Planning, Organizing,
& Development” (“CPOD”). This sequence of recommended courses is designed to enable students
to acquire the conceptual and substantive knowledge base underlying professional practice in:

Community Organizing, Planning, and Development, by which professionals help community
groups engage in purposive, collective change.

Ms. Leonard hosted a workshop highlighting a number of issues impacting the North Lawndale
community, including the dwindling supply of affordable housing; the need to improve the quality
of public education and the need to expand economic and workforce development opportunities.
The audience included students from a number of disciplines who were studying the impact of the
nonprofit sector and leadership development upon various communities across the City of Chicago.

As a result of this workshop, Ms. Leonard has been invited to present another workshop for the
Summer Links Program at the University of Chicago.

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Organization: University of Chicago
Summer Links Internship Program
Role: Workshop Facilitator

Summer Links is an intensive 11-week, paid internship program for 30 returning College and
graduate students committed to public service, community building and social change. Started in
1997 and sponsored by the Dean of the College, Summer Links has placed over 300 students in
substantive internships with more than 125 organizations throughout the city of Chicago.

Ms. Leonard facilitated a workshop on North Lawndale educational issues for a delegation of 35
students. Invited guests included representatives from Dvorak School, CPS, and DePaul Egan Urban
Center to discuss the latest developments surrounding the creation of a new technological hub for
neighboring schools; a science teacher from North Lawndale College Preparatory High School, to
share her varied experiences in educating North Lawndale children; a former LSC Member, Collins
High School, to share her experiences with transition in the building, from a single school facility to
a 3-school facility; and an instructor from the Cook County Detention Center. Ms. Leonard shared
trends in performance statistics for schools in North Lawndale and identified issues of concern.
Each panelist discussed his/her career paths, and related experiences.

Organization: North Park University Axelson Center
For Nonprofit Management
Role: Consultant

North Park University’s Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management serves the educational needs of
nonprofit professionals through undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs, on-
site training, and an annual symposium series that addresses contemporary issues and challenges
confronting nonprofit organizations.

Ms. Leonard participated in the speed consulting session of the annual symposium and has been
invited to prepare a half-day workshop on the strategic planning process as part of the Axelson
Center’s series of workshops for nonprofit leaders.

Organization: North Park University Axelson Center
For Nonprofit Management
Role: Workshop Facilitator

Ms. Leonard presented a workshop on strategic planning, “Building Organizational Effectiveness
Through Strategic Planning”. This workshop provided participants with the tools to develop a
strategic planning process that would enable them to position their organizations to meet the
demands of a changing environment. Utilizing a combination of classroom instruction, interactive
exercises and case studies, the ultimate goal was to help participants enhance their strategic
management skills. Participants were exposed to the entire strategic planning cycle, from
preparation to evaluation. Participants learned:

 What a strategic plan is, its major components, and how it is similar, yet different
 from business planning.
 How to prepare for a strategic planning process
 How to engage a variety of community and organizational stakeholders to increase buy in
and maximize team performance.

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 How to align programs and management systems with the organization’s mission, goals,
objectives and strategies.
 How to develop and monitor work plans
 How to conduct ongoing evaluation to measure progress and ensure continuous

Project: Capacity Building Blocks
Role: Developer, Facilitator

Capacity Building Blocks is a 10-part series of workshops for nonprofit practitioners. The
workshops are held on the client site, or mutually-agreed upon location. The interactive workshops
provide a balance of instruction, case studies and group activities designed to help participants
strengthen their organization’s infrastructure, and position it for long term sustainability.
Participants learn how to

 develop effective boards
 discern the differences and similarities between strategic plans and business plans, and
when it is most appropriate to use each
 develop and implement program evaluation plans
 write effective funding proposals for private foundations, technology and government
 develop budgets that support the overall mission of your organization and programs
effectively communicate your organization’s mission, goals and accomplishments to
enhance accountability
 comply with state and federal government regulations as they relate to nonprofits

Workshop participants also have access to an online bulletin board to post answers to follow up
questions and to hold one another accountable to make progress on their respective goals and

The Capacity Building Blocks:

 Capacity Building Block 1
: Starting a New Organization
 Capacity Building Block 2
: Developing Effective Boards
 Capacity Building Block 3
: Strategic Planning vs. Business Planning
 Capacity Building Block 4
: Program Development
 Capacity Building Block 5
: Budgeting and Forecasting Cash Flows
 Capacity Building Block 6
: Proposal Writing
 Capacity Building Block 7
: Marketing and Communications
 Capacity Building Block 8
: Program Evaluation
 Capacity Building Block 9
: Technology Planning for Nonprofits
 Capacity Building Block 10
: Regulatory Compliance

Organizations that have sponsored employees or training for other organizations include Camp
Butterfly, Carey Tercentenary AME Church, Chicago Area Project, Chicago Urban League, Garfield
Park Conservatory Alliance, and the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation. The
curriculum is being adapted for use at the Harold Washington College.

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Organization: Greater Chicago Food Depository
Role: Workshop Facilitator, Consultant

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, (GCFD) Chicago’s food bank, is a not-for-profit food
distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in
our community. The Food Depository distributes donated and purchased food through a network of
600 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to almost a half million adults and children every
year. Pantry University, created in partnership with GCFD’s network members, is dedicated to
continually strengthening the capabilities of the Food Depository’s member agencies by providing
training and educational workshops on topics such as food safety, nutrition, fundraising, grant
writing, creating and maintaining budgets and information technology.

Ms. Leonard was retained by GCFD Pantry University to provide board training for the Greater
Roseland/West Pullman Network. The Network had been working collaboratively for several years,
and is in the process of formalizing their working arrangement to increase the impact of their work
in Roseland and West Pullman. Ms. Leonard developed and facilitated a specialized board
development retreat, taking into account issues specific to the Network. The interactive workshop
was structured with a combination of a classroom discussion and breakout discussions. This
included developing a Power Point presentation outlining roles and responsibilities of the board
and staff; the differences between advisory boards and governing boards; the various growth
stages of informal groups and organizations; compliance issues and board recruitment and

Ms. Leonard also developed a case study written especially for the group, highlighting their specific
issues with the dynamics of collaborating with other organizations while maintaining loyalty to
one’s own organization; the pros and cons of developing a membership organization and
developing the optimal organizational structure. The notes from the interactive workshop were
used as a foundation for future board development and strategic planning. As a result of her work
with the Network, Ms. Leonard was referred to work with Hope Community Services. Ms. Leonard
has been invited to prepare workshops on board development and conduct strategic planning
sessions for a select cohort of GCFD affiliates.

Organization: Hope Community Services
Role: Workshop Facilitator

Hope Community Services (HCS) began twenty-five years ago as an ecumenical collaboration to
address issues of hunger in Harvey, Illinois and neighboring communities. The organization has
recently undergone a change in executive and board leadership, and is in the process of re-affirming
its mission, goals and values.

Ms. Leonard was retained by HCS as a result of her previous work for the Greater Chicago Food
Depository. At HCS’s request, Ms. Leonard developed a specialized board development retreat,
taking into account issues specific to the Hope Community Services organization. This included
developing a Power Point presentation outlining roles and responsibilities of the board and staff,
the role of staff and board in fundraising; issues of risk management and directors and officers
insurance, regulatory and programmatic compliance and board recruitment and retention.

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 25 | P a g e

Ms. Leonard also developed a case study specially written for the group, highlighting their specific
issues, and to allow the board and staff to discuss them in the abstract before dealing with them
directly. HCS has invited Ms. Leonard to facilitate a strategic planning process.

Organization: ARISE Program
Salem Baptist Church of Chicago
Role: Workshop Facilitator

ARISE…which stands for “To Actively Raise and Inspire Women to Successfully Build Businesses
with Excellence” was a project launched in 2004 by the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, under the
leadership of Pastor James T. Meeks and the direction of First Lady, Mrs. Jamell Meeks. Her vision
for the ARISE program is to help men and women overcome barriers to the successful launching
and sustaining of their businesses. This is achieved through mentorship and offering a 5-week
course for new entrepreneurs. Each year, more than 150 students enroll in the course. The
participants’ final project is to prepare written business plans and showcase their businesses to the
public during an Expo sponsored by Salem Baptist Church. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three

As a second place finisher in 2005, Ms. Leonard was asked to mentor a group of participants from
the 2006 class. Her cohort included men and women who were interested in starting nonprofit
organizations or consulting businesses. Ms. Leonard maintained contact with the students for the
duration of the course and beyond, serving as a resource for market research, developing the
business plans and other resources that could be of use.

Ms. Leonard was also asked to facilitate a workshop for participants who were interested in
starting nonprofit organizations. The subject matter included an overview of the steps to beginning
a nonprofit; the key similarities and differences between starting nonprofits versus for-profit
organizations, roles and responsibilities of board members and budgeting for nonprofits. Ms.
Leonard prepared a Power Point Presentation and provided free and low cost resources to assist
job seekers.

Organization: Idealist.org, DePaul University
Role: Workshop Facilitator

The Idealist.org Chicago Nonprofit Career Fair is generously hosted by the DePaul University Career
Center, and is co-sponsored by the IT Resource Center, the Axelson Center for Nonprofit
Management at North Park University, YNPN Chicago and The Chicago Reader. Each year, the fair
provides a forum through which where job seekers can distribute resumes and speak with
organizational representatives about current and future employment, internship and volunteer
opportunities. There is also a series of free information sessions offering career advice for nonprofit
job seekers.

Ms. Leonard was invited to facilitate a workshop, “Careers in Organizational Development and
Project Management”. The subject matter included an overview of capacity and organizational
development; typical organizational development activities; major disciplines and requisite skills

and training for organizational development and project management consultants; employment
outlook; key characteristics employers look for in candidates for organizational development
consultant positions; and an overview of the project management industry.

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Community/Civic Engagement

Project: Illinois Action for Children North Lawndale Innovation Zone
Role: Member

The North Lawndale Innovation Zone is a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of
Early Childhood Development and Illinois Action for Children. There are seven zones in
select communities around the State of Illinois, including Aurora, Cicero, Pilsen/Little
Village, North Lawndale, Thornton Township, Greater East St. Louis and Marion. Funded
by the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant from the U.S. Departments of
Education and Health and Human Services, the initiative seeks to strengthen early
childhood systems and kindergarten readiness for Illinois Children. The Innovation Zone
communities are leading a local planning process to identify strategies with the greatest
impact on advancing Illinois’ early learning priorities. To date, the Innovation Zones have
conducted a needs assessment, identified gaps in service and strategies to address them,
with implementation to begin in fall, 2014. The program will be evaluated by the University
of Illinois, with plans to scale the program across the State.

Project: Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools
Role: Facilitator

The Committee to Save North Lawndale Schools (CSNLS) is comprised of North Lawndale
stakeholders who have come together to provide an alternative plan to avert school closings.
Members of the ad hoc committee include elected officials, local community-based organizations,
and engaged individuals. Under Ms. Leonard's leadership, the group advocated against school
closings by hosting press conferences and co-producing cable television call in shows; making guest
"appearances" on radio shows; provided written and oral testimony at school closing hearings on
the federal, state and local level and published op-ed pieces and blog articles. The group also
developed an alternative plan to school closures. The plan provided community based
alternatives to school closings and laid the foundation for a dialogue between community
stakeholders, the Chicago Public Schools and the philanthropic community to find win-win
solutions that will positively impact academic outcomes for our children and the quality of
life for North Lawndale residents.

Project: North Lawndale African American Heritage Quilting Project
Role: Project Manager

The North Lawndale African American History Quilting Project engages North Lawndale residents
in the research of the history and culture of African American residents and express their findings
in a community quilt. Subject matter can include family trees, family traditions, poems, stories,
famous quotes, neighborhood traditions, church or organization traditions, famous people from
North Lawndale, North Lawndale icons, the relationship between African American and Jewish
experiences in North Lawndale; the Civil Rights Movement; the African influence in Mexico; the
Migration of African Americans from the South, etc. Local partners include the Better Boys
Foundation, Urban Art Retreat, and the K-Town Historic District Committee.

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 27 | P a g e

Ms. Leonard is the Project Manager. In this capacity, she is responsible for the day to day
operations of the project, ensuring securing volunteers, resource development, marketing and
community outreach and public relations. Ms. Leonard has also developed a blog to document the
project’s progress, share lessons learned from the quilting project; document the African American
experience in North Lawndale and to share quilting resources. The blog may be accessed at

Organization: CHA Resident Owned Credit Union
Role: Volunteer

CHA is undergoing rapid transformation. As a part of the CHA’s Plan for Transformation, local
residents were encouraged to develop resident-owned businesses and create other mechanisms for
economic development, including a resident-owned credit union. Ms. Leonard served as a
volunteer, assisting CHA residents in the implementation of a marketing and outreach strategy to
create a resident-owned credit union. In this capacity, she participated in strategy meetings,
canvassed CHA developments and surveyed residents. Data gleaned from these processes were
included in the application for the credit union.

Organization: United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
Role: Co-Chair, African American Outreach Committee,

The African American Outreach Committee (AAOC) of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
raises awareness of United Way among African Americans; enhances the presence of African
American leadership and volunteer positions throughout United Way of Metropolitan Chicago;
boosts African American involvement in fundraising; and strives to increase the investment of
dollars into the African American community. The AAOC also provides input into the development
of grant making programs targeted to agencies that serve the African American Community, and
provides technical assistance to prospective United Way grantees as they prepare for site visits.
Ms. Leonard was appointed Co-Chair for a two-year term, beginning January 1, 2007, and served as
a s a United Way Ambassador. In this capacity, she accompanied senior staff to prospect meetings
seeking donations and volunteer resources from high level corporate executives and affinity
groups. She has also completed Project Blueprint, the United Way’s comprehensive Board Training
program geared to place United Way volunteers on nonprofit boards throughout the City of

Organization: Lawndale Alliance
Role: Co-Founder, Convener

Ms. Leonard is the convener for the Lawndale Alliance, a task force of Lawndale residents who have
come together to address issues of importance to local residents, including community planning
and development. The group is most noted for its work on issues surrounding the Ogden-Pulaski
TIF, including the need for grassroots community input in community development decisions; the
need to mitigate the effects of displacement of low-moderate income residents, and elimination of
errors in the list of properties potentially displaced by the implementation of the TIF.

Ms. Leonard led the group in the development of a comprehensive education and awareness
strategy that included articles in the print media, blogs, and websites; direct mail to over 1,000

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residents; petition and voter registration drives impacting over 1,000 voters; appearances on a call-
in cable television show; weekly strategy meetings; workshops on TIF education, the Ogden-Pulaski
Redevelopment Plan, and tax reduction strategies; a town hall meeting to discuss issues
surrounding the Ogden-Pulaski TIF that attracted 400 people; public testimony at the Mayor’s
budget hearing; public testimony at a hearing on the Proposed Ogden-Pulaski TIF; a press
conference highlighting the potential negative impact to local residents; a lecture at a local
university; targeted e-mail blasts to 600 community stakeholders; telephone calls to over 400
residents at a time; distribution of flyers and door to door canvassing impacting up to 1,200 people
at a time.

As a result of the campaign, the number of homes potentially displaced was reduced from 317 units
(potentially displacing 1,200 people) to 24 units (potentially displacing 100 people); “TIF’s” have
become a household name in a community that heretofore knew very little about the subject. (It
should be noted that 6 TIFs were created in the community prior to the creation of the Ogden-
Pulaski TIF). A local steering committee has also been created to solicit input from local residents
into the redevelopment plans for Ogden Avenue.

The Lawndale Alliance also developed a series of town hall meetings to address the impact of
mortgage foreclosures upon the community; the pros and cons of Chicago hosting the Olympics;
funding from the HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program and a report of progress made on 7
commercial, industrial and residential TIFs that impact the North Lawndale community. The
meetings were recorded and run on CAN TV (Cable Access Network Television in Chicago).

The Lawndale Alliance worked with State Representative Arthur Turner, Jr., Commissioner Robert
Steele, other legislative leaders and a coalition of regional and community-based organizations to
conduct community outreach and training for local residents. The coalition includes the Illinois
Campaign for Accountable Redistricting, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct
Organization (IVI-IPO), Open Door Foundation, Empowered Citizens of North Lawndale (ECONL),
and the North Lawndale Community News. We will offer a series of three 2-hour workshops each
Thursday, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on April 21, April 28 and May 5th at the 10th District Police
Station--Community Room, 3515 West Ogden Avenue. Please note the date change.

The workshops provided insights into the relationships between the Census and the redistricting
process; the redistricting process and calendar; the parameters within which redistricting must
occur; an overview of current legislative maps and proposed changes; the impact of the
redistricting process upon local communities, and how citizens may get involved at the grassroots
level. This will include Congressional districts, and State legislative districts that impact the West
Side of Chicago.

The Lawndale Alliance held a town hall meeting and training in preparation for Mayor Rahm
Emanuel’s TIF Reform Task Force’s public meeting. The presenters included local residents who
provided an overview of what TIFs are and how they work, as well as a facilitated discussion to get
a sense for how the City’s TIF program could be improved. The brainstorming session results were
used to develop a set of recommendations that were presented to the Mayor’s TIF Reform Task
Force on July 28, 2011.

The Lawndale Alliance worked with Blocks Together, Carey Tercentenary AME Church, the
University of Illinois At Chicago Institute for Policy and Community Engagement and West Siders
Against All School Closings to develop “School Pictures", a public town hall meeting series featuring
snapshots of West Side Schools, on November 18, 23 and 25, 2013. The 3-day series explored issues

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 29 | P a g e

of concern to all schools, particularly those on the West Side of Chicago. We looked at a number of
issues impacting children and students ages 0-21 to gain a better understanding of how the groups
could work together as a school community–along with public agencies and elected officials–to
improve public schools. The subject matter was broad, and included access to early childhood
education, school performance, dropout rates, school finances, TIFs, school policies and parent

By the end of the series, participants had a very good sense for the state of West Side Schools'
performance and finances, and had an opportunity to provide real input into group
recommendations to be presented to CPS, elected officials and other stakeholders to drive school
improvement at the community level. More than 75 attendees attended the event. The Lawndale
Alliance is in the process of compiling a final report and survey results, which will be shared with
community stakeholders and elected officials.


Medium: North Lawndale TIFs Blog
Role: Member of Team of Publishers and Moderators

North Lawndale TIFs is a site developed to track North Lawndale TIFs, including their progress
towards financial and programmatic goals and expenditures. Visitors will find copies of reports
and other relevant documents from the City of Chicago, articles, presentations and links to
resources to increase your understanding of how TIFs work and to keep you posted on the latest
developments. This site is not affiliated with the City of Chicago, Cook County or State of Illinois.
The site is maintained by three North Lawndale residents–Terrance Harrington, Jimmy Lee Lard
and Valerie F. Leonard.

Medium: In the Loop Electronic Newsletter
Role: Publisher

Ms. Leonard is the publisher of In the Loop, an eclectic compilation of e-mail transmittals that she
receives during the week prior to its publication. From time to time, the newsletter includes find
announcements of events, grant opportunities, job postings, links to websites and articles of
interest or notes of encouragement. The newsletter is distributed to 1,500 nonprofit professionals,
engaged community residents, foundations, state, federal and local government agencies, elected
officials, small business owners and financial intermediaries in Chicago and several cities across the
United States.

Medium: Valeriefleonard.com Website
Role: Designer, Webmaster

Valeriefleonard.com provides information about Ms. Leonard’s practice, and provides access to free
and low-cost capacity building resources for nonprofit professionals and small business owners.
Visitors may 1) learn more about Ms. Leonard’s services; 2) post blogs concerning special events, or
articles highlighting best practices in nonprofit management; 3) download brochures and flyers
from capacity building workshops; 4) purchase reference books and accounting software for
discounts ranging from 10% to 30%; 5) review and post job announcements; download back issues

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 30 | P a g e

of In the Loop and Community Development Milestones newsletters; 7) link to other resources.
More than 90% of the website consists of free and low cost resources enabling visitors to increase
their capacity, regardless of whether they choose to use Ms. Leonard’s services.

Medium: Staying in the Loop Weblog
Role: Publisher, Moderator

Ms. Leonard also moderates Staying in the Loop, a weblog that allows one to comment on articles
found in In the Loop. Users may also feel free to post events, or submit articles that may be of
concern to local nonprofits, small business owners or elected officials and policy makers. The
combined traffic for valeriefleonard.com and Staying in the Loop surpassed 19,000 visitors in 2007
and exceeded 30,000 visitors for the year ending December 31, 2008.

Medium: North Lawndale Community Newspaper
Role: Resident Journalist

Ms. Leonard is an occasional contributor to the North Lawndale Community News, a community-
based weekly newspaper. Ms. Leonard has written a number of articles and letters to the editors
analyzing the impacts of the City of Chicago’s budget, the Olympics, education policy, tax increment
financing districts (TIFs) and the HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to the local
community. Ms. Leonard has also written articles on various topics surrounding best practices for
organizational development and capacity building.

Medium: The Nonprofit Knowledge Exchange
Role: Moderator

The Nonprofit Knowledge Exchange is an interactive forum that provides a safe space for nonprofit
leaders to ask questions and seek advice from other nonprofit practitioners; share articles that
others may find of interest; or, voice concerns and make recommendations regarding some of the
challenges and policies that currently impact the nonprofit sector. Ms. Leonard posts questions to
get discussions started, and forum members will have the opportunity to introduce topics of
particular concern to them. There are currently three active forums on this bulletin board:

Forum 1:
Capacity Building Blocks (Bulletin Board)

This forum was designed for participants of Capacity Building Blocks, a 10-week workshop
series for nonprofit leaders who are serious about maximizing community impact. Workshop
participants may respond to follow up discussion questions, encourage one another to
complete capacity building projects, share information and other capacity building resources.
To learn more about the Capacity Building Blocks series, visit www.valeriefleonard.com to
download a brochure.

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 31 | P a g e

Forum 2:
Stimulus Funding

This forum is provided so that organizational leaders may share insights regarding the impact
of Stimulus Funding on local nonprofits. Leaders are encouraged to share experiences applying
for funds and administering the grants; to share pointers as to how to navigate the funding and
administration processes, etc. This forum could be particularly useful in exploring ways
Stimulus Funding may be more accessible to local organizations that are more likely to be on
the front lines of social service delivery.

Forum 3:
Staying Afloat in Troubled Waters

The current economic situation, coupled with the political climate at the State and Federal
levels have wreaked havoc on nonprofit organizations' budgets. A number of organizations
have considered merging; trimmed staff, cut back on hours, discontinued vital services, or even
closed their doors. This forum is geared to help leaders share stories of how their
organizations are weathering the storms of uncertainty.

Medium: The Job Exchange
Role: Moderator

The Job Exchange is an interactive bulletin board developed to provide an informal clearinghouse
for employers and jobseekers. Organizations and jobseekers are encouraged to post positions or
resumes. The current forums are listed below.

Forum 1:

Employers with positions to fill may post job listings, free of charge. They are given an
opportunity to summarize the description and upload a document, or include a link to a
website that provides further information about the position.

Forum 2:
Job Seekers

Job seekers may use this forum to share a little background about themselves and upload a
resume, or link to their resumes.

Visitors can sign up to register for the online communities by visiting www.valeriefleonard.com,
and clicking onto the “Knowledge Exchange” or the “Job Exchange” button in the left margin. They
will be guided to a page on the website that provides further information, and then forwarded to
the bulletin board for registration. The forums will change from time to time to make sure the
content is relevant to the users.

Valerie F. Leonard- Statement of Qualifications 32 | P a g e

Medium: Citizens to Elect Valerie F. Leonard Website
Role: Moderator

Ms. Leonard created the Citizens to Elect Valerie F. Leonard website to support her campaign to
become the Alderman of the 24
Ward. The website provided visitors the opportunity to make
online contributions; opportunities to sign up as a campaign volunteer; buttons to share the site
with social networks; links to online voter registration; Ms. Leonard’s bio; links to her campaign
blog; links to video clips from her campaign kickoff; links to Ms. Leonard’s endorsements; a list of
accomplishments; a mechanism to download absentee ballots; forms to respond to speaker
invitations; links to latest campaign news and Ms. Leonard’s stances on issues of importance to
voters. Ms. Leonard finished 4
in a field of 20 candidates.

Medium: Citizens to Elect Valerie F. Leonard Website
Role: Moderator

Ms. Leonard created the Citizens to Elect Valerie F. Leonard campaign blog to provide more
flexibility in campaign communications. The blog included entries to which visitors could provide
comments; results of a 24
Ward opinion poll; Ms. Leonard’s campaign platform; links to a
campaign donation page; links to resources, campaign videos; Ms. Leonard’s responses to campaign
questionnaires; and links to social networks. Ms. Leonard was the only 24
Ward candidate race
who maintained a blog and website.