CFW Announces New Board Members to Fight for Women’s Equality
August 04 2020

First Lady of Chicago, Amy Eshleman, named honorary Board member

CHICAGO (August 04, 2020) – Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) today announced five new members to its Board – in addition to recognizing First Lady of Chicago, Amy Eshleman, as an honorary Board member. Together, these women bring a wealth of knowledge to the organization, with backgrounds in philanthropy, health care, government, finance, and development.

“As COVID-19 and the issues of systemic racism continue to take their toll on the U.S., Chicago women and girls need our help more than ever,” said Felicia Davis, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women. “We are honored to have the First Lady and this dynamic group of leaders join our team and support our work to provide for our communities and invest in building women and girls up to create a brighter future for all, especially those often left behind.”

Through grantmaking, advocacy, leadership and organizing for change, CFW has been putting in the time, talent and money to work for women, girls, trans and gender non-binary individuals who lack economic security and opportunity, freedom from violence, and equitable access to health care and services for over three decades.

“I’m thrilled to be named an honorary Board Member along with these dedicated leaders in support of Chicago Foundation for Women,” First Lady Amy Eshleman said. “I’m proud to contribute to the work of the Foundation in uplifting and supporting women across Chicago, addressing many of the inequities they face.”

The new Board members joining the CFW team in its efforts to make tangible positive impacts for the city’s most vulnerable populations and women and girls:

Jessyca Dudley

Jessyca Dudley serves as the Director of Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy and is also an Associate Director at Arabella Advisors. In these roles, she supports foundations and nonprofits committed to dismantling racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression, by developing strategies that enhance the impact of their efforts. Prior to joining Arabella, Jessyca worked at the Joyce Foundation, where she developed grantmaking and advocacy strategies to reduce gun deaths and injury in the United States. Jessyca also held positions with the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Chicago, creating and implementing community-based prevention and outreach programs and conducting clinical and social science research to improve the health of communities in Chicago. Jessyca holds an MPH in maternal and child health from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in women’s studies from Skidmore College.

Toi Hutchinson

Toi Hutchinson served as an Illinois Senator, representing the 40th District from 2009 to 2019. During her time in the Senate, Hutchinson championed a variety of causes, including protecting women and children from violence, modernizing the state’s tax structure, and legalizing cannabis. Prior to leaving the Senate, she served as the 46th president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Toi is an original co-sponsor of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), the most equity-centric law in the nation to legalize adult-use cannabis. The CRTA promotes equity and invests in the communities that suffered through the war on drugs, serving as a model for the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis. In 2019, former Senator Hutchinson was appointed by Governor JB Pritzker as the Senior Advisor to the Governor for Cannabis Control. Toi earned a Bachelor of English degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a law degree from Northern Illinois University College of Law.

Kelly Norton

Kelly Norton joined the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in 2019 and is currently the vice president of development. Prior to joining the Council, Norton ran her own fundraising consulting firm in Washington, D.C., where she focused on developing strategies for fundraising in non-profit and political contexts. She helped raise over $75M for clients, managed relationships across the country with high-net-worth individuals, foundations, and corporations across multiple industries, and planned hundreds of events with high-profile special guests.
Kelly has worked with nonprofit clients on issues of education, global development, investing in women and girls, ending extreme poverty, global health, national security, and economic growth. Kelly received her B.A. in political science and psychology from Indiana University.

LaSaia Wade

LaSaia Wade is an open Afro-Puerto Rican Indigenous Trans Woman, founder of TNTJ Tennessee Trans Journey Project, and member of Chicago Trans Gender Nonconforming Collective and the Trans Liberation Collective, and Director of Brave Space Alliance. Recently, she was honored at the Chicago LGBTQA Black History Recognitions ceremony and is the first trans woman in Illinois history to be honored during Women’s History Month for the work she’s doing not limited to community organizing. Her role in organizing ranges between and beyond as a central organizer for the Trans Liberation Protest Chicago, the largest march for trans rights in Midwestern history, and being a leader in the Midwest Ballroom The International Legendary House of Prodigy.
LaSaia graduated in 2012 with a Masters of Business Administration degree in Business Management from Murfreesboro Tennessee State University, has 10+ years of experience in organizing and advocacy work with Black, Indigenous, trans, and gender-nonconforming people around the world.

Erica Duncan

Erica Duncan serves as Senior Vice President, Regional Banking Director of Private Banking for PNC’s West region. Erica is responsible for driving private banking across 17 markets for PNC Wealth Management. In this role, Erica and her teams are focused on delivering an exceptional client experience and providing clients liquidity management solutions through the PNC private bank.

Erica joined PNC in November of 2002. Erica Duncan has more than 15 years of experience in Wealth Management, Corporate banking, and retail lending. Erica holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of St. Francis.


About Chicago Foundation for Women

Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all. CFW funds organizations working to solve the biggest problems facing women and girls: economic insecurity, violence, and lack of access to health care and information. Since its founding, CFW has invested nearly $39 million in hundreds of organizations, leveraging the generosity of more than 2,700 donors, impacting 70,000 women, girls, trans, and gender non-binary individuals in our region. In addition to grantmaking, CFW invests in developing women leaders and advocates, and brings together diverse coalitions to collaborate, share resources and develop solutions. Learn more at

Christina Córdova-Herrera
(312) 577-2824