Meet Our Board
Britney Robbins is the Founder and CEO of The Gray Matter Experience. Britney has worked within Chicago's entrepreneurship and tech community for the past ten years working within some of Chicago's top venture capital firms and incubators including Sandbox Industries, Lightbank and 1871. She has been recognized as one of Ariel Investment, BMO Harris and WVON's 40 Under 40 Gamechangers, Essence Magazine's Woke 100, a finalist for Ebony Magazine's Power 100 People's Choice Award, featured on Fox32, Chicago Inno, BlackEntrepreneur.com, DNAInfo Chicago, Chicago Tribune, and Essence Magazine for her work through Gray Matter. Most recently, she's been named as one of the 26 Most Influential, 20 Most Inspiring Chicagoans and one of The Chicago Defender’s Women of the Year for 2021.
Britney is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she received her B.A in Rhetoric. She is currently a Graduate Adjunct Professor at Loyola University’s Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise & Responsibility. She also serves as the Secretary of the Chicago Urban League’s IMPACT Alumni Association, is a member of Business Leadership Council, the Executive’s Club of Chicago and the Baumhart Leadership Council.
She is passionate about improving the well-being of Black communities and is focused on providing quality resources, more direct access and education to see that vision made reality.
Chika Umeadi is the co-founder of tiphub, a firm specialized in supporting African and African Diaspora focused startups at the intersection of technology and impact. Since its inception in 2014, tiphub has engaged over 100 companies through programs, funding, mentorship, and technology assistance yielding to top partnerships with companies like the NBA, Uber, Google, and State Farm and $10 million USD raised by companies to date.
While he’s not working with start-ups through tiphub, Chika is a Product Manager at Google. He also advises and supports Cornell Pharma, a pharmaceutical company based in New Jersey with operations in Nigeria and Kenya. Cornell Pharma’s mission is to bring cost-effective oncology and anti-infective therapeutics to underserved markets leveraging innovative manufacturing and delivery mechanisms.
Chika received his MBA from the Kogod School of Business at American University and his Bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Seth Green is a university administrator and social entrepreneur with a passion for expanding educational opportunity.
Currently, he serves as the Dean of the Graham School at the University of Chicago.
Prior to joining Graham, Seth was the founding director of the Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility at Loyola University Chicago and, before that, he served as the executive director of Youth & Opportunity United. Early in his career, Seth served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.
Seth speaks, writes, and teaches about social innovation. His commentaries and research have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Fortune Magazine, the Journal of Business Research, and the Social Innovations Journal. He has been a featured guest on Slate Podcasts, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, MSNBC, and CNN, and his efforts have been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Seth holds a law degree from Yale University, master’s degrees from Oxford University and the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.
Layla Lumpkin is a business advisor, corporate attorney, and investor. She is a partner in the Corporate Transactions & Securities Practice at Thompson Hine LLP and focuses her practice on venture capital and emerging company transactions and mergers and acquisitions.
Layla mentors underrepresented founders and frequently presents on and writes about early-stage company, venture capital and small business legal issues. She also teaches entrepreneurship law and venture capital finance as an adjunct law professor.
Layla supports local non-profits as an active member of the Junior League and Impact100. She previously served as Associate Board Chair for a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides resources to social entrepreneurs.
Layla received a Law Degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida A&M University.
As a recognized Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Notable Executive by Crain’s Business in 2021, Pamela has 20 years of senior leadership experience in corporate, financial services, and higher education. She has pioneered several large-scale initiatives, such as the Small Business Administration program for a financial institution, oversaw a $50B portfolio as Product Executive, led National Training and Conversion activities that improved efficacies. In her current role as Sr. Business Consultant for the Minority Entrepreneur Initiative, she was first in seat and crucial member to create, test and execute this program.
Investing in her community has always been important to Pamela. She has served as coach and executive mentor to businesses in Chicago Metro Communities. As a leader in the DE&I space, she has focused her efforts around expanding the number of successful minority owned businesses. Pamela has evaluated start-up, business expansion, and acquisition strategies across industries. She believes in the power of mentoring and the synergy of teamwork by leveraging internal and external partnerships.
She serves on several advisory boards has been featured in various media outlets including Cheddar, AWBC, Magazine, Radio, Crain’s, and other print publications. In her spare time, she enjoys mentoring and empowering young women.
Pamela is an adjunct graduate professor and holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management from National Louis University, a Master’s in Marketing Communication from Roosevelt University, and is a Doctoral Candidate (2022) in Leadership and Innovation.
The best board members will:
Have strong networks they can leverage to drive more awareness and capital to the organization
Provide strategic advice/planning for the organization's growth and sustainability
Have some experience serving in a board capacity
Secure their $5,000 give/get commitment each year of their service
Represent one of the following industries/skillsets: Non-Profit Management/Development, Legal, Marketing, Fundraising, Youth Development, Entrepreneurship/Social Impact, Community Development