Events & Outreach

The objectives of the Events Committee are to support the Gray Matter Experience staff in planning events and workshops for TGME and other events throughout the year that amplify the organization’s mission.

 

Adrienne Bradford

Adrienne is a burgeoning behavioral scientist, 3rd-year doctoral student, and DEI practitioner. Routinely, she deploys evidence-based strategies to help her clients disrupt inequitable systems that routinely produce disparities in employment outcomes for underrepresented communities. She is also an anti-racism educator deeply committed to eradicating systemic oppression through the dismantling of white supremacy. Her goal is to use her work to actively amplify Black voices and interrupt the academic echo chamber that often presents a homogenous picture within scientific research.

 

Arielle Johnson

Arielle Renee Johnson is the Deputy Director of the Business Enterprise Program at the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. Arielle’s team is committed to fostering an inclusive and competitive business environment that will help businesses owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities increase their capacity, grow revenue, and enhance credentials. Prior to this role, Arielle served as the Deputy Director of Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity for the City of Detroit, where she led all Department operations. Programs led by Arielle included the Business Opportunity Program, where she oversaw the certifications for Detroit based businesses and also partnered with the Office of Contracting and Procurement to execute an outreach plan that would connect businesses to contract opportunities with the City of Detroit. In addition, Arielle successfully led several special projects such as, COVID relief efforts for small businesses, the Diversity & Inclusion program for Mayoral Fellowships and the first ever March to cross the historic McNamara Bridge at Detroit Belle Isle in 2020.

Arielle received her B.A. from The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. Hospitality is where she credits developing a true work ethic and understanding of the impacts of quality service in ALL industries. Arielle went on to receive her Master’s in Public Administration from University of Michigan. In 2016, Arielle’s endeavors evolved into a sustainable staffing company, Fierce Staffing and Consulting. The Staffing arm of the Fierce enterprise trains, prepares and employs people from disenfranchised communities and prepares them for the hospitality workforce. Fierce Staffing has been privileged to provide quality staff for corporate clients such as: Major League Soccer, Facebook and The Detroit Jazz Festival.

Arielle’s proudest accomplishment is being a mother to her son, Dorian, and her favorite leisure time activities include him. Arielle is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, social enterprise and non-profit leader. She is committed to using her experience and talents to advocate for the advancement of underserved communities and has a demonstrated commitment to equity and empowerment.

 

Cameron Merritt

Cameron Merritt is a Marketing Manager at Ford Motor Company where he executes extensive market data analysis, develops pricing strategy, and helps manage vehicle variable marketing spend across the Great Lakes Market Area (Twin Cities, Chicago Cincinnati, Detroit, & Pittsburgh markets). During his tenure at Ford, Cameron has held several Marketing and Sales roles including Business Development Specialist, where he worked with dealerships across the Midwest on their operations to increase vehicles sales and service. In addition to creating and executing strategies to grow sales, Cameron oversaw the execution of dealership and public-related events including the 2018 and 2019 Chicago Auto Shows.

In 2019, Cameron was named as Ford Motor Company’s Thirty Under 30, an honor started by Bill Ford to recognize and develop young leaders across the company. As a Thirty Under 30 Fellow, Cameron completed a Design Thinking Fellowship and partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, which serves the Ypsilanti Township in Michigan. The goal with Habitat for Humanity is to increase community engagement and build a new community center for the West Willow neighborhood residents.

Cameron graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Marketing and Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Government. While at UT-Austin, he studied abroad for a semester at The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. His part-time job in college was a Student Recruiter where he worked with administration in diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this role he developed a strong desire to serve Black students. Cameron is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. At Kellogg, Cameron serves as the Senior Vice President of the Evening & Weekend Program’s Black Managers Association (BMA)

 

Chloe Johnston

Chloe Johnston is a first-generation college graduate from the Southside of Chicago. She has spent the last 5 years in the corporate, non-profit and tech space. Chloe was with the Obama Foundation where she worked cross functionally within strategy and operations! She currently is a Program Manager for Twitter’s Global Inclusion & Diversity team, specifically focusing on the management of their programming for people of color.

Chloe is the immediate past President of the University of Illinois Black Alumni Network. When Chloe is not volunteering her time to non-profit boards, she enjoys curating content to her virtual platform called 'Lips + Hoops'.

 

Jorge Arteaga

Jorge Arteaga is passionate about creating equitable opportunities for people from all backgrounds and empowering the next generation of leaders. Jorge is the US Programs Manager at Common Purpose, a global non-profit devoted to developing leaders for the future that can work across boundaries to solve complex issues, both in society and the workplace. In 2020, Jorge has helped cultivate and deliver programs at a city wide level in Chicago and Boston for young adults; and at Harvard University for students. With his program management and facilitation skills he has been able to bring together communities to foster a diverse environment for learning and collaboration across boundaries.

 

Liz Miller

Liz Miller has spent much of her adult volunteer time supporting adults looking to improve their employment prospects. She is so eager to join TGME, and have the opportunity to support the cause of more open doors and opportunities for younger people interested in business. She currently works in the market research and consulting space and looks forward to applying what she has learned in her career to her work with the TGME team.

 

Matthew Harris

Matthew is a Chicago native who works at Cleveland Avenue as a Business Management Associate. He graduated from Northwestern University in 2017, where he majored in Learning and Organizational Change in the School of Education and Social Policy. ​

Upon graduation from Northwestern, Matthew went on to pursue a career working for non-profits and social enterprises, where he worked as a Lead Advisor and Program Manager. ​

During his time at Northwestern, Matthew became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., was a four-year starter on the football team, David Kabiller Award winner, SAAC Co-President, Varsity football captain (2016-17), All-B1G player, and a 3x Academic All-B1G honoree.

 

Tosh Chandy

Tosh Chandy, Founder of the Law Offices of Tosh Chandy represents clients with all Real Estate Needs. In addition, the office assists clients with criminal, tax, and civil matters. In addition, Tosh has represented hundreds of clients as a licensed Realtor in their acquisition and sale of single family and multi-unit properties.  His clients included first time buyers to professional investors. Prior to his work as a Realtor, Mr. Chandy founded a web development firm in college that successfully grew over a decade assisting small business, political, and non profit clients.  Mr. Chandy has also traded equities and options, and worked in numerous political campaigns.  

Mr. Chandy grew up in Chicago, and really takes pride in being a resident of this city. He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Finance from DePaul University, and he is a graduate of Loyola University School of Law.

Tosh has served on several non profit Boards in the past, and currently serves on the Board of Epic Arts Academy, and the President of his Condo Association.

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We believe empowering youth to create their own businesses can have great impact on their own self-worth, perception of the meaning of success, and can positively impact underrepresented neighborhoods across Chicago.

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