2017 Year End Benefit

Empowering Work;Impacting Change.jpg

Hope Works Community Development invites you to celebrate a year of growth at the Hotel Palomar in the Gallery Ballroom at 6:00 PM on Thursday, November 9th. 

6:00-7:30 PM Cocktail Reception

6:30 - 7:30 PM Auction

7:30-9:00 PM Dinner and Program

Keynote Speakers Steven C. Preston and Charles E. Johnson

Register for tickets here.

Interested in Sponsoring?

To sponsor this event, read the details below or contact Mary Elizabeth Goodell at mgoodell@hopeworkschicago.org.

As leaders in Chicago, you understand how important a job is. Having stable employment decreases the risk of violence, allows for families to thrive, and benefits the economy of Chicago communities. Hope Works is working with individuals to become job ready and to find, apply for, and keep employment.

However, our efforts can’t take effect unless we have the support of everyone in our community.

That’s why we’d like to invite you to sponsor our Year End Benefit on November 9th at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar. We’ll be joined by over 200 leaders in the city to celebrate the work that we have accomplished together in 2017 and to look forward to 2018. Steven Preston and Charles Johnson will be our keynote speakers, you can read their bios below.

Below are the sponsorship levels for this year. Contact Rebekah King for more details:



$5,000- Event Sponsor
2 tables, with logo displayed, premium seating
Logo printed on event programs and registration.
Logo on online invitation, website, and all event related emails
Verbal Recognition throughout event

$2,500 - Table Sponsor
1 table, with logo displayed
Logo on online invitation and event programs
Verbal recognition at beginning and end of event

$1,000- Event Partner
1 table with logo displayed
Logo printed on event programs

$500- Event Contributor

Logo printed on event programs


Hope Works Community Development is a registered 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.


KEy Note Speakers

Steven C. Preston

Former Secretary, US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Steven C. Preston has served in numerous operational and financial leadership positions in both the private and public sectors.  He has served as the CEO of two private equity owned companies, headed two major federal agencies during times of national crisis, and served as the CFO of two Fortune 500 companies during times of significant change and restructuring.  

From 2013-2016, he served as the CEO of Livingston International, Livingston International provides customs brokerage, international trade consulting, global trade management and freight forwarding services to companies of all sizes in multiple industries.  Livingston employs 3,100 staff at 100 strategic locations across North America, Europe and Asia.  During his tenure, the company expanded its presence both in existing and new international markets, integrated six acquisitions onto an integrated operating and technology platform, reduced overhead and sourcing costs, leveraged internet channels for increased sales and increased operational efficiency through extensive process design and technology improvements.

From 2009-2012, Preston served as CEO of Oakleaf Global Holdings.  Oakleaf provides waste, recycling and sustainability solutions through a network of over 2,000 providers. During his time as CEO, EBITDA increased fourfold, customer retention improved dramatically, recycling capabilities were expanded significantly, and the company launched the industry leading business intelligenceand technology platform.  Following the acquisition by Waste Management (“WM”), Preston becameWM’s Executive Vice President, overseeing operations with revenues of approximately $2.5 billion and serving as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.  

From 2008-2009 Preston served as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) after unanimous confirmation by the Senate.  As the housing crisis ballooned, Preston expanded FHA capacity to meet mushrooming demand, broke ground on major public housing developments in New Orleans which had been stalled, expanded HUD’s ability to assistvictims of natural disasters, and advanced sensible regulations requiring clearer disclosure of mortgage terms to borrowers.  He also served on the board of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

From 2006-2008, Mr. Preston served as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA provides disaster loans to homeowners in addition to its multiple small business services.  Following Hurricane Katrina, Preston spearheaded a reform agenda to expedite support to disaster victims, and make the agency more responsive to customers, accountable for results, and efficient in the delivery of services. 

Prior to serving at SBA, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The ServiceMaster Company, Senior Vice President and Treasurer of First Data Corporation, and an investment banker at Lehman Brothers.  In those roles, he amassed substantial experience in capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, financial strategy and operational reengineering.  

Mr. Preston graduated with Highest Distinction from Northwestern University, and received an MBA from the University of Chicago. He has served on numerous corporate and philanthropic boards.

Preston and his wife, Molly, have five children, ages 14-22 and reside in the Chicago area.

Charles E. Johnson

Founder, Ideal Concept Group

COO, New Life Covenant Church South East

A true visionary with high marks of integrity, commitment, courage, and selflessness, are just a few of the qualities that make Charles Johnson a leader. 

From his early career in international business at Inland in Chicago, to a role leading SodexoMAGIC, a joint venture between Sodexo and Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE) that he personally helped to create, Charles has built relationships with a strong foundation of understanding his clients business, coupled with a vision of success that benefit all parties. 

Realizing the value of taking chances, Charles personally approached noted business leader and NBA Hall of Famer, Earvin “Magic” Johnson (no relation), to propose a partnership with Sodexo. This partnership would target minority set aside contracts with major corporations throughout the U.S. After convincing Magic Johnson that his concept was viable, Charles then approached executive leaders at Sodexo and persuaded them that a partnership with MJE would result in significant revenue growth as well as the value of doing business with an iconic figure, Magic Johnson. 

Since launching the enterprise in 2006, Charles has played a central role in making SodexoMAGIC the fastest growing minorityTowned food and facility service company in the U.S. with current revenue of $200 million. Charles has also lead SodexoMAGIC in developing strategic partnerships with some of the world largest brands including, Disney, American Airlines and Abbott. 

Currently, Charles runs a consulting firm called Ideal Concepts Group that help clients in the areas of entertainment, real-estate development, government relations and consumer goods. Charles is lead planner and strategist for the development of a new $30+ million performing arts center and worship center set to open in winter of 2017 for a Chicago based non-profit. The organization recently completed a $5.5 million child center (40,000 square feet) that is currently the single largest childcare center in the city of Chicago, as well as a performing arts high school for grades 7th-12th in conjunction with Chicago native Rashid Lynn (Common) that is set to open in 2018. 

Charles core message: “Bridging the gap between those who create and those with a need that produce goods and services that increases the quality of life while maximizing profit.” 

Charles believes that the foundation of community development is economic empowerment. Today he works with his clients to understand their business and its relation to the community. His challenge is always to develop a community benefits agreement that integrates public outreach with tested and proven business practices. 

Mr. Johnson is a native of Chicago, IL who graduated from Tuskegee University. He supports his community by serving as a mentor to African American college students through the Black Executive Exchange Program. He serves as a board member for several for profit and nonTprofit organizations. 
In his book 32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business, Magic Johnson writes, “Charles and I both dream big, and we don’t give up on our dreams.” Everyone who knows Charles Johnson would second this opinion. He is a man who turns dreams into reality.  

Charles and his wife, Patrice, reside in Chicago.