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chicago urban league

I served as a member of the executive leadership team for The Chicago Urban League, a well-respected non-profit organization that supports and advocates for economic, educational and social progress for urban communities.

  • As a member of the executive leadership team, I oversaw External Affairs including managing all Development initiatives, raising restricted (programmatic) and unrestricted funds by building coalitions and leveraging relationships with Chicago’s corporate and philanthropic communities.
  • Oversight of Marketing & Events; Worked with external partners and the internal marketing team to produce the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, the Golden Fellowship Dinner with over 1,200 guests in attendance, raising more than $1.2M in 2009 and $1.6M in 2010.
  • Oversight of Internal and External Communications functions including social media outreach and working with the Director of Communications on crisis communications, media training, media pitching to secure national and local interviews and story placements for the CEO, the Board President and programs directors.

Here are a few samples of my work with CUL:

  • Chicago Urban League Summit: Developed theme, worked with senior team to create the platform, identify speakers & panelists and art directed the graphic identity for the Chicago Urban League Summit, the annual policy designed to convey important policy thinking on critical issues facing Chicago and other urban communities.
  • Chicago Urban League Fundraising: Managed senior-level relationship with the Executive Committee member of the Board; including hosting monthly meetings/conference calls.

Here’s what Chicago Urban League VP of Policy & Research, David Thigpen, had to say about working with Leslie:

“Leslie Gordon and I worked together on the executive team of the Chicago Urban League. Leslie is an exceedingly able writer and communicator with substantial experience in university administration, non-profit management, marketing and strategic planning. She also brings a real human touch to her work, making her a charming presence as well as a highly effective and persuasive leader.”

- David Thigpen
Chicago Urban League, Former VP of Policy & Research

Here’s what Chicago Urban League President & CEO, Andrea Zopp, had to say about working with Leslie:

“Leslie Gordon served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs for the Chicago Urban League until she transitioned to the role of Senior Consultant. In both roles she oversaw the areas of Development, Marketing & Events and Communications. Leslie has demonstrated a tireless commitment to the Chicago Urban League and our work with underserved communities. She has provided critical leadership to the organization working closely with the Board of Directors.

Leslie is an excellent writer, a seasoned public relations executive and communications strategist. For two consecutive years, Leslie played a significant part in the success of the Golden Fellowship Dinner, our largest annual fundraising event, utilizing her relationships in entertainment to secure talent and special guests including Angela Bassett, Cicely Tyson, Al Jarreau and George Benson.

Leslie always brings a level of excellence to her work that her staff and her peers have greatly admired. She is well respected by Chicago’s corporate and non-profit communities and has played an integral role in the Chicago Urban League’s success because of her diplomacy and expertise.”

- Andrea Zopp
Chicago Urban League President & CEO

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