We are an experienced and innovative team who believe that nonprofits are changing the world. We are dedicated to providing the power to drive nonprofit success.
Executive Team
Andre Hughes / Founder & Servant, Powered by Action

Andre Hughes is a retired Global Managing Partner at Accenture. During his nearly 25 years with Accenture, Andre founded and grew two billion dollar businesses and led the company's human capital, inclusion and diversity, and corporate citizenship program.

Andre holds a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He serves on the boards of the Chicago Urban League, Purdue University's Krannert School of Management - Business Opportunity Program, the Presidential Council for Economic Growth and Development in Haiti and LeaderShape. Andre lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two children.

Chris Albano / Director of Development

Chris has worked in fundraising for nearly his whole career, first as the Grant Writer at the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and then at Workers Defense Project in Austin, Texas. He is passionate about nonprofits and creating change at scale, and he is excited to be able to use his talents to help Powered by Action forward its mission.

Chris graduated cum laude with a BA in Economics and History from Tufts University in 2011.

Kate Laures / Director of Customer Experience

Drawing on her dual passions for service and creativity, Kate manages the design, production, and support for the boost platform. Before arriving at Powered by Action, Kate worked in admissions for her alma mater, North Park University in Chicago, IL, where she managed their communications with prospective students.

Kate graduated as the Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Biblical and Religious Studies, Graphic Design, and Psychology from North Park University.

Kelsey Nicholson / Director of Customer Development

Prior to Powered by Action, Kelsey worked at a tech start-up and taught at a university in China. She is passionate about creating relationships and surrounding herself with people that want to change the world.

Kelsey holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from Grand Valley State University. She loves to spend time outdoors, travel, and immerse herself in new cultures. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband.

Nadia Chathappuram / CPA, MST

Nadia Chathappuram, CPA, MST, brings more than 10 years in diverse tax, financial, and business consulting experience to her role as a Certified Public Accountant.

Nadia is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Illinois. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from University of Illinois, Chicago and her Masters in Taxation from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

Board of Directors
John-Paul E. Besong / Philanthropist & Consultant

John-Paul recently retired from a 35 year career at Rockwell Collins, where he was Senior Vice President and CIO and was responsible for planning and directing the strategic goals and objectives of the information technology organization.

John Paul holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Iowa. He has served on the Boards of QCR Holdings, Inc., United Fire Group, Inc., Goodwill Industries International, Inc., JA Worldwide, Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa, Inc., Mercy Medical Center Cedar Rapids Iowa, Inc., Iowa Public Television, Iowa Public Television Foundation, and Involta LLC. John-Paul lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with his wife and has two children.

Justin Brown / Chief Operating Officer, BigMarker

Justin is the Chief Operating Officer of BigMarker.com, the world's largest webinar network. Prior to joining BigMarker, Justin worked in Accenture's Management Consulting practice where he helped some of the world's largest companies and governments solve strategic and operational issues

Justin received degrees in Economics and Marketing from Miami University and is pursuing an MBA at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He lives in Chicago with his wife.

Carol Dawley / Partner, JBD Capital

Carol is a Partner at JBD Capital Partners, a U.S. based real estate investment company and is an investment advisor to Caswell Capital Partners in Ghana. Carol has served in leadership capacities for numerous nonprofit boards and worked in New York at Andersen Consulting and Goldman Sachs.

Carol has a B.S. in Finance from the College of Business at the University of Illinois. She serves on the Financial Review Committee of Impact 100 Chicago. Carol lives in the Chicago area with her husband and has one adult child.

Andre Hughes / Founder & Servant, Powered by Action

Andre is the Founder and CEO of Powered by Action and a retired Global Managing Partner at Accenture. During his nearly 25 years with Accenture, Andre founded and grew two billion dollar businesses and led the company's human capital, inclusion and diversity, and corporate citizenship program.

Andre received a bachelor's degree in Engineering from Purdue University and a MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He serves on the boards of the Chicago Urban League, Purdue University's Krannert School of Management - Business Opportunity Program, the Presidential Council for Economic Growth and Development in Haiti and LeaderShape. Andre lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two children.

Zhu-Song Mei / Founder & CEO, BigMarker

Zhu-Song is the Founder and CEO of BigMarker.com, the world's largest webinar network. Prior to launching BigMarker, Zhu-Song worked at the Technology Labs of Accenture's R&D division where he built complex systems that solved a variety of client optimization problems.

Zhu-Song received three BS degrees from Northwestern University: Computer Science, Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing and Design. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.

Clarence Mitchell / Managing Partner, C3 Ventures Group LLC

Clarence is Managing Partner of C3 Ventures Group LLC, a New York based private investment firm. Prior to founding C3, Clarence was a Partner and led global management consulting practices for large international professional services firms including Accenture and Cognizant.

Clarence holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University and an MBA from University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. He is on the boards of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and the Chapin School. Clarence lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Tracey Patterson / Senior Manager, Accenture

Tracey is Senior Manager in Accenture's Business Process Outsourcing group where she leads Accenture's North America Talent Acquisition Operations and Transformation, managing an international team of 400 and a $30 million budget.

Tracey holds a computer science degree from Loyola University Chicago and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business. She serves on the boards of The Boys and Girls Club of Chicago and Jack and Jill of America - Mid-Western Region. Tracey lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.

Dr. William Payne III / MD, MPH

Dr. Payne is a board certified Orthopedic Surgeon who practices with WellGroup Health Partners. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of myowndoctor.

Dr. Payne graduated from Occidental College with a BA in Biology, earned his Medical Degree at UCLA School of Medicine and a Master's of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. He serves on the boards of St. James Foundation and the Oasis Foundation. Dr. Payne lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two children.

Edwin Phanord / Founder and CEO, RTX Technology Partners

Edwin is the Co-Founder and Global Managing Partner of RTX Technology Partners, a New York based global strategy and technology consulting firm that provides its clients full-service business and technology solutions. Prior to founding RTX Partners, Mr. Phanord was a Senior Partner at Accenture.

Mr. Phanord has undergraduate degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Economics degree, a Masters of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an MBA from New York State University at Buffalo. He serves on the Board of the Presidential Council for Economic Growth and Development in Haiti Edwin lives in New Jersey with wife and two children.

Elizabeth Tinkham / Senior Managing Director, Accenture

Liz is a Senior Managing Director at Accenture and an industry expert in the areas of telecommunications, media and high technology. She leads the Global Microsoft account, managing a team of 5,000 people working throughout the world.

Liz holds a BS in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Ohio State University and an Executive MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. She is a Board Member of Washington STEM. Liz lives in Seattle with her husband and three children.

Advisory Council
Dorri McWhorter / CEO, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Janice Howroyd / CEO Act 1 Companies Inc.

Janice is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of California based Act·1 Group, a billion dollar company that is a global leader in providing temporary staffing, HR services and consulting to over 12,000 clients throughout the world. Janice is a sought-after speaker and lecturer, and is the author of The Art of Work: How to Make Work, Work for You!

Janice is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. She serves on seven boards including her Alma Mater, Harvard University's Women's Leadership Board, and the Los Angeles Urban League. Janice lives in Nevada with her husband and has two adult children.

Cheryle Jackson / Vice President Government Affairs - Corporate Development of AAR Corporation

Cheryle is the Vice President for Government Affairs and Corporate Development of AAR Corp. where she is responsible for developing strategies to drive AAR's growth, strategic partnerships, communications and branding. Cheryl's previous jobs include CEO of the Chicago Urban League, VP for Communications and Government Affairs at Amtrak and VP of Communications and Brand Management at National Public Radio.

Cheryle is a graduate of Northwestern University. She is the Founder of Real Like Me and serves on the boards of the Aerospace Industry Association and the Chicago Foundation for Women. Cheryle lives in Chicago.

William Mzimba / Chief Executive, Accenture South Africa

William holds a BA in Business Studies from De Montfort University and a MBA from Bond University. He is co-chair of the South African FoodBanking Network and a Director of the Global Foodbanking Network, Trustee of the Accenture Foundation. He lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with wife and two children.

Strategic partners with a vision

BigMarker is the world's largest webinar network. Read more

McDermott, Will & Emery / Pro Bono Legal Counsel

McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a long history of social responsibility and commitment to its community.

Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is one of the world's leading global public relations firms with offices in major media, business and government capitals around the world.

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