The Advisory Committee serves an important role in supporting the unique and diverse initiatives of Greenheart International. Committee members utilize their professional expertise to enhance Greenheart’s fundraising efforts and to increase awareness of Greenheart International.
Bessie Alcantara: Director of Operations & Quality Improvement, BUILD
Bessie Alcantara, MSW, came to BUILD in 2009 and has worked in social services for 7 years. Her expertise includes: research, program design, evaluation, and professional development. Bessie quickly grew with the organization and in 2010 was promoted to Director of Program Operations. In this role, she was instrumental in major improvements: implementing and tailoring Efforts to Outcomes (BUILD’s client-tracking database); exporting the BUILD Model to other U.S. cities; expanding the BUILD Model to include Health & Wellness and developing the Brand BUILD Arts Academy. Bessie recently transitioned to BUILD’s Director of Operations & Quality Improvement, a new role that is responsible for reviewing agency practices, identifying opportunities for improvement and providing recommendations for strategic direction. One of her current responsibilities is overseeing BUILD’s external evaluation which concluded: “Overall, this review confirmed BUILD’s continuous dedication to program evaluation, which is one of its biggest strength.” Bessie is currently working to obtain her License in Clinical Social Work.
Kristen Amato: Owner and Designer, K. Amato Designs
Kristen Amato has created her own unique niche in the fashion world with her coveted jewelry collections under the name K.Amato. The tagline for the stylish company is “every girl should have one,” and the woman behind the reasonably priced line of earrings, necklaces and accessories knows the exact science behind why women are instinctually attracted to her jewelry.
Though she graduated from college with a degree in Chemistry, Kristen quickly veered from formulas to fashion. In 2002 the Chicago native, who was born a jewelry fanatic, created a few designs for friends that were trend conscious, sophisticated and most importantly affordable. Soon those pieces became an immediate hit with local boutiques, partially due to being named after major streets in the Windy City, and Kristen struck gold (Au).
The K.Amato jewelry collections are now available at over 300 stores nationwide and internationally in London, Canada, France, Japan, Belgium, Kuwait, and Curacao. The stunning designs have been featured in publications like Vogue, Lucky, People and US Weekly to name a few and have garnered a celebrity following including Rachael Ray and Eva Longoria Parker. Eleven years since the launch of K.Amato, Kristen’s clientele has grown from a few friends to a following of fashionistas who anxiously await future collections.
Justin Booz: Co-Founder, Cooperation Operation and Artist
Justin Booz is an artist, activist, and world traveler. He was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, in the Pullman neighborhood. He has a meticulous set of personal ethics that allows him to only do things if they benefit more people than himself. When he is not working on The Cooperation Operation, he can be found making overly sentimental art and music, exploring new physical spaces, drinking coffee, and listening to others.
Kevin Lampe: Executive Vice President, Kurth Lampe
Kevin Lampe is an internationally recognized expert in media and communications strategies. “Ideas, Delivered” is his mission. He develops and directs the delivery of his client’s complicated messages to a variety of audiences. Kevin is an expert in political consulting; public relations; speech and media training; and community and grassroots organizing.
In his career, Kevin has worked with Vice President Joe Biden, Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Al Gore, President Bill Clinton, Hotel Rwanda’s Paul Rusesabagina, President Barrack Obama, Erik Estrada, Rosa Parks, Government Ministers, Ambassadors, CEOs, Members of Parliament, Senators, and Congressmen.
He has work with media around the world. He has placed his client’s stories in media outlets such as BBC, Radio Netherlands, CNN International, Agence France Presse, Voice of America, Dagens Industri, Afton Bladet, Associated Press, MSNBC, FOX, The Guardian, International Herald-Tribune, New York Times, and numerous other radio, television, print and internet-based news media.
He has conducted training seminars, interactive workshops and keynote address across the USA and in Kosovo, Uganda, Belgium, Albania, Sweden, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Norway, Mali, Netherlands and Macedonia.
Since 1996, he has served on the Speaking Tracking Team at each Democratic National Convention – which handles all the speakers at this event. At the 2004 convention, he worked with then state Senator Barack Obama on his keynote address.
He is Vice President of the Board of WorldChicago, serves on the Advisory Board of New Leaders Council – Chicago and on the Board of Phi Kappa Theta Foundation.
Monika Lotter: Co-Founder, Flight Deck Chicago and Chief-of-Staff, Alderman 42nd Ward at City of Chicago
Monika received her undergraduate degree in international business and marketing at the University of Colorado in Boulder, eventually moving back to her hometown of Chicago to launch DQS, a German-based company, in the U.S. in 1996.
She moved on to put her passion in planning events to work and began with Levy Restaurants organizing events at various restaurants and private venues, finally ending at Navy Pier where she oversaw trade shows and private events for up to 1,500 people.
A career turn as a caterer with Culinary Enterprises saw Monika working events that ranged from city-wide to private affairs. During this time, she also earned her MBA in general business administration from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and entered into hotels as a catering sales manager at The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago. She spent more than three years there before accepting a position at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago as director of catering and conference services.
As the pinnacle of her hospitality career, she went on to open the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago as director of catering. Monika oversaw all of the functions that take place in Trump’s breathtaking event spaces on the sixteenth and seventeenth floors.
After successfully opening up Trump Chicago, Monika worked as Director of Development at Kendall College, where her years of experience was transferred to new generations of hospitality professionals. Making a dream a reality, Monika became an entreprenuer and launched Flight Chicago in 2010, an experiential food lover’s journey through Chicago’s neighborhoods.
At present Monika works for the City of Chicago – the city she loves, the city she calls home – bringing her hospitality and client service experience to the forefront serving residents and business constituents in the 42nd Ward.
Michael Perry: Senior OEM Outside Sales Representative, Wesco Distribution, Inc.
Michael Perry is the Senior OEM Outside Sales Representative for Wesco Distribution, Inc., a leader in industrial supply with an extensive offering of electrical, data communications, general maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) and electrical OEM products. As WESCO’s Senior OEM Outside Sales Representative, he is responsible for building existing and new accounts throughout Chicagoland in the dynamic Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) industry. In addition to his work with WESCO, he serves on the board of LTM Heroin Awareness & Support foundation and Village Church of Bartlett’s Local Outreach team. Prior to working at WESCO he was an active in Chicago’s active Loop neighborhood both through his past work at Chicago Loop Alliance, a member of the inaugural Junior Board at Auditorium Theatre and many student organizations at Roosevelt University.
Mary Teeter: Manager of Development, US Soccer
Mary Teeter is currently Manager of Development at U.S. Soccer, the national governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States. As a nonprofit development professional, Mary has worked with Chicago-based nonprofits including the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago / North Shore, and helped kick-off fundraising activities at Greenheart International in 2013. Mary moved to Chicago after two-and-a-half years serving in Peace Corps/Ukraine, where she co-chaired the volunteers’ national Environmental Working Group and was a member of the USAID committee for Small Project Assistance (SPA) grants. Prior to her service abroad, Mary worked in public affairs at Edelman in Washington, D.C. and London. Originally from Gettysburg, PA, Mary graduated summa cum laude from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.