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Daily Whale Staff

Q&A with NAMI Chicago Executive Director Alexa James

August was the city’s most violent month in nearly two decades, according to data released by the Chicago Police Department. As frustrated residents seek solutions to end the epidemic of violence, organizations like NAMI Chicago are working to help by expanding access to mental health services in the region.

Q&A with Rich Lenkov

Rich Lenkov first came to the Chicago region more than 20 years ago in pursuit of a legal degree from Northern Illinois University. Since then, he has established himself as a lawyer, media personality, filmmaker and education activist.

Lenkov is a partner at Bryce, Downey & Lenkov LLC, a law firm that specializes in insurance defense. When he’s not practicing law, Lenkov hosts “Legal Face-Off” on WGN alongside attorney Jason Whiteside. The one-hour program hosts discussions on a variety of topics and their legal ramifications from different viewpoints.

Q&A with Chicago Housing Authority CEO Gene Jones, Jr.

Eugene “Gene” Jones, Jr. spent seven months as acting CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority before Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his appointment to the permanent position in January 2016. In a little bit over a year leading the agency, Jones has accelerated the progress on several projects, including CHA’s $1.6 billion Plan for Transformation.

Q&A with Chicago Urban League President & CEO Shari Runner

For the past 100 years, the Chicago Urban League has prided itself on advocating for economic and educational advancements for African-Americans throughout Chicago.

“The whole idea is creating strong communities,” said Shari Runner, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “The three pieces of a strong community are education, employment, and wealth creation. As our communities rebuild, we will be building a better city.”

Q&A with Robert Richmond, CEO of the LISA App

Part of Chicago’s expanding roster of technology startups, one local company is seeking to transform the beauty industry with an online app that allows industry professionals to offer salon services directly to consumers.

Robert Richmond launched a beta version of the LISA app on January 11, 2016. The app allows salon and spa professionals – “artists” – to work as independent contractors. Richmond said he developed the app in order to address a very serious issue in the beauty industry.

Navy Pier celebrates Centennial year

Improvements to Navy Pier will continue beyond this year’s Centennial celebrations as one of Chicago’s most-visited tourist destinations continues to plan beyond its 100th anniversary, Marilynn Gardner, the pier’s president and CEO, told members of the City Club last week.

CHA CEO Eugene Jones: Authority is focused on holistic development strategies

Chicago House Authority CEO Eugene Jones on Monday said his agency is focused on holistic development strategies that provide education, employment, recreation and social networking opportunities to public housing residents.


City Club panelists urge more spending on preventing juveniles from engaging in criminal activity, less on incarceration

Panelists at a City Club of Chicago luncheon on Wednesday said too much money is spent on the incarceration of minors in Illinois and Cook County and not enough is spent on programs that would deter youths from engaging in criminal activity.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke moderated the panel, which included Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) Superintendent Leonard Dixon, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Director Candice C. Jones and Cook County Circuit Court Judge Colleen Sheehan.


Illinois treasurer tours state in celebration of 529 College Savings Day

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs on Wednesday will begin a two-day tour of the state in honor of 529 College Savings Day.


Q&A with Todd Connor, CEO of Bunker Labs

In early May, JPMorgan Chase awarded a $1.5 million grant to Bunker Labs, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping military veterans start and grow their own businesses.

Bunker Labs founder Todd Connor, a veteran of the Iraq War and experienced entrepreneur, said the $1.5 million grant will allow the Bunker to expand into new chapters across the nation.  “We’re in eight cities right now and we’ll be in 12 within the next ten months,” Connor explained. “We’ve got about 110 companies that we’re actively working with.”