Leaders
Veronica Alanis
VERONICA ALANIS, Executive Board Chairperson

Veronica Alanis, Chairperson of UNO's Board of Director's, is currently the Assistant Director of Operations Administration for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). She is involved in the revision and review of policy regarding the transformation of public housing into mixed-income communities. Additionally, she plans outreach strategies to reach the 25,000 public housing residents, and manages the CHA's special projects. For the eight years she has assumed the role, Ms. Alanis has also served as a project manager for the Winterization project which closed down non-functional housing units and transferred their residents to safer ones.

Before her current position, Ms. Alanis worked as a Project Manager and Communications Director for the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA), as a Reporter with the Lawndale News Group, and as the Assistant Project Coordinator for the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO). She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in International Business and French, and attended the Universite de Paris. Ms. Alanis' other affiliations include the Eighteenth Street Development Corporation, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation, and the Jesus Guadalupe Scholarship Foundation.

PHILIP J. MULLINS
PHILIP J. MULLINS, Chief Operating Officer, UNO

Philip Mullins has been involved in leadership training and grassroots advocacy efforts for nearly 20 years. Throughout this time he has served as both a community organizer and chief strategist on civic campaigns and initiatives spanning an array of policy areas. During UNO's involvement in the Chicago school reform movement, Mr. Mullins organized thousands of parents at the grassroots in support of campaign activities. He also helped to draft and lobby for legislation that ultimately implemented Local School Councils throughout the city of Chicago.

Mr. Mullins also played a lead role in developing UNO's grass roots naturalization campaign, which brought together over 2,000 volunteers and 100 churches across the metropolitan Chicago region. Ultimately this effort assisted 65,000 individuals to become U.S. citizens, making it one of the country's most successful grassroots outreach campaigns and a model for citizenship campaigns across the United States.

Beyond UNO, Mr. Mullins has been engaged by a number of public institutions for organizational and leadership development. In the 1990's, he performed an analysis of inefficiencies for U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services and co-developed a Chicago community outreach strategy to address its 60,000 applicant backlog. Mr. Mullins also assisted in training 18 church-based organizations in four states that participated in the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) Active Citizenship Campaign. Today, as Chief Operating Officer of UNO, Mr. Mullins directs the organization's long-range planning for program and policy initiatives. In 2000, Mr. Mullins also developed UNO's grassroots health outreach strategy, which has connected nearly 70,000 Hispanics throughout metropolitan Chicago with free or reduced-cost healthcare.

PETER MARTINEZ
PETER MARTINEZ, , Director of the Center for Urban School Leadership University of Illinois at Chicago, MLI Program Advisor

Peter Martinez has been involved with the MLI since its creation. At the program's onset, Mr. Martinez was crucial in measuring participant feedback and overall program effectiveness. In its subsequent years, he has lent his expertise in community organizing to the annual training re t reats and monthly discussions, providing real examples for the analysis of power plays and organizing tactics, taken directly from his personal experiences. Mr. Martinez has over 40 years of experience in leadership training and organization development.

His organizing career began when he was hired by Organization for the Southwest Community (OSC), a Saul Alinsky Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) project, to organize in his own community on the far southwest side. Within three years he became the Executive Director of the OSC, started new organizing projects across the southwest, and also ran organizer and leadership trainings nationally.

After returning to Chicago, he was hired by the Latino Institute as their Associate Director, and continued to do leadership training for organizations including UNO. In 1987 he also conducted trainings in Johannesburg, Soweto, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth for the South African Council of Churches.

In 1987, Mr. Martinez became the first full-time Executive Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA), where he increased the dues-paying membership four-fold, initiated paid affirmative action contracts as a way of funding the operating budget, and pioneered their annual banquet. In 1991, the MacArthur Foundation hired Mr. Martinez as a senior program officer in charge of their $40 million Chicago Education Initiative, focused on improving Chicago Schools. Ten years later, Mr. Martinez left MacArthur to design and lead a dramatically innovative urban principal preparation program called the Center for Urban School Leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is currently the Director.

In the three and a half short years that the program has been in existence, it has prepared over 20 new transformative principals for Chicago Public Schools. One of those principals will be leading UNO's new high school in Archer Heights, set to open in 2008. Mr. Martinez and the Center will continue to consult on the design and development of UNO's high school plan.