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Leadership

Tom Staab

Tom Staab – President and CEOLeadership

Tom Staab oversees Junior Achievement of Chicago, which has a $4.8 million budget and reaches over 225,000 students annually throughout its 12-county franchise area.

He joined Junior Achievement of Chicago as Director of Development in March of 1997. Over his 25-year career with JA of Chicago, Tom has also served as Vice President of Development, Senior Vice President of Development, and Executive Vice President of Development and Operations. He assumed the role of President and CEO on November 1, 2020, after being elected by the board of directors in July 2020.

Tom has a BA in Communication Arts and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MBA in Marketing, Management & Strategy, and Management & Organizations from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Tom and wife Susan and son Edward reside in the city of Chicago. In addition to his passions for education and business, Tom closely follows most sports, and roots for all Chicago teams.

 

Derek Ernst

Derek Ernst – Vice President of DevelopmentLeadership

Derek Ernst serves as Vice President of Development and oversees all fundraising and marketing efforts for Junior Achievement of Chicago.

Derek began his career with Junior Achievement of Chicago in 1999 and has served in a variety of capacities, including Operations Manager, Director of Operations, and Vice President of Suburban Operations. He assumed the role of Vice President of Development in March of 2021 and is responsible for raising $4.8 million in revenue.

Derek has a BA in Music Education from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in Management and Entrepreneurship.

Derek was born and raised in Michigan and resides with his wife and two children in Gilberts, IL. Derek has a passion for music, reading, and the outdoors.

 

Ravi Parakkat

Ravi Parakkat – Vice President of Digital TransformationLeadership

An Engineer and an MBA with business and board experience, Ravi is the Vice President of Digital Transformation with Junior Achievement of Chicago helping this impactful non-profit embrace digital to help young people succeed in life.

In a career in consulting spanning over 20 years, 3 continents and several industries notably Financial Service, Energy and Utilities and Manufacturing, Ravi has had the privilege of working with industries and organizations during transformative years. Ravi has successfully built and managed large globally distributed teams to solve complex problems. He has also set up and managed profitable multi-million dollar projects and digital transformation focused consulting businesses.

Ravi was elected in the IL consolidated Municipal elections as a Trustee to the 7-member Oak Park Village Board for a 4-year term in April 2021. In this role he along with his board colleagues set the policy direction and budgetary priorities for the village’s $150 million annual budget. In 2020 in response to the COVID 19 pandemic Ravi started Takeout 25, a platform to bring the community together and help save local restaurants. He currently serves as its Founder and Board President.

Ravi lives in Oak Park, IL with his wife Amy and their two daughters Rowen and Reva.

 

Maria Ramos

Maria Ramos – Senior Vice President of Education & OperationsLeadership

Maria V. Ramos serves as the Senior Vice President of Education and Operations overseeing JA program implementation across the Chicagoland 12 county area JA of Chicago serves.

She joined Junior Achievement of Chicago as the Latino Outreach Operations Manager in October of 1996. Over her 25 year career with JA Chicago, Maria has also served as Vice President of Operations, Director of Operations and Senior Operations Manager. She assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Education & Operations in March of 2021.

Maria has a BA in American Culture with a focus in Latino Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MA in Sociology from DePaul University, Chicago. During her time at the University of Michigan, she founded one of the first Latina sororities on campus, Delta Tau Lambda Sorority, Inc., which focuses on women’s position in society, education, community commitment, and professionalism.

Maria serves on the CPS (Chicago Public Schools) Business & Information Technology Cluster Advisory Board, the JA USA Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Network, the JA USA Program Advisory Committee, and the JA USA Education Leaders Group. She has also served on the CPS Financial Education Initiative Steering Committee, the Robert Morris University School of Business Advisory Board and the Financial Advisory Council for the Empowerment of People with Disabilities (FACED), the Illinois Jump$tart Board of Directors, and the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Maria is the recipient of the 2014 "Terry Savage Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Financial Education" presented by Illinois Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy, the 2015 Women of AT&T Recognition Award for Value & Excellence for Vendor/Non-Member of the Year, and was named Robert Morris University’s Business Leader of the Year in 2007 and 2016.

She was born and raised in Chicago, the youngest of five, and a proud alumni of Chicago Public Schools. Maria and her family reside in the city of Chicago.

 

Amy Youngberg

Amy Youngberg – Vice President of ProgramsLeadership

Amy Youngberg oversees K-8th grade programmatic outreach in Chicago and K-12th grade outreach in NW Indiana. She is responsible for and manages the classroom CRM database for the organization. Amy is also the chief education and programming liaison to JA’s Area Board volunteer committee and manages key accounts in sustaining and growing corporate relationships.

Beginning her involvement with JA as a 3rd-grade classroom volunteer, Amy instantly fell in love with the JA mission, particularly bringing financial literacy to our youth.

Amy started working for JA as a program manager in Central Illinois in 2004. Since moving to the Chicagoland area, Amy has served in a variety of roles such as Operations Manager and Program Director for DuPage County, Will County, and the Western Division. Amy has a proven record of accomplishment in running many special events, writing grants, and organizing the Divisional Board of Directors.

Amy graduated from Augustana College. She continued her education and earned an MBA and concentration in Human Resources with a full ride through a JA USA Scholarship.

Amy enjoys international travel, interior design, and yoga. She lives in Geneva, IL with her husband Kyle, two children, and their Wheaton Terrier.

 

Terrance Guthrie

Terrance Guthrie – Vice President of Finance & AdministrationLeadership

Terrance Guthrie oversees the Junior Achievement of Chicago Financial, Human Resource, and IT departments.

Terrance joined Junior Achievement of Chicago as a Staff Accountant on July 17, 2001. After serving over two years as a Staff Accountant, Terrance took a hiatus from Junior Achievement for four years to work in the financial sector. Terrance returned to Junior Achievement in 2007 and in his 17-year career, he has served as Staff Accountant, Assistant Controller, Controller, and later assumed the role of Vice President of Finance and Administration in July of 2019.

Terrance has a BA in Accounting from the University of DeVry.

Terrance was born in Chicago and now resides with his wife Dionne and children in the city of Romeoville (southwest suburban area of Chicago). Terrance is deeply involved in his local church and volunteers in many programs to help his community.

 

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