I’m honored to announce that Manufacturing Renaissance has added three great people to our Board of Directors—opening up new possibilities for the organization. Glad to have them on our team!

Teresa Cordova—the Director of the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois—a leading policy center;

Victor Dickson, President/CEO of the Safer Foundation—a leading organization in the work with people with convictions; and

Karen Pittinger, President of Black Olive—a marketing and communications agency and former Chair of the Board of Streetwise.

–Dan Swinney

Victor B. Dickson is the President /CEO of Safer Foundation in Chicago IL. Safer Foundation is a national leader in the fields of community corrections, prisoner reentry and workforce development. Through a comprehensive suite of programs and services, Safer Foundation assists individuals pre- and post-release from jail or prison with a full spectrum of services designed to overcome the barriers to reentry. The core of Safer’s mission is job preparation and placement which enables Safer Foundation clients to experience a substantially lower rate of recidivism. Safer Foundation provides “a road back” for individuals to reenter as productive, contributing members of society.

Mr. Dickson brings a unique blend of leadership experience to the Safer Foundation. His experience includes more than 20 years in the corporate sector with AT&T and Sprint. Mr. Dickson finished his corporate career at Sprint Corporation as National Vice President Sales Support & Infrastructure Services. In this role Victor led a team of more than 3500 network & systems engineers, software developers and technical account consultants, supporting national and multi-national business clients. His team was responsible for maintaining an $11B revenue stream.

In addition, Victor served as Chief Operating Officer for a local non-profit where he directed a variety of entities providing social services, education and relief efforts locally and abroad.

Teresa Córdova is the Director of UIC’s Great Cities Institute. She is also Professor of Urban Planning and Policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA). Professor Córdova received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

As an applied theorist, political economist, and community-based planner, Professor Córdova approaches her work as a scholarship of engagement in which research, pedagogy and service are integrated. Her analysis of global/local dynamics, including impacts of globalization on Latino communities, informs her publications in Community Development and Latino Studies. Throughout her career, Teresa has engaged with communities outside the university and is an expert in community/university partnerships. She publishes in the fields of Community Development and Latino Studies.

Córdova has been an elected and appointed member and/or chair of national, regional and local boards, commissions and steering committees of the federal government, county government, community development corporations, grassroots organizations, editorial boards, research centers, planning organizations, policy groups, civic and advisory councils, and campus committees. She has been instrumental in affecting economic development policy and projects, the provision of infrastructure, local governance, and neighborhood change. Most recently, she was appointed to the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) of Cook County, Illinois.

Dr. Córdova served as an elected member of the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners (New Mexico). While a County Commissioner, she served on the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority; The Mid-Region Council of Government’s Metropolitan Transportation Board; Bernalillo County Board of Finance and was Chair of The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Government Commission. While Commissioner, she brought needed infrastructure projects and improvements, economic development, amenities such as open space and parks, a medical clinic, youth facilities and various services to her district. She also initiated several long- range planning projects. Later, Córdova served on the Technical Standards Committee of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA).

Before returning to Chicago, where she taught in the late 1980s, she was Chair and Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico (UNM). During her twenty-one years at UNM, she was founder and former Director of the Resource Center for Raza Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning at UNM. While director, the Center engaged students in research, policy writing and analysis, public participation, design, strategic and sector planning, and curriculum related to issues of economic development, infrastructure (water, sewer, drainage and road improvement), land use, neighborhood stabilization, agricultural preservation and youth development.

An experienced marketing professional born from the creative side and working best when having in-depth responsibilities for the strategic, creative, execution and results of marketing programs and/or projects of high-value to clients.

A proven history of performance and results with over 30 years of marketing experience and a winner of the Innovation in Direct Marketing award. Web development, especially sites that need brand messaging, value driven content, scalable, responsive architecture, and rich databases to manage customer relationships are a favorite.

Most important however, is the ability to identify and integrate marketing messages for niche audiences throughout a variety of mediums with accountable, impressive results.

Clients view the relationship as one of a trusted partner. As agency founder & President, my engagement with clients, guiding business strategies, and driving creative execution still remains a daily and personal priority. Clients range from midsize corporations to Fortune 500 companies, and are located throughout the U.S. Work relationship are typically at a high executive level due to the trust and importance of the projects to the corporate bottom line.

Specialties: Strategic planning, creative development, art direction, account management and project coordination for brand, sales, direct marketing, web development, and online advertising.

Pittenger was also the most recent board chair of the Streetwise organization.


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3411 W. Diversey Ave, Suite 10

Chicago, IL 60647


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