Barbara Ford

Barbara was named Board Chair in 2018. She is a Partner at Phoenix Strategic Advisors LLC, a marketing strategy consultancy that helps businesses accelerate profitable growth through an insight-driven understanding of consumers/customers, brands, and category dynamics.

With experience leading Marketing Services for SC Johnson & Son, serving as the VP of Global Advertising Resources for Kraft Foods, working in a senior leadership role at global ad agency DDB, and teaching as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Barbara brings depth and breadth to addressing business challenges.

Barbara serves on the Advisory Board of Gold Eagle Company, a leader in the auto aftermarket industry, on the Marketing Committee for Lurie Children’s, and as Co-Chair for the Leadership Council of Civic Consulting Alliance.

Barbara has an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago and a BA from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she served on the Board of Trustees for nine years.

Jane Mentzinger 

Since 2001, Jane has served as the Chief Executive Officer of CIS of Chicago, guiding the organization in developing strategies and tactics to create sustainable partnerships with schools and community organizations.

She is responsible for raising and managing our annual budget, as well as managing the CIS team of professionals who build relationships with Chicago Public Schools and community organizations, both key partners for our organization. Jane also works with the Board of Directors to develop and implement long-range organizational goals and fundraising strategies.

Overall, Jane sets our organizational vision for identifying, connecting, and sustaining high-quality and much-needed services in schools to create better futures for Chicago’s public-school students. 

Jane has a strong background in non-profit management, previously serving as Senior Vice President at Common Cause, a DC-based national citizens lobbying organization. She is a graduate of Princeton University.




Craig A. BondyGTCR
Mark Brady William Blair & Company, LLC
Michelle BrownUnited Airlines
Jodi J. CaroUlta Beauty
Robert P. ConlonWalker Wilcox Matousek, LLP
Barbara M. Ford | Board ChairmanFordPartners, LLC
Brian W. GoodTHL Credit
John M. GreeningNorthwestern University
Jonathan GuryanNorthwestern University
Ryan D. HarrisKirkland & Ellis LLP
Torrence L. HintonPeoples Gas
Alain LeCoqueColliers International
Bradley H. Meyers | Board TreasurerGCM Grosvenor
Brian Moncrief | Board SecretaryAres Credit Group
Scott PasquiniMadison Dearborn Partners, LLC
Valli PereraDeloitte
Matthew E. SteinmetzKirkland & Ellis LLP
Jim Welch | Board Vice ChairmanNexgen Packaging, LLC
Kareem K.W.O.E. WellsFlow Entertainment, Inc.
Alicia WestAltria

53 percent of students at CIS of Chicago partner schools scored proficiently in math during Year Two of the study, compared to only 47.3 percent of students in non-CIS of Chicago schools.