Craig Freedman Appointed to Advisory Council on Small Business, Community and Economic Development, Agriculture and Labor


Craig Freedman, CEO

CHICAGO (March 30, 2022) – The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago today announced the newly appointed members of the Advisory Council on Small Business, Community and Economic Development, Agriculture and Labor.

Council members serve a two-year term and meet twice a year to provide their views on current economic conditions to Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and other senior Bank officials. Input from Council members on regional economic conditions contributes to the Federal Reserve System’s formulation of national monetary policy.

Council members represent a cross section of the region’s economy. They bring various expertise from private companies, labor organizations, academia, banks, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and government. Council members are from throughout the Seventh Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Iowa and most of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

For more information about the Advisory Council on Small Business, Community and Economic Development, Agriculture and Labor, visit the Advisory Council section of

The following is a list of the new members:

Small Business, Agriculture and Labor Sub-Council

  • Geri Aglipay
    Entrepreneurship Subject Matter Expert
    Presidential Appointee
    Chicago, IL
  • Sharon Bard
    Terra Economics
    Fairmount, IL
  • Brian Calley
    President and CEO
    Small Business Association of Michigan
    Portland, MI
  • Sherry Early-Aden
    Executive Director
    Incremental Development Alliance
    Fort Wayne, IN
  • Pamela Fendt
    Research Director
    Wisconsin Laborers’ Union (Laborers’ International Union of North America)
    Wauwatosa, WI
  • Craig Freedman
    Freedman Seating Company
    Chicago, IL
  • Jason Hestor
    Greater Columbus Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Mary Isbister
    GenMet Corporation
    Mequon, WI
  • Paul Jones
    Small Business Network Director
    Invest Detroit
    Birmingham, MI
  • Bryon Kirwan
    Central National Economist
    United States Department of Agriculture
    Seymour, IL
  • Kyle McMahon
    Founder & CEO
    Tractor Zoom
    Waukee, IA
  • Kimberley Rudd
    President and Senior Counselor
    Rudd Resources, LLC
    Chicago, IL
  • Jean Marie Thiel
    President and CEO
    Belonger Corporation
    West Bend, WI
  • Don Villar
    Secretary and Treasurer
    Chicago Federation of Labor
    Chicago, IL
  • Charles Wishman
    Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
    Des Moines, IA
  • Brandon Zick
    Chief Investment Officer
    Ceres Partners, LLC
    Edwardsburg, MI

Community and Economic Development Sub-Council

  • Marie Barry
    Director of Community Economic Development
    Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
    Verona, WI
  • Lindsay Blumer
    President & CEO
    WRTP | Big Step
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Sharon Bush
    Grand Victoria Foundation
    Chicago, IL
  • Jonathan Chapparo
    Executive Director of Innovation Implementation & Head of Chicago
    Chicago, IL
  • Kristin Faust
    Executive Director
    Illinois Housing Development Authority
    Chicago, IL
  • Roberto Gallardo
    Purdue Center for Regional Development
    West Lafayette, IN
  • George Guy
    Fort Wayne Housing Authority
    Fort Wayne, IN
  • Darlene Hightower
    President and CEO
    Metropolitan Planning Council
    Chicago, IL
  • George Hinton
    Community Relations-Social Development Commission
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Ruth Johnson
    Public Policy Director
    Community Development Advocates of Detroit
    Warren, MI
  • Seung Kim
    Vice President of Economic Development Programs
    Local Initiatives Support Corporation
    Chicago, IL
  • Robert McGhee
    Senior Vice President
    Community Economic Development Market Manager
    Fifth Third Bank
    Chicago, IL
  • Marc Norman
    Principal – Ideas and Action
    Faculty Director – Weiser Center for Real Estate, University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Robert Palmer
    General Counsel and Director of Government Affair
    Iowa League of Cities
    West Des Moines, IA
  • Edgar Ramirez
    President and CEO
    Chicago Commons
    Chicago, IL

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Background

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the nation’s central bank. The Chicago Reserve Bank serves the seventh Federal Reserve District, which encompasses the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, southern Wisconsin, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and the state of Iowa. In addition to participation in the formulation of monetary policy, each Reserve Bank supervises member banks and bank holding companies, provides financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. government, and monitors economic conditions in its District.

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