City Club of Chicago: Unexpected Allies – When Corporations, Unions, and Communities Come Together

Charles Matthews, Darnell Shields, Robert G. Reiter, Jr. and Wendy DuBoe during the Unexpected Allies: When Corporations, Unions, and Communities Come Together panel at the City Club of Chicago, May 2, 2018 (City Club of Chicago)

May 2, 2018

Unexpected Allies: When Corporations, Unions, and Communities Come Together – moderated by Wendy DuBoe – Charles Matthews, Robert G. Reiter, Jr., Darnell Shields

Charles Matthews

Charles Matthews was named president and chief executive officer – Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas in June 2015.

In this role, Matthews oversees the daily operations, strategy, growth and administrative activities of WEC Energy Group’s two Illinois utilities that collectively provide natural gas service to nearly 1 million customers in the city of Chicago and 54 communities within the northern suburbs.

Matthews possesses 30 plus years of energy industry experience in operations, finance, marketing, risk management, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to taking the helm at Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, Matthews spent nine years in executive and leadership positions at We Energies and served as senior vice president – wholesale energy and fuels and customer solutions.

Matthews is a member of the board of directors of Navy Pier, World Business Chicago, Chicago Urban League, Illinois Utility Business Diversity Council, Ounce of Prevention Fund, and Talladega College. He also is active with several organizations and nonprofits in Chicago including Chicago United, Commercial Club of Chicago and its Civic Committee.

Matthews earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Talladega College and a master’s degree in finance from Clark Atlanta University School of Business. He also completed the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School’s executive program in utility finance.

Robert G. Reiter, Jr

Bob Reiter is a third-generation member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. Throughout his career, he has worked as a labor attorney, an organizer, a negotiator and a lobbyist. He came to the Chicago Federation of Labor as the Secretary-Treasurer in 2010. He saw this as an opportunity to bring the values his parents taught him as a child to a bigger stage, allowing him to affect people’s lives in a way he could not do at his local.

As Secretary-Treasurer, Bob represents the interests of labor throughout Chicago and Cook County. Through his work on the Cook County Health and Hospital System’s Board of Directors, Bob works to build partnerships between health providers and the community, and he advocates for policies that improve the overall well-being of all people across Cook County.

His involvement with various community groups, including Chicago Jobs with Justice’s Executive Committee and Arise Chicago’s Executive Board, allows him to fight for the rights of workers through education, organizing and shaping public discourse. As a member of the Citizen Action/Illinois Policy Council, Bob has the opportunity to influence the organization’s public policy positions, the legislative agenda and any candidate endorsements for public office. On the Metropolitan Planning Council Resource Board, Bob is helping to build a strong economy and reinvigorate Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Bob holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from Eastern Illinois University, and a Juris Doctor degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He and his wife, Diana, have two beautiful children.

Darnell Shields

Darnell Shields is the Executive Director at Austin Coming Together, a nonprofit organization located on Chicago’s Westside.

Sheilds is also a 2015 Fellow of the Civic Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago and serves as Vice Chairman on the board of directors of the Jane Addams Resource Corporation.

He holds two Associate degrees from Wilbur Wright- City Colleges of Chicago (Applied Sciences & Liberal Arts) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A passionate builder of relationships and innovative developments, Shields is a lifelong Austin resident and co-owner of HairTech the Salon, a local business he started with his wife.

Wendy DuBoe

Wendy DuBoe serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC), the largest private funder of health and human services in the greater Chicago region.

Since joining United Way of Metropolitan Chicago in 2003, DuBoe has held positions of Chief Strategy & Integration Officer, Chief Community Investment Officer and Chief Operating Officer prior to her current position as President and CEO. She has lead the regional merger of 54 local offices into one metropolitan system, unifying staff and volunteers, integrating investments and operations and reducing operating costs by 20% across the territory. DuBoe has been instrumental in transforming United Way’s community investment approach from broad human service funding to more strategic and focused investment.

DuBoe was a member of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2011 Transition Team and currently serves as a commissioner of the Governor’s Human Services Commission. She chairs the Board of FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program for Chicago and Cook County. She is a member of the Executive Council of Thrive, a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Public Safety and a member of the International MENSA Society.

DuBoe graduated cum laude with a BA in Economics and Psychology from the University of Michigan, earned her MA in International Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and received a degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.