Board of Directors
Jennifer Baltes - Secretary
Justin Bell - Board Member
Rhonda Bell - Chair
Rhonda has devoted her professional career to leading programs that close opportunity gaps for Chicago youth, often those who are the first in their family to enroll in college or who demonstrate significant financial need. She brings these fifteen years of college and career access leadership to Minds Matter. In her current position as a manager in the Early College and Career Department for Chicago Public Schools, she works to connect high school students with experiential learning opportunities and internships. She is also a private Educational Consultant, former School Director for the Schuler Scholar Program, Upward Bound Director, and has spent eight years working for the College and Career Office at Chicago Public Schools. Ms. Bell holds a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studied early childhood education in graduate school, and is the proud mother of two children. She enjoys art, French culture, film, and cupcakes.
Samir Bhatiani - Board Member
Samir Bhatiani has been involved with the Chicago Chapter of Minds Matter as an external consultant since 2018 and became a Board Member in 2021. Specifically, he has led projects relating to Alumni Engagement and Volunteer Recruiting. He believes that education is a path to opportunity for Chicago youth and is driven to increase the number of students Minds Matter can positively impact – to attend college, succeed while there, and define their future.
Outside of Minds Matter, Samir is a Manager in the Chicago Office of ZS Associates, and leads projects that drive organic growth, via sales and marketing effectiveness. He delivers value for clients by understanding their barriers to growth and then recommending pragmatic solutions with actionable implementation plans. Samir holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BSBA from Georgetown University. Although he is from Baltimore originally, he has resided in Chicago since 2010 and now considers it home.
Erikk Bonner - Board Member
Dr. Erikk Bonner has served and held a variety of roles throughout his time in education. He joined Minds Matter Chicago in 2021 as Board Member. He is approaching nearly two decades in the educational field. His professional experience includes working with scholars from grades PreK-12 as well as the college level. He taught at the University of North Texas and has been an administrator in several school systems. Currently, he serves as the Executive Director of Instruction for the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services with Chicago Public Schools. Prior to this role, he served as the Special Education Director of High Schools with Boston Public Schools. Before his time in Boston, he was a Special Education and Advanced Academics principal in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. He started his career as an Astronomy Advisor & Lab Coordinator in higher education before moving into public education as a high school Career Technical Education and Special Education teacher while coaching varsity sports. He then transitioned to campus administration at the middle and high school level; in addition to being a Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) Annual, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Administrator.
Dr. Bonner earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership with a superintendent certification from the University of North Texas. He also holds two Master’s Degrees in Educational Leadership and Information Science Technology as well as a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. He feels very fortunate to be supporting scholars and community stakeholders with leadership that will facilitate a level of excellence. Chicago is a special community where he is proud to call his new home.
Diana Hyde - Board Member
Diana Hyde has been a volunteer for Minds Matter since 2001 and formerly served as Executive Director of Minds Matter of New York. She is now the Chief Talent Officer & Director of Strategy, Governance, and Engagement of a Global Strategic Account at Capgemini. Prior to CapGemini, she was Director and VP of Global Talent and Culture at Foote, Cone and Belding, a global advertising agency, was a Senior Director of Community and Inclusion at Stern Business School, where she worked in the Office of Student Engagement, and before that served as a Vice President and Private Banker at various banking institutions, including US Trust, BOfA and Bank of New York. She has her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from NYU's Stern School of Business, her Master’s Degree in Policy, Organization and Leadership studies from Stanford University and her B.A. in Economics from Trinity College. She is a certified professional coach. She also runs an independent career and inclusive leadership coaching practice where she focuses on career development and transition, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion education. You can find more information on her services at www.djh-coaching.com. She currently sits on the Board of Directors at MMC as Chair of Development, Vice-Chair of Data Analytics and on the board governance committee.
Daphne Kinzig - Board Member
Daphne joined the board in 2018. As a 1st gen college graduate, she understands the challenges of navigating to college success; the mission is what drew her to Minds Matters She has had a long career in the telecommunications industry and always looking for opportunities to give back to her community and church. Mrs. Kinzig has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Masters from Northwestern University. She enjoys the performing arts, traveling, and cross fit.
Melissa Loeb - Board Member
Bill Malczyk - Treasurer
Bill Malczyk has been involved with the Chicago Chapter of Minds Matter as a board member since 2012. He believes strongly in the mission of Minds Matter and the difference it can make in the lives of mentees. He is a Senior Managing Director in the Ernst & Young Strategy and Transaction Practice where he advises clients on risk and business strategy. Bill grew up and currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two children. He enjoys cycling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Sporting Clays.
Linda Miller - Board Member
Meheret Morrison - Ex-Officio Fellow, Kellogg School of Management
Meheret is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. At Kellogg she is a member of the Kellogg Marketing Club, serves as the First Year Director of Academics for the Black Management Association, and is an ex-officio board member for Minds Matter Chicago via the Kellogg Golub Capital Board Fellows program. Prior to business school, she spent 3 years in Marketing Technology at Georgia-Pacific. Meheret believes strongly in the idea that we all have a responsibility to invest in future generations and is excited to do that through her work with Minds Matter.
Meeli Patel - Board Member
Meeli first became involved with Minds Matter in 2004 as a mentor and then in 2006, volunteered as a Co-Director of PR & Marketing for the New York Chapter. She became a Board Member of the Chicago chapter in 2021. Meeli is the System Vice President of Strategy & Operations Consulting and the Chief of Staff to the COO at Advocate Aurora Health. She leads a team of internal consultants who are responsible for supporting the organization in execution of its strategy and transformation plan. This includes identifying and implementing strategic & operational initiatives and scaling these opportunities across the system.
Meeli has more than 18 years of global healthcare experience and has developed solutions that drive growth, optimize financial performance, streamline operations and enhance the customer experience. Her diverse background includes clinical operations, management consulting, strategy and business planning. Her experience spans across roles based in the US, Australia & the UK.
Meeli earned her Masters in Public Administration from NYU Wagner and her bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Sobeida Peralta - Board Member
Maria Ptouchkina - Board Member
Maria Ptouchkina has been a volunteer with Minds Matter Chicago since 2013 and formerly served as a Student Mentor, Programs Director, and Chapter President. Maria has a strong conviction that all of us hold a duty and a responsibility to invest in the lives of others, and that is why she is honored to advance Minds Matter's mission. Maria’s professional experience is focused on digital transformation, technology and strategy consulting, and value creation. She is currently working as a Value Creation Associate at relayr, an Industrial Internet of Things company. She holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Lisa Souter - Board Member & Chapter Founder
Lisa joined Minds Matter in 1998 as a mentor and team leader in New York. She now serves as the Chairman of the Chicago chapter. Her strong belief in the mission of Minds Matter prompted her to co-found the Boston and Chicago chapters. Lisa received her BS/BA from Georgetown University and MBA from Harvard University.