Board of Directors
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.
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.
Chris Kenney - Board Member
Chris Kenney has been supporting organizations focused on college access for over eight years. He joined Minds Matter’s Board in early 2020 and, for a similar organization, serves as a mentor for scholars seeking their first career job. For 24 years, Chris was a Partner at L.E.K. Consulting, a global strategy consulting firm. During that time, he participated in attracting and interviewing new recruits to the firm. He is pleased to have the opportunity to support less privileged scholars access college and subsequent potential.
Prior to retiring from L.E.K. in 2020, Chris led the firm’s Industrial Sector in the U.S. and globally for many years. He also serves on the Board of Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center which is Chicago’s leading organization focused on the needs of child victims of abuse.
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.
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 Managing Director in the restructuring practice at Ernst & Young where he advises clients on risk and strategy. Bill grew up and currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two children.
Sean Moran - Vice Chair
Sean joined the Chicago Minds Matter board in 2011. He has been involved in education causes throughout his career and believes strongly in the power of education to open doors and transform lives. Outside of Minds Matter, he is currently a lead in the Commercial Transformation & Private Equity growth consulting practices at ZS. Sean has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Illinois. He grew up in the surrounding Chicago communities and now lives with his wife and two daughters in the western suburbs.
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.
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.
Jackie Vargas - Ex-Officio Fellow, Kellogg School of Management
Jacqueline is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. At Kellogg she serves as the VP of Allyship for the Hispanic Management Association, 2nd Year Director for the Charity Auction Ball, and is an ex-officio board member for Minds Matter Chicago via the Kellogg Board Fellows program. Prior to business school she spent 5 years in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. During her tenure she focused on investment management operations, business development, and client service for ultra-high net worth individuals. Jacqueline enjoys volunteering in underserved communities and is passionate about providing access to opportunities for first-generation college graduates.