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Chicago Urban League Places Woman At The Helm

 CHICAGO  -- Andrea L. Zopp, a business and civic leader who has been closely involved with the economic empowerment and civil rights work of the National Urban League for several years, has been appointed president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. The announcement of Zopp's appointment was made at the Urban League's headquarters in Chicago's historic Bronzeville community.

"After an extensive national search we are pleased to appoint Andrea Zopp, someone who has, for decades, fought for justice and equality in the court rooms and board rooms of Chicago," said Jim Reynolds, chairman and CEO of Loop Capital Markets and president of the Chicago Urban League board of directors. "Andy brings legal expertise, business acumen and a heartfelt passion for building stronger communities to the Urban League. I am confident that she will lead the Chicago Urban League to a higher standard of excellence in its program delivery, advocacy and resource development."

Zopp, who is a member of the National Urban League board of trustees, is excited to join the Chicago Urban League, one of most respected and innovative affiliates of the National Urban League movement.

"For more than 90 years the Chicago Urban League has empowered individuals and businesses to reach and exceed their full potential and I am thrilled to lead this venerable organization," said Zopp. "I have always respected the work the Urban League has done to empower minority communities across the country, in particular, African Americans. I believe my career path and volunteer work has led me to this moment. I intend to partner with the dynamic staff at the Chicago Urban League, our board, and our community and corporate partners to keep this great organization strong, relevant, and a leader in civil rights and economic empowerment of underserved communities."

Prior to her appointment at the Chicago Urban League, Andrea Zopp was executive vice president and general counsel at the Exelon Corporation. Zopp joined Exelon in 2006 as senior vice president, Human Resources.  In January 2008, she was appointed executive vice president and chief human resources officer.  In this role, she led the company's human resources, diversity, labor and employee relations and security functions.


Prior to joining Exelon, Zopp was senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Sears Holdings Corporation, a $50 billion retail company formed by the merger of Sears Roebuck and Company and Kmart.  In this position she had responsibility for legal affairs, governance, public relations, government affairs, and compliance.  Before joining Sears, Zopp was vice president, deputy general counsel in the law department at Sara Lee Corporation.  There she managed senior attorneys at the operating divisions, risk management, environmental services and safety.  Prior to joining the private sector Zopp served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago. Additionally, Zopp was the first woman and African American to serve as First Assistant State's Attorney in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, where she served for 6 years. 

Zopp is chairman of the board of directors of the Chicago Area Project, a community-based delinquency prevention program. She was president of the board of directors of Leadership Greater Chicago and is a member of the Harvard Alumni Association board of directors. Zopp also serves on the board of trustees for the Black Ensemble Theater. She is a member and chair of the Human Resources Committee of the Cook County Health and Hospitals Systems board. Zopp is a member of the Black Women Lawyer's Association, The Chicago Network, and The Economic Club.


Andrea Zopp received a bachelor's degree in history and science and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard University. She and her husband William reside on Chicago's south side and have three children.    

As the eighth president in the Chicago Urban League's 93 year history, Andrea Zopp succeeds Cheryle R. Jackson who, in March, resigned to become Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Development at AAR Corp. Herman Brewer, who, since September 2009, served as Acting President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, will return to his role as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer where he will work alongside Zopp in leading the Urban League. 

About the Chicago Urban League

Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League is a civil rights organization that empowers and inspires individuals to reach and exceed their economic potential.  The Chicago Urban League supports and advocates for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans and other minorities through our agenda focused exclusively on economic empowerment as the key driver for social change. 

Save the Date-49th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner
Recognized as one of the top 10 benefits in Chicago by BizBash magazine, the 49th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner takes place on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at the Hilton Chicago. Join us as we honor the work of the Chicago Urban League and how we have impacted, influenced and inspired success in our communities.



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