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Spotlight! Aaron Akers (Leadership Institute Edition)

Name: Aaron Akers

Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his

Job Title: Sr. Asset Manager

Organization: Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF)

Time in Current Role: 7 years

College/School: Bridgewater College

Area of Study/expertise: Business Administration/Economics

What do you like most about working in the nonprofit sector? As cliché as it sounds: definitely the people. In my role at CCLF I interact with folks across the nonprofit ecosystem who are working to create a more equitable, sustainable, and affordable city. They show up to tackle a myriad of challenges with smiles on their faces, stories to tell, and restaurant recommendations to share.

Favorite vacation you’ve ever been on? In spring of 2019 I had the privilege of visiting Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan. Highlights include a cooking class where we purchased our ingredients at the local market, Virtual Reality Mario Kart (google it), and the most delicious ramen I’ve ever had. If you ever get the chance to catch a KBO Baseball game, do it!

What drew you to the Leadership Institute? My organization has a couple Leadership Institute alumni. Hearing their experiences of growth, challenges, and camaraderie was all the motivation I needed to apply. I am thankful to walk in their footsteps.

What are your hopes for our industry? I hope the industry’s drive towards further equity and inclusion will create meaningful change. We all must listen to and uplift the voices of historically marginalized communities.

What is your favorite hidden gem in Chicagoland? Redhot Ranch’s doublecheese smashburger is hands down the best burger for your buck! The same owners also serve a great hot dog at 35th St Redhots, just west of the ballpark.

You’re happiest when____ I’m chasing a likely-uncatchable frisbee on a sunny Summer day at Humboldt Park.

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