Theresa A. Dear, former child in foster care, appointed first African American to chair One Hope United
CHICAGO, IL (January 24, 2017) — Theresa A. Dear, a former child in the foster care system who is a business and community leader, has been appointed board chair of One Hope United, effective January 1, 2017.
At age 11, Dear’s life took a sudden and unexpected turn when she lost her mother and entered the foster care system. “In 6 years, I had 9 homes,” she recalls. “There was a family I lived with who was pretty open that they didn’t want me there and I was ‘just a paycheck’ for them. They would put me in the basement, turn the light out and lock the door. I would stay there sometimes all day.”
Dear never gave up hope that her life would improve. She survived this experience with the hope embodied in two words: “one day.” Today, she is grateful for the journey that equipped her with resilience and perseverance and the opportunity to improve the lives of others.
Dear, a former corporate HR executive is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of HR4non-profits Inc., a national human resources and training consulting firm. She also founded the Human Capital Strategy Group, a national management consulting firm and the Incubator Project, the philanthropic arm of HR4non-profits.
In 2012, Dear created and became host of the “Let’s Get to Work Show,” which broadcasts Saturday mornings on WVON 1690 AM in Chicago. She is also a visible leader and member of the National Board of Directors in the NAACP, currently serving on the executive, personnel, labor, housing and religious affairs committees. In addition, Dear is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church and serves as Administrative Advisor and Ministerial Liaison for several ministries at DuPage AME Church.
A member of One Hope United’s Board of Directors since 2010, Dear has consistently served those in need. Dear was a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters for seven years, and in her free time, speaks on topics related to women in leadership, youth development and diversity all over the country. She has been recognized by the YMCA and the Daily Herald for her contributions and leadership. She is also the author of “Inadequate, Unprepared But Ready (God-Centered Leadership Lessons)” and “Inconceivable Seasons: Lessons of Faith and Favor for Women.”
“With her business expertise, personal journey, and unwavering commitment to our mission, Theresa is a natural fit to chair our board,” said Scott Humphrey, President and CEO. “I’m thrilled to partner with her and lead One Hope United in empowering children and families to live life without limits.”
Dear holds an MS in Industrial Relations and Human Resources and a BA in Organizational Communication from Loyola University, Chicago.
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of early childhood education, prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The non-profit began over 120 years ago with the same vision it holds today: for every child and family, life without limits. One Hope United’s team of more than 800 talented professionals serves thousands of children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida.