The board of directors of Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago contributes a diverse and professional background to the operation and ongoing success of the organization.
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Attorney Bonita Hwang Cho, JD
Chairman of the Board
Law Offices of Cheng, Cho, & Yee, PC
Bonita B. Hwang Cho is a partner at the Law Offices of Cheng, Cho & Yee, where she specializes in immigration and nationality law. Her practice includes employment-based immigration, national interest waivers and extraordinary ability visas. She also handles family-based immigration, citizenship matters, asylum, and deportation defense. The firm is woman and minority-owned.
She received her J.D. degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law and her B.S. degree in Business Administration at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Ms. Cho has been practicing law for over 20 years in Chicago and has been a member of multiple bar associations in various capacities. She was the first female president of the Korean American Bar Association in 2000, and is also a member and past co-chair for the Asylum Committee, EOIR Committee, and Conference Planning Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has also previously chaired the Immigration Law Committee for the Young Lawyers Division of the Chicago Bar Association and co-chaired the Solo/Small Firm Committee of the National Asian and Pacific American Bar Association. Ms. Cho is currently a board member of the Asian American Law Foundation.
Ms.Cho also strives to stay involved in the community. Currently, she is president of the Board of Directors at Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago, a non-profit that provides mental health services to various communities in Chicago. Within CCCOC’s mission statement is a social justice tenet to provide mental health counseling even to those who cannot afford it through a sliding fee scale. She is also a committee member of Troop 69 Boy Scouts in Glenview and engages in various social service activities with the scouts. She is also an active member of her church teaching Sunday school, going on missions’ trips, and being involved with the Women’s Committee. Throughout the years, she has also provided pro bono legal services through Korean American Community Services.
In addition to all of the above professional and community activities, Bonita Cho enjoys CrossFit, Pilates, and spending free time with her husband Michael and her two children, Ethan and Hailey.
Jason Spigner, SPHR, MBA
Vice Chair of the Board and Treasurer
Mt. Sinai Hospital
Jason N. Spigner provides a rich background of over 20 years of human resources and healthcare leadership. Jason joined Sinai Health System in January of 2017; his responsibilities include developing and executing human resource strategies in support of Sinai’s business plan and strategic direction. As the Chief Human Resources Officer, he oversees talent management, recruitment, organizational and performance management, training and development, employee and labor relations, benefits and compensation.
Prior to joining Sinai, he worked at Advocate Health Care as Vice President for multiple hospitals and health care settings. Throughout his career, Mr. Spigner has been instrumental in spearheading cultural change resulting in financial turnaround; also, he has consistently designed processes to drive top docile, employee engagement, leader and workforce development. Jason was honored and recognized as a 2015 Chicago United Business Leaders of Color which highlighted his ability to lead and achieve measurable success through influence and strong partnerships.
Jason is committed to resolution and helping people realize their fullest potential. The work performed by the Cornerstone team helps individuals achieve this and more through counseling and providing life tips. Having joined the board in 2014, he is grateful to serve and wishes more people would link to the great life changing work being performed daily.
Rev. Christopher Griffin
Head of Fundraising Committee
Soul City Church
Christopher L. Griffin is a product of the Chicago Public Schools graduating from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. He then attended Columbia College in Chicago where he studied Photography and Film. He received his calling into ministry in 1979 and was licensed and ordained at the age of 16. His desire to follow his calling took him to seminary where began his biblical studies at Moody Bible Institute from 1981-1984.
Chris has been a guest speaker on numerous occasions for a variety of social, political, and religious organizations over the years such as the Older Boys & Girls Youth Conference, the Midwest Missionary Baptist Youth Conference, the Northwood River District, Illinois Missionary Baptist State Convention, PUSH Chicago, the LEADERS Network and the Community Renewal Society.
In May of 2015 he resigned as the Assistant Pastor of Administration at First Baptist Congregational Church in Chicago and became a member of Soul City Church on Chicago’s near west side where he now serves in various capacities. In October of that same year he resigned from the Department of Aviation with the City of Chicago after 30 years of service.
“I’ve wanted to work with Cornerstone for quite a while. It wasn’t until my retirement that my schedule afforded me the time to commit in a consistent way. I believe that mental health is neglected or dismissed especially in black and brown communities where I’ve seen so many suffer. Many don’t have access to faith-based care and counseling. I’m hoping to bring greater awareness of Cornerstone’s services to families and individuals especially in these communities.”
Gary Grottke, CPA
Quality Back Office
Gary has worked professionally in the corporate world and as an entrepreneur. He has over 30 years of financial, real estate and management experience. He has also been involved in significant company mergers, acquisitions and turn-around situations. He is currently CEO of Quality Back Office, a firm he founded that focuses on providing back office services and advice to small business owners and organizations.
Gary has a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, an MBA from Purdue and is a CPA. Gary is the author of the business management book, New Business Landmines, the don’ts and do’s for starting and managing a small business.
In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren. He plays golf (poorly) and still slalom water skis at 62 years old. Now that the curse has been broken, he looks forward to more great baseball and championship games from his favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.
Gary strongly supports the mission and Christian philosphy of Cornerstone and is honored to be on the Board.
Dr. Valencia Wiggins
Moody Theological Seminary, MACMHC Program
Dr. Valencia Wiggins is an Assistant Professor at Moody Theological Seminary for the Master’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in Chicago, IL. She is a clinical psychologist, and Licensed Professional Counselor. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Walden University in Minneapolis, MN, and M.A in Clinical Psychology at Wheaton Graduate School. Dr. Wiggin’s clinical interest includes, sexual abuse, trauma, eating disorders, depression, adolescents, and women’s issues. She is an active member the American Psychological Association (APA), American Counseling Association (ACA), and, Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). Similar to the mission statement of CCCC, Dr. Wiggins enjoys helping individuals reach their emotional health potential.
“The mission and vision statement of Cornerstone Counseling Center of Chicago, resonates with my passion to ensure anyone in need can receive excellent clinical care throughout the Chicagoland community. I am excited to join with CCCOC as a board member to contribute and support the important work of this organization.” In addition, Dr. Wiggins enjoys spending time with family and friends, and seeking out new adventures in life.
Chicago Housing Authority
Darlena Burnett, a Realtor, since 2014 has been active in Chicago’s Real Estate market, for many years. With over fifteen years of experience in property management, Burnett has developed Single Family homes. Darlena is also license in the state of Illinois, to serve as a Loan Officer.
Darlena currently serves as the Deputy Chief of General Services for the Chicago Housing Authority and is responsible for facilities Maintenance, fleet Management and Commercial Lease oversight. Darlena directs a staff of fifteen employees. Darlena interacts with vendors and Not-for-Profit organizations, doing business with the agency, or seeking to establish business relationships.
Prior to her role with CHA, Darlena served as Chief Deputy Recorder for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office. From 1998 to 2012 Burnett was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the nation’s second largest Recorder’s Offices, in the nation.
Darlena, earned a Masters of Art Degree in Psychology from National Louis University, (2004) and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications from Illinois State University (1985). She graduated from John Marshall High School with honors. Darlena is a mother, grandmother, and wife.
“I am a Board member of CCCOC because I believe in the organization’s mission of providing counseling services to some of Chicago’s most underserved communities, which includes our public schools. I want to help the organization with out reach efforts in communities that face negative stigma that are often associated with counseling services.”
In addition, Darlena is a sports fan & enjoy playing softball.