staff_Gonzales_AlphonseAl has more than 40 years of experience in connecting, communicating, influencing and mobilizing the Latino community. He has planned, written, executed, and evaluated numerous public relations programs. Al has – professionally and personally — focused on community issues, including education, social services, public policy issues, and economic development since the early 1970s. He has worked with local organizations, chambers of commerce and trade organizations throughout this time.

Al has earned numerous professional course certificates in the areas of communications, public relations, construction management, construction financing, real estate development, and finance, including a Construction Management Certificate from the Turner Construction / City of Chicago Construction Management Program, and a Construction Management Certificate from the Morse Diesel Construction/City Colleges of Chicago. He also became well versed in economic development starting in the early 1990’s when he founded and served as the first executive director of the Mexican American Chamber of Illinois (now the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce). From 1998 to 2002, Al was a member of the board of directors of a Chicago-based bank; the First Bank of the Americas, a Community Development Financial Institution (certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury).

Al graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago; studied at Roosevelt University for a Masters in Public Administration; and earned his Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law. His community involvement has ranged from serving as a personal mentor and coach to students and student athletes; serving on numerous not-for-profit boards of directors; to serving in various executive board positions of educational, cultural, community development, and business related organizations.