The Chicago Chapter kicked off COMTO week by hosting a Veteran’s Appreciation Day on November 11th at Featherfist Homeless Veterans Shelter, which provides housing for 44 veterans transitioning to permanent housing. COMTO Chicago’s 1st Vice President and Retired U.S. Marine, Bryan Robinson led the ceremony with opening remarks and a presentation of the POW/MIA Table: A Place Setting for One, A Table for All explaining the symbolism of the table setting. In honor of this special day, the Chapter provided a ceremony of recognition for our brave service men and women of all branches who served our country with a catered meal, certificates of recognition accompanied by Thank You for Your Service Military Coins. U.S. Reserves Battalion Commander Cecelia Diaz was the guest speaker and Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. spoke with veterans, toured the facility and has dedicated resources to work with Featherfist on their capital needs.
During COMTO week, the Chicago Chapter also hosted a Book Fair with a one on one chat with COMTO Chicago Secretary Lisa Sargent-Davis and Melody Spann-Cooper, author of “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Closing the Deal” shared her “TRUTH” (as listeners sat spellbound), about being a minority female sitting at the table, as capable, artistically skillful and confident as anyone else. As a Chicago native, with a Criminal Justice degree from Loyola University, Melody spoke candidly about how she never had any intentions of being in the male dominant industry of broadcasting but her roots (and father) -aka- the legendary, Pervis Spann envisioned it differently and insisted she work at the WVON (Voice of the Negro) broadcasting radio station, every weekend. She NOW, is the owner and CEO of the WVON (Voice of the Nation), the only African-American radio station, in the nation’s third largest market. Recently named by Governor J.B. Pritzker, as the Commissioner of the Illinois Liquor Control Commissioner, she has also served as Commissioner of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for the Obama Library Foundation. Melody Spann-Cooper is “Moving the Nation” and the COMTO Chicago Chapter, led by chapter president, Roxann Galvan, recognizes minorities of distinction that are on the move, and indeed Melody is accomplished.
Other visiting authors, Tiya Cunningham-Sumter (Hello Bold) and Nora Renteria (Today’s Inspired Latina) could easily be found working and engaging the crowd to discuss the dynamic elements of their book at the renowned Afriware Books located in Maywood, IL., owned by COMTO member, Nzingha Nommo. Afriware has been a community staple since 1992, through gifts, cultural events and hosting famous guest authors. Organizer and the Chicago Chapter 1st Vice President, Bryan Robinson, saw the fruits of his labor benefit members of the community and the surrounding areas, who was joined by Mayor Perkins and Chief of Police, Valdamir Talley of the Village of Maywood.
The Chicago Chapter’s finale included a fun night of bowling mixed in with a little karaoke!
Other executive members of the Chicago Chapter, Rovaughn Graham and Eunice Escobar, demonstrated high levels of support and ideas to make COMTO Week events successful and COMTO Chicago members, Latoya Redd, Rocio Guerrero and Ammar Elmajdoub volunteered their time during COMTO Week.