Board of Directors

An independent Board of Directors oversees the work of HOPE Fair Housing Center.

A. Jay Mitchell, President

Alton (Jay) Mitchell, born in Washington, DC, has a Bachelor and Master degree in Computer Science, from the University of Maryland and University of Waterloo, respectively. He worked in computer-related environments for 35 years, 30 at what is now Alcatel-Lucent, in telecommunication development and testing roles, before retiring in 2013. Jay was also at one time, a licensed real estate broker in the State of Illinois.

Jay has been involved in fair housing for 21 years after becoming a trained "tester" for HOPE Fair Housing. He has participated in fair housing tests across the country, for both local and national fair housing organizations, and has been deposed to support filed complaints. In 2003, Jay was appointed to Naperville’s Fair Housing Advisory Commission where he served for 5 years, elected first as Secretary in 2003 and then as Chairman in 2007. In 2008, he accepted a position on the Board of Directors of HOPE Fair Housing, and was elected as its President in 2011, a position he still holds. Jay also serves as Chairman of the Ethics Commission of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

In addition to his fair housing background, Jay sees his strengths as his willingness to listen and communicate with others, his organizational skills, and his analytical approach to problem solving.

Jay lives in Naperville, travels when time permits, and, loving the outdoors, bikes, hikes, and backpacks regularly.

Lucinda Wellwood Burke, Secretary

Lucinda (Cindy) Burke has lived her entire life in the western suburbs of Chicago and is a current resident of Elmhurst. Raised by middle class, Depression Era parents, Cindy was instilled with the values of volunteerism and service towards others.

Her undergraduate degree in social work from Indiana University taught her the invaluable life skills of open communication, listening, and engaging others in the decision-making process. “I can’t imagine a time when I will not be involved with aiding others, and trying to help make peoples’ lives better in any way possible. I will always be their strong advocate.”

Cindy attributes her self-motivation, enthusiasm and hard work that resulted in her assumption of many leadership roles in a variety of community-based organizations. Her peers have noted that her effect on boards and commissions has been immeasurable. In short, Cindy is a doer. Her volunteer and work experiences have enabled her to have a comprehensive understanding of boards and the roles of boards in organizations and management.

She served as the Executive Assistant for the DuPage Housing Authority, the Director of Constituent Services and Advocacy for a member of Congress focusing on all housing-related constituent inquiries, and most recently served as the Administrative Assistant to a division of the Illinois Human Rights Commission, The Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, which was a bipartisan effort to address torture allegations of incarcerated individuals by the disgraced former Chicago Police Commander John Burge. She currently serves as a member of the Equality Illinois State Advisory Group.

Burke holds a graduate degree in public policy with highest honors from National Lewis University with the concentration of Cindy’s research studies focused on affordable housing and Chicagoland housing regionalization initiatives. Her real estate background as a licensed Managing Real Estate Broker has enabled her to have a deep understanding of Fair Housing, real estate brokerage and valuation processes.

Robert Fittin

Since 2002, Robert (Bob) Fittin has been Director of Training at Greater West Town Training Partnership. Previously he was Director of Training at Southwest Women Working Together.

Prior to that, he was Manager of Employment Services at the YMCA. He spent over a decade in small business development in Latin American as Sales Manager for Patrick Engineering and Director of the Guatemalan Artisans’ Training Center. Mr. Fittin is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University.

Bob has served as a trained fair housing tester for HOPE Fair Housing Center as well as other fair housing agencies. Bob also was employed by HOPE for a short time to assist with client calls and Spanish speaking callers.

Pam Terrell

Pam Terrell, a native of North Carolina and avid sports fan, holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Pam’s experience of 25 years entails administrative positions held in the areas of housing and supportive services for vulnerable populations.

Over the past 13 years, she has worked as the Director of Community Services for Catholic Charities programs in DuPage County. Pam is an active member of the Illinois Department of Human Services Community Quality Council in DuPage; DuPage County and State Housing Action Coalitions; the African American Leadership Roundtable; DuPage County Continuum of Care for the homeless population and she serves as Co-chair of the Homeless Needs Assessment Committee.

Pam is also a sponsoring member of the DuPage Homeownership Center that provides support for those in need of permanent housing options. Her previous experience includes 11 years with Little Friends, Inc. of Naperville, IL where she held the following positions: Division Director of Homeless Services, Director of Community Residential Alternatives and Social Worker for adults with developmental disabilities.

Prior to that time, for 5 years Pam supervised a division of Social Workers and worked as the Coordinator of Agency Services at Caswell Center located in Kinston, N.C. Her Board involvement and experience includes 4 years on the Naperville CARES Board; 6 years on the St. Andrews School Board; 1 year with Hyde County’s Social Services Board and 2 years on the HOPE Fair Housing Center’s Board, after being a trained tester for 1 year.

Florentina Rendón

Florentina Rendón was born in Mexico and raised on the West Side of Chicago. She attended a Catholic elementary school as well as a Catholic high school. She received her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies.

After working for a Chicago law firm for five years, Florentina worked the next 17 years in civil rights. One of the organizations she worked for was the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), the only national legal organization for the Latino community. While at MALDEF, Florentina worked on a four-month trial in federal court regarding redistricting the City of Chicago.

Florentina also worked for HOPE Fair Housing Center as a Test Coordinator and then as Director of Outreach. While at HOPE, Florentina assisted in housing discrimination cases against the City of Elgin, City of West Chicago and Arlington Park Racetrack.

Florentina lives in Lombard with her husband and her two children. Her daughter attends Glenbard East High School and her son attends Montini Catholic High School.

Patricia Mathis

Pat Mathis is Director of Development for Metropolitan Family Services. With more than 35 years working in the not for profit arena she is an experienced fundraiser in a variety of areas including annual programs, grant writing, major gift work and special events.

Prior to working with Metropolitan Family Services, she served as Director of Annual Programs with Advocate Charitable Foundation. Previous to her work in fundraising, Pat served as Manager of Housing Programs for DuPage County’s Department of Human Services.

She holds a Master’s Of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Administration from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Pat presently serves on two boards, the DuPage A.M.E. Church Board of Stewards and the board of the Progressives Harambé, Inc. In the past she has served on numerous boards and committees aside from HOPE including:

  • DuPage Housing Authority
  • REACH Food Pantry
  • DuPage Habitat for Humanity
  • Central DuPage Hospital Foundation
  • Family Shelter Service

Pat was named YWCA DuPage Woman of the Year in the area of Racial Justice in 1995. She is originally from Cleveland, OH and presently lives in Woodridge, IL with her husband, Robert. She is the mother and grandmother of two. Her interests include theological studies, music, cooking reviewing movies, and reading.