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 from 2011 to 2018. He then served as Vice President from 2018 to 2020, when he was again elected as President of the Board. 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.
Florentina Rendón, Vice President
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.
Cindy Burke, Secretary
Cindy Burke has lived her entire life in the western suburbs of Chicago. Her undergraduate degree in social work from Indiana University taught her the 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 people’s lives better in any way possible.”
Cindy 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 served as the Administrative Assistant to The Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. She is currently an Administrative Manager for DuPage County and is on the Equality Illinois State Advisory Group.
She holds a graduate degree in public policy with highest honors from National Lewis University, where her research studies were in 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.
Cindy has had leadership roles in a variety of community-based organizations. Her volunteer and work experiences have enabled her to have a comprehensive understanding of board and their role in organizations and management. Cindy initially joined the HOPE Board in 2016, stepping off for a short period, then rejoining the HOPE Board in 2018.
Pat Mathis is the retired 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. Aside from being elected to President of HOPE’s Board of Directors in 2018, she also presently serves on two other 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.
Maria Padilla holds a Title of Family Doctor, a Degree comparable to the U.S. Doctor of Medicine from Medical School in Monterrey, N.L. Mexico. She has been working in the Head Start program for the last 7 years for Metropolitan Family Services in DuPage County as a Family Support Worker and for 8 years before that in the same role for Lifelink, a non-profit agency in DuPage. Maria also spent over a decade working as a bilingual teacher in Cicero, Illinois and a few years in the medical field here in USA and Mexico.
Maria currently serves as a volunteer at Westmont Public Library teaching Spanish, as well as participating in other seasonal Social Services programs for the community. She was also elected as the Secretary of HOPE’s Board of directors in 2018, and she is a member of the COD Foundation Committee. She is Bilingual in English and Spanish and a service-focused social worker and educator with a strong commitment to serving the needs of disadvantaged families and children.
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.