Board of Directors

Shirley Evans-Wofford – President

Graduate of Tuck School of Business, and Cannon Business College, Honolulu, HI. Scholastic education also includes collegiate coursework at Roosevelt University and completion of the NextONE Business Accelerator Program, joint venture between the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Chicago Urban League. Shirley’s education and professional development also includes the completion of numerous executive level management courses.

The pleasure and enjoyment that I receive from reading a note scribbled by a loved one, the excitement and even sadness that I receive from reading a novel, the ability to search the web…everyone should be able to experience such pleasure, enjoyment and ability to read and use the internet. My mission is to make this possible to every adult that comes to Literacy Chicago.

Diane Fleming-Coker – Secretary

Masters in Secondary Education; Bachelors in Finance with minor in Economics. Prior experience as a financial analyst in banking, senior field examiner – FINRA, and financial consultant. Extensive background in financial accounting and securities regulation.

FDIC – Capital Markets. Previously a Finance Academy instructor/coordinator and online mentor with Chicago Public Schools.

Adult and young adult literacy, financial literacy, and distance learning. Certificates: Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling, Secondary Education (09), Administration (75), Microsoft Office User Specialist – Excel.

National Business Education Association (NBEA), Illinois Business Education Association, Delta Pi Epsilon (DPE), and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Sir Richard Steele

Patrick Haddon -Treasurer

Patrick is a CPA licensed in Illinois and has a BS in Accounting from of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Patrick is experienced in accounting and tax matters and has been a self-employed business owner since 2001. Patrick is a member of the AICPA and IL CPA Society and enjoys working with start-up companies, small businesses and individual taxpayers. He lives in Chicago with his wife and 5 year old daughter.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”

Walter Elliot


Bridget Ross

Bridget Ross, JD is the Director of Operations for Research by Design. Her 20 year legalcareer began prior to her graduation with academic recognition from John Marshall School of Law. Her experience includes work with city and county agencies, the Civil Rights office of the U.S. Department of Education and a private law firm before opening her own law office. Ms. Ross’ practice focused on civil rights, medical malpractice and tort litigation.

In 1997, she founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Midwest Renal Care, Inc., a provider of dialysis services, where she was responsible for financial and insurance analyses; cost reporting; and operational, technical and clinical procedures. In 2007, Ms. Ross assumed her management position at Research by Design; her duties include regulatory compliance, financial analyses, policies and procedures, and staff and research study management.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.”

by Albert Einstein

Marilyn Peterson

The Boeing Company

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, City University, Seattle, WA; Associate of Risk Management, Insurance Institute of America.

John Wayne once said “Courage is being scared of death…and saddling up anyway.” Learning to read as an adult takes a great deal of courage and a healthy dose of determination. My mission at Literacy Chicago is to reward that courage and determination by ensuring the availability of excellent literacy programs that will meet the needs of all our adult students.

Marilyn Peterson