NHS West Humboldt Neighborhood Advisory Council

West Humboldt NHS Neighborhood Advisory Council


Chairperson:  James Simmons is President and CEO of his own construction company and one of the founders and current Chairman of the Board of West Humboldt Park Development Council. Over the past two decades, he has served many roles in the West Humboldt neighborhood as a community activist pushing for positive change, on issues ranging from public safety – leading peace marches with Mayor Daley and partnering with Chicago Police Department  through his role as Co-Facilitator for CAPS Beat 1112 to attracting new businesses to Chicago Avenue.

Vice-Chair:  Renee Watson is a Chicago police officer, resident and long-time leader of the 900 block of North Springfield. During her time as Block Club President, she led a coordinated effort with Green Corps to install a community garden on her block.  She has been a steadfast supporter of NHS and volunteered many a Saturday to NHS, whether for the Neighborhood Assembly or organizing block residents for NHS NeighborWorks Day.

SecretaryAdrienne Whitney is a long time resident of West Humboldt and board member of both the NHS Central Finance Committee of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago and the NHS Redevelopment Corporation.  Other community involvement includes working with West Humboldt Park Development Council to develop the Chicago/Kedzie Shopping Plaza and bring a Burger King to Chicago Ave.

Council Members

Jesse Smart has been a member of the West Humboldt NHS Neighborhood Advisory Council for over 15 years, supporting the work of NHS in preserving affordable homes through his work for the City of Chicago and the 27th Ward Alderman.

Doris Brown became an NHS council member shortly after she joined Chicago Commons in November 2000 after working over 35 years in both the government and not-for-profit sectors and has been a passionate advocate for the well being of the West Humboldt community ever since.  She currently serves on the Board of West Humboldt Park Development Council in addition to her work with the West Humboldt NHS Neighborhood Advisory Council and is the past Co-Chair of the Humboldt Park New Communities Program (NCP) Safety Committee.

Isaiah Ross joined the West Humboldt NHS Advisory Council in 2012 to support the work of NHS in his capacity as the Community Development Planner for West Humboldt Park Development Council.  Mr. Ross brings his expertise in Urban and Regional to Planning and Landscape Architecture and Design to the neighborhood, as well as a passion for community engagement, expanding participation in the block club network leadership. 

Corporate Council Members

Frank Cooper (State Farm Insurance) joined the West Humboldt NHS Neighborhood Advisory Council in 2011, after nearly 10 years volunteering with Auburn Gresham NHS.  Frank also currently serves on the Operations Committee of the NHS of Chicago Board of Directors.  Frank also is deeply committed insurance education and  making sure West Humboldt homeowners understand their insurance needs, how to comparison shop for fair pricing, and how to protect their homes and assets.

Edwin Morales(North Community Bank) joined the West Humboldt NHS Neighborhood Advisory Council in 2011, being drawn to our mission of financial education and bringing quality financial services to the residents of West Humboldt.  His branch, like West Humboldt NHS, is located along Chicago Avenue in the 27th Ward.

Kieron and Tonette Scott(UPS) joined the West Humboldt NHS Neighborhood Advisory Council in 2011.  Keiron single-handedly forged a partnership between NHS and UPS, convincing co-workers to march with NHS in the Bud Biliken Parade, followed by recruiting large numbers of co-workers to volunteer on NeighborWorks Day.  Keiron’s wife Tonette grew up in West Humboldt and previously worked for West Humboldt Park Development Council; both are seasoned block club organizers.  Keiron also volunteers his skills in photography, both documenting NHS events and assisting in photographing vacant buildings in the MMRP target area of West Humboldt.

Abe Terefe (Nationwide Insurance) joined the West Humboldt NHS Neighborhood Advisory Council in 2010.  His commitment to educating homeowners about how to both save money and properly protect their homes and assets drew him to NHS.  Previously, Abe had volunteered for NHS of Chicago through the Chicago Home Safety Partnership.  Abe has both volunteered his time to educate NHS staff about insurance issues and presented workshops on insurance as part of Fire Safety Month Workshops presented together with NHS staff.      

James Webb(Stroke of Genius Painting) After building a successful commercial and residential painting company, Mr. Webb was drawn to West Humboldt NHS in 2011 to give back to the neighborhood he grew up in.  Needless to say, he has been an invaluable volunteer on NeighborWorks Day, making sure we get all the painting jobs done right; he has also volunteered his expertise in painting classrooms in local schools.

Schawana Williams has been a member of the West Humboldt NHS Neighborhood Advisory Council for nearly 10 years, sharing her expertise in both commercial and multi-unit residential lending with NHS.   Schawana spent many of her formative years in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood - both as a resident and volunteer. She remains committed to the community's continued progress.