AFC welcomes eight new members to it's board and associate board.
Tanya Lopez (she/her/hers) joined the AFC board in 2022. She currently serves as the Director for the Council on Medical Education for the American Medical Association (AMA). Tanya provides leadership in all aspects of the work of the Council, which reviews and proposes policies and standards across the continuum of undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education. She is also actively involved in AMA’s efforts to embed equity in medicine and medical education. Tanya has been an outspoken advocate for minoritized and marginalized communities for more than 20 years, specializing in program development, community organization, strategic planning, grant management and government compliance. Before joining the AMA, she held positions with the Chicago Department of Public Health, Loyola University Chicago, Medical and Health Research Association of New York City and AIDS Network. In addition to being an alum of the AFC Public Health Boot Camp, she has also received a M.S. with distinction in public service management from DePaul University, a B.A. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a certificate in project management from Loyola University Chicago.
Markus Pitchford is the Co-Founder and the Director of Political Strategy at Glenhouse Strategies. Prior to joining Glenhouse, Markus led public policy as the Director of Legislative & External Affairs in the Mayor’s office of the City of Waukegan working with multiple federal and state agencies on economic development, transportation, and environmental and sustainability policy. His work led to the city adopting the Paris Agreement and joining world leaders to combat climate change through actions on the local level with sustainability. He has held a multitude of executive leadership roles in Illinois state-wide campaigns including serving as a Senior Adviser to Kwame Raoul on his successful bid in becoming the Illinois Attorney General and as an Adviser to the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus. Markus brings in more than a decade of experience in political strategy, campaign management and legislative policy. He has a vast amount of experience in government affairs at local, state and federal levels which led to his election as the youngest delegate in the 2012 Democratic National Convention of the Illinois Delegation and was slated as a delegate for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Pete Buttigieg in 2020. Markus is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.A. in History. He serves as the treasurer of Men4Choice 501c4, a group advocating for women's reproductive rights and the access to affordable healthcare. Moreover, Markus sits on Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s LGBTQ Task Force, and in 2019 chosen by Windy City Times 30 under 30 for substantial contribution to the Chicagoland LGBTQ community in the field of politics.
Julie Scott is creative revenue generator and agenda-setting strategic leader with more than 20 years of experience in the advertising industry. Julie is currently at CARS.com as Vice President and General Manager of CARS Media Network. In her role, she is focused on business-driving advertising solutions for OEMs & Dealers. Prior to CARS, she was SVP of the branded content division at The Onion. She’s also served in senior client leadership roles in Chicago at Digitas, FCB and Havas. Julie is a founding member of Chicago's executive women's network, CHIEF, and regular volunteer at Lakeview Pantry. Julie and her wife reside in Chicago with their 2 adorable daughters who keep them young and exhausted.
Terri Wilkerson is a strategic leader who has served in the non-profit industry for almost 15 years. In her current role as Director of Evaluation and Innovation, Terri leads the design and implementation for measuring the impact of NLEN programs on the communities it serves. With a passion for serving at-risk families, Terri utilizes her background in data analytics and process improvements to contribute to the agency’s vision to combat wealth disparities in underserved communities. Terri is a native Chicagoan. Falling in love with St. Vincent DePaul’s model of servant leadership, Terri earned both an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a master’s of Non-Profit Management from DePaul University. Additionally, Terri has ten years of creating and implementing DEI strategy for non-profit organizations. She has worked in many consultative capacities ranging from board strategic planning to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; helping organizations to demonstrate their impact through numbers and storytelling. Terri believes it is the responsibility of current leaders to prepare the next generation of innovators for success. This is accomplished through leading, inspiring, and transforming the way we think about and conduct business.
AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC)’s associate board includes emerging leaders who are passionate in the fight for HIV/AIDS services and prevention in the Chicagoland area. Members of the associate board act as ambassadors for AFC by taking part in fundraising, community service and advocacy activities that create health equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and other related chronic conditions. Learn more about AFC’s Associate Board and its members here.
Kevin Cernansky (he/him) serves as Assistant Director of Reunions, Student, & Alumni Engagement at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, building strategic partnerships and fostering collaboration to expand the Booth footprint in Chicago and beyond. In this role, he hopes to connect Booth students, alumni, and community organizations to create a dynamic network of inclusive relationships. Kevin's passion for health care is rooted in over ten years of experience working with community health centers that provide holistic services to disenfranchised populations. He continues to support the life-saving services of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center as an AIDS/LifeCycle participant, sat on the Board of Country Doctor Community Health Center in Seattle to support LGBTQ+ and refugee communities, and looks forward to expanding equitable health care in Chicago by joining the AIDS Foundation Chicago team! Kevin received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, concentrating in public finance and social policy. Kevin received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. With a minor in LGBTQ studies, he is committed to advocacy initiatives that support intersectional LGBTQ+ movements. In his free time, you can find Kevin running on the lakefront, baking cookies, volunteering, taking care of his house plants, and researching new restaurants to check out!
Elena Llinas, Ph.D (she, her, hers) serves as the Quality Control Specialist at UI Health Community Clinic Network (UCCN), which is part of the University of Illinois at Chicago. UCCN provides outpatient services for people living with HIV and those at risk for becoming infected at six community-based clinics throughout the Chicagoland area. In this role, she ensures that the medical services provided to patients exceed local, state, and national standards. As a Latina and someone living with HIV since 2011, she is passionate about ending the HIV pandemic. Her work in HIV began in 2013 when she served as a peer mentor and as a member of the Board of Directors for NOSIDA, a New Orleans-based non-profit organization working to raise awareness and education about HIV in Louisiana. Elena holds a Ph.D. in Medical History from Tulane University. When she is not working, she loves traveling the world with her husband Nick, spending time with her orange cat Oscar, and exercising.
Nicolas “Nick” Gordon Llinas (he, him, his) is a Clinical Research Associate for the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Department of Medicine. In this role, he helps coordinate HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 vaccine and treatment clinical trials. Nick also serves as an Administrative and Accounting Associate at UI Health where he helps to manage the hospital's in-patient COVID-19 contact tracing program in association with the Department of Infection Control and Preventions. Nick is also a Ph.D. Candidate in the History of Medicine at UIC's Department of History. His dissertation research focuses on the World Health Organization's Global Programme on AIDS (GPA), which ran from 1986 until the founding of UNAIDS in 1996. In particular, Nick studies the efforts of GPA officials to support vaccine and drug treatment research around the globe during this tumultuous period. When he can find time, Nick is passionate about visiting museums, cooking gourmet meals, and traveling. He has visited or lived in over 40 countries across 5 continents.
Charlie Peterson (he, him, his) serves as Manager, Community Engagement & Clinical Research Education at Project WISH, an infectious disease clinical research site in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Aside from establishing a network of community-based, healthcare, and educational organizations to better promote healthcare messaging, linkage to care (medical, dental; food, clothing, housing insecurity, etc), COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, and self-advocacy, Charlie strives to help provide care to lesser served communities in Chicago, especially Black/African American, Latinx, transgender and nonbinary populations. As a cisgender, gay Latino who has had HIV-positive partners, Charlie has personal experience with fighting to get to functional zero, to help end stigma, and to work for the betterment of our community. While Charlie is a cum laude alum of Harvard University in beautiful Cambridge, Massachusetts, you’ll find he likes to talk more about being the proud human of 2 funny cats and 2 adorable dogs, his passion for the community, and his hobbies (museums, symphonies, operas, and being a non-snooty foodie).