About Us

Bea YoungBea Young’s passion for this work began in the early l960’s when she and her students in a Black Chicago high school revised the history curriculum to include the missing roles of African-Americans, primarily based on oral history gathered by her students interviewing family members.After writing her master’s thesis in l964 on African-American history, she taught a graduate course at the Center for Inner Studies of Northeastern Illinois University entitled, “The Educational Implications of African-American History.” This led her to Mississippi in 1964 to develop the curriculum for the Civil Rights’ Freedom Schools…[Read Bea’s full bio]
Image of Dr. Carmen AyalaCarmen I. Ayala Ph.D is celebrating her thirtieth year in the education field.  She began her career with a Bachelor of Arts in Bilingual-Bicultural Studies, Spanish Literature and Education.After several years of teaching, she completed her MBA and administrative studies which led her to several administrative positions where she served as Director of Bilingual Services for the fourth largest English Language Learner program in Illinois and as Director of School Improvement during the initiation of No Child Left Behind where she implemented several successful school reform initiatives….[Read Carmen’s Full bio]
Susan O'HalloranSue O’Halloran, for the past twenty years, has led hundreds of diversity workshops in both Fortune 500 companies and the academic world.She has worked with Bea Young for the last 15 years and helped to facilitate the community focus groups for the Elgin Community College Cultural Assessment. She has worked with Bea Young Associates as a co-developer of the Elgin Community College Cultural Competence program…[Read Sue’s full bio]
Erica Walker ThomasErika Walker-Thomas has a strategic partnership with Bea Young Associates, LLC and over 18 years of Human Resources and Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competency experience. As an experienced consultant she has expertise in client relationship management, global workforce dynamics from acquisition to retention, community relations, and global diversity issues…[Read Erika’s full bio]
Maria Elena MedinaMaria Elena Medina is a seasoned bilingual (English/Spanish) and multicultural professional with more than eighteen years of non-profit, corporate and multicultural sales, marketing and advertising experience combined with over twelve years of diversity consulting, training, recruitment, project management, event planning and community relations expertise. She has worked with Bea Young for almost a decade…[Read Maria Elena’s full bio]
bennett-williams-2014-122x171Bennett B. Williams is a facilitator, consultant and development executive in the field of leadership and diversity. He has had the opportunity to introduce the cultural competence and leadership programs developed by Bea Young Associates to many organizations where they have been able to measure positive results….[Read Bennett’s full bio]
robert-hines-iii-image-122x171Robert Hines IIIserves as an Associate with Bea Young Associates and is also an experienced educator, teaching artist, administrator, actor, director and diversity and cultural competence consultant. He is currently an Adjunct Theater Faculty at Elgin Community College, teaching Improv for Actors and the Improv Performance Ensemble courses and facilitates the Bea Young Associates Cultural Competency Workshops at Elgin Community College.He coaches and directs the ECC’s Improv Ensemble in performances traveling to various locations within the local community. In addition, he directs student productions as well as partnering with local community groups as Guest Director. He is also an Adjunct Faculty Member at Second City Training Center where he teaches in the Youth/Teen division of Second City’s Improv programming…[Read Robert’s full bio]
John FurconJohn Furcon has three decades of experience as a talent management and organization transformation consultant.He has led and served with teams successfully addressing diversity, inclusion and cultural competency challenges in a number of leading organizations, including Bank of New York Mellon, Carrier, Corning, Deloitte, Illinois State Police, Kraft, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, McDonald’s, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, United Technologies, the U.S. Dept. of Justice and Oakton Community College…[Read John’s full bio]
vanjiia-hughes-122x171Vanjiia J. Hughes, Ed.Dhas nineteen years of experience in the education field and ten years in the corporate world. She received her B.S. in Business with an emphasis in marketing from Northern Illinois University. As a Manager of Transportation and a Planner for General Mills, she gained much global experience Her career in education began with a M.A in Teaching from Aurora University while working in East Aurora School District 131, a very diverse community forty five miles west of Chicago.After four years of teaching elementary, she received her Illinois Administrative Type 75 certification and served as Coordinator of TIE 2000. In this position she was responsible for curriculum mapping, data analysis, and the development of district assessments. Shortly thereafter, she served as Director of Supplemental Programs and Title I…[Read Vajiia’s full bio]
Duane BarnesDuane Barnes has been a facilitator of training for profit and nonprofit organizations, assisting teams of small and large groups in such areas as diversity, inclusion and overall team building. For the last 20 years, he has conducted focus groups and developed reports and recommendations based on key themes from the focus group insights. He has facilitated Train-the-Trainer sessions where his consulting skills have empowered many organizations with the internal capability to implement their own programs…[Read Duane’s full bio]