Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the appointment of Alejandra "Alex" Garza to serve on the Chicago Board of Education. Garza will replace Arnaldo "Arnie" Rivera, who recently stepped down to serve as the Chicago Public Schools Chief Operating Officer. As a board member, Garza will lend her extensive leadership experience to address issues facing the District and to expand quality opportunities in the city's schools.
"Alex is a visionary leader, and she will work tirelessly to improve our schools and support educational opportunities for the next generation of Chicagoans," said Mayor Emanuel. "There is no doubt that her proven track record as a successful small business owner makes her uniquely qualified to serve the city of Chicago in this role."
Garza believes in the value of strong enterprise initiatives that combine for-profit and non-profit business visions, goals and partnership opportunities. She has served in various boards of community-based organizations, where she has provided leadership in creating organizational strategic direction, board governance initiatives and marketing strategies.
“I am honored that Mayor Emanuel nominated me to serve on the Chicago Board of Education, where I hope to build on the work that our educators and administrators across the city are doing to improve our children's futures" said Garza. "I am proud to serve the city that I love in this new capacity, and look forward to supporting our schools so that our students can continue to reach record academic success in the future."
She was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2015 to the Illinois Medical District Commission, where she was elected secretary. She will step down from this role, effective immediately.
“As a Latina, Alex will be a vital voice for CPS’ growing Hispanic population,” Alderman Gilbert Villegas, 36th Ward. “Chicago’s greatest asset is our diversity, and Alex will ensure our schools harness the strength of different backgrounds in the classroom so our students continue to beat academic records.”
In addition to her duties to the Board of Education, Garza will continue to lead AGG Consulting, Inc., a strategic marketing firm that she founded in 2011. She will also continue to serve on the University of Illinois at Chicago, Liberal Arts & Science Board of Visitors, The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Civic Scholar Program Advisory Council, Sinai Health System Board and Metropolitan Planning Council, Sustainable Growth Committee. She will step down from her role on the Instituto del Progreso Latino Board.
“Alex’s dedication to her work is driven by her love for our city, “said Karina Ayala-Bermejo, President and CEO at Instituto del Progreso Latino. “Her track record shows she will fight fearlessly for every CPS student, regardless of the color of their skin or the neighborhood they live in.”
In her roles on various boards of community-based organizations, she has provided leadership in creating organizational strategic direction, board governance initiatives and marketing strategies.
Garza built a distinguished career in the non-profit and health care insurance sectors by providing a blend of business development, marketing and governance strategies. She has a strong track record of providing leadership in building brands, developing new markets and growing new business opportunities with a special focus on multi-cultural communities.
"I have known Alex Garza for twenty years," said City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado. "She is a passionate advocate and a strategic thinker who will be a strong voice for Chicago's children on the CPS board."
A Chicago native, Garza received a BA in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She also completed the "Governing for Non-profit Excellence" program at Harvard Business School's Executive Education.