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PO Box 2826
Carol Stream, Illinois 60132

Toll Free: 1-800-793-9455

© 2024 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

50th Anniversary Summit

Friday, April 8 - Sunday, April 10, 2022
Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel | Chicago, IL

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Join us for an exciting weekend in Chicago where we’ll celebrate the community that has powered our impact for 50 years. In addition to fellowship and learning, we’ll take an in-depth look at the exciting ways your support is preparing us for the next 50 years as we work toward a world free of extreme poverty.



Activity  Time Location

Ticket Price

FRIDAY, April 8

Cocktail Reception & Dinner Cruise  6:30-9:30 p.m. Chicago River $100


Conference - A day full of educational sessions and opportunities to reconnect, featuring: 

  • Master of Ceremonies - Carol Pelino
  • CEO Address - Atul Tandon
  • CEO Roundtable - moderated by Kerri McAfoos, featuring Charlie Dokmo, Vicki Escarra, Larry Reed, Atul Tandon
  • Waymakers Session - Beth & Joel Johnson, LeAnn Pope, Mary Lynn & Warren Staley
  • Keynote - Nayla Blanchard, Brian Olarte, Valeria Pacheco Rubi
  • Program Updates - Tineyi Mawocha, Andrew McCusker, Tim Strong
  • Awards 
  • Breakout Sessions on Agriculture, Education, and Microbanking, featuring: Paul Cooley, William Derban, Rebekah Gladson, Alice Lajwa, Janelle Lassonde, Tineyi Mawocha,  Andrew McCusker, Greg Nelson, Brian Olarte, Kwame Owusu-Boateng, Tim Strong, Dave Tolmie, Vlado Vukotic
  • Closing Ceremonies - Katherine Haley, Mark Lutz 

8:30-3:30 p.m.

Sheraton Grand Hotel $100

Gala - An evening of celebration and inspiration, featuring

  • Master of Ceremonies - Mai Martinez
  • Keynotes - Atul Tandon, Muhammad Yunus, David Beasley
  • Special appeal - LeAnn Pope
  • Awards
  • Live music by Jenny Thiel Band
6:30-9:30 p.m. Museum of Science & Industry $200 Single Ticket
$1,000 Table of 10 

SUNDAY, April 10

Worship Service (optional) 9:00-10:00 a.m. Sheraton Grand Hotel Free
Relaxation Session: Staying Calm in Stressful Times (optional) 10:00-11:00 a.m.  Sheraton Grand Hotel  Free 
Free time for sightseeing and meeting with friends   Chicago    


  • Tickets include access to all event programming, meals, and transportation to and from all event excursions.
  • Must be 21+ to attend the Friday Night and Saturday Night events. Please drink and travel responsibly.
  • Select sessions will be recorded. Photos will be taken throughout the weekend and be shared with guests and in promotional materials.

Dress Code:

  • Cocktail Reception & Dinner Cruise: Business - Ex: Dress, tie
  • Conference: Business Casual - Ex: Blouse, button-down shirt
  • Gala: Black Tie Optional - Ex: Cocktail dress or long gown, suit or tuxedo
  • Worship Service & Relaxation Session: Casual - Ex: Jeans


Featuring a virtual appearance by

Professor Muhammad Yunus
Nobel Laureate and father of microfinance


Featuring these faces from the field (and more!)

William Derban
Global Director, Digital Finance Services

Tineyi Mawocha
Chief Program Officer & Africa Regional Director

Andrew McCusker
Head of Education Finance

Brian Olarte
Executive Director, AGAPE

Tim Strong
Head of Agriculture Finance


The conference will be hosted at the:
Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel
301 East North Water Street
Chicago, IL 60611



Our Gala Host Committee:

Barbara Lupient
Jane Nelson
Dale Patterson
Kelly Palmer
Carol Pelino
Jill Dailey Smith

Our Gala Table Hosts:

Jay & Kristal Abbasi
Mary Barry
Michael Chitwood
John R. Hart
Dawn & Ted Helwig
Joel & Beth Johnson
Linda & Richard Martens
Andrew McCotter & Jessica White
Carol S. Pelino
LeAnn Pope & Clyde McGregor
Jill & Stephen Smith
Amy L. Taylor
Marge Tomasik
Linda & Ken Vander Weele
Julia Wade
Don & Ruth Whittaker


Flying to Chicago

Guests can fly into either O'Hare International Airport (ORD) or Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), which are similarly distanced from the hotel. 

Getting to the Hotel

The hotel does not offer a shuttle, but both airports offer taxis, ride sharing (e.g. Uber, Lyft), and public transportation. For guests who are driving, directions to the hotel are available on Google Maps. Parking for guests is available at the hotel for a discounted rate of $39 per night. 

Getting Around

Opportunity International will provide a complimentary shuttle from the hotel to/from the Friday Night and Saturday Night events. If you choose to drive to the Museum of Science & Industry, parking there is complimentary.


Your health and safety  are  our top priority as we look forward to a wonderful weekend filled with celebration and fellowship. Opportunity International is committed to following all federal, state, and local COVID-19 policies and procedures in order to protect our guests.  


Guests of all Summit events must be fully vaccinated; masks are optional. 

Opportunity staff will be fully vaccinated and masked while indoors. 

*Fully vaccinated, as currently defined by the CDC, means being at least 2 weeks out from both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna, or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.

These policies are subject to change, and we will inform you of those changes.  Additionally, Opportunity is working with our partner venues and vendors to ensure staff is vaccinated, spaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly, setups allow for social distancing, and masks and hand sanitizer are readily available.


This event is scheduled to be in-person, but will be contingent upon COVID-19 state and federal policies for in-person events. We will ensure that our guests have a safe experience and will issue full refunds for tickets should a guest need to cancel due to COVID-19.

If you require any special accommodations or have questions, please contact Erin Doherty at 312.487.5030 or [email protected]


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