About Us

The Coleman Foundation is the legacy of entrepreneurs, Dorothy W. Coleman and her husband, J.D. Stetson Coleman, one-time owners of Fannie May Candy Company. The Colemans created the Foundation in 1951 to improve opportunity and quality of life. Today, the Foundation continues to foster change through programs that are practical, financially sustainable, and results-oriented.

Mission

The Coleman Foundation is a philanthropic organization that leverages its resources by investing in the efforts of community-based organizations and local institutions to preserve and strengthen the physical health and the economic and emotional well-being of people living in and around Chicago.

Vision

The Foundation envisions itself as a thoughtful and active participant helping nonprofit organizations and local institutions in the greater Chicago area to create more equitable and inclusive access to resources and opportunities that improve peoples’ lives. Through its grantmaking, it supports efforts that encourage entrepreneurial thinking and self-improvement for all who strive to overcome barriers.

Purpose

  1. INCREASING PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT, self-determination, and well-being of individuals in Chicago communities

  2. ADVANCING ENTREPRENEURSHIP with an emphasis on low and moderate income neighborhoods

  3. SUPPORTING PATIENT-CENTERED CANCER CARE and health rehabilitation services

  4. SUPPORTING DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS to deliver and improve care

  5. BUILDING ON A LEGACY of impact in Chicago communities

Staff

Michael W.
Hennessy

President & CEO

mhennessy@colemanfoundation.org

Michael Hennessy started working with the Coleman Foundation in 1987 when he was an officer of the Fannie May Candy Company. At the time, the foundation was a part of the candy company. Mike became President of the foundation in 1993, and CEO in 1995.

Rosa
Berardi

Senior Program Officer

rberardi@colemanfoundation.org

Rosa works across the Foundation’s program areas with emphasis on cancer care and health rehabilitation. In her role, Rosa leads the Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative as well as the Primary Palliative Medicine Training Program.

Clark
McCain

Senior Program Officer

cmccain@colemanfoundation.org

Clark leads the Foundation’s grantmaking efforts in disability, as well as its entrepreneurship program. He established two of the Foundation’s recent major initiatives: the Coleman Foundation Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows Program…

Lisa
Torres

Grants Manager

ltorres@colemanfoundation.org

Lisa Torres has over 19 years’ experience in the Chicago philanthropic community. She has been with the Coleman Foundation since 2013 and prior to that, spent 13 years with the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. She is an active member of Forefront as well as PEAK Grantmaking, where she is a past Program…

Our Board

Michael
Furlong

Chair

Michael Furlong is both the longest serving board member and only east coast resident. Mr. Furlong has an extensive background in all facets of commercial real estate.

Esther
Barron

Director

Esther Barron is the Director of the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and a Clinical Professor of Law. In addition to…

Alison
Fitzgerald

Director

In addition to serving on the board of The Coleman Foundation, Alison S. Fitzgerald volunteers for many community and school related organizations. She is also the treasurer…

Michael W.
Hennessy

Director

Michael Hennessy started working with the Coleman Foundation in 1987 when he was an officer of the Fannie May Candy Company. At the time, the foundation was…

Daniel
Wanzenberg

Director

With over twenty-five years of asset management experience, Mr. Wanzenberg founded Wanzenberg Partners, LLC in 2009, which was formed into APS Labs, LLC in 2014…