08 Nov New Board Chair, Chris Johnston’s, Vision for Lumity
Welcoming Chris Johnston, Lumity’s New Board Chair
We are thrilled to announce that Accenture Managing Director Chris Johnston has become Lumity’s new board chair. A 12-year Lumity board member and former board treasurer, Chris is now accepting the chair reins from his colleague and friend, Steve Betts. Together, their leadership has been key to Lumity in so many ways and we are excited for this next phase of our work together.
To kick off his new role, we asked Chris to share his thoughts about Lumity and his vision for the board.
What inspires Chris about Lumity
Chris: “What I love about Lumity is that engaging youth in STEM is just fun—it’s joyful! And then combining that with the overt and obvious need for STEM careers to be more accessible to young people from diverse backgrounds makes it really important. It’s exciting in terms of the impact Lumity is having, and in the fact that we all learn something when we work with young people. It’s kind of magical.”
Chris’ favorite Lumity experience
Chris: “I love the Lumity Annual STEM Fair and Benefit when students present their ideas, and we are able to ask questions. Their creative energy in their presentations is remarkable, as is the way they plow through some of our really hard questions. The students have an eagerness and enthusiasm for learning about real-world challenges and designing solutions. You can see the results of their preparation with Lumity program staff: they really enjoy presenting, they deal with their nervousness, and they just dig in and shine.”
A few highlights from Chris’ role as Lumity board treasurer
Chris: “I’m really proud of our work to create more transparency and clarity in our financials. Lumity now prioritizes more deliberate investments, is much more targeted in our services in the market, and is active in how we plan and manage expenses. These are critical foundational elements that Lumity has established and help us to scale.”
Chris’ ideas for Lumity moving forward
“Lumity and our board have a lot of momentum, and I see my role as board chair as harnessing and reinforcing that momentum. That’s a little jargony, but it’s true. We as board members have a lot of different responsibilities, but, in the end, it comes back to keywords in our mission: ‘To provide teens and young adults from under-resourced communities with transformational experiences to prepare them for lifelong STEM careers.’
Our job as board members is to, indeed, provide. Given our relationships as Chicago STEM professionals, it is about providing the engagement of students with our companies and professional networks, as well as providing funding for those experiences. That is how we provide.
Another key phrase from our mission is transformational experiences. It really is our obligation and an opportunity to create interesting moments of engagement between Chicagoland young people and the STEM fields. This could be a tour of a facility, a Real World Challenge Project, or new experiences in math, science, and engineering. It’s our responsibility as a board to support Lumity’s staff in expanding and innovating our programs – and stretching our impact as well. And, of course, these transformational experience for teens and young adults is really the fun of what we do!”