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Don &
Liz Thompson

About Us

Cleveland Avenue is where it all began

for our founders, Don and Liz Thompson.


They grew up on the near north Chicago street of that name—Liz in the Cabrini

Green housing complex and Don just

four blocks north. The Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education Group, our

full name, acknowledges the past while constantly looking ahead to an impactful and limitless future.

Vision and Mission 

The genius of leaders of color is seen, valued, and supported by an  equitable philanthropic ecosystem.

Meet The Team

Our team at The CAFE Group brings unique skills dedicated to optimizing our desired impact on students, leaders, and communities.

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Founder and CEO


Executive Assistant and Board Coordinator

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Senior Strategic Impact Consultant


Program Manager


Impact Assistant

Assistant Operations Manager 

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Director of Strategy

Strategic HR Consultant


Program Director

Board Members

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Liz Thompson

Founder & CEO
The CAFE Group

Leslie Anderson

US Chief Technology Resiliency

and Experience Operations Officer, BMO


Mara Botman

Executive Director
Vivo Foundation

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Joseph McCoy

Chief Strategist, Cleveland Avenue;

Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila

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Shayne Evans

Founder and President
The Academy Group

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Daniel Anello

Kids First Chicago

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