53 W. Jackson Blvd., Ste. 1009 (312) 286-3310 (Mobile)

Chicago, IL 60604 cecilia@strategiesinsite.com

Strategic Planning n Business Development Services n Project Management


Attorney with public and private sector executive expertise in corporate strategy, program marketing, contract negotiations, vendor management and process reengineering. Move people and projects forward by building successful teams to tackle cross-functional issues in multi-cultural environments. Language fluency in Spanish and French.


STRATEGIES IN SITE, INC., (Certified M/W/DBE) Chicago, Illinois 2002 to Present

Strategic advisory services firm focused upon multi-location Fortune 1000 corporate clients. Provide comprehensive management strategy and execution services for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) on behalf of private financial institutions, nonprofits, developers, local and international government entities.


Manage operations, client marketing, business development, and project implementation.



ILLINOIS AFRICA TRADE INSTITUTE, World Trade Center – State of Illinois Initiative, Chicago, Illinois

  • Chaired public relations outreach committee. Drafted and presented proposal to Ex-Im Bank to expand financial institution guarantor pool to facilitate and increase potential trade between small business in Illinois and Africa.

EUROMEDITERRANEE, Public Private Economic Development Agency, Marseille, France

  • Developed strategies to attract corporate business to city of Marseille. Identified target corporations, introduced and promoted Marseille for investment consideration. Coordinated strategic business development efforts, designed and executed conference events. Enhanced visibility which increased project development. Hosted delegations of over 60 corporations for on-site visits to Marseille.

KEISKAMMA TRUST, Nonprofit organization, Hamburg, South Africa

  • Facilitated U.S. tour of Keiskamma Altarpiece and held interfaith services increasing Keiskamma Trust fundraising base. Connected South African NGOs to the Eastern Cape village enhancing local economic development efforts.

GVA WORLDWIDE, LLC, Commercial real estate organization with 70 offices in 20 countries, Chicago, Illinois.


Created brand awareness, optimized client relationships, and created new client business. Developed strategic business initiatives for new lines of service. Created new service councils to coordinate member offerings in the areas of biotech/life sciences, industrial and retail real estate.


SAN MIGUEL SCHOOLS, Chicago Public Schools - Catalyst Schools Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

  • Conducted feasibility study for first faith-based organization led elementary school. Created strategic plan, wrote RFP response resulting in a charter school and a contract school. Resolved church and state legal issues; incorporated and branded the new entity; coordinated curriculum development; established board and governance structure; handled community/stakeholder outreach; and performed facilities acquisition. Provided reporting to the board and external constituents. Successfully launched two schools serving 932 inner city elementary students.

VILLAGE of FORD HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS, Deer Creek Flood Mitigation Project, Ford Heights, Illinois

  • Acquired real estate interests necessary for Army Corps flood mitigation infrastructure project. Identified and located correct titleholders of 254 parcels. Facilitated community and eminent domain hearings. Successfully negotiated purchases from 45 owners in 12 months.


  • Negotiated and drafted general, construction, lease and purchase contracts. Performed litigation and negotiations navigating across contract, family, and mortgage foreclosure law. Handled legal aspects of development efforts.


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY: Boalt Hall, Haas School of Business. JD, MBA 1986

STANFORD UNIVERSITY: A.B. in Sociology and Spanish, 1982. Sociology Honors, Stanford-in-Salamanca


Admitted to the Illinois Bar (1987) and Federal Bar (1987). Licensed Illinois Real Estate Broker.


McDONALD’S CORPORATION, Oak Brook, Illinois 1994-2001

Preeminent Global Retail Restaurant Chain

Director – Business Development, U.S. Acquisitions (2000-2001)

  • Investigated over 50 companies in and identified 34 acquisition targets through contacts in the brokerage, legal, economic development and financial communities.
  • Structured acquisition methodology, hired service providers to execute deals and negotiated key contracts. Identified and pursued 7 portfolio opportunities, created alliances and managed relationships with acquisition partners resulting in 4 executed transactions in 12 months for restaurants.

Director - Excess Property (1997-2000)

  • Developed and implemented the expansion of a trial outsourcing program to manage excess portfolio. Sold services to 38 regions increasing program participation from 28% to 77% in the program’s initial year.
  • Trained staff and directed the activities of 10 service providers from Trammell Crow and CB Richard Ellis in nationwide property management and disposition of marketable excess property portfolio.
  • Reduced McDonald's ownership risk and expenses by reducing accounts receivable 48%. Gained $4M additional income annually. Managed program budget of over $1M. Negotiated a 15% decrease in fixed contract costs.
  • Directed negotiations and strategies yielding over $17M in transactions value. Exceeded plan for both deal quantity and quality, reduced cycle time and attainment of targeted disposition price.

Senior Asset Manager - Asset Management (1994-1997)

  • Evaluated all deals handled by eight Asset Managers to assure financial measurements were met. Developed process improvements and performance measurements to align the Department with regional objectives.
  • Directly supervised two field Asset Managers covering ten regions with 990 sites handling portfolios of 140 deals protecting over $190M in sales. Exceeded plan for cost minimization by 22%.


Regional Bell Holding Company for Midwest Region (Operates as AT&T today)

Director - Transactions, Illinois Bell (1991-1994)

  • Administered $17M annual rent obligation for a 200-property leased portfolio of over 2M square feet. Managed property interests in 12M square feet of owned space, by conducting studies that determined potential cost savings and occupancy strategies. Team of four direct reports plus one outsourced provider.

Staff Manager - Regulatory, Illinois Bell (1989-1991)

  • Coordinated and implemented a $45M exchange service rate case throughout Illinois. Facilitated activities of 25 departments and 75 individuals, assuring successful staggered cutover to new rate plan without loss of service.

Manager - Corporate Strategy, Ameritech (1988-1989)

  • Conducted competitive industry analyses of market opportunities to assess revenue potential. Identified market entry vehicles, evaluated alternatives, and wrote business plans integrating subsidiary participation.


Government Regulator of U.S. Securities Markets

Attorney, Branch of Reorganization, Branch of Enforcement

  • Litigated the SEC’s position on appointment of protective committees, fees to parties and adequacy of disclosure in disclosure statements filed in support of plans of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.




Board Member:

  • Family Focus (1993-Present)
    Member of Development Committee for this Early Childhood Family Support nonprofit.
  • Episcopal Church Foundation (2005-Present)
    Secretary, External Affairs and Governance Committees member for national nonprofit for lay leadership.


  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs, President’s Circle
  • Economic Development Council of Chicago
  • World Trade Center of Illinois
  • International Trade Club of Chicago
  • ULI-Urban Land Institute
    Inner City Council, Public Policy Committee
  • Chicago Women in Government Relations


  • St. James Episcopal Cathedral
    Warden Real Assets 2008-2009, Chapter (2003-2007, Bishop’s Search Committee 2000-2002)


Board Member:

  • American Institute of Wine and Food, Chicago Chapter
  • Latin American Bar Association, Vice President
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago
  • Latin School of Chicago Board of Trustees, Alumni Association Board
  • Stanford Club of Illinois
  • Chicago Work Ethic


  • CoreNet-Corporate Real Estate Network, successor to IDRC & NACORE

° Leadership/Diversity Committee

° World Congress Programs: Panel Moderator and Participant

  • ICSC-International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Illinois State Bar Association
    ° Corporate Law Department Section Council, Chair; Commercial, Banking & Bankruptcy Section
  • Attorney General’s Hispanic Advisory Council
  • Chicago Sister Cities Ambassadors
  • Junior League of Chicago
  • Cook County Bar Association Community Law Project
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation Lawyer in the Classroom Program

° Lawyer’s Advisory Council


Frequent Public Speaker on Diversity Inclusion and other subjects

REAP (Real Estate Associates Program) Faculty Advisor

Graduate of Turner Construction Management Training Institute

Arbitrator for Cook County Mandatory Arbitration Program

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