About OAI

HISTORY

Headquartered in downtown Chicago, and operating programs nationwide, OAI, Inc. is a non-profit training and education agency founded in 1976 by Tipawan T-Q Reed. Formerly the Office of Applied Innovations, we were affiliated with Northern Illinois and DePaul Universities, until we changed our name to OAI in 2001 when we became an independent 501c(3). Using the letters of our former name, we developed the tagline of Opportunity, Advancement and Innovation in Workforce Development to reflect the goals of our work.

MISSION

Create an environment in which all people can access education, training and employment that will allow them to sustain and enjoy safe, secure and fulfilling lives.

VALUES

Innovation

We generate and implement new ideas for the betterment of the individuals and communities we serve

Respect for all People

We strive to communicate with clarity and grace, listen effectively, show compassion, and seek deepened understanding of diversity and cultural differences

Passion for Quality

We welcome the opportunity for coaching and feedback, strive for personal accountability, aim for constant improvement and demonstrate integrity in all our work

Dedication to Hard Work

We seek opportunities to demonstrate our generosity, willingness to collaborate, and our superior work and service ethic

Commitment to Success

We treat all financial resources granted or donated to OAI as our own and strive for exceeding outcomes in every instance.

WHERE WE TRAIN

Click on each state for more information on OAI’s partnerships

WHO WE SERVE

We advocate and promote lifelong learning and equal access to quality education, training and career opportunities for culturally diverse populations, with emphasis on individuals who are severely impacted by poverty and who live in communities which lack resources and access to training opportunities. These populations include:

Unemployed or underemployed individuals, some of whom were formerly incarcerated or homeless.

Workers without union representation, many of whom are immigrants

Rural emergency responders who have limited access to equipment and training

Employers in need of a skilled workforce

STAFF

Click on any OAI staff member for contact information

Rich Addari

Business and Worker
Training Manager

(312) 528-3517

raddari@oaiinc.org

Amanda Allen

Senior Director of Operations

(312) 528-3512

aallen@oaiinc.org

Allen Babiarz

Program Coordinator

(708) 283-5020 x18

ababiarz@oaiinc.org

Nooruddin Bhaidani

Controller

(312) 528-3530

nbhaidani@oaiinc.org

Sanobeia Brima

EHS Training Manager/
Industrial Hygienist

(312) 528-3508

sbrima@oaiinc.org

Salvatore Cali

NIEHS Associate
Principal Investigator

(312) 528-3500

scali@oaiinc.org

Stephanie Craine

Systems Navigator

(708) 283-5020

scraine@oaiinc.org

Sandra Dafiagor, PHD

Director
OAI Chicago Southland

(708) 283-5020 x 204

sdafiagor@oaiinc.org

Mollie Dowling

Executive Director

(312) 528-3555

mdowling@oaiinc.org

Vicki Gatzke

Program Coordinator

(312) 528-3563

vgatzke@oaiinc.org

Virginia Gundlach

Office Manager

(312) 528-3548

vgundlach@oaiinc.org

Jim Huh

Business Account Executive

(312) 283-5020

jhuh@oaiinc.org

Kreshina Ingram

OAI Chicago Southland
Senior Program Manager

(708) 283-5020 x14

kingram@oaiinc.org

Kentina Kellum

Program Coordinator

(312) 528-3522

kkellum@oaiinc.org

Cleophus Lee

Pre-Employment Education & Training
Director

(312) 528-3552

clee@oaiinc.org

Vivienne Mason

Business Account Executive

(708) 283-5020

vmason@oaiinc.org

William McVey

Special Projects Manager

(312) 528-3523

bmcvey@oaiinc.org

Sean Phillips

Innovation and Learning Manager

(312) 528-3527

sphillips@oaiinc.org

Jolanta Piwowarczyk

Accountant

(312) 528-3534

jpiwowarczyk@oaiinc.org

Julia Plumb

High Bridge Program Manager

(219) 448-0148

jplumb@oaiinc.org

Colleen Prendergast

Special Projects Assistant

(312) 528-3553

cprendergast@oaiinc.org

Alexander Prentzas

Business and Worker Training Director

(312) 528-3529

aprentzas@oaiinc.org

Montgomery Proffit

ECWT Consortium Manager

(312) 528-3521

mproffit@oaiinc.org

Tipawan Reed

NIEHS Principal Investigator

(312) 528-3504

treed@oaiinc.org

Jamar Sullivan

Senior Environmental
Health & Safety Instructor

(312) 528-3500

jsullivan@oaiinc.org

Ashley Thorne

Program Assistant

(312) 528-3509

athorne@oaiinc.org

Pamela Williams

OAI Chicago Southland
Program Manager

(708) 283-5020 x16

pwilliams@oaiinc.org

Veronica Woolfolk

Receptionist

(312) 528-3500

vwoolfolk@oaiinc.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Angela K. Mason, MS

Associate Vice President, Urban Agriculture, Chicago Botanic Garden
OAI is helping at-risk communities overcome environmental issues by providing necessary training and job skills to those who need it most.

Brent Olson Denzin, JD

Partner, AncelGlink, P.C.
I serve as lead environmental counsel for numerous local governments and devise strategies for blight reduction and neighborhood stabilization.

Cheryl M. Francis

Former Associate Executive Director, Chicago Area Project
Employment services are pivotal in moving people from poverty to opportunity and prosperity.

John M. Watson, Jr.

Director of Economic Development, Village of South Holland, IL
I strongly and passionately believe that everyone should work to ensure access for all to education, training and employment.

Kindy Kruller, AICP, LEED AP

Senior Planner, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Board Chair
My experience in for-profit, non-profit and government organizations has helped me deeply understand workforce and community economic development.

Pedro Martinez, MBA

Superintendent of Schools, San Antonio Independent School District
Board Treasurer
I am a data-driven leader with a strong financial background and in-depth knowledge of academic reform strategies and am proud of OAI’s achievements.

Sheila D. Pressley, DrPH, REHS/RS, DAAS, CPH

MPH Director/Assistant Professor
Eastern Kentucky University
My technical expertise in public health, worker health and safety, technical training curriculum and linkages with universities are assets for OAI.

Kelly Farley

Executive Director, ReBuilding Exchange

FUNDERS

ANNUAL REPORT

2015

2014

2013

2012