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Robert RenteriaRobert Renteria, Chairman (

Robert J. Renteria, Jr. is a successful businessman turned author of From the Barrio to the Board Room, who is using his memoir with youth across America to replace violence, delinquency, gangs and drugs with education, pride, accomplishment, and self esteem. Renteria came from humble beginnings, growing up in an impoverished East L.A. barrio. His family was abandoned by his drug and alcohol addicted father. At the age of six, Robert was involved in a carnival accident that resulted in serious head trauma and three years of rehabilitation to recover his motor skills. As a teenager, he became involved with a tough street crowd, used and dealt drugs, dropped out of high school, was shot at and stabbed, and went from one dead-end job to another. After learning that his estranged father had died on skid-row, Robert resolved to make better choices in his life. He returned to school, joined the military, and after honorably serving seven years in the United States Army, he moved to Chicago. Searching for that job where he could prove himself, he talked his way into a position with a commercial laundry management and sales company that eventually led to his becoming corporate Vice President of a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Having the success he had been seeking, he was convinced to strike off on his own, opening and operating several successful businesses.

Robert has now dedicated his life to sharing his story with thousands of others so that they, too, can help break the vicious cycle of poverty through hard work, determination and education. His book and the accompanying curriculum, are forming our “leaders of tomorrow” by helping them to find their identity, establish core values, set goals for themselves, prioritize education, and strive to reach their full potential.

Renteria has been the keynote speaker at the Hispanic Heritage Reception for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, where he was recognized for his achievements as a Latino author. He has also presented at the Illinois Association of School Social Workers, McDonald’s Hamburger University, the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association annual conference, the Hispanic National Bar Association in Chicago, the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation, and the Chicago Public Schools. On September 24, 2010 Robert was named “Chicago Latino Professional of the Year 2010” by the Chicago Latino Network  He has been profiled in major media, including The Chicago Sun Times, WGN Midday News, Univision, La Raza, Hispanic Executive Quarterly, Hoy, WGN Adelante Chicago, more than two dozen radio stations, including Chicago Public Radio and numerous newspapers and magazines. Robert is supported by political figures (at the local, state and national level), business owners, corporations, University Professors, and middle and high school teachers and principals who share his universal message that everyone has the right to live the American Dream through education, determination, and hard-work!

bARRIO-cOREYCorey Michael Blake, Publisher, Board of Directors (

Corey Michael Blake has starred in campaigns and written and published books that have been profiled in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Sports illustrated, Variety and on NBC, WGN and Good Morning America among hundreds of other print, radio, and television outlets.  His work has won Addy, Belding, Bronze Lion and London International Advertising awards and he has been published in Writer Magazine, Script Magazine and on StartUp Nation. Corey began his career as the face of commercial campaigns for more than a dozen Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies, before venturing off to filmmaking and eventually writing. He is the co-author and publisher of numerous books, including Edge! A Leadership Story (Finalist 2008 National Best Books Awards) and Robert Renteria’s From the Barrio to the Board Room. He founded Round Table Companies and Writers of the Round Table Press to focus on his love of building creative brands. Corey is the Chief Executive Officer of the From the Barrio Foundation. An avid speaker, Corey has presented at the Chicago Principals and Administrators annual conference (2010) and the Illinois Association of School Social Workers annual conference (2009), among another dozen appearances at writing conferences around the country.


Sharon Hatchett, Board of Directors (

Sharon is currently President of the Hatchett Group LLC and provides global consulting services on automotive, ethics and compliance (e.g. FCPA and anti-corruption) matters, including as Senior Consultant for Freeh Group International Solutions.

Prior to her current position, Sharon was an attorney for 28 years with General Motors, and the first African American woman to run a department of the General Motors Legal Staff when she assumed the role of Global Process Leader (i.e. global department head), Information Technology, with responsibility for providing legal advice on information technology matters to GM global operations through a team of lawyers worldwide, including in relation to GM’s global restructuring and bankruptcy.

Over the course of her career with General Motors, Sharon also served as General Counsel and Business Unit counsel for a number of GM business units, and advised the leadership of those operations on a variety of matters, including complex commercial transactions (domestic and international), including as General Counsel for Electro-Motive Division, Acting General Counsel for GM South Africa, Business Unit Counsel for GM Truck Group, and Regional Counsel – Latin American Operations for General Motors Acceptance Corporation.  She also worked in Zurich, Switzerland as Senior European Counsel for General Motors Europe, with responsibility for complex commercial transactions, compliance, strategic initiatives, fuel cell R&D and Chevrolet Europe legal matters.

Sharon currently serves on the non-profit Boards of the Chicago Legal Clinic and the Barrio Foundation, and is a dedicated supporter of the Chicago Sinfonietta, volunteering her time as both a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta Gala Planning Committee and Vice Chair of the South Side Friends Auxiliary.

Sharon has also served as a Board Member of the Chicago Bar Foundation and Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Foundation, and published a chapter in “Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters: Strategies for Success from Multicultural Women Attorneys”,  a book published by the American Bar Association, Commission on Women in the Profession.

Writers of the Round Table Press

Writers of the Round Table Press, Publisher
Writers of the Round Table Press is the publishing division of Round Table Companies Inc. (RTC), a strategic communications partner to individuals and companies looking to impact lives in a positive way and on a massive scale. Utilizing the expertise of Writers of the Round Table and Writers of the Round Table Press, RTC builds and manages creative brands towards their tipping point and beyond.



The From the Barrio Foundation is currently implementing From the Barrio to the Classroom in Chicago Public Schools and schools and youth prisons around the country. To view where the program is being utilized see our program usage page.

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