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Board of Directors

Executive Director – LaVonte Stewart

LaVonté Stewart Sr. was born on Chicago’s South Side at Jackson Park Hospital. He graduated in the top 5% from Our Lady of Peace Elementary School, Hirsch Metropolitan High school, and Chicago State University, all on Chicago’s South Side. Mr. Stewart Sr. earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in 2004, and then worked on his Master’s degree until illness struck his family in 2006. Mr. Stewart started working closely with troubled youth through baseball, and formed Lost Boyz Baseball League, which eventually became known simply as Lost Boyz Inc. Recently, LaVonté began working on his Masters in Public Policy at DePaul University while working in the office for a well-known State Senator. He currently resides on the south side with his fiancée and 3 children.

Treasurer – Jataun Martin

A graduate of the University of Illinois-Urbana, with a BS in Finance, Jataun has 25 years of treasury management experience in federal and municipal government, insurance, and financial services, most recently leading the cash operations unit of a Chicago-based alternative investment fund.  She is currently working as an independent treasury consultant, providing cash management service reviews and operational solutions for small to middle market organizations.  A lifelong south sider, she currently resides in Hyde Park with her husband David.

Secretary – Jocelyn Vana

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Jocelyn now resides in the western suburbs with her husband Chris. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Undergraduate Business School in 2009, Jocelyn went on to work in the Corporate Development and Finance industries. Currently, she works as a Financial Analyst at a nonprofit firm located in the Loop. In addition to her role as the Secretary for Lost Boyz Inc., Jocelyn also participates in the overall development of the organization, overseeing the organization’s finances, fundraising efforts, and volunteer recruitment.

General Board Member – Jordan Hadelman

As founding chairman, Jordan’s vision for excellence has been integral to the growth of Witt/Kieffer, one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, and the single largest serving healthcare, education and not-for-profit organizations. Committed to Witt/Kieffer’s ongoing mission, Jordan’s leadership has maintained the firm’s focus on serving organizations that improve quality of life. Witt/Kieffer clients include leading hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, managed care and insurance companies, physician group practices, colleges and universities, and community service and cultural organizations.

Named in The New Career Makers as one of America’s top executive recruiters, Jordan includes among his clients some of the nation’s most respected leaders in health care. His pivotal role in an executive search includes advising CEOs, governing boards, search committees and executive and medical leaders on strategy, organizational assessment, leadership transition and succession planning.

Jordan’s insight into the leadership demands of healthcare organizations stems from over two decades of experience as an executive search consultant. He formerly served as a hospital executive and is currently a board member at a metropolitan Chicago academic medical center. Earlier in his career, he served as a U.S. Navy lieutenant.

Jordan attended George Washington University for both undergraduate where he received a B.S. in Business Administration and for graduate school where he received his M.H.A. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from George Washington University for his demonstrated accomplishments in health care. He and his wife, Debra, have two sons.


General Board Member – Rob Williams

A graduate of Hampton University in 1996, Rob went on to work for the Chicago Police Department. There, he continues to fight violence on the streets of the city as an officer. When not patrolling the neighborhoods of the city, Rob tends to the buildings he owns and its residents. He currently resides on the south side of the city.

General Board Member – The Honorable Judge Pamela E. Veal

Judge Pamela VealJudge Pamela Hill-Veal was appointed as a judge to fill a vacancy in 2004, was elected to the Cook County Circuit Court in 2006 and retained as a Circuit Court Judge in 2012.  At the time of Judge Hill-Veal’s retirement, she was assigned to the municipal division where her docket primarily included cases involving small claims, breach of contract, and insurance matters.  Prior to becoming a judge, she had a successful private practice where she concentrated in domestic relations matters.

During Judge Hill-Veal’s time as a sole practitioner, she served in several capacities including: an administrative hearing officer with the Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings, a Civil Service Board member/chairperson of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and as a member/chairperson for the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission’s Inquiry Panel.

Earlier in her career, Judge Hill-Veal was an associate attorney for the law firm of French, Kezelis & Kominiarek and an Assistant Cook County Public Defender for the Cook County Public Defender’s Office.  She was also an Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Chicago State University where she published two books: Trial Practice and Procedures – 1993: 1996 (2nd Edition) and Criminal Procedure: A Workbook – 2003.

Before her entry into the legal field, Judge Hill-Veal was an instructor at Chicago State University where she taught Speech and Psychology. She was also Communications Director for the Chicago Urban League, News Reporter and Producer for WFMY/TV, WCIA/TV, WILL/Radio and WHPK/Radio. Additionally, she was a clinical therapist and counselor for the Chicago Board of Health and Friendship Medical Center.

Judge Hill-Veal received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Western Illinois University, her M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from Loyola University of Chicago, her M.S. in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University and her Juris Doctor, with a Certificate in Health Care Law, from DePaul University School of Law.  She is licensed to practice law in several jurisdictions, including Illinois and Michigan, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.  Judge Hill-Veal is member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.


General Board Member – Cooper Thompson

Cooper Thompson was born and raised on the north side of Chicago. He had a sheltered view of Chicago violence while attending grade school at Franklin Fine Arts Center during the late 80’s and early 90’s. Going to school just blocks from Cabrini Green, Cooper saw one of the most troubled parts of the city on a daily basis, but he was always able to escape back to his relatively crime-free neighborhood in Ravenswood. There, he didn’t have to think about the troubles of the city, and he found daily respite from the troubles of his peers. During 7th and 8th grade, Cooper took part in a recreational basketball league that played their games at Seward Park. It was only then that he began to notice the everyday differences between his life and the lives of people only miles away in the same city.

While attending high school and college, Cooper often drifted off society’s predetermined “path to success,” and it wasn’t until a massive seizure sent him into a coma that he found his own path. After his recovery began, Cooper realized that his limited experiences in giving back to his city were what had given him the most joy in life. He joined Lost Boyz as a coach at the start of the season three years ago, planning to donate six weeks’ worth of his available time. That plan quickly changed. Now, a few years later, he finds himself driving to the south side multiple times per week because of the love he’s developed for Lost Boyz, the admiration he has for Lavonte Stewart, and the inspiration he receives from all the young players in the program.