Crain’s Chicago Business is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their notable 40 Under 40 list where they feature people who have broken barriers in the various fields. Some of their highlighted choices representing the Black community include Hebru Brantley, Ellen-Blair Chube and Brandi Pitts.
Brantley is an international artist whose work has utilized animation to capture the Chicago Bronzeville culture he was raised with. Of his childhood, Brantley says “his “babysitters” — the comic books he read and animated TV shows he watched after school — made an imprint. “I went to school with Spanish-speaking kids, and our common language was the ‘boom, pow’ of comic books,” he recalls. “Say what you want about the Picassos and the Chagalls, and they are all beautiful, but when you talk about connectivity of youth, it is animation.”
Speaking of making the most out of the culture you were raised with, Chube was born into a family of 11 people. She’s used acquired negotiation skills to boost her legal career. Past employer Senator Evan Bayh says Chube helped create the right balance on the Dodd-Frank reform bill, which is the largest step toward reforming the country’s finance system since the Great Depression. Currently serving as the vice president and chief of staff for Ariel Investments, Chube helps push forth diversity inclusion in federal contracts.
Pitts serves as Reynold’s senior director of integrated marketing, focused heavily on digital communications. She has learned to “test and learn” from her marketing campaigns to understand the digital marketing industry, which does not rely on traditional skills. Not only does she ensure people of color are represented in a fast moving digital marketing world, Pitt takes risks to raise the marketing industry as a whole
For more on Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40, check out the choices here.