Theresa Dear is a business and social entrepreneur, activist, author and minister. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HR4NON-PROFITS, a national human resources consulting firm which recently launched the Human Capital Strategy Group. She founded HR4NON-PROFITS after serving on nonprofit boards and seeing the need for innovative leadership support. She wedded her leadership skills with her philanthropic philosophy to create and add value to nonprofit, academic, municipal and governmental organizations.
Theresa is also the founder and visionary of the Incubator Project. The Incubator Project is the philanthropic arm of HR4NON-PROFITS, which provides pro bono services to nonprofits.
She is the creator of the Let’s Get to Work Show, where she hosts a weekly broadcast on employment and entrepreneurial topics on WVON 1690 AM in Chicago. On Saturday morning Theresa equips a national audience on how to secure employment and business opportunities.
Theresa Dear received her Master of Science in Industrial Relations and Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Development from Loyola University, Chicago. Her post graduate studies have been at Northwestern and Harvard Universities focusing on strategy, leadership and non-profit governance. She is a recognized thought-leader in human resources. She has been a speaker and presenter at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Center for Non-Profit Management. She was also an adjunct professor at Devry University’s Graduate School of Management, where she taught training, organizational development and human resources.
She has approximately 25 years of Human Resources generalist experience. Twelve of those years were at the executive level. She has expertise in training, professional development, diversity and inclusion design and delivery, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, conflict resolution, employee relations, compensation, benefits, talent acquisition and management, coaching, HR audits, compliance, leadership and organizational development.
Adroit in the design, implementation and launch of human resource programs, Theresa is a recognized pioneer and champion for employee-based innovations. While Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources at SPSS Inc. (an IBM company), she received national recognition by Working Woman’s Magazine for positioning the business as one of the best “100 Companies to Work for in America.” She served as Vice President of Human Resources at Verizon. She also served as Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Metropolitan Family Services.
In 2016, Theresa was invited by Governor Rauner to participate on two working groups on diversity in employment and juvenile social justice. Theresa was active in both groups.
Theresa is the author of Inadequate, Unprepared But Ready (God-Centered Leadership Lessons) and Inconceivable Seasons (Lessons of Faith and Favor for Women). She combined her clergy and leadership to create works that have been heralded as favorites in churches and book clubs.
She wrote More Job Offers – The Interviewer’s Handbook in response to the knowledge and skills gap in the interviewing process. The creation of More Job Offers – The Interviewer’s Handbook drew on Theresa’s greatest passions - professional development and training.
She is a member of the West Towns Illinois Chapter of The Links Incorporated, where she spearheaded a project to reduce the digital divide and assisted in sending vitamins to South Africa for AIDS victims. She regularly donated her time to Bridge Communities as a workshop facilitator for mentors. She was a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters for seven years. She was the Board Chairperson of Global Projects Help, a nonprofit organization which provides support to women and children in impoverished areas around the world. She served on the Board of Trustees at Paul Quinn College, in Dallas and the National Consortium of Black Women in Ministry, in Chicago.
Theresa is currently the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at One Hope United. In November 2016, she was unanimously elected as the Chairman-elect of the Board. Upon assuming the role as Chairman of the Board at One Hope United, in January 2017, Theresa will be the first African American to lead the august 121 year old institution.
Theresa serves on the board at Roseland Community Hospital Foundation. She is also a member of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP.
Theresa Dear is a consistently visible leader in the NAACP. She is the former Branch President of the DuPage County NAACP, where she led its growth to the largest in Illinois. As a member of the National Board of Directors, she has been consistently and unanimously re-elected. As a national board member, she serves on several national committees. In 2006 she was appointed to lead the national training initiatives for over 2,000 units in the Association. In 2008, she was appointed to the search committee to select the national President and CEO. She has led several committees under the leadership of Mr. Julian Bond and Ms. Roslyn M. Brock. In 2013 she appointed by Chairman Roslyn M. Brock to Chair the search committee for the new Chief Executive Officer, Cornell William Brooks (replacing Mr. Benjamin Todd Jealous).
For her outstanding leadership, Theresa has been recognized by many organizations including the Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha, NAACP, DuPage County Bar Association, Prevent Blindness America and the YWCA. At the NAACP’s 2011 National Convention, Theresa received the Keeper of the Flame award. In 2014, she received the NAACP’s National Youth Director’s Award for her consistent youth support. Theresa was also recognized by the Daily Herald and honored by the Top Ladies of Distinction.
Theresa speaks around the country. She speaks on topics related to women in leadership, diversity and inclusion and the changing landscape of civil rights and social justice.
Theresa is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal church. She has served at DuPage AME in Lisle, IL for 20 years in various ministerial and leadership capacities.
She spends much of her personal time volunteering at not for profit organizations, mentoring youth and women, traveling and spending time with family and friends.