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Sarita S Connelly


Ms. Connelly has over 20 years of private sector experience in the financial services, with specializations in fixed income institutional sales and trading, municipal banking relationship management, institutional asset management and private wealth management. She has the honor of being selected as a 2021 Nominee for the Chicago Business Leader of Color Awards.

A Certified Coach and a Non-Profit Executive, Sarita has spent the last 11 years as a practitioner and advocate in the DEI Strategy space. A business volunteer focusing efforts in the Arts and VSO/MSO industry, Connelly is a former Chair of BMO Financial Group’s North American veteran employee resource group managing programs in: veteran employment, mentoring, and retention; and employee engagement around veteran and military organizations ; served on the Boards of the USO of Illinois and Volunteers of America Illinois;  a business community volunteer for the Women Veteran Sub-committee of the City of Chicago Advisory Council of Veteran Affairs; and is a current member of the Commercial Club of Chicago Civic Committee Veterans Working Group.

Ms. Connelly currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Oak Park Area Arts Council, Chicago Dancers United, and the Chicago Dance History Project as well as the Advisory Board of Directors of Roosevelt University Chicago College of the Performing Arts and Blue Star Families – Chicago Chapter.

​As an Advocate for Military and Veteran Families and proud a USMC (Ret.) Spouse, Ms. Connelly  served as a USMC Family Readiness Office Volunteer, supporting Command Family Readiness Offices at the Air Squadron, Civil Affairs Group, and Air Group levels for 12  years, providing information resources around: personal and professional development; fitness and wellness; and facilitating opportunities for unit and family community engagement.  She currently sits on the University of Chicago Office of Military-Affiliated Communities' Family Readiness Group.

Ms. Connelly holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and Certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility from Loyola University Chicago and Venture Capital from Kaufman Fellows & Tech Stars.  She formerly held FINRA Series 7, 52, 63, and 66 Licenses.

​A retired professional dancer, she spends her free time as a guest teaching-artist and choreographer for Joffrey Ballet of Chicago Community Engagement, Chicago Parks - Dancing in the Parks and is an Adjunct Dance Faculty Member of Loyola University Chicago Dept of Fine and Performing Arts.

Recent awards and acknowledgements of business, advocacy and arts contributions include: 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Nominee for Military Spouse of the Year; 2019 3Arts Chicago Nominee - for recognition to exceptional Chicago-based women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities; 2017 Nomination for the Chicago United Business Leaders of Color Award; 2016 Nomination for the 3Arts Award for Dance Choreography; 2015 USMC 3rd Civil Affairs Group Semper Facite Differentiam Award - for Community Advocacy; and the 2013 BMO Harris Bank African American League of Professionals, Darryl F. Grisham Award - for Employee Advocacy

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