By JOANA SALIEVSKA
Jonathan T. Swain, President of Kimbark Beverage Shoppe and Eat Drink and Be Events, has been appointed the next president and CEO of LINK Unlimited Scholars.
According to the organization’s website, LINK Unlimited Scholars is a mentoring and scholarship program which “connects economically disadvantaged African American high school students with mentors, resources, and foundational skills required for success as they advance into, through and beyond college.”
The LINK program was started by John and Carolyn Palmer in 1966. According to the LINK website, the two “mentored an African American child through four years of high school and enlisted their friends to do the same.”
Swain was born and raised in Hyde Park. He has degrees from Duke University, Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He has spent 20 years working in legal, business, government, and non-profit sectors. He is the first alumnus of LINK Unlimited Scholars to lead the organization.
“I’m honored, and grateful to the Board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of which I’m a product,” said Swain in a statement release by the organization. “We’ve produced innovative, hardworking and insightful scholars over the years and it’s been great to see our mentorship program’s impact far beyond Chicago. This is a terrific opportunity for students with potential and drive to benefit from mentors that help guide them on a path to success.”
Swain’s term will begin on July 1. He is replacing current CEO and President Dr. Roslind Blasingame-Buford. Blasingame-Buford is moving out of state after serving for three and a half years as president of the organization.
“Jonathan is a remarkable leader who has been very supportive to me over the years,” said Blasingame-Buford. “He was the co-architect of LINK’s strategic plan, and has been instrumental to the agency’s success. I am delighted with the board’s decision, and I’m confident he will continue to advance LINK’s mission.”