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In 2015, Eric B. Lugo launched Conciencia Ventures LLC, an innovative practice with a mission to connect entrepreneurial and creative strategy to the social impact sector. Conciencia aims to drive the sustainability of Chicago’s vital non-profit ecosystem by deepening access to collaborative spaces and the capital necessary to build scale. To achieve this, Conciencia works with philanthropic institutions and non-profit organizations to heighten capacity and impact by leveraging assets, technology, and talent.
Before creating Conciencia, Eric held the role of Vice President in Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he was responsible for the local implementation and communication of the global philanthropic strategy including $15.8 million in grant-making and special project activities in Illinois and Minnesota. In this capacity, Eric led activities in three core areas – workforce readiness, financial capability, and small business development, along with coordinating efforts across various stakeholders including internal senior business partners, not-profit organizations, public sector officials, civic leaders and firm clients. In 2013, Eric participated on the design team of JPMorgan Chase New Skills at Work Initiative; a $250 million, 5-year global philanthropic commitment to workforce development programs addressing economic and skills priorities in key markets. He led New Skills at Work Chicago launch activities, including development of the Chicago Skills Gap Report and restructuring of the Chicago workforce investment portfolio. Eric also played leadership roles in diversity strategies at the local and global level, including representing Corporate Responsibility on the Hispanic Segment Initiative task force, chaired by firm’s Chief Diversity Officer and Head of the Investment Bank. He additionally served as Co-Chair of Adelante Chicago and as a member of the Adelante Global team – the firm’s Latino-serving Business Resource Group focused on employee professional development, recruitment, retention, and volunteerism.
Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Eric held the position of Senior Development Officer at Instituto del Progreso Latino, a leading workforce development, education, and civic organization in the city of Chicago, where he played a transformative role in the institution’s growth including raising nearly $15 million in new private and public revenue. From securing initial investments that lead to the creation of a collaboration serving hundreds of Latina single mothers, to spurring an endeavor that integrated career and financial coaching into the core of Instituto’s alternative high school, Eric’s presence cemented relationships with private philanthropic organizations that significantly expanded Instituto’s capacity to innovate across workforce and education. Additionally, he played a lead role in the creation of the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, Chicago’s first charter high school dedicated to educating and training the next generation of healthcare professionals.
Eric is a currently a member of the Nuestro Futuro: Latino Heritage Endowment Steering Committee at the Chicago Community Trust, the Chicago Council at the United Way of Metro Chicago, as well as serves on the Board of Directors of Chicago Run. In prior years, Eric served as a member of the Aspen Institute – Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund Leadership Council, the Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance, and was a member of the 2013 State of Illinois Creative Economy Taskforce convened by Arts Alliance Illinois and Governor Pat Quinn. In 2015, Eric was one of 2 leaders in Chicago selected for the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship, the German Marshall Fund’s flagship leadership development program. He is a 2016 Hispanics in Philanthropy NextGen Fellow, and a member of the 2012 Inaugural Class of the Edgar Fellowship, developed by former Governor Jim Edgar in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Institute for Government and Public Affairs. Eric received his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and an interdisciplinary minor in Latina/o Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and earned a Masters in Business Administration and Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Loyola University Chicago, Quinlan School of Business. He currently resides in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago.