Three new commissioners take their seat on Chicago Housing Authority's Board

July 17, 2018 01:46 PM

Press contacts:
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Molly Sullivan: (312) 786-3344;
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646;

CHICAGO (July 17, 2018) - The Chicago Housing Authority announced Tuesday three new members that will serve on the agency’s Board of Commissioners.

Community advocate Debra Parker and Chicago businessmen James Matanky and Bill Thanoukos were appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Parker, who will be the first Board member to represent Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participants, has been a community advocate for more than 23 years. She is a member of the HCV Participant Council, and has served as Vice President of the Altgeld Gardens Local Advisory Council and was a voting member of the Working Group there. An advocate for improving quality-of-life for low-income families, Parker has traveled the country speaking on policies that affect people she serves. She is known in her community as a role model, mentor and consensus builder, and has served as a liaison between residents and local officials. After working for over a decade at Holabird & Root, a Chicago architectural firm, Parker formed her own company, Carol’s Consulting and Expediting Services, that assisted small minority businesses with architectural administrative tasks, licensing and permits. She studied Organizational Leadership at Roosevelt University.

Matanky is Chief Executive Officer of Matanky Realty Group, a commercial real estate firm founded in 1955. He oversees the organization’s development, management, brokerage and consulting divisions. He serves as the North American Chair of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) Ambassador Program and is a member of the ICSC Open Air Committee and the ICSC Nexus program planning committee. Matanky has worked with the City of Chicago as a mentor for retail development and served on the Chicago Building Department’s Commissioner’s advisory panel, as well as on the Illinois Food Marketing Task Force, responsible for developing strategies to eliminate statewide food deserts. He has been a recipient of the Chicago Neighborhood Developer of the Year multiple times for his work in Chicago’s underserved communities.

Thanoukos is the co-owner and operator of the Greek Kitchen mini-chain of fast-casual restaurants and of Hub’s Restaurant, which was founded by his father. He has served as Director of Government Affairs for BMO Harris Bank and served as Chief of Staff to Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie D. Neely from 2007-2010. An attorney, Thanoukos managed the day-to-day operations of the Treasurer’s Office, working on a series of community outreach programs designed to assist neighborhood small business and increase youth and adult financial literacy. He managed intergovernmental relationships for the Office and for the Treasurer and coordinated speaking engagements and events. Thanoukos began his career as Assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs from 2005-07, developing, analyzing and advancing state legislative agendas for the City of Chicago concerning revenue, land conveyances, gun control and health care. 

“We are pleased to welcome three commissioners to the Board, including a new Commissioner who will represent HCV residents for the first time,” said Board Chairman John T. Hooker. “I look forward to collaborating with the new commissioners in helping CHA provide housing and create opportunity.”