Cory Thames

Business Leadership Council

Cory earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree from Indiana University. Thames, 34, is a lifelong Chicagoan and proud resident of the South Shore community.  Currently, he serves as Chief Engagement Officer for the Business Leadership Council (BLC) – Chicago’s premier association of African American entrepreneurs and senior executives. 

Most recently, Cory served as Deputy Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) where he led the Intergovernmental Affairs and Community Engagement divisions for one of the City of Chicago’s largest departments. Prior to CDA, Cory served as Deputy Director of Community Engagement for the Obama Foundation helping to lead efforts to bring the Obama Presidential Center to the south side of Chicago.

Cory has long been an active advocate in his community, serving as the Chairman of The South Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, he is passionate about ensuring South Shore’s business community not only has the tools and resources necessary to operate, but the ongoing support and network required to thrive. Cory also serves on the Board of Trustees for Chicago State University and as a board member for Emerald South.