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Melissa Conyears-Ervin: The Path to Purpose / By: Vidhi Puparia

Chicago born and raised. Southsider. Product of CPS. Elected Representative.

These are some of the qualities that make Melissa Conyears-Ervin a treasurer for the Chicagoan people – a treasurer for you.

As the first in her family to obtain a degree from college, Melissa Conyears-Ervin started her career in finance. Although this job filled her need for esteem, it didn’t give her the feeling of fulfillment that she longed for. That’s when Melissa Conyears-Ervin left corporate America to begin the stride up to her political career searching for a better way to serve her community.

When the opportunity for the treasurer position rolled in, Melissa Conyears-Ervin thought she would be of more service with her expertise in finance. As the first elected treasurer, she has helped millions of Americans plan for their futures and better understand how finance affects their lives.

Madam Treasurer handles Chicago’s $9 billion portfolio which she is happy to announce has done well through the challenges that the pandemic has posed in the last two years. However, the same can’t be said about the people of this city; small businesses have suffered and many establishments have been forced to close their doors. In order to help mitigate these challenges, the Chicago treasurer’s office has invested 60 million dollars in loans. Madam Treasurer explains, “Being an elected representative, I never want to lose focus on how people are doing, because we can make money as a city, but how we impact lives is what really matters.”

Another key issue that Madam Treasurer has prioritized is systemic racism. The death of George Floyd gave people a shared language to talk about racial inequities. In the wake of the death of George Floyd, the Advancing Equity and Banking Commission brought together the major CEOs of banks across Illinois to discuss discrimination within the banking industry and how they would work to introduce more young people to jobs in the finance industry. In addition, Madam Treasurer has also taken steps to divest from fossil fuels. This is a major step for the city of Chicago to change its over-reliance on fossil fuels.

Madam Treasurer wants to continue to set an example of what real difference looks like through banking, talent development, community investment, and so much more. Her current initiatives and goals are what have helped Madam Treasurer find a purpose in her career. They give her the drive to fulfill her role as Chicago’s treasurer successfully.


Melissa Conyear-Ervins, City Treasurer of Chicago,


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