Goodcity was founded in 1986 by Rev. William (Bud) Ipema as MidAmerica Leadership Foundation, a Christian organization dedicated to transforming Chicago’s under-served communities by equipping local leaders with the tools necessary to turn their visionary ideals into viable and self-sustaining organizations.
Having worked in under-resourced communities, Bud was burdened by the lack of productive outcomes from visions found in communities of need, even when accompanied with great passion and commitment. To address that challenge, Bud convened a group of 60 community, business, academic and faith leaders. They recognized that many vision holders had the ideas and drive to change their communities, but needed training, support, and access to resources to realize their visions.
Working with the Leadership Foundations of America (www.leadershipfoundations.org), Bud established MidAmerica Leadership Foundation to provide services and training to local leaders, empowering them to address community needs effectively and efficiently. Bud served as president for 15 years, overseeing the creation of 60 new initiatives, 85 percent of which still thrived five years after conception‒the critical mark for sustainability.
Under the leadership of Goodcity’s second president, Michael T. Ivers, MidAmerica’s name was changed to Goodcity in 2002 to better reflect the organization’s mission. With current president Jimmy D. Lee, Goodcity has evolved to include many new programs and services while remaining steadfast to its purpose of equipping local leaders to strengthen Chicago communities.
PRESIDENT BIO : Jimmy D. Lee
Jimmy D. Lee comes to Goodcity with vast experience in the government and nonprofit industries both locally and globally. In 2009, Jimmy was named one of Crain’s 40 Under 40 following his bid for the United States Congress in the 11th Congressional District of Illinois. He was the former Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under former President George W. Bush, the former Executive Director of the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, the former Commissioner for the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the former Special Assistant for the Governor of the State of Illinois under former Governor George H. Ryan.
Jimmy is very active here in the local community of Chicago. Currently, he serves as a board member for Renew Chicago, VanderCook College of Music, Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, and the Lake Geneva Conference Center. He was a former Chairman of the Nielsen Advisory Council, and former board member for the Near South Planning Board, the Asian American Small Business Development Center, National ABLE, and CAN TV Chicago. He and his wife, Sarah, live in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago