"Meeting You Where You Are"                                                                                                                Contact Us:  877-54-CHARM (24276)

Become a Mentor                                                         Volunteer                                                                      Find a Mentor

Our Board of Directors

Michele Traylor, Chairman of the Board

Michele Traylor is a passionate and committed leader dedicated to serving.  With the strong desire to help in the journey of encouraging and empowering women and girls, she opened her heart and home to begin an intimate setting of mentoring that eventually led to the beginning of this thriving 501c3 organization in 2007. 

As a result of her leadership, CHARM has financially aided 8 students attend college.

For the last 18 years, she has worked in the IT department at Advocate Health Care, where she manages the installation of new telephony platforms for Advocate’s 12 hospitals and over 300 sites of care.  Michele is married, with 2 adult children

Karen Walker, Vice Chair

Karen Walker is a CPA and investment banker with 28 years of experience. She is currently a Managing Director and head of Siebert Brandford Shank's Chicago office. The former Chicago Transit Authority CFO, Ms. Walker managed CTA’s $1.2 billion budget and $3 billion capital plan and served on the CTA Retirement Board of Trustees. Before joining CTA, she served as the Illinois Finance Authority’s Finance Director; Managing Director for investment banking firms; and Assistant Chief Accountant with the U.S. SEC. She earned a B.S. from the University of Illinois and MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles.


Bessie Carter, Board Treasurer

Bessie Carter has worked professionally as an Administrative Assistant for over 50 years.  Currently, and for the past 30 years, Ms. Carter is employed by the Federal government and is the Administrative Assistant to a Presidential Appointee. Ms. Carter serves as the Account Manager for CHARM.

Ms. Carter was born in Chicago and is an alumnus of Wendell Phillips High School and holds a degree in Liberal Arts.  She is the mother of three daughters – all members of CHARM – and 4 grandchildren.  She is a current member of the NAACP and an active member of the Apostolic Church of God

Herman Dill, Director

Herman Dill is a member of the Board of Directors for Charm. He is a graduate of DePaul University with a Bachelor’s degree from the school of Accountancy. He is a CPA and he also owns and operates a successful consulting company which focuses on implementing Financial Software solutions for some of the largest companies in the world. He is an active participant in the community; he also serves on another Non-Profit 501C board with an educational focus. He is married to Lorna, his wonderful wife of 25 years, and he also has two wonderful and successful children (Alyzza and Matthew).


Christina Hickland, Director

Christina Hickland, an HR Manager with Xerox Business Services. She is responsible for associate engagement, employee relations, payroll, on boarding, succession planning and retention.  She has worked in various industries including: non-profit, health care management, business process outsourcing, and IT consulting.  She also serves as the HR Director for CHARM.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Alabama A&M University and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Management.  Christina is married with a daughter.

Ericca Legardy, Director

Ericca Legardy is a graduate of Howard University. She has had a successful career in Sales and Marketing for over 20 years with several Fortune 500 companies including her present employer of Johnson and Johnson.  She is a mother of an 11 year daughter and 8 year old son. In addition to working full time and raising her children in the south suburbs of Chicago, she has been committed to volunteerism.  She is a Wish Grantor for the Make a Wish foundation, a weekly volunteer at  Sunrise Assisted Living Center and  has previously volunteered at the James Jordan Boys and Girls club of Chicago.  She most recently assumed a mentor role with the Charm Organization.  She lives by the saying “To whom much is given, much is expected

Dion Smith, Director

Ronald Smith (Dion), a graduate of Lewis University with a degree in Criminal Social Justice. He is married and a father of 6. Retired from the Village of Calumet Park as a Police Sergeant; and also work with The Department of Children & Family Services. Dion is also a committed member of the Fraternal Order of Police and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He believes he can bring a wealth of experience in mentoring the youth which he has done for over 20 years. In addition to CHARM, he currently mentor and co-facilitate a mentoring program at Park Manor Elementary School in Chicago called “Real Men Read” and have volunteered in the After School Matters program in Chicago through various social service agencies. Dion believes he has a moral responsibility to do his part in creating more productive citizens and “positive” perceptions of our youth