Martina Hone
May 2, 2024

YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Announces Tina Hone as Chief Economic Inclusion & Equity Officer  

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is pleased to announce the promotion and role expansion for Martina “Tina” Hone as Chief Economic Inclusion & Equity Officer. Under the establishment of the Economic Equity Institute, the YMCA’s economic equity portfolio focuses on workforce development, financial education, entrepreneurship, and homeownership. Now the Y’s economic inclusion efforts will expand the focus on equity to also include health equity, digital equity, and food security. 

“Tina has been a social-justice champion over her entire career," said Dorri McWhorter, President & Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. “Individuals cannot reach their highest potential and build safe, thriving, healthy communities without economic security. Tina’s passion and demonstrated ability to make change and positively impact lives of people and empower our neighbors through the YMCA platform is an inspiration to us all.” 

As the daughter of an African American mother and Yugoslavian political refugee father, Hone has seen the challenges facing marginalized communities firsthand.  

“I am deeply committed to justice and am proud of my career as an advocate for equity across the education, health, digital, and economic spaces, as well as criminal justice and immigration reform,” Hone said. “Through interconnected programs centered on financial empowerment and wealth building, the Y is creating significant impact for the communities we serve and working to build a truly equitable and inclusive economy for everyone.”  

Hone joined the YMCA of Metro Chicago in 2023 as Executive Director, Economic Equity. She and her team have delivered and expanded programming, including introducing the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship program that brought $1.1 million in funding to the Y to increase the number of qualified construction workers and improve racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the trades; growing the ComEd CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Youth Academy, which began as one cohort in 2023 and will reach four cohorts in 2024; and expanding Swim for Success, which will receive $675,000 in funding from the State of Illinois to teach individuals to swim, train them as lifeguards, connect them with career opportunities, and, ultimately, hire them at the YMCA and connect them with other employers. 

Prior to joining the YMCA, Hone served as Chief Engagement Officer for Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chief Equity Officer at YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, and in various senior roles in Washington, DC, where she spent the bulk of her career — from roles as Associate Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at the US Department of Commerce to Policy Director for the Education & Workforce Committee in the US House of Representatives. In 2023, she ran for Chicago City Council in the 5th Ward, losing by fewer than 500 votes and deepening her commitment to community engagement. 

Hone received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. After practicing law for several years, Hone joined one of the first Teach for America cohorts, informing her perspective and policy work on the education-to-career continuum.