© 2019 by Illinois Tollway Technical Assistance Program Administered by GMA

MEET OUR TEAM

The Illinois Tollway Technical Assistance Program administered by GMA is a team of professionals with extensive experience in business management and construction.

After you submit a Program Application, you will receive notification of your acceptance. 

 

If accepted, the next step is to book an appointment with one of our team members to obtain a business assessment.  The business assessment is normally conducted at your business and will take approximately one hour to complete.  If your business location is unsuitable, you and the team member with whom you book will discuss this prior to the actual appointment.

Cornelius Griggs
Executive Director

Executive Director, Cornelius Griggs is the president of GMA Construction Group.  Cornelius has over a decade in the construction industry having formerly worked at Walsh and Clark Construction.  He has extensive experience working in multiple forms of construction delivery systems including Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, CM at Risk and Public Private Partnerships (P3).  He has direct experience in estimating on public and private projects and providing direct oversight of projects from pre-construction through project closeout.  He serves as an Adjunct Lecturer and Program Chair for the Associates of Arts and Science Degree Program in Construction Management at Kennedy King College.  Cornelius is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Masters of Science in Executive Management for Design & Construction and an Illinois Institute of Technology Masters of Industrial Technology and Operation with concentrations in Industrial Facilities/Construction Management.

Alex Polanco
Director of Established Business Training

He is the former Vice President of Operations/Senior Project Manager Old Veterans Construction.  He has vast knowledge of all phases of construction including project planning, supervision, project quality control functions, cost management, project scheduling and coordination of subcontractors.  He is extremely knowledgeable regarding quality control records and documentation throughout all applicable areas of construction contract performance; quality control of design, inspection and site construction activity; and documents audits for  non-compliance and deficiencies.  Alex has 10 years of experience with SBA, specifically with the Mentor-Protégé Program.

Suzanne Stantley
Asst. Program Director and Director of Emerging Business Training

Suzanne Stantley, sstantley@griggsandmitchell.com

312-436-0301

She is a trained marketer with significant experience and engagement with community, government and other stakeholders.  She provides direct training in multiple disciplines including surety bonding, business plan writing, pricing model determination, guerrilla marketing and more.  Through her career, Suzanne has produced more than 40 conferences, meetings and programs including the creation of training programs in construction and surety bonding.  Suzanne holds a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), is a licensed Surety Bond Producer and a graduate of the Founders Institute, an internationally recognized program to assist businesses to gain a broader understanding of the integration of innovation into existing or start-up businesses. 

Ayton Taylor
Director of Marketing and Established Business Outreach

He is experienced in banking and finance relationship building and providing consultation to construction and other professional services businesses.  His experiences include providing business assessments, capacity building strategies and review of financial statements.  He is experienced in marketing having held marketing management positions with several multiple majority corporations. Ayton  is a  symposium facilitator with a B.S. degree from Northwestern University.

Deborah Whitaker
Director of Client Support Services

She is an accountant and business development consultant with a long history of assisting small to medium size businesses to grow.  She provides financial, business support/advisory services, capacity building and strategic business alignment strategies.  She has experience in securing construction client businesses funding through banks, factoring companies and alternative lending organizations; bonding, general contractor licenses and construction liability insurance.  Deborah has a B.S. Degree in Accounting and over 20 years of accounting experience with Accenture, Chase Bank and AIG.