Get to Know the SomerCor Board of Directors: Margy Sweeney

Get to know the SomerCor Board of Directors! Our Board is comprised of accomplished leaders that span the financial service industry and are dedicated to our mission. This week, meet Board Chairman, Margy Sweeney, who is the Founder and CEO of Akrete.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional experience:

I’ve spent 28 years in the commercial real estate and financial services industries, and 12 years ago I founded Akrete, a consulting firm focused on thought leadership, public relations and marketing now ranked as the national #3 PR firm for real estate finance and investment.  As the leader of a woman-owned business (WBE), I focus on making sure that our clients, people and stakeholders have what they need to be successful articulating and amplifying thought leadership to financial and real estate audiences. I’m a member of the Urban Land Institute, Commercial Real Estate Executive Women (CREW), CoreNet Global, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and a variety of other professional organizations focused on economic development, women in business and small business leadership. I’m the Chairman of the SomerCor Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee of IMEC, a regular SomerCor collaborator.  

I live in Evanston with my partner Jeff and in my free time, I’ve traveled to six out of seven continents. I love spending time with my family including two adult daughters, a son-in-law and an enthusiastic poodle named Ginger.

Why were you interested in serving on the SomerCor Board:

Expanding economic opportunity to women and minorities is a passion of mine—and nothing expands economic opportunity like access to capital.  I’m proud that during my seven years on the SomerCor Board of Directors that we have increased both Board and Executive diversity and are serving a more diverse set of business owners every year.  Additionally, I bring experience with board governance and organizational leadership to my service to the SomerCor board, having advised leaders in organizations that range from large banks and global real estate corporations to small businesses on topics such as business strategy, market position, message development, crisis communications and thought leadership development, among other areas.

What are your goals for SomerCor’s growth and our impact on small businesses:

Access to capital is more challenging in 2023 than ever before in recent history.  I believe that programs like the SBA 504 program, the Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF), the Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) and other programs that SomerCor offers are critical to ensuring that small businesses can continue to expand and thrive despite the current economic headwinds. As access to capital tightens, women and minority-owned businesses traditionally experience the pullback first for a variety of reasons; I believe SomerCor can contribute to helping them succeed in good times and bad.  As SomerCor continues on its path to expand the diversity of our borrower set, my goal is that our impact will expand to an ever-diversifying set of entrepreneurs. 

About SomerCor

The SomerCor mission is to grow businesses, create jobs, and increase impactful investment in every community through the SBA 504 loan program and other financing and grant initiatives. SomerCor serves the entire state of Illinois and Kenosha and Rock counties in Wisconsin.