Sarita S. Connelly
Chicago Chapter Director
Marine Corps Spouse
Sarita Connelly, Chapter Director- Chicago, Blue Star Families, is the spouse of an Active Duty United States Marine Corps Reservist, Family Readiness Office Volunteer and non-profit consultant. She has supported Command Family Readiness Offices at the Air Squadron, Civil Affairs Group, and Air Group levels over the past nine years, providing information resources around: personal and professional development; fitness and wellness; and facilitating opportunities for unit and family community engagement.
Ms. Connelly received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and has twenty years of private sector experience in the banking and investment industry, specializing in institutional sales and trading, state and local municipal relationship management, institutional asset management, private wealth management and worked as a Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager for a Service-Disabled, Veteran Owned Investment Bank and Broker Dealer.
A business volunteer focusing efforts in the veteran advisory and VSO space for six years, Ms. Connelly is a former Chair of BMO Financial Group’s North American veteran employee resource group managing programs in: veteran employment, mentoring, and retention; and employee engagement around veteran and military organizations. She was an original member of the Commercial Club of Chicago Civic Committee Veteran’s Working Group and Illinois Joining Forces Financial Literacy Sub-Committee; and a former Board of Directors Member of the USO of Illinois and Volunteers of America IL. She additionally served as a business community volunteer for the Women Veteran Sub-committee of the City of Chicago Advisory Council of Veteran Affairs.
Additionally, Ms. Connelly has fifteen years of non-profit advisory experience in the arts, education, civic and health sectors. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Oak Park Area Arts Council; the Advisory Board of Directors for the Roosevelt University Chicago College of the Performing Arts; served on the Union League of Chicago Membership Committee; and serves as a Volunteer Ambassador for the Lupus Research Alliance. A retired professional dancer, she spends her free time as a guest teaching-artist and choreographer for Joffrey Ballet Chicago’s Community Engagement Division, Visceral Dance Chicago and Loyola University Chicago.
Recent awards and acknowledgements of business, advocacy and arts contributions include: 2019 Nomination -Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the year; 2017 Nomination – Chicago United Business Leaders of Color Award; 2016 Nomination – 3Arts Award for Dance Choreography – for recognition to exceptional Chicago-based women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities; 2015 USMC 3rd Civil Affairs Group Semper Facite Differentiam Award – for Community Advocacy; and the 2013 BMO Harris Bank African American League of Professionals, Darryl F. Grisham Award – for Employee Advocacy.