40 Under Forty 2023

I t didn’t take Araceli De La Cruz long to realize that Kenyatta Beverly was the perfect fit to serve as Director of Labor Relations for a net- work of 15 elementary and high school campuses. At that time, De La Cruz, who is now a judge with the Circuit Court of Cook County, was General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer for Acero Charter Schools, Inc., which served almost 7,000 students. She was searching for a new Director of Labor Relations and was on the hunt for someone with labor and employment experience, strong verbal and written communication skills, a dynamic personality and a genuine appreciation of Acero’s educational mission. Beverly, she said, met all those requirements and more. “Ms. Beverly joined the Acero legal team and hit the ground running,” De La Cruz said. “We worked together for a little over a year and during that time she learned and accomplished so much. Ms. Beverly was ef- fective and respected in her role as the main conduit between Acero management and union leadership from the Chicago Teachers Union.” That praise isn’t rare for Beverly, who now serves as Labor and Em- ployment Counsel for the Davey Tree Expert Company, one of the larg- est employee-owned companies in the United States. She has been recognized as one of the sharpest legal minds in the labor and employment law arena, receiving such honors as the 2021 Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leader Award from Diversity MBA Magazine, the 2022 Salute! Top Women in Law Award from Law Bulletin Media, and the 2023 Next Generation Award from the Cook County Bar Asso- ciation. In 2023, she was also selected as a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow. Count Kathryn Conway, an attorney with Chicago’s Power Rogers, as another local lawyer impressed with Beverly’s abilities. Conway point- ed to Beverly’s time at the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, where she maintained an impressive record of successfully representing State of Illinois agencies in complex grievance arbitration hearings. Conway also noted Beverly’s experience as an Administrative Law Judge at the Illinois Labor Relations Board where she presided over multi-day hearings in complex representation and unfair labor practice cases.”Kenyatta is a leader in the law and in our profession,” Conway said. “Few lawyers at the age of 39 have this depth of experience and proven success in their practice.” Beverly prioritizes consistently giving back to her community, espe- cially serving as a mentor to many, from children to young attorneys. She served as President of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association, is a founding member of The Force of Lawyers Against Sexual Harassment (FLASH), serves on Girls Inc. of Chicago’s Board of Directors, and is a member of several other prominent boards and organizations. “Kenyatta Beverly is not only an exceptional and accomplished at- torney in Illinois, but also a dedicated philanthropist who consistently donates her time, money, experience, skills and talents to help better her community,” said Christian Conway, attorney with Chicago’s Neal and Leroy.


AGE 39

FIRM The Davey Tree Expert Company

LAW SCHOOL University of Wisconsin Law School

AREA OF PRACTICE Labor and employment law


Few lawyers at the age of 39 have this depth of experience and proven success in their practice.”



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