about us

Mission and Vision

Chocolate Chips Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Lake County, IL. The mission is to instill a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Art and Math (S.T. E².A.M.™) in girls, with a goal of increasing interests in related careers among underrepresented girls. 

Chocolate Chips Association supports girls in reaching their full potential by providing mentors and an engaging interactive educational curriculum. We focus on instilling values that promote cultural awareness and healthy living. Participants graduate with a greater level of confidence and desire to succeed. Our ultimate goal is to serve girls within the local community.


Chocolate Chips Association Programs are for girls who are underserved and underrepresented in S.T.E².A.M.™



The program supports Lake County girls September through May.

Core S.T. E².A.M.™ Program- Supports girls in 2nd – 5th grades.  Program is hosted two Saturdays per month and includes S.T. E².A.M.™ workshops, life skills classes, and S.T. E².A.M.™ field trips. (Registration required)

Middle School and High School Program-  Supports girls in 6th - 12th grades with monthly meetings that include scientific workshops, field trips, and S.T. E².A.M.™ opportunities with our community and corporate partners. (Registration required)

S.T. E².A.M.™  Workshops  - Supports girls with monthly workshops at Lake County Schools and Community Organizations. (Special Request)



Karen J. Jones, MBA, PMP
President and CEO
Retired Chemist / Program Manager

Paula Jenkins, MBA
Funding Director
Owner, LFS Consulting LLC
John Maxwell Certified Team Member

Dr. Carla Little, Ph.D.
Scientific Director
State of IL DPH, Office of
Preparedness and Response

Karyn Quick, MBA
Technology Director
Pharmaceutical Head of Testing
Center of Excellence

Lenita SimsSpears, ESQ.

Regulatory Law Consultant and Adjunct Law Professor, JMLS

Jackie Tompkins, CPA, CMA


Lisa Wilkerson, R.Ph., MS, MBA

Marketing Director Pharmaceutical Commercial Marketing Director

Karen Jones, President/CEO

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Jones.

Karen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.

Growing up in inner-city Philadelphia, Service was always part of my life, on the receiving end. From involvement with the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Scouts, United Way and Salvation Army Programs. I am very blessed for all of the wonderful people and my mom that poured into me their love, their faith and their gifts which helped me to have a strong foundation of community.

I also started my love of Science at an early age and attended an Agriculture High School just outside Philadelphia, and prior to graduating from College with a degree in Chemistry, I volunteered in the lab at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office. After graduation, I moved to Dallas, Texas with family and started my career with Abbott in Research and Development. I recently retired from Abbott in 2016 after 33 years and while working at Abbott I continued supporting my community by volunteering with various groups involving youth.

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