Growing up in Long Grove, Illinois, a predominantly all-white Chicago suburb, The Picardy Group's founder, Kip Bordelon, discovered very early on that diversity is something that can be rare in many places. In Long Grove, Kip attended pre-K, kindergarten, and grade school at an elementary school where he and his two siblings were the only other black students in the school. The only diversity in his life at that time was at home with his parents and siblings. The street name he and his family lived on is Picardy Court. The company's name is a constant reminder that many places are not naturally diverse. And while this is a reality in many communities, it should not prevent students and adults from pursing more diversity and acquiring the cultural awareness that may otherwise remain outside their life experiences. The Picardy Group is passionate about reaching individuals and institutions interested in growing a diverse presence and reaching its diversity goals.

LEON (KIP) BORDELON IV, Founder & Director of Operations and Programming

For more than a decade, Kip has worked at the United States General Services Administration where he has awarded and managed contracts worth millions of dollars and written, implemented and enforced federal acquisition policy. Kip’s interest in policy affairs began at an early age. Although he is a life-long Chicagoan, he attended Lawrence Academy, a New England independent/boarding school, where he discovered his passion for American History, the law, and the importance of diversity. Kip graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science. He then earned a master’s degree in Public Policy from the same university- where he also won the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Award for leadership. While matriculating at UIC, he founded the student group Diversity in Demand. In 2012, Kip established The ASSI Group, now The Picardy Group, where he has provided recruiting and consulting services to federal agencies, New England independent schools, Chicago Public Schools, and local private schools and has been a guest participant on panels at conferences and similar events. 

  “You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed.”Frederick Douglass


Dominique Bordelon-Bristol is a financial planner with an expertise in financial analysis. Over the past 12 years, she has worked in wealth management for J.P. Morgan, Ameriprise and Chase Bank. Dominique has provided financial planning for individuals and families as well as succession planning for businesses throughout the Chicago area. As an educator, she is a stand-out instructor with the Junior Achievement program in Flossmoor, Illinois. She also owns and operates The Planning Cottage, a financial planning corporation focusing on educating families on money management. Dominique's academic activities began in high school. She attended Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where she was a member of the National Honor Society. Dominique holds a master's degree in Business Administration from National Louis University and an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

 "Education remains the key to both economic and political empowerment." -Barbara Jordan

TATIANA S. RIDGEWAY, Director of Marketing & Communications

Tatiana is a young business professional who was raised in school communities that embrace diversity. She attended Jones College Prep in Chicago's Loop area. She is a recent graduate of the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. In her spare time, Tatiana loves to create through all mediums of art and design, a passion that has inspired increased innovation, imagination, and a bit of flair in her own marketing and research endeavors. Tatiana is the architect of our marketing and communications campaign and the heartbeat of our student outreach and intern programs.

 “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”-Zora Neale Hurston

LYDIA K. YOUNG, Director of Facilitation & Training

Lydia Katherine Young has served as an educator for nearly ten years. She has taught high school at each grade level specializing in language arts and the social sciences. She continues to create and facilitate specifically designed curricula to enrich any environment that works to serve a growing diverse population.  Lydia holds a bachelor of arts degree in Secondary Education, with an emphasis in the social sciences, from the University of Kansas and a master’s in Cultural Education and Social Policy from Loyola University Chicago. Lydia began exploring her own multicultural/multi-racial background to better understand its effect on her own education. Through this journey, Lydia has enhanced her ability to serve, teach, and facilitate challenging yet important conversations regarding issues of diversity. With her love for service and multiculturalism, Lydia continues to reach people daily. 

 "As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart, look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls." -Sonia Sotomayor