Omar Shareef is currently the president of Universal Construction Services Corporation. Mr. Shareef is the founder and current president of the African American Contractors Association (AACA), a professional association dedicated to business development, professional ethics and standards, job procurement, equitable financing and bonding for minority vendors.
AACA's membership includes a diverse mixture of construction firms and contractors. Mr. Shareef has achieved national recognition for in-depth labor
research, practical construction training forums, legitimate and even-handed negotiations, and a thorough understanding of media and community business relations. He has headed the 300-plus membership of AACA since 1989, and the value of the contracts which he has facilitated and/or negotiated over the last decade is over $200 million.
Under Mr. Shareef's guidance, AACA has established itself as a strong competitor among the construction community, in diversity and business development training. He has brought AACA from a local organization, to a Midwest regional organization, which has offices in Chicago, Illinois; Rockford, Illinois; Peoria, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Detroit, Michigan.
While attending Loop Jr. College (now known as Harold Washington College), he served as Student Government President and Business Representative. While there, he was also Public Relations Director for the Concerned Student Coalition, which was organized for the purpose of assisting the City of Atlanta with its search for the 21 Missing Children of Atlanta. In fact, in 1979, one hundred
fifty (150) students in this coalition went to Atlanta to help search for the children.
In 1986, Mr. Shareef received three major awards for his outstanding business achievements: The New Contractor of the Year, Outstanding Leadership in Service and Business Award and The Presidential Citation Award. It should be noted that he is the only businessman to receive all three awards in just one three month period.
For many years, Mr. Shareef has been active in voter education and registration efforts. In 1992, he was chairman of the campaign for the first successful bid for Congressman of the First Congressional District of Illinois for Bobby L. Rush. He was also President of the Second Ward Democratic Organization. In 1988, Omar was one of the co-chairmen of the Chicago Urban League's Golden Fellowship Dinner.
Shareef is a frequent speaker, and popular panelist in areas of Affirmative Action, Supplier Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Government. In 1997, Mr. Shareef developed and implemented several programs which are still utilized by the Chicago Public Schools. They are: The Quick Pay Program, designed to expedite payments to M/WBEs; The Target Market Program, designed to ensure that certain classes of work will have African American contractors performing the work; The Link Deposit Program, designed to provide financial support and lines of credit to M/WBEs and the Vendor Outreach Program, designed to find qualified African American contractors to work in the CPS Capital Improvement Program. Through these efforts, the City of Chicago received national attention which included recognition from President Clinton for its school renovation program. Through Omar's steadfast leadership, AACA joined forces with IIT in 1997 to help the university increase its use of minority-and women-owned business. This agreement was consummated through a contract between IIT and AACA which resulted in the appointment of the first-ever Director of Equal Opportunity/M/WBE Program.
Mr. Shareef was the administrator of the Construction Trades Training for over 30 students through the Youthbuild Program jointly with Genesis Housing
Development Corporation and DePaul University. He is also a full-time instructor at Malcolm X College, teaching “Construction Management & Contract Procurement”.
Mr. Shareef’s recognitions, honors and awards include: New Contractor of the Year Award from Black Contractors United (1986); Outstanding Leadership in Service and Business Award from the Coalition of Urban Professionals (1986); Presidential Citation Award from the Chicago Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO) (1986); Award of Appreciation from Affirmative Action Division of the Chicago Urban League (1987); Award of Appreciation for Affirmative Action & Membership Campaign from the Chicago Urban League (1988); Outstanding Young Men of America (1988); Member of the Cosmopolitan Chamber of Commerce (1988); Appreciation Award from Turner Construction Company and the City of Chicago (1988) (1995); Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church, Honor Award for Outstanding Community Services (1989); Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Voter's Registration (2nd Ward Organization) (1990); Certificate of Appreciation from the American Association for Affirmative Action Region V (1990); Humanitarian Award, Butler's Career Academy (1991); Outstanding and Dedicated Service from LeMoyne Owen College Alumni Association, Chicago Chapter (1991); Certificate of Appreciation from Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority (1992); A Resolution adopted by City Council/presented by Aid. Bobby L. Rush (1992); VIP Delegate to the Democratic National Convention (1992); Proclamation from Richard Phelan, President, Cook County Board (1993); Letter from President Clinton (1993,1994, 1996); Proclamation from Governor Jim Edgar (1995); Chairman of the Ethnic Heritage Parade (1995-1997); Certificate of Participation Construction Management Program from Malcolm X College (1996); The Black Man on The Move Award (1996); Proclamations from Mayor Richard M. Daley (1994) (1997); Certificate of Appreciation from The Robert Nathaniel Dett Elementary School (1997); Proclamation from John Stroger, President, Cook County Board (1997); Radio Talk Show Host "Let's Talk Business" WSSD FM (1997); The Black Man on The Move Award for Community Leadership (1999); Who's Who in Business Organizations,CRAIN'S Chicago Business (1999); Who's Who of America (1999). Proclamation from Governor George H. Ryan (2000); Instructor, “How to Start Your Own Business”, Malcolm X College (2000); National Black Expo’s “Salute to Black Presidents Award” (Category Construction), (2001); Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Men of Honor Award (2001); Appointed to National Board of Directors for Rainbow/PUSH Coalition (2002); Who’s Who in Business Organizations, (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003);
Appointed to Dan Ryan Taskforce (IDOT) (2004). Mr. Shareef inspired many people and it is proven by his service awards. Mr.Shareef received Outstanding and Excellent Service Award for G-d’s in 2004. Mr. Shareef received the Business Advocacy Award presented by Rev. Jesse L Jackson Sr. (2019).
Mr. Shareef’s educational background include an Associate Liberal Arts Degree from Loop Jr. College (now known as Harold Washington College). He has also earned 30 hours toward a business degree at Roosevelt University. He holds certificates in Hotel & Motel Management from Wilbur Wright College, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (U.S. Department of Labor), and Contractors Management Training Program; City of Chicago (Department of Purchases, Contracts and Supplies); and a Certificate in Construction Management Program from Malcolm X College. He is a business man but an amazing father, with two sons and two daughters, a U.S. citizen, and long-time Chatham area resident. Shareef’s leisure time activities include tennis, travel, and boating.
Patrolling construction sites within the community: AACA PATROL will train volunteers and paid staff to patrol the community for all public and private construction to help serve as a conduit among businesses, community organizations, elected officials, municipal agencies, (city, county, state, and federal).
To ensure that minorities and women have a strong presence at the sites patrolled and are given fair chance. Minorities must be allowed to work and make a living on projects within their own community.
To ensure that sites within our community are safe and in compliance with industry rules and regulations. We will be distributing color-coded citations according to the nature of the violation noted as such: (White (Notice); Yellow (Warming); Red (Total. Violation); Green (Immediate Action). We will also be working with elected officials and other government agencies in reporting those sites found in violation.
Provide security services to construction sites with patrol cars equipped with laptops computers and strobe lights to facilitate communication. Given the growing need of security and protection within the community, this will be an important part of our venture.
AACA PATROL has a 30 minute TV Show, hosted by Erika Hammond, dedicated to the community. It was created to inform its viewers about prospective jobs and contracts in the community to make sure they get their chance. Its also educates in different aspects of the industry as well as improves and enhances skills already obtained.