Gonzalez on Mayoral Transition Team

SBNM alumna works toward May 16 inauguration

CHICAGO, IL (March 18, 2011) — North Park University graduate Rebecca Gonzalez has been busy since Chicago's Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel chose her as one of the members of his transition team.

Gonzalez and other team members began the day after the February 22, 2011, mayoral election to help set short- and long-term goals for the city, consulting with a spectrum of stakeholders.

Gonzalez, who graduated from North Park with her master’s degree in nonprofit management in 2009, continues her duties as vice president of programs and operations for Casa Central, one of the leading social service networks in the nation.

Agreeing to take on the extra tasks was an easy decision, she says. “I want to contribute to the future, collaborate in defining the vision, build upon previous successes, identify growth opportunities, and respond at a time when demands and expectations for our city, government, economics, community, and people are high.”

Gonzalez first met Emanuel, who takes office May 16, while he was touring Chicago neighborhoods and stopped at Casa Central during the campaign. “He talked with participants and employees, exchanged ideas with young and old, and witnessed how lives are transformed and communities strengthened via the delivery of social services,” she says. “His passion for community life, attention to the individual person, and genuine interest in their needs bridged the purpose of our work and brought us to the path we are traveling today."

The educational experiences she had at North Park have been a great help in her work at Casa and prepared her for her latest responsibilities, Gonzalez says. “They equipped and sharpened my leadership skills to think innovatively, challenge the status quo to improve efficiencies and effectiveness, and confidently serve my community with the entrusted blessings, resources, and opportunities granted in life.”

Gonzalez was able to complete her degree while taking classes at Casa Central in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, where the University has been offering classes for more than 10 years.

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