2015 BootCamp Speakers and Panelists

A team of highly experienced leaders leads BootCamp sessions in the focus areas of mission, board governance, leadership style and capabilities, strategic management, financial management and planning, resource development, and legal and ethical issues. Additional professionals contribute to a Resource Development Panel and Executive Director Panel.

Rob Acton
Robert B. Acton, JD
Principal & Founder
Cause Strategy Partners

Rob Acton is principal and founder of Cause Strategy Partners, a consulting firm headquartered in New York City with consultants based in Chicago and New York.  Cause Strategy Partners provides strategic counsel to corporations, philanthropic foundations, and social good organizations.

Rob has more than two decades of experience founding, leading and scaling social good organizations as both a nonprofit chief executive and board leader. He has provided strategic counsel and consulting to numerous Fortune 500 companies. For the last ten years, Rob has frequently written, taught and presented on the topics of board service, nonprofit leadership, and social impact. 

In 2011, Rob was appointed executive director of Taproot Foundation in New York City and served as interim leader of the foundation’s work in Chicago in 2014, as well. Prior to Taproot, Rob led Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) in Chicago. He has served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law and North Park University in Chicago. He is a frequent presenter with the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management and was on the design team of the Center’s BootCamp for New Nonprofit CEOs.

Rob currently serves as vice chair of the board of directors and chair of the Development Committee of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, an organization representing and serving 1,500 member nonprofit organizations in the New York City region. He also serves on the Board Governance Committee of the NYC Anti-Violence Project. Previously, he was a founding board member of Illinois Legal Aid Online, served on the Advisory Board of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, and served on the Board of Trustees of Spring Arbor University. He was appointed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and confirmed by the Senate to serve on a state commission investigating police abuse.

Rob is a member of the Bar of the State of New York. He attended Spring Arbor University & Brooklyn Law School. He tweets @RobertActon.

Sandra Aponte
Sandra Aponte, MBA
Associate Program Officer for Arts and Culture
The Chicago Community Trust

Sandra Aponte is the associate program officer for arts and culture at The Chicago Community Trust.  Sandra is responsible for grant making and special projects and represents the Trust at cultural events. Sandra has several years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, specifically in the arts and education field. Prior to joining the Trust, Sandra was the school partnerships and programs manager at The Field Museum.  She managed collaborative partnerships among several institutions, universities and education systems to deliver educator professional development and student programs. She also supported the museum’s institutional advancement efforts in securing funds for the school partnerships and programs division. From 2006-2009, Sandra participated in the Fellowship in Arts and Culture Management program funded by The Chicago Community Trust.  This highly selective, rigorous program gave her the opportunity to gain valuable management and leadership experience by completing a series of four-month residencies at some of the most renowned cultural institutions throughout the city, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Children’s Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry and John G. Shedd Aquarium. Sandra’s diverse professional experience also includes serving as the development manager for the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, program manager for the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science, and an art gallery business manager. Sandra earned a master’s degree in business with a concentration in international business from DePaul University in 2000 and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from State University of New York in 1993.

David Bea
David Bea, JD
Bea & VandenBerk

David Bea is an attorney with the firm of Bea & VandenBerk in Chicago. The attorneys at Bea & VandenBerk concentrate on serving nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. They have successfully taken a wide variety of organizations through the start-up process, advised both large and small organizations on issues of governance, leadership, management, corporate re-structuring, taxation, international operations, operation of foreign subsidiaries, protection of intellectual property, real estate, and employment administration. Their clients are nationwide. David’s clients include start-ups, nonprofits, religious organizations, private foundations, entrepreneurs, publishers, authors, artists, and other creatives. David has presented seminars for the Chicago Bar Association, the IRS TE/GE Advisory Council, and numerous other organizations about matters of nonprofit law, social enterprise law, or intellectual property. He is a member of the Exempt Organizations Division of the Federal Tax Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and formerly served as the committee chair. He has served on boards or volunteered for several nonprofits.

Michael Bergmann
Michael Bergmann, JD
Executive Director
Public Interest Law Initiative

Michael Bergmann has been the executive director of PILI, the Public Interest Law Initiative, since 2010. He joined PILI as its director of programs in 2006, and prior to this, served as the guardian ad litem program director for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.

An active member of the American Bar Association, Michael will serve as chair of the Judicial Division during the 2015-16 bar year. He previously chaired the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and is the first public interest attorney to hold either of these national positions.

Michael is an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law and serves on the advisory board for their Center for Public Interest Law. He has served on the boards of directors of several legal and community organizations, and is a frequent speaker on issues relating to pro bono and public interest law at the state and national level.

Michael graduated from The Catholic University of America and earned a Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the state of Illinois, and before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Roz-Buford Blasingame
Dr. Roslind Blasingame-Buford
President & CEO
LINK Unlimited Scholars

Roz Blasingame-Buford, named one of Chicago’s “35 under 35” community leaders by the Community Renewal Society and a “Leading Lady” by O, The Oprah Magazine, has a history of empowering youth and communities through quality, asset-based after-school and enrichment programs. Prior to her role at LINK Unlimited Scholars, she served as the first female executive director for BUILD, Inc., a youth development agency that engages gang-affiliated and other highly at-risk youth, in the schools and on the streets, so they can realize their educational and career potential and contribute to the stability, safety and well-being of our communities. Roz was instrumental in reshaping the culture and structure of the organization by developing the BUILD Model, which links all programs and services to create a holistic, team-based approach to ignite change and impact growth among participants. Roz’s sense of urgency for change is deeply rooted in Chicago, but also goes beyond Chicago to reach out to youth and practitioners across the state and throughout the nation. Roz serves in an advisory or leadership capacity for more than ten councils or coalitions such as: University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy, City of Chicago Community Development Advisory Council (CDAC) and National Afterschool Alliance, to name a few. Roz is a graduate of Chicago State University, has a Master of Science in human services administration from Spertus College, and holds a doctorate in education from National-Louis University.

Sharon Bush
Sharon Bush
Elgin Program Director and Senior Program Office
Grand Victoria Foundation

Sharon Bush is the Elgin program director and senior program officer at the Grand Victoria Foundation. The Foundation distributes up to $8 million annually to organizations working to improve education, economic development, and the environment throughout Illinois. As the Elgin program director, Sharon develops and implements the foundation’s place-based grant making and community improvement initiatives in Elgin, Illinois. As a senior program officer, she works across the foundation’s primary grant making areas and works with staff to develop and implement strategic initiatives. Sharon brings to the foundation important experience with developing and leading collaborations. She has advised on major workforce initiatives benefitting the Chicago region and her work has also covered nonprofit effectiveness, diversity and equity issues. 

Sharon serves on the boards of Mikva Challenge and Donors Forum and is a founding board member of the Alignment Collaborative for Education. She also is a member of the Elgin Partnership for Early Learning and the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance.   

Catherine Brown
Catherine Brown
Chief Operating Officer
Chicago Public Library Foundation

Catherine Brown joined the Chicago Public Library as its chief operating officer in December 2013. From 2010 to 2013 she headed her own consulting practice, Integrative Solutions. Catherine’s clients included the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the Childcare Network of Evanston, the Center for New Community, the National Endowment for the Arts, Housing Action Illinois, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Lake County Community Foundation, the Axelson Center at North Park University, the Family Empowerment Center of Chicago, and the National Center for Family Homelessness.

Catherine has more than 25 years of experience across the nonprofit sector. Her areas of expertise include fundraising, grant making, program design and evaluation, strategic planning, and internal and external communications.

From 1994 until 2010, Catherine held positions of increasing responsibility at the McCormick Foundation, one of Chicagoland’s largest public charities.  Prior to joining the foundation, Catherine was the director of individual giving at the Lincoln Park Zoological Society in Chicago. She serves on the boards of Friends of Writers and the Center for New Community.

Michael Cassel
Michael J. Cassel, JD
Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship
Mike Cassel is director of Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship (GCC) for the company’s corporate offices in Chicago and in the broader Great Lakes Region. Michael manages the region’s charitable portfolio to ensure that all investments and activities align with company strategy and result in lasting success within the local community.

Prior to his current role, Michael was chief of staff for the state & local government operations team where he managed enterprise-wide strategy related to public policy issues that impact the company across the United States, and helped guide Boeing’s GCC strategy and charitable investment efforts.

Michael began his career at Boeing in 2011 as director of strategy for government operations, Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA). Previously, Michael worked at the Export-Import Bank of the United States as deputy chief of staff to the chairman and president. Michael also served the President of the United States as the director of White House Services within the Office of Management and Administration. Prior to serving in the White House, Michael worked on the Obama-Biden transition team and on President Obama’s first presidential campaign.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Arizona, and received a Juris Doctor from the DePaul University College of Law. He currently serves on the board of Becoming a Man, a dropout and violence prevention program for at-risk male students.

Shannon Deamer
Shannon Deamer, MA
Senior Manager, Chicago Branch
Careers In Nonprofits
Shannon Deamer oversees the strategic growth of the Temporary and Permanent Staffing Divisions and daily operations of the office. Shannon is a vibrant and strategic professional who believes strongly in following your dreams and doing what you love, a belief she carries into her work at CNP. Under her leadership, the temp and perm divisions have seen tremendous growth, yielding a 100% increase in direct hire placements her first year and continuous growth thereafter. Shannon has facilitated some of these searches at a record pace, leading to accepted job offers in under a month for mid-level positions and under three months for executive level positions. Her competence in a demanding market has led to repeat business with clients.

Shannon is also a dynamic presenter and speaker for Careers In Nonprofits’ “CNP Academy.” Shannon has led sessions on various topics including the nonprofit sector, generational differences in the nonprofit sector, and salary negotiations.

She holds both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from University of New Orleans, in addition to a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organization Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. Most recently, Shannon completed her coursework toward a Doctorate in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Shannon is also a Certified Staffing Professional as well as a Certified Search Consultant with the American Staffing Association.

Amina J. Dickerson, MA
Dickerson Global Advisors

Dickerson Global Advisors (DGA) is a consulting and executive coaching practice created as an outgrowth of decades of leadership experience in the nonprofit, corporate and philanthropy sectors. Amina works with senior leaders on strategy, leadership and succession planning. She held executive posts in museums, headed a multi-national philanthropy funding program in hunger relief, the arts, domestic violence and education and serves as a trustee for foundations and nonprofits in Chicago and nationally. Amina studied theater at Emerson College, holds a certificate in arts management from Harvard University, and a Master of Arts in arts management from the American University in Washington, D.C. More recently, she has pursued training for her consulting practice through the Global Business Network, Center for Creative Leadership, Coaches Training Institute and the Leadership Circle and is a member of the International Coaching Federation.

Greg DiDomenico
President and CEO
Community Memorial Foundation

Greg DiDomenico is president and EO at Community Memorial Foundation (CMF). Established in 1995, Community Memorial Foundation is a private foundation with a focus on community health improvement. Their geographic area includes 27 communities in western Cook and southeastern DuPage Counties in Illinois. CMF’s mission is to measurably improve the health of people who live and work in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Greg joined the CMF team as vice president in January 2009 after serving as executive director for a number of years at local nonprofits, the Rich Port YMCA (now the Greater La Grange YMCA) and Hinsdale Center for the Arts. Greg’s resume also includes management positions at Little City Foundation and leadership roles in Pennsylvania, where he coordinated community mental health services and directed downsizing efforts for state institutions in Montgomery County.

Greg serves on a number of community boards and advisory committees, including the Illinois Gift of Adoption Board, Illinois Arts Alliance Board, the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Advisory Council and is a past board president of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2012, the Young Nonprofit Professional Network of Chicago honored Greg as its inaugural Nonprofit Mentor of the Year.

Greg’s experience in philanthropy and with nonprofits is compatible with CMF’s belief that the foundation is in the business of making a difference in the community.

Sidney Freitag-Fey, MA
Gifts Officer
Heartland Alliance for Human Rights & Human Needs

Sidney Freitag-Fey brings more than ten years of resource development experience, with expertise in individual giving, board relations, grant writing, corporate sponsorship, volunteerism, and fundraising strategy. Currently serving as an associate director of development for Heartland Alliance for Human Rights & Human Needs, he has worked for multiple Chicago-based social service agencies ranging from Chicago Cares to Reading In Motion to the Center for Economic Progress.  He has served as adjunct faculty at Loyola University Chicago since 2009 and previously presented Well Planned Appeals: Connecting to Annual Fund Donors at the Axelson Center in 2014. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Chicago Area Peace Corps Association.

Stacy Jackson, AM
Executive Director
Chicago Lights

Stacy Jackson is the executive director of Chicago Lights, a community outreach organization at Fourth Presbyterian Church providing hope and opportunity to Chicago’s children, youth and adults who face the challenges of poverty. Chicago Lights is comprised of six diverse outreach programs that empower people to thrive academically, secure economic stability, lead healthy lives, and build community. Prior to becoming executive director, Stacy served for three years as associate executive director of Chicago Lights with primary oversight for programs serving children and prior to that as director of the tutoring and summer day programs. Stacy has over 18 years of experience in youth development and volunteer management with a passion for bridging diverse communities and coaching staff leaders.

Since becoming executive director in 2012, Stacy has increased the organization’s operating budget by 16%, focused on board development, and led teams to strategically expand program services. She also led the commemoration of the Tutoring Program’s 50th Anniversary, which garnered national exposure for Chicago Lights.

Stacy earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University of Chicago and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. She became licensed as a clinical social worker in December of 2006 and has been with Chicago Lights and its predecessor organization, Partners in Education, since 1996.

Richard Jones
Richard L. Jones, PhD
Administrator of the Division of Senior and Adult Services
Cuyahoga County

Richard L. Jones, was appointed to serve as the administrator of the Division of Senior and Adult Services for Cuyahoga County in April 2015. In 2013, he served as the senior vice president of Community Investment of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.  He was responsible for leadership, planning and measurement and execution of United Way’s strategic investments in the areas of income, education and health.  Richard also served as the administrator of Employment and Family Services and the Cuyahoga Support Enforcement Agency for Cuyahoga County in Ohio.

Prior to this position, for 13 years, he served as president and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services in Chicago delivering more than $290M in programs and services to more than 600,000 people during this tenure. Richard’s leadership is recognized nationally and internationally. Prior to joining Metropolitan Family Services in 1998, he served as executive director of Boston Children’s Services in Boston, Massachusetts and also president and CEO of the Center for Families and Children in Cleveland from 1991 until 1998.

Richard has received many awards and served in major leadership roles throughout his career. He was presented the Leadership in Nonprofit Award by the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University in 1997; a fellowship to the Harvard Business School in 2005; and the Lifetime Achievement Award for the State of Illinois by the Illinois chapter of the National Association of Social Workers in 2011. In the spring of 2010, Richard was one of a select group of delegates to participate in the Congress on Social Work and in 2010 and 2011 he served as a co-leader of a delegation of social workers studying the social service system in Russia and Brazil. Richard completed his MSSA and Ph.D. at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western University.  He has served as the chairman of the board of directors for The Alliance for Children and Families, The Chicago Alliance for Collaborative Effort, and Assurance Services which is the for profit arm of the National Association of Social Workers. Previous leadership responsibilities have included serving on the Board of Directors of Leadership Cleveland and the Cleveland United Way; serving as the co-chair of the International Year of the Family and co-chair of the Commission on Chemical Dependency and Child Welfare for the Child Welfare League of America. Recently, Richard was honored with the title of President Emeritus of Metropolitan Family Services and a building named in his honor. A graduate of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 1993, Richard is a member of the Visiting Committee of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University and the Program Strategy Committee of the Saint Luke’s Foundation.

Catherine Marsh, EdD
Professor of Leadership and Management
North Park University

Catherine Marsh is professor of leadership and management in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. In addition to her teaching and scholarship at North Park, Catherine plans and conducts seminars and workshops on diversity management, change management, conflict transformation and team building for organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Her expertise stems from her experience working in the three sectors in five countries as well as urban and rural areas in the United States. Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, a Master of Business Administration from North Park University, and a Doctor of Education from Northern Illinois University.

Laura McAlpine
Laura McAlpine
McAlpine Consulting for Growth, LLC

Laura McAlpine is the principal of McAlpine Consulting for Growth, LLC and has over 30 years of management and leadership expertise in nonprofit health and social service organizations. Her skills, gained in positions as executive director, manager, and board member, include strategic planning, organizational development, leadership coaching, and financial management.  Laura is also a skilled policy advocate with a special focus on health access, maternal and child health, adolescent health, reproductive rights and anti-gay violence. An experienced facilitator and presenter, she has led retreats, training sessions, and focus groups for a wide variety of organizations.

Laura mixes her love of information technology and her keen interest in politics with her Twitter feed, where she can be found following the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee staff, as well as political commentators such as Donna Brazile and Rachel Maddow. Her Twitter profile says it all: Principal, McAlpine Consulting for Growth, LLC; Health Activist; Runner; Gardener; Writer. Laura is a licensed clinical social worker and has a Masters of Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

Laura started McAlpine Consulting for Growth, LLC in September 2001 to support social change and healthy communities by identifying needs, exploring growth opportunities, and creating steps for action with nonprofit organizations. The organization focuses on communities addressing complex social issues. Since inception, McAlpine Consulting for Growth has served approximately 60 nonprofit organizations in a variety of ways, including organizational development, strategic planning, leadership coaching and policy advocacy.

Cori Moschberger, LCSW
Counselor and Organizational Development Consultant

Cori Moschberger is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been in the field since 1998 serving in various capacities in the nonprofit sector providing supervisory, educational and clinical services to under-resourced populations. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003. She is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers. 

Cori is a co-owner of Integrated Advising Services an organizational development business and specializes in the not-for-profit sector. Her experience includes administration, management, team building and training, leadership mentoring, and counseling. Having successfully led her own staff as an executive director of an organization in Chicago, Cori brings to her clients the real-world “know-how” needed to effectively mentor and manage employees and teams.

Clinically, Cori works with a variety of ages and issues. She specializes in couples, young adults, women, and seniors. Some of the issues Cori works most with are depression, anxiety, grief and loss, codependency, identity issues, and self worth. Cori utilizes unique tools to help clients identify their strengths and develop their full potential in all areas of their life. 

Cori is a highly regarded trainer in the areas of attracting and retaining quality personnel, workplace communication, and coaching and motivating employees. She is a certified PDP Administrator and TrakStar Professional. 

Malik Nevels
Malik S. Nevels, JD
Executive Director
Malik Nevels is the executive director for the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention (ILAACP) where he is responsible for fundraising, board and staff development, strategic planning, policy and advocacy, marketing and communications, and fiscal management for a $1.5M+ statewide membership-based charitable organization that builds safe, healthy, and resilient children, families, and communities.

He serves or has served on a number of local and statewide taskforces including the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, Illinois Bullying Prevention Taskforce, State Health Improvement Plan Planning Team, Illinois After School Funding Policy Taskforce, Illinois Medicaid Advisory Committee - Subcommittee on Access, Northwestern University School of Medicine’s Center for Community Health, African American Advisory Council for the University of Illinois at Chicago, and United States Commission on Civil Rights. In 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn appointed Malik to the Illinois Youth Development Council.

Prior to joining the ILAACP, Malik served in various senior executive capacities for the Illinois Center for Violence Prevention, Duncan YMCA, and the Chicago Urban League. He also worked for U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley, and U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun.  Malik often credits his concern for social justice and community building to his experience as a Public Ally in Chicago (Class of ’95) under the tutelage of First Lady Michelle Obama, then executive director for Public Allies Chicago.  

Malik earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois' College of Law. During the summer of his second year in law school, Malik traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to study at the University of the Western Cape Law School and clerk for the law firm of Findlay & Tait, the second largest commercial law firm in southern Africa.

Malik also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Certificate in Strategies in Nonprofit Management from the University of Chicago. He is active in various civic organizations and professional associations including 100 Black Men of Chicago, The Frogs Club, and University of Illinois at Chicago Alumni Association.

Tim J. O'Brien, PhD
Practitioner Faculty at North Park University
Consultant with Millennia Consulting

Tim O’Brien serves as practitioner faculty specializing in nonprofit finance at North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management. He has 30+ years’ experience as a financial manager in commercial and nonprofit organizations. Tim also has managerial experience in church-based organizations, Tim is a successful educator both in face-to-face and online venues. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Spertus College, JFK University, North Park University, and the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management. Tim provides a variety of consulting services for nonprofits and faith communities and has served on several nonprofit and church-based boards.

Gretchen Slusser
Executive Director
Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA)

Gretchen Slusser comes to CGLA from thredpartners, a Chicago-based management consulting firm she co-founded in 2004. Gretchen has over 18 years of experience in designing and implementing project-based, technology and business solutions. Her industry focus has been education, financial services and high-tech. A subject matter expert with a passion for developing creative solutions that drive change has contributed to her success in the management consulting arena. She first became involved with CGLA as a volunteer and a donor, and has a long history of volunteerism and service both locally and internationally. Since Gretchen joined CGLA in 2011, the organization has adopted a new strategic plan, increased the operating budget by 28% and most recently acquired Chicago-based nonprofit Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM). Gretchen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in marketing and minor in political science. She also earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.

Shannon Sullivan
Shannon Sullivan
Director, Strategic Planning and Michigan Services
Mission+Strategy Consulting

Shannon Sullivan is a seasoned nonprofit professional with over 15 years of experience as an executive director, regional director and consultant specializing in strategic planning, board development and conflict resolution. Shannon directs the portfolio of Mission+Strategy’s strategic planning and conflict resolution work alongside leading the growth of work in Michigan.  Her extensive experience in engaging diverse stakeholders, facilitating board and staff retreats, and creating and implementing strategic plans significantly informs her work at Mission+Strategy.  Shannon was the founding executive director of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (the Alliance) overseeing the Alliance’s merger with another organization and growing the Alliance to an over one million dollar annual budget. As a regional director, Shannon managed a 2.5 million dollar budget and over 30 staff across thirteen states.  Shannon’s current consulting portfolio includes partnering with client organizations through deep transition, healing and resolving internal and external conflict, and posing and answering the ‘big questions” through strategic and annual planning.  Shannon is a dedicated activist for LGBTQ and racial justice alongside criminal legal system reform.

Amy Wishnick
Amy Wishnick
Wishnick & Associates, LLC

Amy Wishnick is passionate about organizations. With skill, sensitivity, and good humor, Amy works with diverse organizations to enhance their management, leadership, and adaptive capacities to be more effective. Since founding Wishnick & Associates in 2004, Amy has worked with an array of nonprofit clients on strategic planning, organizational assessments, executive transition and succession planning, board development, and more. Wishnick & Associates works successfully with nonprofit organizations of all sizes and budgets. Clients include human services agencies, arts, cultural, education, workforce, and community development organizations, religious organizations, and foundations.

Amy began her career in Washington, D.C. at the National Endowment for the Humanities where she managed a portfolio of research grants to libraries and archives. Upon returning to Chicago, she was the recruiting coordinator at Mayer Brown & Platt, an international law firm. There she managed all recruiting from law schools and lateral hiring. She consulted with the branch offices to set up their recruiting programs as the firm expanded. Immediately prior to starting Wishnick & Associates, Amy spent seven years at CMC Consultants, a boutique executive search firm. 

Amy has served on and chaired numerous nonprofit boards. She currently is on the KAM Isaiah Israel Foundation Board, which oversees the synagogue’s endowment, and she chaired the rabbinic transition committee in 2013 – 2014. From 1993 – 1995, Amy had the unique opportunity to serve on the United States Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), a committee of civilian volunteers appointed to advise the Secretary of Defense. As a member of the executive committee, Amy designed and implemented a training program for new committee members on how to conduct domestic military installation site visits to gain deeper understanding of career opportunities, forces utilization, and quality of life issues for women. She also served as the primary author of two reports for the Secretary of Defense highlighting findings and making recommendations from the executive committee’s overseas trips to military installations in Europe (1994) and Asia (1995). Amy was president of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits from July 2009 to June 2011. She joined the organization in 2004 and was a member of the board from 2006 – 2012. She co-authored the association’s 2013 publication, Nonprofit Leader’s Guide to Hiring and Engaging Consultants. She is also an advisor member of the Donors Forum. Amy is a member of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management Advisory Committee. She teaches strategic planning at Axelson’s annual BootCamp for New Nonprofit CEOs.

The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Managment at North Park University.