Each year at YNPN Chicago's Celebration, we recognize young professionals and nonprofits that have made an outstanding contribution to the Chicago nonprofit sector through exemplary leadership and involvement in the Chicago community. YNPN Chicago Celebration Award categories include Nonprofit of the Year, Associate Board of the Year, Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year, and Supervisor of the Year.
Last year, Katharine Slover from Marillac St. Vincent Family Services was the recipient of the Supervisor of the Year award at Celebration. YNPN Chicago asked her a few questions about what it meant to be nominated and win.
Tell us about your nonprofit experience and the work you do/have done in Chicago.
I have worked at Marillac St. Vincent Family Services (MSV) in Chicago for 17 ½ years. The mission of MSV: Marillac St. Vincent Family Services strengthens, empowers and gives voice to those in need – in the Vincentian spirit of service – through education and comprehensive programs to build vibrant communities in Chicago. MSV programming includes a full range of services that include prenatal care and counseling for pregnant and parenting teens and young adults to early childhood education a variety of programs for seniors.
I am the Director of Community Outreach Services, which includes both our Outreach and Senior Services programming at both sites (Marillac Social Center in East Garfield Park, and St. Vincent de Paul Center in Lincoln Park). Our Outreach programs include: food pantries at both locations; case management for adults, focused on housing, employment, and related concerns and steps toward those larger goals (St. Vincent); CEDA/utility assistance applications; public benefit access, applications, and redeterminations (both sites); a Computer Lab (Marillac); a professional clothing closet (St. Vincent), and more. Senior Services includes: intensive case advocacy and support for self-neglectful seniors (both sites); community case management (St. Vincent); Take Charge, a monthly meeting for active seniors to share social time, educational talks and a nutritious lunch (Marillac); and the Homebound program, which includes regular food delivery and well-being checks for West Side seniors who are mobility-limited or unable to leave their homes.
My role in all that is administration and oversight of the programs, strategic direction and researching funding and new initiatives, supervision of program managers, grant reporting and data/statistics/outcome measures, and other related tasks.
It is a blessing to work here, and to work with such an exceptional team on programs that truly make a difference to those we serve.
What was something you've accomplished in the last year that'd you like to highlight?
I look at our work as truly a team effort. In the past fiscal year, Community Outreach Services among countless other things, has: served over 10,000 households through our food pantries, distributing over 681,000 pounds of food; served over 7,000 seniors; and completed over 3,600 CEDA (energy assistance) applications, resulting in a combined benefit of over $1.4 million in payments towards their utility bills. This is with a team of 18!
My most rewarding personal accomplishments this past year are in bringing our Community Outreach Services team closer together, and in maintaining a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) for over ten years with the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services/Senior Services.
Why was it meaningful to you to be recognized by YNPN Chicago at the Celebration Awards?
At the mid-management level, where I am, it is not common to be recognized for service. The management level is more background, about the administrative tasks that keep programs running. So being recognized was a truly special and delightful event! What made it extra special was being nominated by my team for this award. It was the best feeling to be appreciated by the team. I also want to offer sincere thanks to YNPN for this award!
What was your favorite part about Celebration last year?
The keynote speaker was wonderful, and it was very special to be there surrounded by and supported by so many of my Marillac St. Vincent family. There were also so many interesting people to meet, and the food was good as well. But the real magic was in the awards presentation, and just the overall positive energy flow of the evening.
Tell us anything else you'd like to about yourself, the award, or how winning this award helped you/your organization!
Winning this award definitely boosted my morale, and made me feel closer to my team. It was also a special opportunity to highlight Marillac St. Vincent (our Associate Board was also nominated). This has remained a significant high point for me. Even now, when I may be having a less than optimal day, I can look at the plaque and feel re-energized. I want to thank you and YNPN again for this exceptional opportunity.
Know a great supervisor? Nominate them for the 2020 Supervisor of the Year Award now through March 27, 2020. You can see all of the past winners here and don't forget to buy your Celebration tickets today!