Ryan Charnov

  • published Meet the Board in About Us 2019-09-13 17:34:55 -0500

    The Executive Board


    The YNPN Chicago Executive Board is an all-volunteer working and governing board, consisting of 19 young nonprofit professionals. Find out more about the commitment, responsibilities, and how to apply here

    Executive Chairs

    Brian Elmore (He/His), Chair brian@ynpnchicago.org
    Senior Financial Analyst | Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation

    Brian is a Financial Analyst at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation. He manages the financial framework around philanthropic funding of pediatric medical research initiatives. Prior to Lurie Children’s, Brian worked at PwC, performing financial statement audits of insurance and financial service companies.

    Brian is originally from the Philadelphia area, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, and is a licensed CPA in the State of Illinois. Since moving to Chicago in 2013, he has become active in advocating for legislative transparency and social justice in city and state politics. Brian is a year-round cyclist, loyal supporter of the Philadelphia Phillies, and frequenter of live music shows across this fine city.

    Miriam Kamya (She/Hers), Vice Chair miriam@ynpnchicago.org
    Director of Philanthropy | Saga Education

    Miriam serves as the Director of Philanthropy at Saga Education. Saga is a nonprofit organization that provides in school math tutoring to 9th and 10th-grade students across Chicago and New York City. As Saga continues to grow and expand, Miriam is responsible for establishing a solid donor base in Chicago. She leads prospect research, site visits and builds partnerships. Prior to Saga, Miriam had the opportunity to serve as a White House intern, where her passion for education policy deepened.

    In her spare time, Miriam volunteers with Traffick Free, a local non-profit that works to eradicate human trafficking in the Chicagoland area. Miriam holds a Master's in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University and a Bachelor's in Political Science from North Carolina State University.

    External Relations / Secretary

    Jaclyn Carmichael (She/Hers) jaclyn@ynpnchicago.org
    STEM Program Manager | Lake View High School

    Jaclyn is the STEM Program Manager at Chicago Public School’s Lake View High School, where she is working to increase student engagement opportunities, build project-based learning curriculums, and develop a robust makerspace. Previously, she was the Program Director for Project Exploration, a non-profit educational organization in Chicago that provides out-of-school time STEM programming for youth and teens, where she took charge of building partnerships, strengthening her team through trainings, and initiating new programming to reach students in new subjects. She has also worked in the formal education space as a high school Biology/Environmental Science teacher at Chicago’s Perspectives Charter Schools. Jaclyn received her B.S. in Biological Sciences and Teacher’s Certification from Eastern Illinois University and is currently studying at the Illinois Institute of Technology - Stuart School of Business in the Master of Public Administration program. 

    When Jaclyn isn’t working, she loves hanging with her poodle-terrior pup, Eli, sharing a craft beer with friends, or going to see a superhero movie. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @lilcarm17 !


    Finance Chairs

    Claire Barner (She/Hers) claire@ynpnchicago.org
    Senior Manager, Operations | Financial Health Network

    As a Senior Manager at Financial Health Network, Claire is responsible for legal and insurance operations, internal IT systems, facilities management, financial management, and administrative processes for a growing national non-profit. Claire is especially focused on creating and implementing strategies for enhancing process improvements and leveraging technology solutions in order to develop efficiencies. With a background in social service, nonprofits, and education, Claire is passionate about supporting programs and tools to address urban poverty.

    Claire's nonprofit career began early at the age of 15, as a member of the Teen Council at the Chicago History Museum. At the museum, Claire collected oral histories on the teenage experience in Chicago, culminating in the exhibition Teen Chicago. Claire received a Bachelor’s in Public Policy and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from the University of Chicago. In her free time, Claire enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, trying local craft beers, and exploring Chicago with her family.

    Rebecca Kaplan (She/Hers) becca@ynpnchicago.org
    Data & Learning Specialist | Feeding America

    Rebecca is the Data & Learning Specialist on the Member Grants team at Feeding America. In her role, Rebecca manages a portfolio of nearly $15 million in grant opportunities to Feeding America food banks and focuses on leveraging grants data to support organizational strategy. Prior to Feeding America, Rebecca worked in nonprofit consulting and for Center for Independent Futures, a nonprofit in Evanston, IL that supports individuals with disabilities to live independently.

    Rebecca received her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis and her BS in Psychology from University of Michigan. Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys volunteering at Lakeview Pantry, divvying (with a helmet!) around the city, and cooking lots of veggies from her farm share.

    Development Chairs

    David L. Cotugno (He/His), Special Events dave@ynpnchicago.org
    Senior Gift Officer | Communities In Schools of Chicago

    David L. Cotugno serves as Senior Gift Officer at Communities In Schools of Chicago. In this capacity, Dave focuses on securing major gifts and working with the Board of Directors and key stakeholders to ensure the organization’s sustainable growth. Dave started working at Communities In Schools in September 2019. His portfolio includes a wide array of families, individuals, corporations, and foundations.

    Prior to CIS-Chicago, Dave spent 8 years working for Cradles to Crayons, most recently as Associate Director of Development in their Chicago office, which he helped open in August 2016. In his role at C2C-Chicago, Dave led the fundraising, events, and marketing to ensure annual goals were met. Additionally, Dave managed three of the organization's leadership Councils and led their two signature events, which raised more than $1M annually for the organization.

    In his tenure at the C2C-Chicago office, he brought the organization from a start-up with a $1.2M budget, to a robust organization with 20 staff members and a $3.5M budget that serves 82,500 Chicagoland children annually.

    Dave received his degree from Ithaca College, where he studied Business Administration with a dual concentration in Marketing and Management.

    Emily Decker-Bess (She/Hers), Fundraising emily@ynpnchicago.org
    Development & Special Projects Coordinator | American Writers Museum

    Emily Decker-Bess graduated from Pratt Institute with a double Masters degrees in Library Science and Art History with a thesis on women and comic art in 2014. She previously worked at Marvel and in academic libraries and wrote for online blogs including, The Rumpus. 

    Decker-Bess has been on panels at Rutgers, C2E2, among others, and has given lectures at various schools and institutions. She turned to fundraising in 2016 at the Field Museum, then moved to American Writers Museum in February 2019, but continues to research and lecture on the feminist movement in comic art.   

    At Large - Digital Content Development

    brutoncrop.jpgIlana Bruton (She/Hers) ilana@ynpnchicago.org
    Director of Interpretation and Guest Services | Adler Planetarium

    Ilana is the Director of Interpretation and Guest Services at the Adler Planetarium where she works collaboratively with the Guest Experiences team to provide engaging experiences to visitors. Prior to her work at the Adler, Ilana was the public programs manager at the Chicago History Museum.

    Ilana served as the Leadership Institute Board Chair for the last two years (2018-2019) and prior to serving as a board member, went through the Leadership Institute as a participant (Cohort 2017). It is because of these experiences and through the practice of becoming a self-aware leader, that has led to her new role as the Digital Content Developer. Ilana’s goal is to share leadership development work with the wider YNPN network by sharing resources, interviewing Chicago nonprofit change-makers, sharing Leadership Institute participant perspectives, and broadening her own insights in a blog titled “Leadership: Lost and Found”.

    Ilana has a Master’s in Museum Education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Michigan State University. You can follow her on Twitter at @iBmuseum.

    Communications Chairs

    Elizabeth Blasko (She/Hers) elizabeth@ynpnchicago.org
    Marketing & Communications Specialist | Bernie’s Book Bank

    Elizabeth serves as the Marketing & Communications Specialist for Bernie’s Book Bank, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality books for at-risk children throughout Chicagoland. In this role, she plans and executes communications strategies involving socials media, website content, newsletters, blog posts, digital media and print. Prior to joining Bernie’s Book Bank, Elizabeth worked on the public relations team at Hendrick Motorsports in Charlotte, North Carolina. She also spent time at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida as a Disney College Program intern.

    Elizabeth is a proud graduate of Western Michigan University with a B.A. in Public Relations and minors in Nonprofit Leadership, Event Management and Psychology. Additionally, she earned her Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance in 2016. Outside of work, she can be found reading, running, traveling or watching NASCAR.


    Jillian Madden (She/Hers) jillian@ynpnchicago.org 
    Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations | Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

    Jillian Madden is the Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, where she fundraises for an array of programs throughout the state, including mental health services, children’s services, and programs that help formerly incarcerated individuals. Prior to moving to Chicago, she spent five years in Atlanta, where she worked as the Development Director at Midtown Assistance Center, a local nonprofit providing homelessness prevention services, and United Way of Greater Atlanta. She also sat on the board of YNPN Atlanta as the Professional Development Chair. Jillian started her career in nonprofit as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in 2013 after graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Communications and English.

    Jillian serves as the Membership Co-Chair for the Associate Board at Open Books, a nonprofit that promotes literacy in Chicago. She is a member of the Junior League of Chicago, where she sits on the Women's Treatment Center committee. Jillian was a member of YNPN Atlanta’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2016 and was selected for Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s High Potential Diverse Leaders Class of 2017. In her free time, she loves to read and try new restaurants and coffee shops.


    Louise Sharrow (She/Hers) louise@ynpnchicago.org 
    Senior Manager, Multifamily Program | Elevate Energy

    Louise Sharrow is the Senior Manager, Multifamily Program at Elevate Energy. In this role she implements a program delivering energy efficiency services and incentives to income-eligible multifamily properties throughout northern Illinois. She leads and supports program design, data management, reporting and forecasting, monitoring, production, and management. Previously, she worked on expanding this program model throughout the Midwest with implementation and policy partners;  providing project management, operational support, start-up tools, process development, and policy and data research.

    Louise received her BA in Environmental Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and her MPA from the School for Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. She is originally from Cincinnati, making Illinois the fourth Midwestern state she calls home. Outside work she enjoys reading, concerts, and traveling to places she can hike or eat amazing desserts.


    Evan Williamson (He/His) evan@ynpnchicago.org
    Manager, Strategic Advancement | Ounce of Prevention Fund

    Evan serves as the Manager of Strategic Advancement at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, where he cultivates and stewards relationships with corporate partners to promote philanthropic investment across the Ounce's various program areas, including education policy, research, and programming. In this role, he also helps to coordinate the Ounce Affiliates Board, and recruits sponsors for Ounce events. Previously, Evan has held roles in education advocacy with the University of Illinois Alumni Association and Advance CTE. He began his career on Capitol Hill working as a press assistant in the House of Representatives.

    Evan is a native of Champaign-Urbana, IL, and a proud alumnus of the University of Illinois with a B.A. in Political Science. In his spare time, Evan can be found playing soccer; walking his oversize Beagle, Watson; and experimenting in the kitchen to varying degrees of success.

    Leadership Institute Chair

    Stacy Gilmer (She/Hers) stacy@ynpnchicago.org
    Organizational Development Specialist | Planned Parenthood of Illinois

    Stacy is the Organizational Development Specialist at Planned Parenthood of Illinois. She specializes in the connection between employee engagement and patient experience by supporting teams to enhance their effectiveness and leadership competencies. She designed and facilitates the internal leadership and mentorship programs. Prior to PPIL, Stacy was a youth sexual health educator with the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health.

    Stacy is a member of the 2019 YNPN Chicago Leadership Institute cohort. She received a B.A. from Saint Louis University in Political Science and is a trained full spectrum doula. Stacy is a mom to two kids under 3. In her downtime, she enjoys yoga, the New York Times crossword puzzle, and reality TV.

    Programming Chairs

    Jerica Banks jerica@ynpnchicago.org
    Development Assistant | University of Chicago

    Jerica is a development assistant at the University of Chicago, an institution currently campaigning for $5 billion to advance campus-wide priorities. In her role, she supports international development by drafting fundraising proposals, preparing prospect briefings, and creating donor-centric reports. Jerica also assists teams across UChicago’s alumni relations & development department on an ad hoc basis.

    Prior to entering the nonprofit space, she worked as a paralegal at both intellectual property and real estate law firms. Jerica received her B.A. in Legal Studies in Business from Tulane University. As a native of Baton Rouge, she is passionate about all things related to Louisiana, enjoys planning domestic and international trips, and loves sifting through vinyl at Hyde Park Records.


    Dejanae Byrd dejanae@ynpnchicago.org
    Therapist and Certified Senior Professional Trainer | UCAN

    Dejanae is a Clinical Therapist with a specialization in Trauma and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Dejanae works as a Therapist and Certified Senior Professional Trainer at UCAN, a Chicago nonprofit that provides a variety of services to children, youth and families mostly within underprivileged communities.

    Dejanae serves as the co-founder and co-chair of EMERGE, an employee resource group at UCAN geared towards supporting young professionals through training, professional development and social engagement. She is also co-founder and co-facilitator of the EXPRESS Performing Group, which helps high risk youth expand their emotional repertoire and develop skills in communication through creative performance and exposure.

    Dejanae was formally an ABA therapist who worked with children diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. Her experience in serving people started in high school and has expanded to include volunteer work with communities of color for several Chicago organizations, as well as humanitarian aid in various countries.

    Dejanae earned a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago and a M.A. in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adler University. She enjoys attending professional and social events with friends and family, traveling, reading and acting.


    Briana Davis (She/Hers) briana@ynpnchicago.org
    Assistant Director of Research | UIC Center for Literacy

    Briana is the Assistant Director of Research at the UIC Center for Literacy, a public service and research center that works to improve literacy education, policy, and research at the local, state, and national levels. In this role, Briana works to develop, implement, and disseminate the findings of the Center's research initiatives.

    Prior to her work at UIC, Briana moved from her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona to pursue her Master's in Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. As a student, she was introduced to the Chicago nonprofit community while completing her fieldwork with Broadway Youth Center and CCS Fundraising. Outside of work, Briana enjoys reading, traveling, and sharing photos of her rescue dog, Murphy.


    Stephani Peterson (She/Hers) stephani@ynpnchicago.org
    Senior Manager | Careers in Nonprofits Chicago

    As the Senior Manager of Careers In Nonprofits Chicago, Stephani manages the day to day operations of a national staffing firm that focuses on connecting the best people with the best causes. Once a recruiter in their DC branch, Stephani’s commitment and passion ultimately helped her exceed company goals allowing her the opportunity to move to Chicago and manage CNP Headquarters. She works closely with her team of recruiters to be a resource for job seekers looking to work for impactful organizations, as well as awesome nonprofits looking for assistance with staffing needs. Stephani’s role encompasses everything from business development and partnership building to employee management and hitting multimillion dollar yearly goals.

    Stephani is a proud New Jersey native, and graduated with her M.A. in Contemporary Communications from Notre Dame of Maryland University, and her B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh. From a young age, Stephani always had a passion to help others, and that is what eventually led her into the nonprofit sector. Prior to working for Careers In Nonprofits, Stephani held roles as a Graduate Assistant, Day of Event Coordinator, Marketing and Communications Manager, and Afterschool Academy Coordinator. When she isn’t working, Stephani loves to travel, assist others with her resume service, listen to music, explore her new home of Chicago, and spend time with her close friends and family.


    Membership Chairs

    Julissa Cruz (She/Hers), julissa@ynpnchicago.org
    Consultant | Fiscal Management Associates, LLC

    As a consultant with FMA, Julissa has the pleasure of working with a diverse portfolio of nonprofit organizations and helps them strengthen their financial management and operational infrastructure and better position them to fulfill their mission-critical strategies. She began her career at the City Colleges of Chicago - blending her curiosity, data expertise, and diligent drive for continuous improvement to improve processes, inform strategy, and achieve organizational goals.

    Julissa holds a Master’s degree in Sociology with a specialization in applied demography from Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with minors in Latin American Studies and Anthropology from Loyola University. She was born and raised on the far southeast side of Chicago. She travels as often as she can, enjoys chatting with others about what makes them smile, and daydreams about writing for fun.


    Suzy Lee (She/Hers), suzy@ynpnchicago.org
    Director, Nonprofit Strategy and Engagement | Forefront

    Suzy is the Director of Nonprofit Strategy and Engagement at Forefront. As part of the Engagement Team, Suzy’s focus areas include nonprofit membership, #ILGive for #GivingTuesday, and the Nonprofit CEO Roundtable.

    Suzy is a member of the National Council of Nonprofits Membership Committee, volunteers with Chicago Women in Philanthropy, and the Hanover College Alumni Recruitment Team. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Hanover college, and a Master of Public Administration from DePaul University School of Public Service. When she’s not working or volunteering, you can find her in her garden, trying a new ice-cream recipe, or playing with her English bulldog.




  • published Board Service in Get Involved 2019-07-01 15:14:33 -0500

    Join the Board


    Applications for the 2019-2021 board term are currently closed. Please check back in Summer 2020 for open positions. 

    Who We Are

    YNPN Chicago’s Executive Board is comprised of 15-20 young professionals from the city’s mission-driven organizations. While we are primarily comprised of nonprofit professionals, we are welcoming to those of other sectors. The all-volunteer, working board oversees all of YNPN Chicago’s operations and activities and is committed to strengthening the nonprofit community. Serving on the board offers a unique opportunity to influence the direction of Chicago’s nonprofit sector and the chance to interact with the city’s best and brightest public service leaders.

    How It Works

    While all board members are involved in shaping the direction of YNPN Chicago, the board structure invites a primary focus on one specific area of the organization. Currently, our function areas include: Communications, Programming, Finance, Development, Membership, and coordination with YNPN National. YNPN Chicago remains flexible in changing focus areas depending on evolving needs and capacity. Board members serve a two-year term and are required to attend monthly meetings on a designated weekday evening. Board members host meetings at their offices, which are typically downtown. Individuals elected to the board are also expected to contribute financially in the form of one-time annual dues. 

    What We Look For

    • Passion for the mission of YNPN Chicago and the larger nonprofit sector
    • Availability to dedicate an average of 10 hours per week on YNPN Chicago responsibilities and activities
    • Organized, self-starters who are eager to contribute and able to accomplish projects with little supervision 
    • Deadline-driven and detail-oriented professionals
    • Ability to balance idea generation with execution 
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
    • Ability to work independently and in a collaborative, team environment
    • Clear track record of successful leadership
    • Demonstrated skills and experience related to specific focus area
    • Comfort being an ambassador of YNPN Chicago to the larger community

    More Questions?

  • published 2019 Leadership Institute Cohort in Leadership Institute 2019-01-13 13:34:49 -0600

    2019 Leadership Institute Cohort


    Azalea-Acuna-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgAzalea Acuña
    Program Coordinator, La Casa Norte

    Azalea Acuña is the Palante Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-Housing Program Coordinator at La Casa Norte, a non-profit located on the West side of Chicago serving youth and families confronting homelessness. Azalea is an alumnus of the Loyola School of Social Work, graduating in 2012 with her Bachelor of Social Work degree. Azalea began her career at La Casa Norte in 2013 as a case manager in their Permanent Supportive Housing program. She practiced direct service for three and a half years before being promoted to her current role. Azalea is a graduate of the Inaugural Cohort of the Latino Policy Forum’s Multicultural Leadership Academy in 2017. Azalea is excited about La Casa Norte’s new community service & wellness center opening in January 2019 in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Along with an FQHC and community pantry, this facility will be inclusive of Pierce House, an extension of La Casa Norte’s Permanent Supportive Housing program, with an additional 25 units dedicated to chronically homeless youth and families in the city of Chicago. Azalea’s interest and passion lies in developing and enhancing programming for homeless youth and families that operates under an Inclusive, Housing First, Harm Reduction model”.

    Chris-Bresky-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgChris Bresky
    Programs Manager, Adler Planetarium

    Chris Bresky is a trained artist and educator who currently works at the Adler Planetarium finding creative ways for the public to engage with science. He is interested in using story and narrative to inspire exploration. He has been awarded the Jon Lipsky Award for Excellence in Playwriting for his immersive theatre work about Gemini 4 and the life and death challenges of space exploration. Chris is also the author and illustrator of the shark holiday mash-up,"The 12 Days of a Great White Christmas." Currently, Chris is partnering with Chicago teens and scientists to embark on the first student-driven underwater meteorite hunt : "The Aquarius

    Laura-Campbell-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgLaura Campbell, LCSW
    Program Manager, Coaching - LIFT-Chicago

    Laura Campbell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has 10 years of experience working with children and families through research, evaluation, volunteering and direct service. She currently works at the Program Manager, Coaching at LIFT-Chicago, a national non-profit that works one-on-one with parents on their career, financial, and education goals to break the cycle of poverty. Laura's role is to provide management, support, training and direction to LIFT-Chicago staff with special attention to member service quality and local intern management, training and service delivery. Prior to LIFT, Laura worked as the School Social Worker at Legacy Charter School in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood on the west side. She provided elementary-aged children with individual and small-group counseling services and crisis intervention. Prior to graduate school, she focused on early childhood research and evaluation as a Senior Research Assistant at Child Trends in the Washington, D.C. area. Laura holds a Masters of Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and African-American Studies from the University of Virginia. In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with her husband and adorable beagle, cooking delicious meals, exploring new restaurants across Chicago, running, going to concerts, and playing board games.

    Erica-Eckhardt-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgErica Eckhardt
    Development Associate, Public Allies Chicago

    Erica Eckhardt has always had a passion for working with youth and organizations that understand and invest in their assets and talents. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago and went right into working in the nonprofit sector, in direct service with youth in several different positions. As the demands for money and resources became apparent, she was often tasked with working to secure extra supplies, money, and talent in order to ensure that the programs she was working with were successful. Like all non-profit jobs, she also wore many hats including marketing and data reporting. Over the course of a few years, it became apparent that working on the development side and helping to tell the unique stories of the program participants was the place she was meant to be. In 2012, she transitioned to a full time development position at a youth serving community organization and gained invaluable experience from her coworkers and larger organization.

    Stacy-Gilmer-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgStacy Gilmer
    Organizational Development Specialist, Planned Parenthood of Illinois

    Stacy Gilmer is the Organizational Development Specialist at Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Her focus includes leadership development, employee engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. She joined the organization in 2015 as a training coordinator. Prior to working with PPIL, Stacy was a youth sexual health educator at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Saint Louis University in 2010. Stacy currently lives in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago with her husband David and toddler son Jonah.

    Lisa-Kim-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgLisa See Kim
    Director of Marketing and Communications, Mikva Challenge

    Lisa See Kim is a professional creative and all around do-gooder. Currently as the Director of Marketing and Communications at Mikva Challenge, she develops and implements a high impact communications plan for a youth civic engagement nonprofit. She has spearheaded a rebranding and messaging strategy; created new systems for communications workflows; and deployed a high-yield social media strategy. She is passionate about using creative storytelling to support mission-driven organizations. Throughout her career as a designer, educator, and program director she uses the intersections of art, media-making, learning, and technology to promote equity and empower communities to tell their own stories. Prior to her work at Mikva Challenge, she has worked with The Field Museumg, MIT Media Lab, and YWCA of New York. Lisa earned her M.Ed. in Technology, Innovation, and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education and her B.A. in Visual Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Stephanie-Mena-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgStephanie Mena, CWDP
    Career Coach, National Able Network, Inc.

    Stephanie Mena is a Career Coach with over 7 years of experience in direct client services and crisis intervention at National Able Network. She has worked with diverse populations of various socioeconomic backgrounds and brings over 10 years of experience in the Social Service Industry. Stephanie excels in the development of employment for all job seekers by helping them make informed decisions about their career development and providing tools that they can use – resume, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles – to reach their goals. Her approach is to first meet with a client to create an Individualized Employment Plan with a solution-oriented approach to identify steps to achieve their career goals. Further, Stephanie also helps clients identify any potential barriers to employment and a plan to tackle them. She is most passionate about seeing clients succeed, thrive, and leave with a new sense of hope for their future! Stephanie obtained her Bachelors of Arts, with a major in Psychology, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She recently obtained a Certified Workforce Development (CWDP) certification from the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals for her expertise in core areas of Career Coaching. When not working, Stephanie enjoys traveling, playing softball, and checking out museums.

    EM-Miller-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgE.M. Miller
    Director of Teacher Support, Chicago, ONEGOAL

    E.M. Miller (they/them) is an educator and innovator working in college access and success. After graduating from the College of Wooster in 2007, they began their nonprofit career serving as an Americorps volunteer City Year Seattle/King County. Since then, they have worked in the nonprofit and public sectors-- as a community technology center coordinator, CPS teacher, college counselor, and, most recently, as a Director of Teacher Support with OneGoal Chicago. At OneGoal, E.M. coaches teachers from across the city as they support first-year college students. They are excited to grow and develop with others in the YNPN Leadership Institute.

    Payal-Patel-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgPayal Patel
    Public Relations Manager, Navy Pier Inc. 

    Payal Patel is an international award-winning and multilingual communications professional with more than a decade of experience. With a knack for writing and storytelling, Payal originally set out for a career in sports broadcasting upon graduating from Marquette University. Following a brief stint as a sports reporter for Milwaukee's ABC-TV affiliate, she returned to her hometown of Chicago to transition to a career in public relations. Currently at Navy Pier, Payal manages media relations and serves as the primary spokesperson for the top destination in the Midwest, which welcomes more than 9 million guests each year. She played a pivotal role in developing and executing the PR strategy for Navy Pier’s centennial celebration, which included a robust lineup of special events and programming and Pier-wide redevelopment efforts to enhance the iconic landmark as it entered its second century.

    Presently, Payal sits on the local boards for Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC) and Women In Sports and Events (WISE), and is a member of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Chicago Leadership Alliance (CLA), an exclusive network of distinguished leaders in Chicago. As part of her philanthropic involvement, she volunteers regularly at Feed My Starving Children and serves as an ambassador and charter member of Room to Read - Chicago Chapter. In her spare time, Payal enjoys reading, working on her cookbook (benefiting Room to Read), practicing yoga and meditation, watching soccer and spending time with family and friends. Payal currently resides in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago with her goldendoodle, Leo – named after her favorite soccer player, Lionel Messi.

    Corey-Richardson-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgCorey Richardson
    Director of Placement & Alumni Relations, Golden Apple Foundation

    Corey Richardson is Director of Placement & Alumni Relations of the Golden Apple Foundation, which honors, develops and trains teachers in Illinois. The program has impacted nearly 3,000 teachers and 70,000 students throughout the state. Richardson focuses on improving the career services, K-12 partnerships and alumni engagement for the entire program. Before joining the foundation, he served as a regional admission counselor for Western Illinois University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of St. Francis (’09) and a master’s in Leadership Studies in Higher Education from North Central College (’12). Richardson volunteers in the community as the Chairman of One Million Degree Associates Board and is a national member of American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network.

    Jocelyn-Rizzo-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgJocelyn Rizzo
    Care Manager Team Lead, Erie Family Health Center

    Jocelyn Rizzo is from Joliet, Illinois and earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and French at Iowa State University. Following her studies she volunteered until she landed her first job at Catholic Charities. She then lived abroad for two years honing her French speaking skills while teaching English at various levels. Her experience at a transitional housing shelter, O'hare international airport and managed care reflect her interest in living with intention, in different cultures and in human rights, such as quality of life.

    With over ten years in the field, she is committed to leadership and strives to lead by example. She learns the most from her patients and her team through the exchanging of ideas and collaboration. She stays motivated to do her best to meet her patients' health needs, keeping in mind that they are the heart of the program. Jocelyn is always looking for ways to improve and take on new adventures including this new one with YNPN!

    Marine-Tempels-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgMarine Tempels
    Development Director, ArtReach Chicago

    Marine Tempels is the Development Director for ArtReach Chicago, a nonprofit that empowers and connects people through the practice of visual arts. She is responsible for cultivating relationships with the funding community, individual donors, and event liaisons to support the organization’s mission-driven programming. ArtReach believes that distinct job functions are strengthened with a holistic, integrated approach to the work that ensures connectivity. Therefore, Marine also works to improve program operations and structures, envision new programs, evaluate existing programs, and contribute to the vision of the organization. Aside from ArtReach, Marine is a practicing visual artist dedicated to making the art world more inclusive. Marine exhibits throughout Chicago and was a recent finalist of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation's Fellowship Competition. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Indiana University in 2012. Previously, Marine has worked with several organizations that help empower individuals through the arts including Stone Belt, a center for individuals with disabilities and the Recovery Engagement Center where she created artwork with individuals suffering from addictions. You can view Marine's artwork at www.marinetempels.com.

    Chris-Tena-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgChris-Michael Tena
    Chicago Program Coordinator, Student Conservation Association

    Chris-Michael Tena is an environmentalist person of color, youth advocate, and supporter of open access to healthy recreation opportunities for all people. He is also a passionate activist for the Inclusion and Representation of people of color and LGBTQ-identified folks in outdoor spaces.

    Chris-Michael serves as the Chicago Program Coordinator at the Student Conservation Association. The Student Conservation Association (SCA), a national leader in youth service and stewardship, engages young adults in hands-on service learning programs across the United States with a goal of developing the next generation of conservation stewards and leaders. In Chris-Michael's role as Program Coordinator, he oversees training and management of 125+ seasonal employees each year and serves as a project management lead for conservation-focused programming in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana region.

    Prior to joining SCA, Chris-Michael worked with numerous other youth development and conservation agencies including the California Conservation Corps, Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD), and the Lake County Youth Build. He has served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) as well as helped preserve some of the country's iconic trails as a seasonal Backcountry Trailcrew member in Yosemite National Park. In his off time, Chris-Michael volunteers with the Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO) program as an outing leader. He also enjoys cooking with friends, brewing beer, and napping in hammocks.

    Chris-Michael earned his B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz in Sociology. He later received his Master of Public Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) where he studied Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship.

    Edna-Togba-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgEdna M. Togba
    Chief Development Officer, Chicago Sinfonietta

    Edna M. Togba is the Chief Development Officer at Chicago Sinfonietta, the nation’s most diverse and innovative orchestra, where she manages fundraising efforts for the organization including grant writing, event planning, solicitations, and volunteer board oversight. She is passionate about cultivating the next generation of leaders while championing racial equality in the visual and performing arts. After receiving a B.A. from Wesleyan University (College of Letters), Edna held several positions in New York, including as a photography instructor. Later, in Paris, she worked as an English teacher and artist’s assistant. She then completed an M.A. in Art History at Northwestern University, focusing on Contemporary Black Art. Prior to joining Chicago Sinfonietta, Edna worked at The HistoryMakers in Chicago and Human Rights Watch in Los Angeles and San Francisco. She is delighted to be back in her hometown where she enjoys practicing photography, attending art exhibitions and performances, exploring the lake, and roller skating.

    Shavonne-Worthy-YNPN-Chicago-150x150.jpgShavonne Worthy
    Senior Program Manager, Girls on the Run–Chicago

    Shavonne Worthy has over nine years of experience in the nonprofit sector, working in numerous capacities with youth, school administrators, community volunteers, and families. In her current position as the Senior Program Manager for Girls on the Run-Chicago (GOTRC), she is responsible for facilitating program development and outreach for nearly 11,000 girls annually and managing the recruitment efforts of over 2,500 volunteers. In her five years with GOTRC, she has played a key part in increasing access to programming in under-resourced communities throughout the Chicagoland area. Prior to her role at GOTRC, she was the Family Literacy Coordinator for Albany Park Community Center, where she ran a program designed to support recent immigrants in their transition by providing English classes and child education. As a first-generation college graduate, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has dedicated time to helping prepare grant proposals for the founder of The Gray Matter Experience, a non-profit that helps teens build businesses to impact underrepresented communities. More recently, she completed the Chicago Marathon as a charity athlete.

  • published The National Network in About Us 2017-07-12 07:42:21 -0500

    The National Network

    The YNPN network began in San Francisco in 1997 and has grown into a nationwide grassroots movement with over 40 chapters across the country. Each chapter determines its local programming priorities, but nationally we work together to improve the nonprofit sector. If you’re planning to move, make sure to get connected to one of the local chapters listed on the YNPN National website. 


  • published Contact Us in Get Involved 2017-06-01 11:41:50 -0500

    Contact Us

    Do you have a question about YNPN Chicago? Please fill out this form, and we will get in touch with you shortly.

  • published Diversity & Inclusion in About Us 2017-04-30 16:47:20 -0500

    Diversity & Inclusion

    Our Focus on Diversity & Inclusion

    YNPN Chicago views equity, diversity, and inclusion as indispensable to our development as a premier organization serving nonprofit professionals and strengthening the sector. Our commitment to valuing individual diversity means reaching beyond stereotypical views of individuals to be inclusive of the strengths and different perspectives that each person offers. Diversity is integral to our identity and is essential to creating a vibrant array of events and programs with unique perspectives.

    YNPN Chicago will move our diversity and inclusion initiatives forward by proactively working to:

    • Ensure the design and execution of programs and events highlight and incorporate the diversity of Chicago neighborhoods and the nonprofit organizations within them.
    • Promote accessibility and increased attendance to programs and events among individuals in the YNPN Chicago community and organizational partners of diverse backgrounds.
    • Utilize the YNPN Chicago website and social media presence to highlight the achievements of our diverse community and the nonprofit organizations in which they work as well as provide opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to network and connect with one another.
    • Engage in sustainable, strategic partnerships with groups and organizations that support and enhance YNPN Chicago’s mission and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

  • published Membership 2017-04-16 13:24:04 -0500


    YNPN Chicago is dedicated to strengthening the nonprofit community by providing accessible professional development, resources, and networking opportunities for young professionals in the Chicago-area nonprofit sector. When you invest in a YNPN Chicago membership, you are showing your commitment to your own professional growth and helping to build a stronger network of nonprofit leaders. 

    Membership in YNPN Chicago is great for anyone:

    • Working, volunteering, or serving on a board in the Chicago nonprofit community
    • Interested in supporting the nonprofit sector and its emerging leaders
    • Considering a nonprofit career (including job-seekers, students, and sector-switchers)

    YNPN Chicago members receive:

    Getting involved with YNPN Chicago means tapping into a large network of nonprofit professionals and supporters. Regardless of membership status, events ranging from large happy hours to skill-based workshops are open to professionals of all ages, experience levels, and sectors. Members have more opportunities to connect and actively contribute to a network of engaged and passionate emerging nonprofit leaders. To make the most of your community, become a member today!