The Executive Board

The YNPN Chicago Executive Board is an all-volunteer working and governing board, consisting of 15-20 young nonprofit professionals. Find out more about the commitment, responsibilities, and how to apply here. Learn more about how we work together with The YNPN Chicago Way

2018 – 2019 Executive Board Members 

Executive Chairs


Ani Schmidt (She/Hers), Chair
Public Programs Coordinator | Chicago History Museum

In the Education Department at the Chicago History Museum, Ani develops and facilitates programs for adult, youth, and family audiences, including special commemorative events such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the Fourth of July. She works closely with interns and volunteers to share Chicago’s stories in new and engaging ways. Ani is the vice chair of the museum's digital future committee and manages the Out at CHM committee, an LGBTQ community advisory group.

Prior to entering the museum world, Ani worked as an English teacher and administrator in Dongtan, South Korea. She holds a Master’s in Art & Museum Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s in Cognitive Science and Art History from Northwestern University. Besides YNPN, Ani loves running along the lakefront, reading post-apocalyptic fiction, and exploring the city. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @MuseumUnhinged.

Brian Elmore (He/His), Vice Chair
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.

Secretary/National Liason

Jaclyn Carmichael (She/Hers)
STEM Program Manager | Lake View High School

Jaclyn is the Innovation Lab Manager at Chicago Public School’s Lake View High School, where she is developing their Innovation Lab makerspace and increasing programming available to students. She is also working on developing professional development opportunities for the students at Lake View and maintaining the quality of the space. 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 recently started at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business in the Master of Public Administration program.

When Jaclyn isn’t working, she loves hanging with her poodle-terrier 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)
Senior Manager, Operations | Center for Financial Services Innovation

As a Senior Manager at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, 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)
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

Suzy Lee (She/Hers), Annual Giving
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, the Nonprofit CEO Roundtable, the B Corp community, and supporting Forefront’s racial equity work. Suzy previously served as the Senior Manager of Children's Nutrition Policy at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and led the Illinois No Kid Hungry campaign. Prior to that, Suzy served as the Vice-Chair of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program Association and was responsible for policy research, program evaluation, and development.

Suzy is a member of the National Council of Nonprofits Membership Committee and volunteers as a Chicago Women in Philanthropy Ambassadoress, and a member of 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.

Dave Cotugno (He/His), Special Events
Senior Manager of Development | Cradles to Crayons

Dave is in his 7th year with Cradles to Crayons. In his first five years he worked at C2C Boston, helping grow their family philanthropy program to a more than $2M program, accounting for 50% of the annual revenue. Since moving to Chicago and helping open their new office, Dave has led the Development team to a $3.1M annual budget that serves more than 60,000 Chicagoland children annually. In his role, Dave manages corporate, foundation, and individual donors, sets the fundraising strategy, and oversees events. Dave graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Business Administration and has run two marathons.

Communications Chairs

Elizabeth Blasko (She/Hers)
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.

Christine Fifield

Christine Fifield (She/Hers)
Marketing and Communications Specialist | American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA)

Christine is the new Marketing and Communications Specialist with the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA), a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association. In this role, she develops and executes marketing strategies related to the website, social media, email, as well as print and digital media. Before coming to the AHA, Christine worked in communications-related positions for a variety of religious nonprofit organizations including a Lutheran church and bishop’s office.

Christine recently moved to Chicago and is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Christine received her B.A. in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Spanish from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She is a huge animal lover and welcomes any time she can spend with other people’s pets. When she’s not working or volunteering, you can usually find her running, watching the Great British Bake-Off, or listening to podcasts. She’s hoping to start her own soon!

Jillian Madden (She/Hers) 
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.

She is a member of the Junior League of Chicago, where she sits on the Mad Hatters committee, promoting literacy throughout the city. She also volunteers at Open Books West Loop in their bookstore. 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. Previously, she sat on the board of the University of Michigan Club of Atlanta as the Student Recruitment and Scholarship Chair and served as a mentor at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. In her free time, she loves to read and try new restaurants and coffee shops. 

Evan Williamson (He/His)
Manager, Strategic Advancement | Ounce of Prevention

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


Ilana Bruton (She/Hers)
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 for visitors. Prior to her work at the Adler, Ilana was the public programs manager at the Chicago History Museum where she was responsible for the design and implementation of programs to expand and diversify audiences. She is active in increasing her learning about visitor behavior and access and has been a member of the Visitor Studies conference planning team since 2017. Ilana coauthored the article “The Goal of the Emancipated Spectator: A Dramaturg and Museum Educator’s Facilitation of a Theater and Museum Collaboration” with Kristin Leahey, who is currently at the Seattle Rep (published in the academic journal, Theater Topics). She also graduated from The Second City’s Improvisational Training Center in 2012.

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.

Programming Chairs

Jerica Banks
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.

Briana Davis (She/Hers)
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.

Miriam Kamya (She/Hers)
Director of Philanthropy | SAGA Innovations

Miriam serves as the Director of Philanthropy at SAGA Innovations. 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.

Bridget McPike (She/Her)
National Volunteer Specialist | Muscular Dystrophy Association

Bridget works with the National Volunteer Program at the Muscular Dystrophy Association. During her five years at MDA, Bridget has also held positions in Foundations, Volunteer Coordination, and Accounting. MDA is working to transform the lives of people affected by neuromuscular disease, including muscular dystrophy, ALS and other related diseases. Prior to MDA, Bridget worked for the University of Chicago at UChicago Impact in Human Resources. UChicago Impact provides empirically-based tools and supporting services to create reliably excellent schooling.

Bridget attended North Park University earning her degree in Nonprofit Management. She is an avid White Sox and Blackhawks fan and when she is not working, you can catch her experiencing live music throughout the city or hanging out with her four nieces.

Membership Chairs

Phil Masters

Phil Masters (He/His), Operations
Program Director | Spark

Phil currently serves as a Program Director for Spark in Chicago, a career exploration and self-discovery nonprofit for middle school students. Spark focuses on building students’ vision of what’s possible for themselves through experiential learning labs and mentorships. Phil’s roots in Chicago’s education sector began at Kelvyn Park high school where he learned both about how students experience and navigate the Chicago Public School system, and how schools strategize to serve vulnerable populations.

Phil earned his B.A. in Sociology from SUNY Geneseo, and hails from frigid Buffalo, NY. Phil is a life long Bills fan, a newly minted Bulls fan, and listens to podcasts for approximately three hours every day.

Kelsey R. Vuillemot

Kelsey R. Vuillemot (She/Her), Outreach 
Program & Marketing Manager | DirectWomen

Kelsey Vuillemot is the Program & Marketing Manager at DirectWomen, a national non-profit that works to increase the representation of women lawyers on corporate boards. Prior to joining DirectWomen, Kelsey served as Senior Program Manager at the National Association of Women Lawyers ("NAWL"), where she worked with a group of talented and passionate lawyer volunteers to plan and execute all NAWL programming, ranging from single and multi-day conferences to programmatic webinars and teleconferences.

In addition to her work on the YNPN Chicago Board, Kelsey is involved on Women Employed's Advocacy Council and is active in her Alma Matter's Alumni Association. She previously served on the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois' Associate Board, where she helped plan the Board's signature "Derby for a Cause" event for several years. Kelsey received her Bachelor's degree, with honors, in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Michigan.

At-Large, Technology


Ryan Charnov (He/His)
Co-Founder | Giftluence

Ryan is the Co-Founder of Giftluence, a technology startup that stimulates charitable giving through online activity such as shopping and searching the internet. In this role, Ryan is responsible for developing cause marketing opportunities between major brands and over 800,000 nonprofits.

As a social entrepreneur, Ryan is passionate about leveraging technology to make it easier to support charitable positions at nonprofits in the education space such as Moneythink and Junior Achievement. Ryan received a B.S. in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis with majors in Entrepreneurship and Economics and Strategy. Outside of Giftluence and volunteering, Ryan is an avid fan of Houston sports and enjoys exploring Chicago restaurants.