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The People Behind the Mission

Every organization is proud of those within it - for the sense of purpose they bring, the unique signature they provide, and the life they breathe into an already thriving mission.  We are no exception to this rule.  From our CEO to our newest employee for whom their first  'Motivationswas during a rigorous and intensive interview process, we each are 'cara' (the Gaelic word for friend).  We dance our values so we don't forget them, we push each other into the circle at 'Motivations' so we remain true to our mission, and we affirm each others' contributions in a way that's uniquely powerful and fun.  We do this because we believe deeply in what we do and to what we aspire.  And because we kind of like each other, too!

We are not an every day ordinary group of people, because this work is neither every day, nor ordinary.  In fact, on staff we have former bankers and IT directors, several MBAs, educators, former students Cara, and folks whose educational backgrounds are a mix of international relations, communications, business administration, career coaching and beyond.  We are a hybrid of smart, passionate people with one unifying goal: to work creatively and fervently towards the alleviation of poverty.   

For Cleanslate staff, please click here.

For Quad Communities Campus staff, please click here.

For a biography of senior leadership, please click here.

Rita Balzotti
Career Advancement & Alumni Manager
(312) 798-3301

Patricia Banks
Supportive Services Resource Coordinator
(773) 624-0675

Mary Belville
Contracts Manager
(312) 798-3324

Alison Benes
Senior Staff Accountant
(312) 798-3329

Raahsaan Brown
Admissions Specialist

Angela Burton
Training Specialist
(773) 924-2313

Julianne Chiu
Quality & Standards Manager
(312) 798-3345

Audri Coffer
Individual Engagement Manager
(312) 798-3321

Andrea Cote
Director of Data & Technology
(312) 798-3302

Erwin Delfin
Network Engineer
(312) 798-3314

Marlin Exton
Corporate Account Manager
(312) 798-3312

Lynnette Frazier
Senior Manager of Supportive Services, Site Director
(773) 924-2438

Johnny Galloway
Facilities Associate
(312) 798-3332

Catrina Goodman
Individual Development Specialist
(773) 924-3098

Jessica Harris
Associate Director of Advancement
(312) 798-3325

Da Sean Hillsman
Individual Development Specialist
(312) 798-3342

Melanie Hoebbel
Manager of Recruitment and Admissions
(312) 798-3308

Vicki Hudson-Stapleton
Training Specialist
(312) 798-3320

Shikha Jain
Senior Director of Key Partnerships
(312) 798-3307

Kacey Kelly
Events Manager
(312) 798-3337

Maria Kim
President & CEO
(312) 798-3319

Ellen Kinczewski
Development Associate
(312) 798-3331

Anthony Labellarte
Individual Development Specialist
(312) 798-3303

Linda Lam
Individual Development Specialist
(312) 798-3322

Marybeth Lanier
Manager of Contracts & Compliance
(312) 798-3328

Mario LaPlaca
(312) 798-3311

Jill Lewandowski
Admissions Specialist
(312) 798-3310

Beth Lye
Sr. Manager of Donor Relations
(312) 798-3304

Tekorah Martin
Transitional Jobs Manager
(312) 798-3335

Dominique McGee
Corporate Account Manager
(312) 798-3316

Kristi McKenzie
Admissions Specialist
(312) 798-3313

Kevin Miller
Chief Financial Officer
(312) 798-3334

Lauren Mislove
Institutional Giving Associate
(312) 798-3343

Joe Mutuc
Chief Business Development Officer
(312) 798-3344

Sasha Ongtengco
Director of Cara Connects
(312) 798-6725

Parth Patel
Staff Accountant
(312) 798-3323

Dollie Perkins
Front Desk Receptionist
(312) 798-3300

Lisa Peters
Office Manager
(312) 798-3340

Chelsea Poats
HR Associate
(312) 798-3346

Karen Righeimer
Manager of HR and Operations
(312) 798-3339

Elaine Ross
Corporate Account Manager
(312) 798-3341

Kathie Stokes
Business Development Manager
(312) 798-3348

Jesse Teverbaugh
Director of Student and Alumni Affairs
(312) 798-3333

Adam Thomas
Professional Development Specialist
(312) 798-3306

Mark Toriski
Marketing and Communications Manager
(312) 798-6723

Clennetta Trotter
Financial Coach
(773) 924-2139

Nora Vail
Manager of Supportive Services
(312) 798-3318

Dilaun White
Manager of Placement Services
(312) 798-3326

Bob White
Chief Program Officer
(312) 798-3317

Kimberly Yancy-Jones
Individual Development Specialist
(312) 798-3327

The Impact

The Cara Program is a 4-Star Charity

Charity Navigator has awarded The Cara Program its most coveted 4-star rating!

learn more

Our Partner Programs

  • Clean Slate
  • TCP Staffing

Our Supporters and Employers

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Kellogg Company
  • Lurie Children's Hospital
  • Mariano's
  • Rebuilding Exchange
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Sodexo
  • Salvation Army
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Levy Restaurants
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Rivers Casino
  • Fitness Formula Clubs
  • Eataly Chicago
  • Housing Authority of Cook County
  • Catholic Charities
  • Harvard Maintenance Inc
  • Gotham Greens
  • Engineered Glass Products
  • The Habitat Company
  • Union League Club
  • Palmer House Hilton
  • Hilton Chicago O'Hare
  • Loretto Hospital
  • Resurrection Healthcare
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Hyatt Regency O'Hare
  • Hyatt Regency McCormick
  • Standard Parking
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Pierce and Associates
  • Mercy Housing Lakefront
  • Center For Working Families
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Cleanslate
  • ABM Janitorial Services
  • Allied Barton Security Services
  • Bank of America
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