Since joining Millennia in 1997, Wendy has guided a wide range of organizational development, visioning, and planning efforts for nonprofit, public, and philanthropic organizations. She brings strong analytic and participatory facilitation methods to results-oriented group processes fully engaging diverse stakeholders. An accomplished consensus-builder she had guided several large-scale community planning efforts around difficult issues such as community mental health, developmental disabilities, violence prevention, and education.
Her strategic planning clients span many fields and have included national and local health systems and associations, community and private foundations, community-based social service agencies, religious organizations, libraries, arts groups, public schools and government agencies. Her training as an urban planner combined with her years of experience working with organizations large and small, has provided her a wealth of insight into organizational strategy, management, and change.
Her talents don’t end with planning. Wendy helps her clients design programs and measure their success. She was the principal evaluator of the Grand Victoria Foundation’s seven-year, three-city Workforce Demonstration Project focused on transitioning low wage, low skill workers to living wage jobs. She has led health and human service program evaluations as well.
Wendy is well-known for her work with immigrant and refugees. Her expertise in language and cultural competence was recognized by the State of Illinois when it took the lead nationally to develop immigrant integration policy and provide organizational capacity building services to new and emergent immigrant and refugee organizations.
She has a strong commitment to mentoring future nonprofit leaders. She regularly facilitates professional development groups and she provides one-on-one coaching to executives and managers in the sector.
Prior to joining Millennia, Wendy was the Director of the Chicago Institute on Urban Poverty, a division of the Heartland Alliance, where she directed policy and advocacy initiatives and launched the first health care interpreter service in Illinois. She was the Associate Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s International Business Development Program, the founding director of a statewide retiree organization, campaign manager for a state representative, and publicist and fundraiser for a statewide consumer association.
Wendy holds a Masters of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She has earned a SHRM Essentials of Human Resource Management Certificate through DePaul University and holds other certificates in focus group research strategies and group process methods. She is a member of the Association of Consultant to Nonprofits and Forefront. She is the founder and former president of Friends of Whitney Young High School and served on its Local School Council. She served as a founding board member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance, an association of ethnic museums and cultural centers. She currently serves on the board of Lawrence Hall, a youth and family services agency.
In her words: “I never tire of working in the social sectors. I believe that there is a public good that is achieved by investing in the work of mission-driven organizations and the communities that they serve. Especially at a time when funding is being drastically reduced for social programs, it is even more critical for me to use my experience to help nonprofits, governments, and foundations be as focused and outcome-oriented as possible. There are so many individuals, families, and communities that rely on the programs and services provided by these important groups."