OUR TEAM

Meet the motivators behind the motivated

Executive Team

Our Executive Team is a motley crew of entrepreneurs, educators, fundraisers, and career flippers. Together, they lead Cara’s enterprise of boot camps and businesses, they evangelize for the mission locally and nationally, and, even after a combined 50 years of Cara experience, they fervently believe they are just getting started.

Maria Kim President & CEO

After 13 years in the insurance industry (with her last position leading the technology division for a $400-million insurance firm), Maria Kim joined Cara in 2005. Her civic leadership includes service on the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation and board leadership at the EPIC Academy and Rebuilding Exchange. She was a fellow for Leadership Greater Chicago’s Class of 2008, served on the board for the Leadership Fellows Association in 2009 and 2010, was a 2012 American Marshall Memorial Fellow, and a 2013 TEDxMidwest Emerging Leader. Maria holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Maria’s side hustle: “Personal shopper, getting folks fashion forward-ish on a budget”.

Kevin Miller Chief Financial Officer

Having spent more than 15 years working in the finance and operations department of non-profit organizations, Kevin joined Cara in 2016 as the Chief Financial Officer. Kevin previously worked as a Vice President of Finance and Operations at Accion Chicago and as the Vice President of Finance and Operations, overseeing the opening of the National Hellenic Museum. Kevin holds a Master of Public Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology and bachelor’s degrees in both finance and information technology. His extensive experience with management, reporting, and budgeting is paramount as he is charged with the enterprise’s financial reporting and accounting; oversight of government contract management, technology, and human resource; and strategic planning for Cara and its businesses. Kevin’s first gig: “My very first job was flipping burgers at Wendy’s in high school.”

Bob White Chief Program Officer

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Bob served as the owner-operator of an automotive aftermarket business in Michigan prior to joining Cara in 2007. Bob began in a direct-service role at Cara, coaching students through the challenges of job retention, and was quickly promoted to manager of the department. He draws upon his direct-service experience in his current role as Chief Program Officer with responsibilities for overseeing the effective and sustainable application of our mission through integrated program services, as well as optimizing the program’s interface with our social enterprises. Under Bob’s leadership, Cara has expanded its programming across two campuses to meet the needs of a higher volume and a more diverse community of participants while realizing record levels of employment retention, regularly exceeding the national average by 20% or more. Bob proudly serves on the Chicago Committee on Urban Opportunity, an oversight and review board that advises the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services. Bob’s first gig: “My first jobs were detailing cars during the day and flipping burgers at night.”

Joe Mutuc Chief Business Development Officer

After six years of for-profit experience in supplemental education and sales, Joe began his nonprofit career in 2006 as a Corporate Account Manager at Cara, responsible for securing and building relationships with major employment partners such as ABM, Northwestern Medicine, and the CTA. He has served in various capacities and roles including leading Cara’s Admissions/Recruitment, Training, and Career Coaching divisions before settling into his role of Chief Business Development Officer. He currently focuses on the growth of strategic employment partnerships and Cara Connects, Cara’s alternative staffing firm. Under Joe’s leadership, Cara expanded its portals of entry allowing for quicker routes to services and employment, won a prestigious Chicago Innovation Award, and gained acceptance into the REDF National Portfolio of high-performing social enterprises. Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan. Joe’s first gig: “I filed medical records for my mom’s pediatric patients at the old Resurrection Medical Center's Professional Building.”

Shikha Jain Senior Director of Key Partnerships

Hailing from the Midwest, Shikha spent 10-plus years on both coasts before returning to Chicago and joining the team at Cara in 2014. She focuses on investor acquisition and cultivation and is charged with curating the Cara brand and donor experience. She previously had executive and strategy roles at Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, GLAAD, and Cara peer Chrysalis and holds degrees from University of Dayton and University of Illinois at Chicago. Shikha serves as a Founding Board Member for The Bernie Project, a binational organization that positively impacts the lives of vulnerable people in Uganda through holistic initiatives. She is excited to work with our key partners to ensure Cara donors are getting the best bang for their buck. Shikha’s first gig: “Folding clothes perfectly and selling the GAP brand in my hometown’s mall.”

Brady Gott Managing Director

Brady currently oversees Cleanslate Chicago, a social enterprise that creates more than 300 jobs annually for Chicagoans affected by homelessness and poverty. For ten years, Brady has overseen business operations, personnel management, budgeting, quality control, and business expansion consistent with the strategic plan of Cara, Cleanslate’s parent nonprofit. Brady earned a BA in Urban Ministry from Moody Bible Institute and a MBA at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. Brady was a 2016 Fellow at the University of Chicago's Civic Leadership Academy. Brady’s first gig: “My first job was bagging and stacking ice in a warehouse that was 27 degrees year round.“

Board of Directors

Our board’s tireless commitment and passion for our mission keeps Cara fiscally healthy and thriving. With their stewardship, we are equipped to create and evolve programs that meet the urgent and challenging needs of our candidates and their communities.

  • John Bennecke
    Managing Director - True Partners Consulting
  • Daniel Brennan
    President - DWME LLC
  • Kristin Carlson Vogen
    President & CEO - Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation
  • Mark Carroll
    Principal – Cognitive Capital
  • Bill Conroy
    (Chairman)

    Technology Consultant – Conroy Advisors
  • Terry Diamond
    Principal – TDiamond Associates
  • Jeff Galowich
    President – SA Ignite
  • Alexi Giannoulias
    Senior Director – BNY Mellon Wealth Management
  • Andy Gloor
    Managing Principal – Sterling Bay
  • Na’ree Hankins
    Market President – Lakeshore Market BMO Financial Group
  • Anny Huang
    Partner – Sidley Austin LLP
  • Tim Hunter
    Owner – Hunter Capital, LP
 
  • Maria Lin
    Program Director of Human Resources – Northwestern Memorial Health Care
  • James W. Mabie
    (Alumnus)

    Principal – William Blair and Company
  • Katie Mulcahy
    Board Member – The Owens Foundation
  • Cheryl Johnson-Odim
    Provost Emerita and Professor of History – Dominican University
  • Thomas M. Owens
    (Chairman Emeritus)

    Vice President – The Owens Foundation
  • Tom Owens, Jr.
    Board Member – The Owens Foundation
  • J. Todd Phillips
    CEO – Parson Partners
  • Patricia Provenzano
    Senior Vice President, Private Client Manager – U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
  • Robert Roche
    (Alumnus)

    Director – Acorn International, Inc. - Shanghai, China
    Chairman – Oak Lawn Marketing, Inc. - Tokyo, Japan
 
  • Theresa M. Roche
    President – OAR Management, Inc.
  • Lance Russell
    CEO – Chicago Tech Academy
  • Daniel Ryan
    (Alumnus)

    Managing Director – JLL
  • David J. Ryan
    Managing Principal – Gray Matters Group
  • Bill Steinmetz
    Managing Director – BlueStar Ventures
  • Amanda Wilson
    Managing Director – J.P. Morgan Chase Asset Management
  • Ron Zinnerman
    (Alumnus)

    HR | Talent Acquisition Leader – Marsh & McLennan Companies
  • Maria Kim
    (Ex-Officio)

    President & CEO – Cara
Executive Council

Our Executive Council is a team of established executives across industry – talented leaders who engage in strategy, marketing, alumni engagement, and signature fund- and friend-raising events for Cara.

  • Praveen Adhi
    Partner - McKinsey & Company
  • Dr. Greg Chen
    Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Shaun Considine
    Principal - Command Performance Coaching
  • Matt Crowl
    Partner - Riley, Safer, Holmes & Cancila
  • John Dombrowki
  • Julie Ebner
    Manager of Administration - Be Found Online
  • Bob Flannery
    Chief Operating Officer - CA Ventures
  • Jay Freshwater
    Vice President, Midwest Sales - Business Insider
  • Bela Gandhi
    Founder & Director - Smart Dating Academy
  • Julie Garfield
    Project Manager - BMO Harris Bank
 
  • Mike Grill
    Attorney - Holland & Knight LLP
  • Peter Halligan
    Managing Partner - Consentus Group
  • Adam Klotch
    Vice President, Sales - ABM Janitorial Services
  • Julie Lopez
    Financial Advisor - Merrill Lynch
  • Jeff Madden
    Portfolio Manager - Ironbridge Capital Management L.P.
  • Kevin Moore
    Principal - Avison Young
  • Joe O’Neil
    Senior Director of Ticket Operations - Chicago Bulls
 
  • Chris Ryan
    Managing Director - HBR Consulting
  • Adam Short
    Vice President, Acquisitions - Golub & Company LLC
  • Shawn Strack
  • J. Maurice Thomas
    President & Chief Executive Officer - Thomas Services, Inc.
  • Brett Williams
    Director - PwC
Associate Board

Our Associate Board boasts emerging leaders across industry who are ready, willing, and able to activate their network to help spread the word. Their focus includes program design and engagement of Cara’s Ambassadors (a group of mission enthusiasts) and signature fund- and friend-raising events like the Cara Summer Social and Motivations After Dark.

  • Steve Burns
    Partner - CJG Partners LLP
  • Kyle Cushing
    Manager of Sales Development - Hired, Inc.
  • Nichole Graveen
    Senior Associate - Guggenheim Partners
  • Kelly Hansen
    Director, Finance & Accounting Recruiting - Access Search, Inc.
  • Sean Lightner
    (Finance Chair)

    Vice President, Commercial Banking - BMO Harris
 
  • Margaret Manetti 
    Supervising Attorney - Codilis & Associates
  • Molly McCann
    (Recruitment Chair)

    Client Engagement Manger - Wunderland
  • Joanna Meagher
    (Special Events Chair)

    Account Manager - Henson Consulting Inc.
  • Jaclyn Scandinaro 
    Sales Recruiting Project Manager - LaSalle Network
  • Danny Scott
    (President)

    Consultant - Slalom Consulting
  • Cordelia Seidel
    National Recruitment Advisor - Medix
 
  • Ariel Upton
    Marketing Manager - Sonoma Partners
  • Kandice Walker
    (Community Engagement Chair)

    Legal Assistant - McGuire Woods LLP
  • Amy Wolcott
    (Vice President)

    Manager, Marketing, Operations & Technical Recruiting - Sprout Social
Staff
  • Aaron Dawson

    Front Desk Assistant

  • Alison Benes

    Database & IT Support Specialist

  • Almond Aguila

    Crew Chief 1

  • Andrea Cote

    Director of Data & Technology

  • Angela Burton

    Training Specialist

  • Anthony Labellarte

    Staffing Account Manager

  • Audrianne Coffer

    Individual Engagement Manager

  • August Mangun

    Quality Control Manager

  • Beth Lye

    Senior Manager of Donor Relations

  • Catrina Goodman

    Individual Development Specialist

  • Chelsea Poats

    HR Associate

  • Clemente Urrutia

    Crew Chief 1

  • Clennetta Trotter

    Financial Coach

  • Da'Sean Hillsman

    Individual Development Specialist

  • Darien Austin

    Crew Chief 1

  • Dave Atkinson

    Crew Chief 1

  • Dennis Rodriguez

    Field Foreman

  • Dilaun White

    Manager of Placement Services

  • Dollie Perkins

    Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

  • Dominique McGee

    Corporate Account Manager

  • Elaine Ross

    Corporate Account Manager

  • Ellen Kinczewski

    Development Associate

  • Emily Billups

    Executive Assistant

  • Erwin Delfin

    Network Engineer

  • Ivan Campbell

    Crew Chief & Event Lead

  • Jeremy Berry

    Crew Chief 1

  • Jeremy Williams

    Chicago CRED Project Manager

  • Jesse Teverbaugh

    Director of Student & Alumni Affairs

  • Jessica Harris

    Associate Director of Advancement

  • Jill Lewandowski

    Admissions Specialist

  • Johnny Galloway

    Facilities Associate

  • Juan Rodriguez

    Auto Mechanic/Facility Supervisor

  • Julie Chiu

    Quality & Standards Manager

  • Kacey Kelly

    Events Manager

  • Karen Righeimer

    Manager of HR & Operations

  • Kathie Stokes

    Business Development Manager

  • Kimberly Jones

    Individual Development Specialist

  • Kristi McKenzie

    Admissions Specialist

  • LaBradford Martin

    Crew Chief 1

  • Lauren Mislove

    Institutional Giving Associate

  • Leslie Stevens, Jr.

    Crew Chief 1

  • Linda Lam

    Individual Development Specialist

  • Lisa Kidd

    Business District Maintenance Manager

  • Lisa Peters

    Office Support Manager

  • Lynnette Frazier

    Senior Manager of Supportive Services & Site Director

  • Mario LaPlaca

    Controller

  • Mark Toriski

    Marketing & Communications Manager

  • Marlin Exton

    Corporate Account Manager

  • Martin Mercer

    Landscaping & Snow Removal Manager

  • Mary Belville

    Contracts Manager

  • Marybeth Lanier

    Manager of Contracts & Compliance

  • Melanie Hoebbel

    Manager of Recruitment & Admissions

  • Michael Bellino

    Crew Chief 1

  • Nora Vail

    Manager of Coaching & Retention

  • Parth Patel

    Staff Accountant

  • Patricia Banks

    Supportive Services Resource Coordinator

  • Raahsaan Brown

    Admissions Specialist

  • Rita Balzotti

    Career Advancement & Alumni Manager

  • Ron Holakovsky

    Manager of Operations

  • Rosetta Reeves

    Crew Chief 1

  • Sally Gonzalez

    Manager of Business Administration

  • Sasha Ongtengco

    Director of Cara Connects

  • Tekorah Martin

    Transitional Jobs Manager

  • Tommy Wells

    Crew Chief 1

  • Vicki Hudson-Stapleton

    Training Specialist

  • Warren Tipton

    Digital Literary (Americorps)

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