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Directors & Staff
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Meet Our Directors & Staff:


Sarah Borgeson

Role at CWIP: Co-Chair Programs and Capacity Building Committee
Where She Works: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
What She Does:  Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations
How to Contact Her:  email or 312-238-3600
Why support Women & Girls?  Investing in women and girls, at all stages of their lives, will cultivate more vibrant communities in which to live, work and play.  
Fun Fact: Sarah loves exploring new places near and far, reading, running and kettlebells.

Kirstin Chernawsky

Role at CWIP: Member CWIP Board of Directors
Where She Works: Erie Neighborhood House
What She Does:  Executive Director
How to Contact Her: email 
Why Support Women & Girls?:  Aside from being a fundamental human rights issue, supporting women and girls is of the upmost importance because it creates healthier families, stronger economies, and provides a diverse perspective to whatever issue is being addressed.  On a personal note, I find celebrating and learning from unique women nourishing and essential for my continued development as a leader.
Fun Fact: I love playing 12'' softball every spring and summer. 

Caronina Grimble

Role at CWIP: Board Member 
Where She Works: Woods Fund Chicago
What She Does: Program Officer
How to Contact Her: email or 312-782-2698
Why Support Women & Girls? Because when women and girls are supported and empowered, they are equipped to change the world around them in incredible ways that positively impact everyone.   
Fun Fact: Caronina is an avid gardener, and has six fruit trees in her backyard. #pies 

Maria Kim

Role at CWIP: Member of the Board of Directors, Member of Program Committee
Where She Works: Cara Chicago 
What She Does: President and CEO
How to Contact Her:  email or 312-798-3319
Why Support Women & Girls? Women are leaders, care-takers, coaches, believers, partners, moms, favorite aunts, sisters by blood and sisters by choice, best friends, life lines, and loves.  Girls are on a whirlwind journey to get there.  Forget the statistics that say if you invest in women, all boats in a community rise up, poverty's potential to be kicked in the butt is accelerated ten-fold, etc.  Just think in your gut what would be possible in our world if women found their voice and their strength consistently, with aspiration and intention and without apology; and girls were clicking on their heels to get them there faster?  Just imagine... 
Fun Fact: I sing (poorly) at work in the morning, almost everyday.  If you want to know why, ping me.  

Gwendolyn McNutt

Role at CWIP: Member of the Board of Directors 
Where She Works: Comcast, Greater Chicago Region
What She Does: Regional External Affairs Manager
How to Contact Her:  email or 224-229-4268
Why Support Women & Girls? I am inspired by women who have become successful, but still make time to share their gifts and positive outlook on others.  I want to be one of those women and continue to make time to give back and take time to inspire women and girls of the future. 
Fun Fact: I am a Certified Special Events (CSEP), through the International Live Events Society (ILEA). I am also heavily involved in the event industry, and am currently serving as a director-at-large on the ILEA International Board

Jennifer Mitchell

Role at CWIP: Co-Chair Programs and Capacity Building Committee
Where She Works: Chicago Public Schools
What She Does: Partnership Development Liaison 
How to Contact Her: email or 773-583-5078
Why Support Women & Girls?: Women have made most significant strides. As a result, more opportunities and equality bless our lives. Yet much ground has yet to be covered. With this in mind, working for the advancement of women and girls is not only the right thing to do - it is the smart thing to do. When women and girls are held back from reaching their whole potential, we all lose out on talent that never flourishes and could significantly make a difference in the challenges that the world faces today.   
Fun Fact:  I have an "around the world" cooking library. What's better than a Spanish meal with an Eastern European touch?

Carolyn Nopar

Role at CWIP: Co-Chair Sponsorship Committee
Where She Works: Skills for Chicagoland's Future
What She Does: VP of Development
How to Contact Her: email or 847-624-7937
Why Support Women & Girls?  I firmly believe that to create a sustainable change in the lives of families living in low-income communities, we need to focus on women and girls. Women head most of the households and have the most influence on future generations. By giving them the tools to help themselves, we can impact their future as well as society as a whole.
Fun Fact: Carolyn spent a summer in college cleaning cabins and chasing bears at Sequoia National Park in California.

Jodi Patt Pellettiere

Role at CWIP: Co-Chair Membership & Networking Committee
Where She Works: Quarles & Brady LLP
What She Does: Partner, Tax-Exempt Organizations Group
How to Contact Her: email or 312-715-5000
Why Support Women & Girls? Improving and transforming the lives of women and girls, of any age, has a resounding impact on the community as a whole
Fun Fact: In her spare time, Jodi loves to practice and improve upon her photojournalism skills (her favorite subject is her daughter).

Alma Rodriguez

Role at CWIP: Member of the Board of Directors and the Program Committee
Where She Works: The Chicago Community Trust
What She Does: Program Officer
How to Contact Her: email 
Why Support Women & Girls? There are many challenges women face as they move into a work setting to meet the demands of the professional world while balancing personal goals.  Many great women have helped me grow personally and professionally, and I believe we need to create spaces to support, motivate and inspire each other. 
Fun Fact: Alma enjoys Chicago's summer festivals and trying new restaurants. 

Bintou Sy

Role at CWIP: Member of the Board of Directors
Where She Works: CiTTA Partnership
What She Does: Marketing Manager and Senior Marketing Consultant
How to Contact Her: email 
Why Support Women & Girls? Investing our time and lending our talent to inspire and educate tomorrow’s female leaders is an important job.  I have been so fortunate to cross paths with women who have mentored me or just listened when things got rough. My work through CWIP helps me pay  that kindness and generosity forward.
Fun Fact: I am an avid reader and love to collect antique books and magazines.

Debra Walker Johnson

Role at CWIP: Co-Chair Women's Leadership Mentoring Program Committee
Where She Works: 
What She Does: 
How to Contact Her:  email or 312-630-9744
Why Support Women & Girls?  Investing in women and girls is a good sound investment.  An investment in a young girl often leads to an empowered woman. When you invest a woman, you invest in society. It has a multiplying effect that goes well beyond the woman, extending to her family and her community, resulting in the betterment of society. 
Fun Fact:  Debra has traveled around the world singing with her church choir.  Two of her most memorable events include performing with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and singing the National Anthem at a Chicago White Sox game.

Freeda Warren

Role at CWIP: I serve on the Membership Committee, Co-Chair Sponsorship Committee and I am a member of the board of directors.
Where She Works: 
What She Does:   
How to Contact Her: email (personal); 312-626-1797 (wk.); 858-722-6806 (c)
Why Support Women & Girls?  I support women and girls because I believe that throughout the world that women and girls are the backbone to society, families and communities.  When women succeed, everyone succeeds.  Women help create healthier, more sustainable communities and we are the most powerful force for change on the planet.  Women regardless of professional achievements are still relied upon by the family and society as the central care givers.  We have the most buying power, we make more financial decisions, we make most healthcare decisions, we manage the home, the kids, we work, we homeschool, all while keeping the plates spinning. With all of this, we still face incredible challenges; challenges that we have fought for and against for centuries.  I believe that women should have a voice and presence at the table to be recognized for the value that we bring to our families, jobs, and communities.  One of my personal goals in life is to continue the legacy of our foremothers and be a voice for change for all women.
Fun Fact: I have two Yorkie Terrier fur babies, Rocky and Charlie. I enjoy yoga, Pilates, hiking, traveling, warm California beaches, and I am a classical and jazz trained flutist.

Gidley Management Staff 

Susan Gidley

Role at CWIP: CWIP Administrator.  I have been with CWIP for more than 20 years.
Where she works: Gidley Management Group, Inc., a woman-owned firm.
What she does: Partner at GMG, an association management company currently serving 10 non-profit organizations.   
Contact her:  email or 312-750-1200
Why Support Women & Girls? I believe women and girls are the caretakers of the world!  
Fun Fact: Susan owns Gidley Management Group (GMG) with her two sisters, Sheila and Debbie. She enjoys golf, music, games and sports, and is an avid poker player. 

Jess Richter

Role at CWIP: Administrative
Where she works: Gidley Management Group, Inc.
What she does: Office and Account Manager for GMG.
Contact her: 
email or 312-750-1200
Why Support Women & Girls? To ensure the safety and opportunities  of women and girls in their personal, emotional, and professional lives.
Fun Fact:  Jess is an avid science fiction, fantasy, and comic book fan. Currently, she is writing a fantasy novel that she hopes to publish one day.

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