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The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) has announced that its longtime president and CEO, Sara Schastok, has said she plans to retire by the end of 2015, and announced a plan to search for her replacement, provide for a smooth transition and assure continued service.
In Ms. Schastok’s 14 years at the helm, ECF has grown from a small affiliate of Evanston United Way with less than $3 million in assets to a major force for improvement and social change in Evanston, with present assets of approximately $20 million, annual grants approaching $900,000 and total annual distributions from all funds of $2.5 million.
In 2011, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce gave her its annual Community Leadership Award, telling her: “We believe you best represent the qualities of creative entrepreneurship and professionalism, and you have given tremendous energy and leadership to the City of Evanston.” Joan Gunzberg, Chair of ECF’s board of directors, said, “Sara has committed to remaining as president for as long as the end of 2015 while we initiate a successful search for a successor.” After the successor has been chosen, Ms. Schastok will serve as a senior philanthropic advisor to ECF.