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The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) Board of Directors announced Sol Anderson as its third President and CEO. Mr. Anderson, who most recently served as the Executive Director of I Grow Chicago, was unanimously chosen in a board vote held last week. He was identified through an extensive search process led by the national recruitment firm of Kittleman & Associates. Larry Singer, who recently was elected ECF Board Chair, led the search committee. With this election, Mr. Singer replaced Lisa Altenbernd, who served as Board Chair for a two-year term.
Mr. Anderson succeeds Elspeth Revere as Interim President and CEO, who had replaced Monique Parsons in December 2020.
“On behalf of the ECF Board, Lisa and I are thrilled to welcome Sol as the next leader for ECF,” said Mr. Singer. “Through successive leadership positions Sol has developed the leadership, development, strategic thinking and community outreach skills needed to guide ECF and position us for a very strong future. Most importantly, Sol is deeply passionate about our community and our ability to effect strong, positive change in Evanston.”
I Grow Chicago is a nonprofit in the Englewood community that works to eradicate the roots of violence. Prior to working there, Mr. Anderson served as the Chicago Executive Director of LIFT Incorporated, an organization that partners with parents to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and to build prosperity. Earlier in his extensive career, he served in a variety of leadership roles for the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing, Cristo Rey Community Center and SCORE! Educational Centers. One of his earliest positions included serving as Youth Coordinator for the City of Evanston. He has lived and/or worked in Evanston for the past 15 years, and is thrilled to be able to invest in the community where he and his wife are raising their family. He holds a BA Degree and MBA from Michigan State University.
“It is truly an honor to lead this organization,” said Mr. Anderson. “I’m proud to call Evanston home. This community has the capacity to nurture each one of its residents and give every Evanstonian a chance to thrive. I believe ECF can, and should, play a pivotal role in making that a reality. It is a privilege to serve this Board of Directors and our longstanding donors, who have always stepped up with their time, talent, and treasure to help the Foundation reach its goals. And I am beyond excited to work with a team that is incredibly dedicated and passionate about our mission. We will do great things together.”
As President and CEO, Mr. Anderson will plan, organize, and exercise control over all operations of ECF. This will include acting as steward of the Foundation; demonstrating strategic leadership; and overseeing the organization’s management, operations, and communications.
“Lisa and I also want to extend our thanks to Elspeth Revere, who expertly led as Interim President and CEO while the Board conducted this comprehensive search,” said Singer. “Elspeth stepped in without hesitation and kept the team focused on the bigger mission. We are grateful for her leadership.”
ECF closed out 2020 with more than $30 million in assets, a milestone for the organization. Shortly after COVID hit the community, ECF created the Evanston Community Rapid Response Fund to support vulnerable individuals and organizations in its community who had been impacted by the pandemic. In just under a year, $4 million was raised and grants of $4.3 million have been awarded to community nonprofits and small businesses.