December 6, 2022 – Executive search and non-profit consulting firm KEES has placed Michelle Jimenez as the first chief development officer of the Maryville Academy Foundation in Des Plaines, IL. This was the first search partnership for KEES and Maryville Academy Foundation, following a competitive selection process to identify a search partner. The comprehensive search attracted several qualified candidates from across the Midwest.
“The future holds enormous potential for Maryville Foundation, and we are thrilled to have led this search,” said Heather Eddy, president and CEO of KEES. “KEES strives to help build strong nonprofit teams and leaders through executive partnerships and working with Maryville over the last several months has been extremely rewarding. Client partners that are hiring the first of a key leadership role have a unique element, and Michelle will truly help the foundation gain its footing and come to life. KEES proudly congratulates the entire Foundation team on this appointment.”
“The hiring of our first chief development officer is a defining moment in our history, and we are thankful for KEES for their expertise as we navigated this process,” said Sean Madden, board president of Maryville Foundation. “We were seeking a mission-driven and innovative individual to bring a fresh perspective. Michelle brings a true passion and skillset to grow the foundation and further the mission of Maryville Academy. The entire team looks forward to working with Michelle as we advance our Foundation’s philanthropic activities and increase new opportunities for donors.”
As a non-profit development professional with extensive experience, Ms. Jimenez has a history of managing multiple projects in annual funding and campaign evaluation for various non-profit organizations. For the past two decades, she has consulted, most recently through HPS Chicago, a full-service fundraising and non-profit consulting practice serving clients similar to those supported by Maryville Foundation.
In her role as chief development officer, Ms. Jimenez’s responsibilities include all fundraising efforts of the foundation, with a focus on major gifts, planned giving, and campaigns. Maryville Foundation is launching an initiative to support the efforts to move the Charles H. Walsh Sr. Academy and Career Tech High School (formerly known as Jen School) to its new and expanded space in Niles, IL for the 2023-24 school year.
“Throughout my non-profit career, the work I have done to support children and families has been my most satisfying and rewarding and I look forward to beginning a new chapter with Maryville Foundation,” said Ms. Jimenez. “These experiences have demonstrated how important family support is for the overall strength and well-being of an entire community. I am excited to apply my experience and consulting skills to help grow the foundation into a forward-thinking development operation.”
KEES, based in Naperville, IL, focuses on building transformative teams and leaders in the non-profit sector. The firm was founded in 2013 as an expansion of Alford Executive Search. It is women-owned and operated, and provides a wide variety of services, including executive search, specialty and interim staffing, HR consulting, and leadership development.
Ms. Eddy has worked with non-profits and institutions to build capacity for more than 20 years. For the past 12 years, she has focused on strengthening executives, boards, managers, and philanthropic leaders. She co-founded KEES and leads the organization’s team after serving for 17 years in multiple executive leadership roles with the Alford Group/Alford Group Executive Search, a national consulting firm that partners with non-profits and provides fundraising and organizational strategy consulting.
KEES recently recruited Lucretzia Jamiso as the new executive director of Youth Job Center (YJC), a youth workforce agency in Cook County, IL. “The entirety of Lucretzia’s professional experience has been in roles that help young people succeed,” said Ms. Eddy. “Her career is a true reflection of her dedication, determination, and commitment to helping youth and young adults find pathways to their future with equitable living wages. We congratulate the entire YJC community and are proud to be selected, again, as the search partner when Karen announced her transition plans.”
“We were seeking a strategic, visionary executive, and confident decision-maker to lead YJC through its next phase of growth and development,” said Doug Oettinger, board search committee chair. “The board of directors unanimously selected Lucretzia after a rigorous vetting and decision-making process. She brought complementary experience to YJC’s past and will swiftly lead us forward into the future and future opportunities to continue our impact for youth and young people.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media