As members of The Charmm'd Foundation team, all of us on this page represent a strand of the ropes you see depicted throughout our website. We intertwine our knowledge and rely on each other for strength, support and understanding.
We encourage you to become part of this team. Get to know other community leaders; and be there for each other in times of leadership challenges and celebrations. By joining us you will strengthen yourself, your organization and community.
SHERI MILLER, CPCC, TTI Certified in DISC, DF & EQ
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
"I am often asked why I began Charmm’d. My answer is a selfish one. I love life and want to enjoy it even more. I knew that I stood in my own way of making that happen by how I sometimes responded to what was going on around me. I also knew my reaction to how others acted affected me as well. I wanted to change that. Thus, Charmm’d. We are about the people side of leadership where we learn who we are, how to stand in our own strengths, how to have difficult conversations, how to handle and own those things that trigger us. At Charmm’d we also have the privilege to learn from other leaders who face similar situations. At the end of the day, if we can look in the mirror and know that we have done the right thing, treated others well, taken care of ourselves and made a difference in the world…there’s nothing better."
ASHLEY WARD, LCSW, CPCC, TTI Certified in DISC & DF
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
"Since finding Charmm’d over a decade ago, I’ve said many times over “I have my dream job” and it’s completely true! I’ve had the good fortune to find a career rooted in leadership and emotional intelligence, which has enriched my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. The best part is that my primary function with Charmm’d is to build relationships with and support a wide variety of community leaders. I hear their stories of triumph and failure and the lessons they learned along the way. I’m grateful to benefit from the wisdom shared by the leaders in our network and I’m inspired daily by hearing how they serve others. My personal and professional “why” is literally being fulfilled each and every day."
"Helping leaders make connections through conversations and facilitating opportunities for leaders to grow their networks is why I come to work every day. I thoroughly enjoy having the opportunity to serve others by providing professional development opportunities and seeing the results that transpire. I have been with the Foundation for 10 years and I continually have the pleasure to witness growth, strength and more confidence in new and experienced leaders due to the collaboration of minds. I am consistently motivated to do better because I get to work alongside amazing people doing outstanding things in their organizations and communities."
It is truly a life-changing experience to be in an environment where my co-workers are actively working to improve the leadership skills of the people we serve, and also hold our team accountable for improving our own development. Since I started at Charmm’d, I’ve had multiple encounters with leaders from surrounding communities who can’t say enough good things about what Charmm’d has done for them. As I work with this amazing team on my own self-development, I realize that I also fall into that same group of people who have benefitted from our work.
Board OF DIRECTORS
SENIOR PRINCIPAL, JENSEN & HALSTEAD, LTD.
CHARMM'D BOARD VICE PRESIDENT
"I have both learned from other leaders and helped strengthen other leaders within the Charmm'd community by sharing feedback, ideas and experiences. This learning and strengthening has happened at both the Board level where we strive to make Charmm’d the best organization that it can be, as well as at the community level where I have had the opportunity to meet several outstanding individuals at the Charmm’d events."
CHARMM'D BOARD SECRETARY
"I have been on the Board of Directors with Charmm'd for over 10 years. I have watched the Foundation grow and shape the lives of the leaders in many ways. It is an amazing sight to see when I have the opportunity to partake in the conversation with our leaders. The collaboration, sense of community and problem-solving that happens in a 2-hour span, is nothing short of incredible."
MARKET EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALSAC/ST. JUDE
"I have had the opportunity to work closely with The Charmm’d Foundation for several years. This organization is like no other! Their commitment to helping develop leaders and strengthen communities is bold and ambitious – and they do it so well. I am thankful for the relationships I’ve built with other leaders through Charmm’d and the personal learning and growth that they have made possible."
DEPUTY CHIEF, WILMETTE FIRE DEPARTMENT
"Over the past several years, The Charmm’d Foundation has had a profound influence on the professional development of many members of my organization, myself included. The Peer Advisory Groups regularly produce stimulating discussions relevant to today’s workplace challenges. The networking experiences and personal coaching were invaluable in my professional career."
HUMAN RESOURCES AND RISK MANAGER, WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
"Charmm’d has given me the wonderful opportunity to collaborate and learn from other professionals who are passionate about service and leadership. I look forward to every Peer Advisory Group meeting because my takeaways always include thoughtful and insightful feedback that helps me continue to hone my leadership skills. I ultimately see Charmm’d as a “call to arms” for community leaders to rise up and create positive change in the world."
RECREATION MANAGER, NSSRA
"Charmm’d has been such a wonderful resource for me both professionally and personally. Charmm’d has provided me with a network of leaders to learn from and grow with. The Charmm’d staff continues to provide well-designed programs which allow me time to reflect on my leadership style, team dynamic and constantly pushes me to evaluate and develop my leadership skills for the future."
FACILITIES MANAGER, COOK MEMORIAL PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT
During my tenure at the Lake Forest Library, a Director offered the opportunity for managers to attend a Charmm’d seminar. This experience invigorated my desire to be more effective as a leader. I believe that the bottom line in leadership is not limited to how far I advance, but at the heart is how far I advance others. This is achieved by serving others, viewing them as whole individuals and tapping into their skills leading to value for themselves as well as the organization. In 2018, I accepted a new manager position with a diverse team of individuals that has broadened my leadership dynamic through various challenges such as conflict resolution, team building and problem-solving. Charmm’d has been a vital part of my success through participation in the Peer Advisory Group and sessions in the Leadership Academy. The team at Charmm’d is ready to take you on a journey to more successful leadership that others will want to follow.
SENIOR MINISTER, NORTHFIELD COMMUNITY CHURCH
"Charmm’d has given me the opportunity to gather with, and learn from, colleagues working in sectors of the not-for-profit world that are different from my own and yet who are confronted with many of the same challenges. Charmm’d has been and is a source of new ideas and perspectives that inform the what, how and why of the work I do in my setting. The staff are deft facilitators and coaches, engendering collegiality and trust among group members. My experience has been informative, enjoyable and helpful both professionally and personally."
"Charmm'd helps me to look at my leadership skills and determine ways to best handle difficult situations. I am more confident as a leader and I offer better advice to other leaders. I am consistently making connections with other leaders in local communities, and I continue to be a liaison for other leaders to meet when I see an opportunity for them to grow."
CASE MANAGER, ZION TOWNSHIP
"I have had the opportunity to work with The Charmm’d Foundation staff since October 2018. Working with The Charmm’d Foundation has helped me grow my leadership skills personally and professionally. It has opened so many doors for leadership development. I’m currently a part of the Charmm’d Foundation Advisory Board, Peer Advisory Group and coaching services. Being part of these groups has connected me with other leaders and I’m thankful for the relationships, networking and the connections that I have built among other leaders. I’m more confident as a leader of my community and I continue to strengthen my leadership skills to make myself an even better leader. The Charmm'd Foundation's commitment to help others with leadership development is enormous. My experience has been excellent and I will continue my leadership journey with them by my side."
VICE PRESIDENT GLOBAL INNOVATION, CONSTRUCTION, ITW
"I am involved with the Charmm’d Foundation because I believe strong, credible leadership is critical for people to achieve their personal goals and personal potential. And it is also critical for organizations to achieve their goals and achieve their respective Missions. Through the process of teaching leadership, and the skills and components that comprise leadership, we enable people to optimize their work and their teams. Charmm’d provides multiple paths for people to learn the process of leading and the tangible, repeatable skills they need to effectively lead."
DAVID VAN BRAKLE
PASTOR, COMMUNITY CHURCH OF WILMETTE
"I am so grateful to have a place like Charmm’d and consider it a vital part of my leadership development. To sit around the table and wrestle with different topics and questions with others working in my own and surrounding municipalities and nonprofits is a reminder that the challenges of our work are real, but the resources to address them are right here in our community. I have found myself growing as a leader by strengthening skills, learning new concepts, and deepening my emotional intelligence while developing valuable relationships with others who are as passionate about making a difference in our communities as I am."
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GORTON COMMUNITY CENTER
"When I joined Gorton as the new ED, I was fairly new to the area and also new to being an executive director. Connecting with Charmm’d helped me build my network quickly and provided resources for me to help me do my job better. The team at Charmm’d is so professional and really know how to listen – this leads to meaningful connection in many different ways. I am so glad to be connected with Charmm’d!"
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY CENTER OF LAKE COUNTY
“The Charmm’d Foundation has helped me grow as a leader and a person. There are times where the role of Executive Director can seem very lonely, and the networks and connections I have gained through Charmm’d give me an opportunity to explore ideas and solutions with others in similar situations. Couple that peer support with the outstanding services the Charmm’d staff provides, it not only helps me grow, it allows me to bring that back to other managers and staff, helping them grow stronger in their own individual leadership.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF MCHENRY COUNTY
"Charmm'd has been a tool that has grown and transformed with me as I have changed roles and faced new challenges. The team and the peers your work along with are a group of extremely qualified and intelligent people. The answer is always in the room when you are surrounded by such talent. The variety of resources and opportunities to connect and grow are incredible. I am impressed with how Charmm'd continues to evolve with the changing needs of the individual and our society as a whole. I especially enjoy the non-profit groups that allow leaders to connect about the real world issues that these organizations face that are unique to the non-profit sector."
CRAIG CULP, CPRP
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NSSRA
"Charmm’d has been a tremendous resource to me both professionally and personally, and a significant asset to our agency as we have multiple staff involved with Charmm’d. While the adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is accurate in most cases, Charmm’d is the exception to the rule. The staff and programs at Charmm’d are first class, and they put everything they have into meeting their mission of supporting the leaders of community service agencies… and do a great job while they’re at it. The time you put into Charmm’d is a worthy investment."
WILLIAM HANSEN, MSW
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FAMILY SERVICE OF GLENCOE
"I have gained a better sense of my role as an executive director. Specifically, I have engaged more people in the creative work of planning activities and events which results in greater community impact. I have also improved my collaborative leadership skills by engaging in difficult conversations, listening more effectively and, at the same time, balancing the need for input with holding staff accountable for decisions that I alone have to make."
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ZION PARK DISTRICT
"The culture change work we have done at the Zion Park District, as a cohesive team, to meet the diverse needs of our community was done with the help of Charmm'd. The Charmm'd staff and community leaders I have come to know in groups helped me and my team to be more intentional and thoughtful of the global impact of our decisions and actions. I am a better mentor for the staff from the skills learned about leadership and accountability."
HEAD OF LOWER SCHOOL & ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL, LAKE FOREST COUNTRY DAY
"Charmm'd Foundation is a remarkable organization. Their commitment to the betterment of local leaders is unparalleled. The training and leadership development offered through Peer Advisory Groups, Executive Coaching and Assessments can not only transform leaders, it can also have a marked impact on organizations and the larger community."
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE LAKE COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
"I have grown so much, both personally and professionally, through my experience with The Charmm’d Foundation! With every conversation, I come away feeling motivated and inspired to act on my learning. Their talented team equips you with the tools and resources to be the best leader you can be."
TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR, ZION TOWNSHIP
"Being involved with Charmm’d has assisted me in more ways than I can articulate. Having a passion for relationships and collaboration, I always felt like a misfit. Charmm’d has helped to change the culture of my community so that I finally fit in! We get more done in one meeting in Zion than we used to in a year because of how Charmm’d has assisted leaders across the community."
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, THE VILLAGE OF BEACH PARK
"The Charmm’d Foundation provides individuals with an opportunity to interact with other leadership and management professionals from both the public and private sectors to stimulate thoughts and ideas and discuss problem solving for issues that can be very common to all. It is important to understand that there is no leadership vacuum. Participation with the Foundation provides a vast, open spectrum of critical thinking, idea generation and problem solving between peers."
DR. KEVIN RUBENSTEIN
DIRECTOR OF STUDENT SERVICES, TECHNOLOGY & ASSESSMENT, LAKE BLUFF SCHOOLS DISTRICT 65
"Charmm'd has allowed me to connect with leaders in our surrounding community to discuss issues of importance to us. So many of my regular meetings are focused on the daily work of students, teachers, and parents. My time in the Charmm'd groups allows me to broaden the lens and think about how we can collaborate more to better serve those in our community. It will pay dividends this year and well into the future."
FINANCE DIRECTOR, THE VILLAGE OF WINNETKA
"The Executive Coaching program offered by Charmm’d was a great experience. The program was really beneficial in terms of achieving job satisfaction, mapping out the next five years of my career, stress reduction and managing work-life balance. I have also participated in many outstanding seminars and focus groups with this organization. This organization is a great resource for any local government / non-profit leader."
DR. JEAN SOPHIE
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, LAKE BLUFF SCHOOLS DISTRICT 65
"Charmm’d has provided me opportunities to network and grow with "like" peers that are in leadership and a part of community organizations. It has allowed me time to reflect and gain an understanding of myself and the local community by meeting with other leaders in both formal and informal groups. I have strongly encouraged the leaders in my organization to take part in the leadership offers that apply to them. The professionalism of the Charmm’d leaders as well as the "out of the box" thinking has been a valuable resource in my work!"
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MAOT CHITIM OF GREATER CHICAGO
"The experiences I have had with Charmm’d could only be described as awesome and inspiring. I am surrounded by leaders in my field who have continued to encourage me to reach my potential. Through collaboration and respect, we support one another in challenges and successes. I am honored to have the opportunity to be part of this network."
DR. CATHERINE WANG
SUPERINTENDENT, GLENCOE SCHOOL DISTRICT 35
"While time is precious, each opportunity to meet with a Charmm’d coach or a Peer Advisory Group has provided insight to support more intentional work in our schools. Taking the time to pause, reflect, and learn from other community leaders always leaves me energized. Charmm’d has provided partnerships and support while inspiring me to lead with a greater sense of purpose. Thank you!"
REGIONAL SUPERINTENDENT, REGIONAL OFFICE OF EDUCATION
"I have seen Charmm’d evolve from working with the educational sector to growing their scope to bring more leaders from different tax-exempt sectors “around the table” to collaborate and problem solve with a broader lens. I have witnessed the power of having a network of leaders to lean on and the proven benefits of the services offered."