Featured TESTIMONIALS

Chamber of Commerce

TERRY DASON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WINNETKA-NORTHFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Website

"Leaders may think that using Charmm'd during difficult times is valuable. It is during the good times that have proven incredibly valuable to our organization as I learn ways to develop as a leader while not in crisis."

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Education

BECKY LITTMANN

PRINCIPAL,

WILMETTE SCHOOL DISTRICT 39

Website

"I have been involved with Charmm’d as an educator for more than 10 years.  The team at Charmm’d are exceptional leaders, coaches and facilitators who are deeply committed to everyone’s personal development and success. The organization has provided me with opportunities to learn and grow with other community leaders.  I am fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to meet and discuss important topics with other leaders who encounter similar challenges.  Together we reflect, learn and grow!"

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DR. JEAN SOPHIE

RETIRED SUPERINTENDENT/ TEACHER EVALUATION TRAINER, PRINCIPAL AND SUPERINTENDENT MENTOR, CONSULTANT, NORTH COOK INTERMEDIATE SERVICE CENTER; INTERIM ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT FOR CONSTRUCTION, NORTH SHORE SCHOOL DISTRICT 112

Website

"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!"

Dr. Jean Sophie, Lake Bluff School Distr

GREG MCDONOUGH

INNOVATION SPACE COORDINATOR,

LAKE FOREST COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL

Website

"I became involved with Charmm’d through the Leadership Academy. The networking, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills that I’ve developed over the past several years have been invaluable to my growth as a leader. What makes Charmm’d so special really is “the people side.” There’s genuine care in everything the organization does. Through Charmm’d, I’ve facilitated Peer Advisory Groups, attended Leadership Summits, and even a holiday potluck. The quality is spectacular throughout all their services."

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DR. CATHERINE WANG

SUPERINTENDENT, 

GLENCOE SCHOOL DISTRICT 35

Website

"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!"

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Library

MIKAEL "MICK"

JACOBSEN

DIRECTOR, 

LAKE VILLA DISTRICT LIBRARY

Website

"I have found Charmm’d to be a perspective-widening organization which has helped me understand the aspirations, concerns, and mindsets of leaders of non-profit organizations throughout the Northern Suburbs. It is simple (and feels safe) to stay inside your field’s echo chamber, but hearing unvarnished opinions and truths from admirable and accomplished community leaders has helped me personally and has helped me guide my organization to better serve my community. I am always pleased to spend time with the Charmm’d organization be it through group meetings or individual coaching. I highly recommend working with Charmm’d!"

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ANDREA LUBLINK

COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING MANAGER,

PALATINE PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT

Website

"Being a part of a Peer Advisory Group has been an enlightening experience. Through our open and honest conversations, I’ve learned from other non-profit marketers and been able to apply some of that knowledge in my own career. Along the way, I’ve gained more insight about myself and what motivates my workstyle. It’s good to know I’m involved in a group that can share some of the same victories and challenges."

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Municipal

DESHA KALMAR

RETIRED DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES,

THE CITY OF LAKE FOREST

Website

"Charmm’d has pushed me outside my comfort zone and helped me learn and grow. It has also connected me with many other community leaders, and I value the resources they have provided. What a wonderful group of people!"

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CHERI NEAL

TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR, 

ZION TOWNSHIP

Website

"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."

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Website

"I learned of the Charmm’d Foundation from colleagues at other local governments. Personal and organizational assessments, coaching, peer groups, The Leadership Academy, and The Summit have all provided several important and valuable experiences for myself and our team’s leaders. The networking and spontaneous exchanges outside the formal structured programs are equally valuable and welcome. The mix of participants from the not-for-profit sector and local government is another hidden gem of Charmm’d. The diversity of these participants and perspectives is a key to its success. Charmm’d programs offer me a way to help build the team using many voices."

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BRIAN LAMBEL

FIRE CHIEF, 

VILLAGE OF WILMETTE

Website

"As a new fire chief with limited fire administrative experience, I looked for all opportunities to collaborate with other professionals, both inside and outside of the fire service. I was also looking for a mentor outside my organization. The Charmm’d Foundation was able to provide all of these needs. I often find myself reflecting on my personal discussions from my coaching sessions to guide me through the many tough decisions I need to make each day. I truly believe that my experiences with Charmm’d have guided me and increased my capacity to provide solid leadership during the COVID pandemic. I look forward to future participation in a Peer Advisory Group and other programs offered by Charmm’d."

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LEISA NIEMOTKA

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES MANAGER, 

CITY OF PARK RIDGE

Website

"Leadership is a lifelong evolution – an ever changing process. The Charmm’d Foundation creates an essential space for the building of strong leadership foundations that are flexible and resilient. They do this by both focusing on an individual’s strength and talents, while harnessing the power and collaboration of the group. I come away from every peer advisory group session revived and in awe of the leadership talents of the people around me. It connects me to a higher purpose, both personally and professionally."

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Nonprofit

KRISTEN BIWER

DIRECTOR OF LIFE ENRICHMENT,

ASPIRE

Website

"Charmm’d has provided me opportunities professionally and personally to become the person and leader that I want to be. Through the skills that I have learned and the resources that I gained, I am able to reflect, take action, and support a better balance at home and work. With our ever changing and dynamic world, I have a renewed sense of determination to be happy and fulfilled in all areas of my life."

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PETER BOWER

MARKET EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

ALSAC/ST. JUDE

Website

"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."

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DEB GUY

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 

WOMEN'S EXCHANGE

Website

"For nearly a decade, working with The Charmm’d Foundation has brought me tremendous opportunities to be among amazing non-profit leaders to learn and grow my own leadership skills. My involvement has included peer groups, leadership workshops and executive coaching. Currently, I enjoy being a mentor in the Leadership Academy. My experiences are numerous and only my gratitude to Charmm’d could be wider or deeper."

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ED HEISER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

NORTH SUBURBAN BUEHLER YMCA OF METROPOLITAN CHICAGO

Website

"The opportunity for professional and personal development through the resources and network of Charmm’d are invaluable. By collaborating with fellow non-profit and public sector peers, I have gained a stronger understanding of my community and improved my ability to produce positive outcomes for those I serve. Additionally, Charmm’d provides a “safe space” to address unique issues and challenges that impact non-profit and public sectors. I am a better leader today because of the opportunities and experiences Charmm’d provides."

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DEBRA PUCE

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT,

RAGDALE

LinkedIn Page

"The network of terrific nonprofit professionals I have built during my connection with Charmm’d in the past two years has been invaluable to me both professionally and personally. In 2018 I joined a Peer Advisory Group (PAG) which is a special, confidential space for a diverse group of nonprofit leaders to transparently share experiences, ideas, feedback, and perhaps most importantly – offer each other support. These conversations help grow emotional intelligence and an openness to new ideas and best practices. This helps me immensely in my role as a nonprofit fundraiser to build collaborations, partnerships and relationships. Executive coaching has also helped me learn how to get out of my own way to be a better nonprofit leader and to map out a course for growth.  My coach has really helped me stop to think about what kind of a leader I want to be and what I want to create for the future. Charmm’d provides a wealth of resources for nonprofit leaders to connect and grow!"

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LESLIE BLAKE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF MCHENRY COUNTY

Website

"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."

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DINA DONOHUE-CHASE

CHIEF MISSION OFFICER, 

ASPIRE

Website

“Charmm’d provides an invaluable platform where you can take a purposeful break and gather with other professionals to share, learn and reflect. I have gained tremendous knowledge to better inform my work and leadership approach. The combination has had a direct and immediate influence allowing me to advance my professional goals for people and mission impact. The comradery, laughter and friendships gained along the way have been a wonderful bonus.”

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WILLIAM HANSEN

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FAMILY SERVICE OF GLENCOE

Website

"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."

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MADELINE MOSER

REACH PROGRAM ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, 

CENTER FOR ENRICHED LIVING

Website

“The Charmm’d Foundation is an incredible group of leaders who are constantly looking for ways to better themselves while helping others do the same. I was presented with the opportunity to be part of the Leadership Academy in 2019 and it was truly one of the most wonderful experiences. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I was stepping out of my comfort zone to be part of this group from the beginning. Since January 2019, I have learned so much about myself personally and professionally. I have continued to step out of my comfort zone because I am reminded that challenges are good for me and I see the positive outcomes from doing so. The network of leaders within Charmm’d are truly remarkable and I am in awe every time I participate in any Charmm’d presentation, workshop or event. I cannot say enough good things about The Charmm’d Foundation and I feel very lucky to be part of the organization.”

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JOELLYN STOLIAR

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 

MAOT CHITIM OF GREATER CHICAGO

Website

"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."

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Parks and Recreation

GEORGE ALEXOFF

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORTHFIELD PARK DISTRICT

Website

"The Charmm’d Foundation has provided me a forum of leaders outside my community who have been able to provide me with a fresh prospective of how they deal with leadership within their communities and their agencies. I have taken this information and been able to apply what I have learned to help me better navigate through the partnership opportunities here in Northfield. Through this, my agency has been able to provide more for the community with less, by utilizing existing community resources in a more collaborative way."

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MARILYN KREIGER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

ZION PARK DISTRICT

Website

"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."

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CRAIG CULP

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NSSRA

Website

"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."

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LINDSAY THOMAS

MANAGER OF DISTRICT OPERATIONS,

WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT

Website

"I am so thankful to have been nominated to be part of the Charmm’d Leadership Academy, which was my main introduction to this amazing group! When I think of Charmm’d, I think of an organization that provides a variety of opportunities for learning and growth, both personally and professionally. The individuals and mentors I have connected with have provided me with invaluable insight and guidance in numerous areas surrounding leadership, which I hope to take and apply throughout my career. I look forward to continuing to build my leadership skills and passing on advice and mentorship to others."

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