Liz Cox -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."





"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."

Rob Brill.jpg




"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."

Dani Kern.jpg




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.

Marcos Levy_edited.jpg




"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."

duayne meyer.jpg




"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."

Todd Nahigian




"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."

Adriana Ortiz_edited.jpg



LinkedIn Page

"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."






While I had to take an emergency leave out of the country, I came back to work with messages from The Charmm'd team reaching out to me about a leadership program I had been signed up for by my former supervisor and had no idea about it. I remember going to the first meeting and being intimidated - not really knowing what I had been signed up for. Half a year later, it is easily one of the most amazing things anyone could have done for me and I am incredibly grateful for it. Since joining the organization, I have learned so much and have been able to apply what I have learned to my everyday life, both professionally and personally. I have never felt more comfortable approaching others, having difficult conversations in the workplace (and personal life), understanding different personality types, and how to work with others. My experience with Charmm’d has been truly remarkable and the people I have met have been nothing but wonderful. I am excited to continue to develop and grow my leadership skills with Charmm’d!





"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!"

Amy Wagliardo.jpg




“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.”

Joel Williams




"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."


BECKY LITTMAN PRINCIPAL, WILMETTE SCHOOL DISTRICT 39 "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!" GREG MCDONOUGH INNOVATION SPACE COORDINATOR, LAKE FOREST COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL

"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."

DR. JEAN SOPHIE VICE PRESIDENT, GovHRUsa SUPERINTENDENT/ADMINISTRATOR CONSULTANT TRAINER, NORTH COOK INTERMEDIATE SERVICE CENTER "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. 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!"


MIKAEL "MICK" JACOBSEN DIRECTOR, LAKE VILLA DISTRICT LIBRARY "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!" ANDREA LUBLINK COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING MANAGER PALATINE PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT "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."


DESHA KALMAR DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES, THE CITY OF LAKE FOREST "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!" BRIAN LAMBEL FIRE CHIEF, VILLAGE OF MOUNT PROSPECT "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." CHERI NEAL 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." LEISA NIEMOTKA ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES MANAGER, CITY OF PARK RIDGE "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." DREW SMITH FIRE CHIEF, PROSPECT HEIGHTS FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT "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."



"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."

LESLIE BLAKE 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." PETER BOWER 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." DINA DONOHUE-CHASE CHIEF MISSION OFFICER, ASPIRE “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.” DEB GUY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WOMEN'S EXCHANGE

"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."

WILLIAM HANSEN 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." ED HEISER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORTH SUBURBAN BUEHLER YMCA OF METROPOLITAN CHICAGO "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." MAGGIE MORALES 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." MADELINE MOSER REACH PROGRAM ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR ENRICHED LIVING

“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.”



GEORGE ALEXOFF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORTHFIELD PARK DISTRICT "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." CRAIG CULP 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." MARILYN KREIGER 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." LINDSAY THOMAS MANAGER OF DISTRICT OPERATIONS, WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT

"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."