top of page

Press Release:

Executive Service Corps' announces 2021 Nonprofit Advisory Council

The Executive Service Corps, the premier nonprofit consultancy with the mission of helping make nonprofits successful, is proud to announce the 2021 Nonprofit Advisory Council. The Executive Service Corps Nonprofit Advisory Council provides guidance on: free professional education and resources ESC should provide to our nonprofit community (, consultant and executive coach recruitment, screening, and retention practices (, services ESC should and shouldn’t provide (, quality assurance efforts on ESC’s services (, and opportunities for ESC partnerships to better serve our community. Both ESC and our community thank these civic leaders for their service.

Donald J. Dew, MSW

President & CEO, Habilitative Systems

Donald J. Dew is President and CEO of Habilitative Systems, Inc. (HSI), a vital Chicago-based behavioral health and human services organization providing programs and services for thousands of children and families with special needs. Since his appointment in 1990, HSI’s budget has increased from $6.5 million to approximately $9.5 million in 2020, signaling a significant increase in services to Chicago area residents during an adverse economic period. Mr. Dew is a member of the International Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities Board of Trustees, National Association of Social Workers, National Association of Black Social Workers, and Academy of Certified Social Workers. He was the past Presiding Chair of the inaugural African American Family Commission under Governor Edgar, a board member for Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital Board of Directors and UIC Department of Disability and Human Development.

Donald Dew - 2021.jpg

Dr. Pat W. Mosena, PhD

President & CEO, Options for Youth

Pat W. Mosena, Ph.D., is the President and Founder of Options for Youth, a nonprofit that works to reduce violence and break the cycle of poverty among at-risk youth in underserved communities in Chicago. Through intense training and individualized support, Options for Youth programs build upon the strengths and maximize the potential of each young person. More than 6,000 first-time teen mothers in the Subsequent Pregnancy program have delayed a second pregnancy and graduated from high school while the Options program provides early childhood education to ensure kindergarten readiness of children of teen parents. A new What’s Up with Manhood? program provides an innovative approach to reducing violence in the lives of teenage boys by helping them to redefine negative social norms of manhood or masculinity and embrace gender equality. Prior to Options for Youth, Dr. Mosena worked at Chapin Hall and NORC at the University of Chicago, at Argonne National Labs, and with village-based population and development programs in Thailand.

Pat Mosena - 2021.jpg

Nissa Rhee, MA

Executive Director, Borderless Magazine

Nissa Rhee is a Peabody-award nominated journalist and the executive director of Borderless Magazine, a nonprofit news organization covering immigration in the Midwest. In her 15-year career, she has covered global issues as a producer at Chicago Public Radio, served as a foreign correspondent in South Korea and Vietnam, and reported on police abuse and gun violence in Chicago. In 2019, she received the Chicago Headline Club award for best online feature story. Previously, she served as a reporting fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and a juvenile justice reporting fellow at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Queensland.

Nissa Rhee - 2021.jpg

Pierre Lockett

Executive Director & Founder, Forward Momentum Chicago

Pierre Lockett, Founder and Executive Director of Forward Momentum Chicago, is a passionate arts advocate for youth in Chicago. With 20 years of teaching and as a former professional dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Joffrey Ballet, Pierre combined his passion and expertise for dance with his desire to inspire youth through invigorating dance programs to establish Forward Momentum Chicago (FMC). Since 2014, Pierre and his team of teaching artists with FMC have taught more than 6000 children in 85 Chicago Public Schools. He has also served as a panelist for: The National Endowment for the Arts, The City of Chicago’s Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) and DCASE’s Individual Artist Program (IAP). Mr. Lockett was also a co-presenter with the Fry Foundation and Spencer Foundation on the impact of Social Emotional Learning at Grant Makers in the Arts conference.

Pierre Lockett - 2021.jpg

Nancy Sawle Knobloch

Executive Director, Family Service of Lake County

Nancy Sawle Knobloch has been Executive Director of Family Service of Lake County since February 2020 but before that had been on the Board for Family Service for eight years, three years as Board Chair.  She LOVES this organization and its mission.  Prior to working in the non-profit world, she spent more than 34 years in for-profit mostly with Kraft Foods.  Her career experience is in operations management, strategy, continuous improvement, procurement, and training & development. She has a passion for learning.  Her hobbies are reading, exercise, travel and gardening.   Nancy lives in Highland Park.  She and her husband, Barry, have three children.  She is also a Trustee on the Highland Park Library Board.

Nancy Sawle-Knobloch - 2021.jpg

Sejal Shah-Myers, MNA

Executive Director, Springboard Foundation

Sejal Shah-Myers is founder of SSM Philanthropic Consulting, LLC and has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She offers a unique “360 degree” point of view having worked as a fundraiser, as a consultant to nonprofits and corporations, and as a grantmaker. Sejal has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Bradley University and a Masters in Nonprofit Management from North Park University.

Sejal has been asked to serve on panels and teach on the topics of grantmaking and philanthropy at DePaul University, Loyola University, North Park University, and Northwestern University. She serves on several grantmaking review panels including the Axelson Center for Management Excellent Emerging Nonprofit Award and Chicago Foundation for Education teacher project selection committee.

Sejal Shah-Myers - 2021.jpg

Emily Raming

Executive Director, TotalLink2 Community

Emily Raming is the Executive Director with TotalLink2 Community (TL2C) where she has been instrumental in the success of and growth of its employment and social programs for people with disabilities and accreditation with The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). She started with TL2C as an employment specialist in 2012, moved into the employment manager role in 2015 and in 2018 became the Executive Director.  Emily brings a deep understanding of individuals with disabilities and their family’s interests and needs to her role, having worked for the North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED) for 6 years prior to joining TotalLink. She has her BS in Psychology from Miami of Ohio has been certified as a QMHP with Neumann Family Services and has her ACRE Certification through Griffin-Hammis Associates. Emily is highly skilled in applying the methodology of Customized Employment (CE), TEACCH, and other evidence-based practices for employee supports and task analysis.  She is instrumental in mentoring, supervision, and training TL2C employment specialists and job coaches regarding the overall implementation of CE.

Emily Raming - 2021.png

Dan Hostetler, MNM

Executive Director, Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center

Daniel Hostetler is the executive director of the Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center, a free, behavioral, 501C3, outpatient, highly innovative addiction treatment center that primarily serves homeless individuals and those formerly incarcerated. His education and experience come from the for-profit change management consulting sector and his knowledge of creative applications of proven, evidence-based solutions contributes to the organization's goal of providing the highest level of clinical recovery care that's available to those who cannot afford to pay for it. The center has been recognized locally and nationally with awards such as: NAADAC's Organization of the Year, IAAP's Program of the Year, Chicago Innovation Award, and Best and Brightest Companies to Work For (both in Chicago and Nationally).

Dan Hostetler - 2021.jpg

Kia S. Smith, MFA

Executive Artistic Director, South Chicago Dance Theatre

Kia S. Smith is the founding Executive Artistic Director of the South Chicago Dance Theatre and the company’s Resident Choreographer. Kia’s collaborative and choreographic credits include; Nike, Chicago Opera Theatre, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, actor Jack Black, world-renowned visual artists Manuel Mendive and Nick Cave, “Loving the Silent Tears” an original musical, the “Afterword” film, saxophonist/composer Ernest Dawkins, South Shore Opera Company, Chicago Fringe Opera, HBO, the Chicago’s Night Out in the Parks Concert Series, String Quartet D-Composed Chicago, cellist Lilianna Zofia Wosko and Seoul, South Korea’s Choomna Art Center. Her work has been presented at Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Kennedy King College, Englewood Jazz Festival, Sons D’hiver Jazz Festival, Chicago Home Theatre Festival, the Jacob Caruthers Center for Inner City Studies, Young Auditorium, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a recipient of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artist Grant, Kia worked as a cultural ambassador for the city at Impulstanz Dance Festival in Vienna, Austria in the summer of 2016.

Kia S Smith - 2021.jpg

Mike Bertrand, LCSW

President and CEO, Lutheran Child and Family Services

Mike Bertrand is the President and CEO of Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois. He joined LCFS in 2005 and has served in various roles during that time. With more than 30 years of social-services experience, Bertrand has also worked for the Department of Children and Family Services, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Hull House Association and United Healthcare Corporation. Bertrand has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He is also active both locally and nationally with The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Lutheran Services of America and is on the boards for the Illinois Collaboration on Youth and the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School.

Mike Bertrand - 2021.jpg

Rachelle Jervis, MBA

President and CEO, Executive Service Corps

Rachelle Jervis is honored to serve as President and CEO of the Executive Service Corps, the premier nonprofit consultancy with the mission of helping make nonprofits successful. Before leading the Executive Service Corps, Rachelle served as regional director, Illinois chapter director, and Chicago area director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Rachelle serves on the board of Aspiritech and was a founding board member of the Chicago Friends School. She is passionate about inclusion and mental health awareness.

Rachelle is mother to the late and lovely Constance and she is the author of Want My Baby Back. Her proudest accomplishment is helping her late daughter overcome epilepsy and autism in order to learn how to speak. Rachelle is a frequent speaker on a wide range of topics including speaking at the dedication in her daughter’s memory at her alma mater, Cherry Preschool. In her leisure time, Rachelle enjoys reading and volunteering for charitable causes.

Rachelle Jervis 2021.png

Kenneth Hobby, MBA

President, Cure SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy)

Kenneth Hobby is President of Cure SMA.  He leads the organization’s work to develop treatments for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the number one genetic cause of death for infants, by merging an impassioned grassroots mission with a sophisticated industry incentivizing drug development model.

Kenneth brings an industry and marketing background to this family and patient-focused organization.  Prior to joining Cure SMA, Kenneth worked at Pharmacia and deCODE genetics and has an MBA from Kellogg.

Kenneth Hobby - 2021.jpg

Annie Palomino, MA

Executive Director, BandWith Chicago

Annie Palomino grew up in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. She has her MA and 15 years of experience in Music Education. Annie launched BandWith in 2015 when her band program was dropped from LEARN Campbell Campus due to budget cuts.  Starting a nonprofit allowed Annie to continue providing free access to music instruction to students at the LEARN Campbell Campus while increasing reach to new students. Since then, BandWith has developed into a stable organization offering individual and small group instruction, weekly ensemble play, and performance opportunities to participants throughout the year.  In recent years, BandWith expanded its programs in East Garfield Park to offer after-school programs at Hope Jr. Marillac Center, which include BandWith's All-Star Band and Drumline Program. Bandwidth continues to grow to offer more free music programs each year. 

Annie Palomino - 2021.jpeg

Fernando Diaz

Co-Founder, The Chicago Standard

Fernando Diaz is the former editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, a nonprofit investigative news organization that focuses on exposing systemic racial and socioeconomic injustice through data-driven journalism. He is an IRE member, a Lifetime member of NAHJ, and has had the privilege of working with and learning from some of the best journalists in the country. Prior to leading the Reporter, where he was an intern and reporter earlier in his career, he was the managing editor of digital for The San Francisco Chronicle. He was a senior editor at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, overseeing coverage of labor and privacy and surveillance, prior to joining the Chronicle. Before moving to California, he led Hoy Chicago, a Spanish-language daily newspaper, which won an IRE Award during his tenure. Diaz is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and a Maryland native. He has served on the boards of the Chicago Headline Club and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He currently serves on the boards of the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

Fernando Diaz - 2021.jpg

Cathy Russell

Chief Executive Officer, Boys and Girls Club of Elgin

Cathy began her career as a Program Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Adams County in 1999 after graduating from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Psychology and Business Administration. After 9 months at the Club, she was promoted to CEO where she grew the organization from a budget size of $150,000 to $750,000 and increased average daily attendance from 100 to 300.

In 2008, Cathy was hired by BGCA to serve as the Director of the Lilly Initiative through a capacity-building grant provided by the Lilly Endowment for the organizations in Indiana. Though it was a rough economic time for the nonprofits across the country, Indiana saw a 20% growth in individual giving and a 30% increase in total revenues from 2008 to 2010 during the grant period. 

In 2013, Cathy joined the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin team as the CEO. During this time, the Club had an increase of over 100% in the annual budget, an increase in the daily attendance of nearly 125%, has had two State Youth of the Year winners, and has opened 11 new sites in two other nearby villages.

Cathy Russell - 2021.jpg
bottom of page