Chi Chi Okwu
Chinyere “Chi Chi” Okwu joined EverThrive Illinois as Executive Director in September 2019 with over 10 years in vision casting, partnership building, and fundraising experience. As a nonprofit leader, Chi Chi has developed diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies for various nonprofit organizations and facilitated workshops focusing on race conversations, social justice, and community mobilization.
Before joining EverThrive IL, Okwu served as Senior Advisor at World Vision USA, a global humanitarian organization helping children, families, and their communities overcome poverty and injustice. In this role, Okwu led strategies to identify and engage new donors to fund initiatives such as maternal and child health, child protection, and clean water in developing countries. She joined World Vision USA after serving as Senior Director at Willow Creek Community Church’s Chicago campus, where she launched campaigns and programs that addressed education reform, human trafficking awareness, and immigration reform. Chi Chi began her career as a healthcare consultant for Huron Consulting Group.
Chi Chi received both her Master’s in Public Health and her Bachelor’s in Social Psychology from the University of Alabama Birmingham. She was a member of the second Willie’s Warriors cohort; a leadership initiative of the Chicago Foundation for Women dedicated to creating a pipeline and network of Black women leaders committed to equity and justice in Chicago. She is co-host of The Next Question, a web-based talk show dedicated to moving the race conversation forward.
Deputy Director of Strategy and Programs
(any pronouns with respect)
Andie Baker provides strategic leadership for all programmatic activities, community engagement policy and evaluation. Prior to joining EverThrive Illinois, Andie served as the Vice President of the Center for Education, Research and Advocacy at Howard Brown Health, a federally qualified health center focused on the needs of LGBTQ people in Chicago. In that role, Andie oversaw the expansion of clinical research program to the southside of Chicago, increasing access to live saving medications in communities of color as well as the organization’s first community based participatory research program in transgender health. Andie is passionate about leveraging data and community engagement in healthcare organizations to improve health equity. At Howard Brown Andie helped launched numerous programs including, Howard Brown’s community advisory board, Ryan White grants management program, and quality improvement department. In 2015, Andie completed University of Kansas Medical Center’s Community Health Center’s Executive Fellowship in Health Policy and Management. Andie holds a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration from University of Chicago and Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University.
Deputy Director of Operations & Finance
Priscilla provides leadership and strategic vision on the operations of the organization and oversees Business Operations, Finance, Technology, and Human Resources for EverThrive IL. She joined the EverThrive IL team with over 15 years of nonprofit experience and over 12 years of management experience. Prior to joining EverThrive IL, Priscilla gained valuable experience at Girls on the Run-Chicago, United Way of New York City, WhyHunger and more. Priscilla holds her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Texas A&M University.
Deputy Director of External Affairs
Kathy Waligora provides leadership for all Fundraising, Communication and Policy strategies for the organization. Having started at EverThrive IL in 2011, Kathy has supported the organization in a number of ways, including as the Communications Coordinator, Director of the Health Reform Initiative, and the Deputy Director of External Affairs. She is deeply passionate about the mission and work of EverThrive IL, and brings her skills in relationship building, strategic leadership, and policy and advocacy into all that she does. Kathy earned her Master of Arts degree in Social Service Administration, with a certificate in Health Administration and Policy, from the University of Chicago in 2011. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Arias Benitez-Perez, Immunization Equity Manager
Tela Elzy, Community Engagement Coordinator
Elizabeth Gonzalez, Birth Equity Manager
Jordyn Hester, Communications Coordinator
Max Horwitz, Business Operations Manager
Talibah Johnson, Community Engagement Manager
Kevie Lusby Smyre, Policy and Advocacy Director
Tamela Milan – Alexander, Community Engagement Director
Kristen Nuyen, Capacity Building Director
Diana Pando, Communications Manager
Kirbi Range, Associate Director, Birth Equity
Ariana Roman, Adolescent Health Manager
April Thompson, Community Engagement Coordinator
Ceci Tipiani-Fuentes, Associate Director, Immunizations
Leslie Wooten, Development Director