meet our staff
Have a big idea? Want to learn about our collaborations? Interested in becoming a donor? Have a question about our grants offerings? Need assistance with an event registration? Want to apply to Leadership Evanston? Meet our staff and contact us with your questions or to discuss your interests and needs.
Monique Brunson Jones
President and CEO
Monique was appointed President & CEO of Evanston Community Foundation in 2015 making her the second president since its founding in 1986. Monique is a visionary leader with an extensive background in mental health, violence prevention, philanthropy and systems change. She leads the Foundation in supporting local organizations in pursuing their missions through grant making, leadership development and capacity building as well as building permanent endowment to serve the community in perpetuity.
With over 20 years’ experience her career and civic engagement spans the intersections where the lives of those most vulnerable fall victim to structural oppression and inequity. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and University of Texas at Austin. Monique lends her voice and leadership to the field by serving on various boards of directors including the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, Beacon Academy, and See Chicago Dance locally. Nationally she serves on the Community Foundations National Standards board and Career Girls. Monique also lectures in the Kapnick Center for Business Institutions at Northwestern University.
Monique lives in Chicago where she enjoys jogging, reading and traveling with her husband and daughter.
Missing the opportunity to work with Evanstonians who share her passion for bettering the community at large, Becca rejoined ECF in 2013. Broad-thinking by nature, she delights in overseeing community grants while providing ongoing learning opportunities for Evanston's nonprofit community. Becca often describes herself as a “recovering development officer,” having previously held the post as Director of Major and Planned Gifts and Interim VP of Development at Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ (PPIL). Prior to her work at PPIL, she was Director of Development and Communications at ECF and enjoyed previous development work at NorthShore University Health System (then, ENH) during its 2001 capital campaign.
Becca earned her Bachelors at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign, with a Sociology major and Gerontology minor, and is currently pursuing an Executive Scholar Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is a 2018 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellow and a current participant in SEED Training (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity). She serves on the Dementia Friendly Evanston Committee of the City of Evanston, Creative Commerce Auxiliary Board of the City of Evanston, and is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Evanston. Becca has lived and/or worked in Evanston since 2001, and is now a proud “Skevanston” resident along with her husband and two young children.
Chief Financial Officer
Jan joined ECF in October 2005. During her tenure, the growth in ECF's funds, from roughly thirty in 2005 to more than 110 today, has expanded the scope of Jan's responsibilities beyond finance and administration. She assists donors in establishing funds, facilitates grant requests, manages fund distributions, and administers our fiscal sponsorships.
After receiving a BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois and passing the CPA exam, Jan began her career at Price Waterhouse. After four years, she joined Boyden Global Executive Search, assuming increasing responsibilities as a search consultant and office director over the next twenty-five years.
Jan served on the Evanston United Way board, 1984–1987, during the exciting period when ECF was created, and was a member of the executive committee; she also served on the board of Chicago Commons. She has been active in School District 65 issues, serving on the D65 citizen’s budget review/recommendations committee and Council for Excellence in Learning, as well as on numerous school board campaign committees.
Mary Kay Hanigan
Mary Kay brings a well-rounded communications and marketing background to ECF. Most recently, she spent 13 years at Grainger where she managed a broad range of work including the execution of integrated marketing campaigns, publication of the employee newsletter, and oversight on philanthropy training and communications for the Grainger Community Grant Program. Prior to Grainger, Mary Kay held roles developing and managing a variety of campaigns on behalf of her clients at Chicago’s leading agencies. Mary Kay has been an Evanston resident for more than 20 years and takes every opportunity to enjoy Evanston’s lakefront, bike, try new recipes and see live music.
Director of Philanthropy and Communications
Jessi joined the Foundation in January, 2018 as the new Director of Philanthropy and Communications to lead all philanthropic engagement activities.
Jessi has extensive experience in philanthropy and donor engagement. Most recently, she served as the Director of Engagement and Participation at UIC College of Business where she launched the College’s alumni relations and annual giving program in coordination with the greater UIC capital campaign.
Prior to that, as the Director of Annual and Special Giving at DePaul University, her proudest accomplishment was the conception and execution of the University’s annual “day of giving” which has grown from achieving 100 donors in one day in 2013 to raising over 1,058 gifts totaling more than $80,000, with an additional $100,000 match in 2017.
In her personal time, Jessi enjoys walking along the lakefront with her greyhound and cooking for her friends and family. She exercises her love of service as a member of the Auxiliary Board for the Midtown-Metro Foundation where she is also a tutor.
Director, Leadership Evanston
Since 2014, Jennifer Moran has been the director of Leadership Evanston, the Evanston Community Foundation’s signature program. Jennifer is currently involved in the community literacy solution design team of Evanston Cradle to Career.
A native Evanstonian, Jennifer grew up and raised a family in south Evanston. She spent her professional life as an early childhood educator. Working as a classroom teacher in both Chicago Public and in Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Jennifer has focused on connecting communities through active listening and relationship building. Jennifer is bilingual in Spanish. She helped to start the District's Two Way Immersion program (TWI), now in its sixteenth year. Jennifer is a 'connector' who believes in listening to good ideas, maintaining a sense of humor and emphasizing the positive.
Rebecca comes to ECF from The Rotary Foundation where she most recently served on the Planned Giving team supporting global efforts for legacy gifts. Concurrently, she served the Evanston social service sector as a board member of COPE (Caring Outreach by Parents in Evanston) and as a tutor for Books and Breakfast at Kingsley Elementary School. Rebecca has devoted the past four years to Curt’s Café where she has served in several capacities, including as the general manager for the women’s empowerment program. She increased Curt’s Café’s fundraising capacity through grant writing and donor cultivation, securing development opportunities to implement new programming with her students. Additionally, she wrote the workforce and life skills training curriculum rooted in student ownership and leadership.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor’s degree in Family Community Services from the Department of Human Development and Child Ecology at Michigan State University, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Government Management from Roosevelt University. She was a speaker on Fund Sustainability and Volunteer Management in 2017 and is also a graduate of Advocacy Academy from the Chicago Foundation for Women.
In her free time, Rebecca is an avid coffee lover and enjoys practicing her latte art. She also loves taking her dog Kobe on long walks in the summer.
Vice President for Programs
As vice president of programs, Marybeth Schroeder has lead responsibility for the Foundation’s grants and programs. On the staff of the Foundation since 1999, she works closely with the board’s community investment and engagement committee, Communityworks committee, and root2fruit advisory board. Additionally she manages the Partners for the Future grants and works closely with staff on responsive grants, nonprofit capacity building programs, and Leadership Evanston programs. Marybeth is deeply engaged in the community, working closely with nonprofit, government, and neighborhood leaders to make Evanston the best it can be. She has been active in the development of Evanston Cradle to Career, currently serving on the Operations Team as well as working on solution design. Marybeth believes building nonprofit leadership and capacity to make communities better and enjoys working with staff and board members to help organizations improve their practices and grow their sustainability and impact. Through her work at ECF, she has become passionate about the power of early childhood education and the importance of family and community systems. Most of all, Marybeth loves Evanston and its history and character. She and her family have lived here for 26 years, with a second generation happily now District 65 students.
Office and Technology Manager
Julie has a broad range of responsibilities including managing and maintaining all the different office technologies. Julie has a long background in administrative support services.
Prior to joining ECF, she spent seven years at the Pritzker Group and New World Ventures in a wide range of administrative roles, including reception and executive administrative assistance, database management and maintenance, accounting and office services. Julie is bilingual in English and Spanish. She enjoys jogging by the lake, cooking y le gusta bailar.