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.
President and CEO
As President and CEO, Sol directs all ECF operations, acting as the Foundation's steward; demonstrating strategic leadership; and, overseeing the organization’s management, operations, and communications.
Sol joined ECF in June 2021. Most recently, he served as Executive Director for I Grow Chicago, a nonprofit in the Englewood community that works to eradicate the roots of violence. Previously, Sol served as the Chicago Executive Director of LIFT Incorporated, an organization that partners with parents to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and to build prosperity. Earlier in his extensive career, Sol served in a variety of leadership roles for the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing, Cristo Rey Community Center and SCORE! Educational Centers. One of his earliest positions included serving as Youth Coordinator for the City of Evanston. Sol has lived and/or worked in Evanston for the past 15 years, and he is thrilled to be able to invest in the community where he and his wife are raising their family. He holds a BA and an MBA from Michigan State University.
Karli is a proud alumna of DePaul University and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Arts in Organizational and Multicultural Communication. As an active community member and fourth generation Evanstonian, Karli is committed to the promotion of social and racial equity within education, public health, and human service sectors to improve the lives of people who live, work, and love her beloved community of Evanston. When Karli isn’t busy being a Mom to her 8-year-old son, she enjoys all that Evanston’s vibrant dining scene has to offer.
VP for Community Investment
Becca rejoined ECF in spring 2013 as Program Officer and began her service as Vice President for Community Investment in January 2020. She often describes herself as a “recovering development officer,” having previously held the post of Director of Major and Planned Gifts and Interim Vice President 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 co-chairs Northwestern University’s Racial Equity and Community Partnership Grant Advisory Committee and is a Trustee and Allocations Chair of Episcopal Charities of Chicago. She serves on the Operations Steering and Racial Equity Committees of Evanston Cradle to Career as well as the Food Insecurity and Seniors COVID-19 Taskforces in the city of Evanston. She is a founding member of the Evanston Care Network, the Evanston Local Marketplace, and the Creative Commerce Committee of the City of Evanston. Becca was a 2018 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellow at Erikson Institute, 2018 SEED Training (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity) participant, and a 2015 graduate of Leadership Evanston. 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. 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 Leadership and Training
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.
Donor Relations Manager
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 of Philanthropy and Communications
Joi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a Certificate of Major Gifts Solicitation from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. She previously served as Director of Strategic Partnerships at The James B. Moran Center, where she was responsible for fundraising, development, communications and marketing as well as developing and strengthening partnerships with individual donors, civic entities, non-profit organizations, cultural based agencies and educational institutions. Prior to that role, Joi applied her extensive fundraising experience as Executive Director at Shorefront, Director of Foundation Relations at the Salvation Army, and Grants Manager at the Girl Scouts of Chicago. Joi and her husband, Tim, have made Evanston their home for 27 years, raising 2 children in the community.
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 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.