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.
Vice President 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.
Vice President of Finance and Operations
Cynthia has more than eight years of experience in finance and operations in the nonprofit sector. Prior to ECF, Cynthia worked at Lakeview Pantry, where, as the first finance employee, she was charged with bringing the 50-year old organization up to speed with modern financial processes and bringing all finances in-house from an outside accounting firm. Previously, Cynthia led the finance department at Urban Initiatives, where she formalized the financial, operations, and human resources processes over the course of her five year tenure. At both organizations, Cynthia also spearheaded the launching of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Cynthia is a proud graduate from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. She’s also a graduate of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)’s Mujeres de HACE leadership program. Most recently, Cynthia has been a part of the first cohort for the University of Chicago’s Rustandy Center Nonprofit Network for Strategic Operations and Finance Program. Cynthia grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, and has now set roots in the Pilsen neighborhood.
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.
Tori Foreman joined ECF in February, 2022. She is a long time Evanstonian, where she raised her four children. She has worked in Evanston for many years, including at the McGaw YMCA, District 65, Evanston Township High School, and the City of Evanston in the Parks and Recreation Department.
As a community member, Tori has volunteered and served on several boards, including the Evanston Public Library Board. Tori is a people person and loves to interact with folks from all walks of life. She enjoys the outdoors and recently started horticulture classes at the University of Illinois.
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.
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.
Andrea has been with ECF since 2013, acting as the incredibly reliable right hand support for ECF’s finance work. Andrea’s deep knowledge of accounting and bookkeeping along with the Foundation’s operations has enabled. She had a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry and is skilled in accounting, nonprofit operations, and tax-deductible giving practices. When she’s not busy balancing our books, you can catch Andrea keeping up with her 19 year-old son or riding her bike along the many beautiful miles of Chicago’s lakefront.
Jenny Valdes Del Valle
Jenny joined ECF as our first Program Associate in July 2021 She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and French, with a minor in Latin American Studies from Lake Forest College. Jenny’s passion for social justice and community engagement has been nurtured by her professional experience. In 2019 she served as a translator and interpreter for Undocumented communities at Rosalind Franklin University Clinics. Moreover, she collaborated with the Monteverde Institute, carrying out research on Child malnutrition in Costa Rica. Most recently, she served as the Economic Affairs Intern at the Quebec Government Office in Chicago. Jenny is committed to bring a multicultural, multifaceted scope to sociopolitical issues. She fluently speaks Spanish, English and French. When the weather is nice, Jenny enjoys roller-skating, exploring Chicago’s dining scene, and relaxing by the lake.
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.
Database and Donor Services Associate
Vanessa is the dedicated and creative lynchpin keeps our organization humming along. Her professional demeanor provides the team with reliable, efficient, accurate and high-quality support. Her knowledge of Evanston and the community’s nonprofits make her extraordinarily proficient in helping the rest of the team do their jobs. She is a proud Latinx community member and strives to push equity in every corner of Evanston. All these qualities, and more! Vanessa is a highly creative person who creates beauty in just about every medium and if that’s not enough, she can mix up a mean Old Fashion!.