Nonprofit Workshop Instructors

Claudette Baker
Forefront workshops: Introduction to Individual Giving; Cultivating Major Gifts

Claudette G. Baker is President of Claudette G. Baker & Associates, Inc., a consulting company delivering training and providing technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and their leaders to help them build capacity and become effective in accomplishing their mission and goals. Her consulting focuses on organizational development (strategic thinking and planning, and program planning and development), project management, board governance and development, annual fundraising, leadership development and group facilitation. Claudette provides formal and informal coaching to executive directors with an emphasis on board and fund development, and on working with diverse groups and perspectives. She is also skilled in facilitating group processes addressing systemic change. Ms. Baker served as the Vice President of Library and Nonprofit Services at Forefront and is a past board member of the Crossroads Fund and Association of Fundraising Professionals, Chicago Chapter. She is currently on the board of African American Legacy at the Chicago Community Trust.


Robin Dillow
Forefront workshops: Introduction to Prospect Researching: Finding Grants, Introduction to Prospect Research: Individual Donors

Robin joined Forefront in May 2014 as Library Services Coordinator and was promoted in October 2015 to Manager. She has worked as a librarian in public, special, and community college settings. She also teaches physical geography, contemporary world cultures, and geographic information systems at the community college level, and has a background in the nonprofit sector. In addition to an MLIS degree from Dominican University, Robin holds master's degrees in environmental and urban geography and in public administration. She also completed the Master Online Teacher (MOTC) and Certified Online Learning Administrator (COLA) certificates from the University of Illinois' Illinois Online Network (ION).


Rosie Drumgoole
Forefront workshops: Volunteer Management 101, Volunteer Management 201

Rosie Drumgoole joined the Chicago Cares staff in May of 2010 and is their Director of Ongoing Volunteer Programming.  She currently manages the team who puts together all of Chicago Cares’ calendar programming.  Prior to coming to Chicago Cares Rosie was an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Area Agency on Aging for Suburban Cook County-AgeOptions where she provided trainings and developed easy to use resources for the seniors and senior service providers in Suburban Cook County on the topics of Medicare, Social Security, and cost saving programs.  Rosie holds a B.A. in print journalism and public relations from Northern Illinois University, and has a diverse communications background. Rosie has recently completed her Volunteer Administration certification and is the current chairperson for the Volunteer Connectors of Illinois. @chicagocares


Tim Frick
Forefront workshops: Making Your Digital Content Accessible: Content Marketing Basics

Tim built his first website in 1995 and has since parlayed that skill into a career helping nonprofits, sustainable brands, and conscientious companies find success online. He currently serves as CEO of Mightybytes. A seasoned speaker and conference presenter, Tim has spoken at such events as Conscious Capitalism, O’Reilly Design, Sustainable Brands, WebVisions, TedX Bentley University, and many others. He offers workshops and presentations on content strategy, digital marketing, social enterprise, and sustainable design. Tim is passionate about the global B Corp movement and co-hosts Chicago area B Corp networking events. Tim is former Board President of Climate Ride, a national charity nonprofit that produces multi-day endurance events to raise money for sustainable solutions. He is also co-founder of Content Jam, Chicago’s largest content marketing conference. @timfrick @MightyBytes


Suzanne Griffith
Forefront workshops: Gain Success with Corporate Donors: Party Planning with Purpose

Suzanne Griffith is Managing Principle of VEGA Partners, a consulting firm that delivers powerful philanthropic and fundraising strategies for visionary organizations. She has more than 15 years of experience in corporate and nonprofit sectors at leading companies such as Exelon, and historic non-profit organizations such as Jane Addams Hull House Association. As a leading member of Exelon’s Corporate Citizenship team, Griffith managed the company’s $5 million grant portfolio. She also managed executive board placements, employee engagement initiatives, and grantmaking strategy for the enterprise. At the Goodman Theatre, Griffith’s team raised over $3M annually working with C-Suite leadership volunteers. Griffith received her B.S. in anthropology from Lawrence University and a M.S. in Public Service Management from DePaul University. Her current volunteer service includes literacy tutor with Tutoring Chicago, and serving on the African American Legacy Fund of the Chicago Community Trust. Previous civic service includes serving on the Board of Directors of Congo Square Theatre, a member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Diversity Committee, and on the alumni board of Lawrence University.

Debra A. Hass
Forefront workshops: Introduction to Proposal Writing; Advanced Proposal Writing
Debra A. Hass’s consulting practice emphasizes proposal review, program development and management, board engagement, evaluation, research, and writing. Deb brings more than 25 years of professional and volunteer experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to her clients. She served as a Senior Policy Associate at the Women Employed Institute and has extensive experience in the areas of education and employment. She has also worked as a Program Officer at The Harris Foundation, as an adult education instructor, as coordinator of a homeless literacy program, and as a college fundraising and alumni affairs officer. Deb earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish from Beloit College and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She is currently President of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, housed at the University of Chicago Law School; and an adjunct instructor at the University of Chicago’s School of Service Administration, teaching Evaluation of Social Welfare Policies and Programs. Deb has served on the Board and as Co-chair of Chicago Women in Philanthropy and was a Co-chair of the Poverty Task Force of Donors Forum. 
Toren Lewis
Forefront workshops: Lobbying & Advocacy 101, Rules of the Game for 501(c)3s: Elections, Advocacy Rules for Foundation Grantees, Understanding Lobbying Rules for Nonprofits

Toren received his J.D. from UC Davis School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in International Politics from Georgetown University. Prior to joining Alliance for Justice (AFJ), Toren served as a Commission Counsel in the Legal and Enforcement Divisions of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Before FPPC, Toren worked for the California State Senate and the Endeavor Group, a boutique firm in Washington, D.C. providing legal and strategic advice primarily to philanthropists and entrepreneurs. Outside of work, Toren is an aspiring watercolorist and casual martial artist. He is a lifelong fan of the German National Soccer Team.


Rena Henderson Mason 
Forefront workshops: Building Your Best Board: Recruiting, Strecture, and Process, Performance and Culture, Developing Efffective Advocates

Rena Henderson Mason leads Bold Agenda and is a trusted advisor to mission-driven board and staff leaders, helping them shape their boards and leaders for high performance and tell their unique stories. Her specialty is empowering board and staff leaders to embrace change, push bold ideas and build great teams. She has coached Board Chairs and Executive Directors/CEOs through a range of organizational challenges including growth, leadership transitions, strategic alliances, restructuring, turnaround and crises. Prior to launching Bold Agenda, Rena spent over 20 years helping scale businesses through new product development, strategic planning and capital raising in the food, commercial real estate, publishing and investment banking industries. Rena has an MBA from Harvard Business School and Bachelor’s in Finance/International Management from Georgetown University. She is a ICF-Certified coach and BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer with extensive training in high performance coaching, board development and group process facilitation. Currently, Rena serves on the Boards of the Arts Alliance Illinois and National Association of Women Business Owners – Chicago Chapter. @boldagenda

Dominica McBride, PhD
Forefront workshops: Culturally Responsive Evaluation

Dr. Dominica McBride is Founder/CEO of Become, Inc. She has conducted domestic and international program development and evaluation projects with diverse communities, including rural communities in Tanzania, African American, Hispanic, and Native American communities, and women. Dr. McBride has designed and implemented workshops nationally, including trainings on cultural competence, program evaluation, leadership, teambuilding, wellness, social and emotional intelligence for audiences including Goodwill Industries International, Inc., prevention specialists, lawyers, mental health professionals, government employees, teachers, and community members. Dr. McBride has also worked on the ground providing substance abuse counseling and clinical therapy to individuals, youth, and families. She also is an adjunct professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and teaches Diversity and Program Evaluation. She has received awards from the American Evaluation Association, the ARK of St. Sabina, and Bright Promises Foundation for her evaluation and development work. She has her PhD in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Consultation from Arizona State University. 

Mo Sook Park
Forefront workshops: Overcoming Resistance to Change: Adapt to Lead

Mo Sook Park founded i-D Leadership Consulting to bring transformational leadership and organization development opportunities to increase the impact of mission driven organizations. Since then, Park has worked with clients across sectors including Chicago Public Schools and multiple Chicago based startups to solve some of their most complex challenges. Using the lens of leadership, organizational behavior, systems, and group dynamics, Park has a track record of working intimately with her clients to build the capacity of the people at all levels of an organization to adapt and implement organizational change initiatives from start to finish. Park is a certified Immunity-to-Change Facilitator from Minds at Work, a Case-in-Point Facilitator from the Kansas Leadership Center, and a consultant candidate with the AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems. Park received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and a M.Ed. in Leadership Development Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Nikhil Pillai
Forefront workshops: Lobbying & Advocacy 101; Rules of the Gave for 501(c)3s: Elections; Advocacy Rules for Foundation Grantees; Understanding Lobbying Rules for Nonprofits

Nikhil Pillai is Counsel for the Bolder Advocacy Initiative at Alliance for Justice. He consults with and trains nonprofit organizations on the rules and strategies for legal and effective advocacy. Nikhil received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and B.S. from the Ohio State University. Before joining AFJ, Nikhil was Associate Counsel at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL CIO. In that role he was responsible for drafting and negotiating operational agreements, advising staff on prospective legal concerns, and ensuring compliance with campaign finance and lobbying laws. Prior to that, he was a law fellow at AARP. In his free time, Nikhil enjoys cooking, playing music, and watching trashy reality TV.

Susannah Quern Pratt  

Forefront workshops: Creating a Theory of Change; Activating Your Theory of Change: Moving into Measurement 

Susie Quern Pratt, Principal and Co-founder of Pratt Richards Group, leads consultation and training services focused on strategic planning and evaluation. Her consulting work has focused on a variety of issue areas, including civic engagement, theological education, youth development, and human services. These engagements have taken the form of coaching and capacity building, as well as external evaluation. Susie’s formal evaluation career began as the Coordinator of Evaluation for the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment, Inc., where she designed an evaluation coaching program to build the capacity of grantee organizations. Prior to that, she was a program officer at the Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc., a research assistant for the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, and a program associate for The Alford Group, Inc., a fundraising consulting firm. Susie holds a BA from Colgate University with Honors in English Literature and an AM from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. She is currently on the board of Family Matters and the Franklin Square Foundation.

Tania Rempert
Forefront workshops: Nonprofit Evaluation: Current Methods and Tools
Tania Rempert, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Org. Recognized as a dynamic facilitator and leader in evaluation coaching, Dr. Rempert is at the forefront of helping organizations gather, understand, and use their own research data to build organizational capacity. With Dr. Rempert’s expert guidance, government agencies, universities, school districts, non-profits and museums of all sizes have become better equipped to fulfil their missions, using their own in-house resources. Dr. Rempert aims to help non-profit staff members internalize the benefits of evaluation. Dr. Rempert received a B.S. and PH.D from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her master’s from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Jenny Ellis Richards

Jenny Ellis Richards, Principal and Co-founder of Pratt Richards Group, has provided evaluation and planning services to a wide range of nonprofits and foundations across the country. With nearly twenty years of experience in the sector, she has advised organizations on how to measure and communicate their impact, and develop robust evaluation systems that foster organizational learning and growth. Prior to founding PRG, Jenny led consulting engagements with TCC Group, Civic Consulting Alliance, and B2P Commerce. She began her career teaching in Ecuador, running a college readiness program for urban youth in San Francisco, and leading an international development effort at Harvard University. Jenny holds a BA in Spanish from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She sits on the board of James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, Camp Manito-Wish YMCA, and the Crysdahl Foundation.


Susy Schultz
Forefront workshops: Telling Your Story Well: Storytelling with Impact, Social Media Basics, Beyond the Basics of Social Media, Building a Better Communications Plan
Susy is an editor, digital strategist, educator, writer and change agent, who has been telling stories for more than 20 years. In 2017, she was named one of the 20 most powerful women in Chicago journalism by media columnist Robert Feder. Her past titles include managing, digital and investigative editor, executive director, associate publisher, president, communications director, reporter, columnist and editorial writer. Her current title is president of Public Narrative, an organization that works with and trains both nonprofits and the media. Schultz’s career has wound her through the worlds of journalism, academia, government, foundations and nonprofits. She ran the Chicago Department of Public Health's communication department and held the title of advocacy and communications director at the Chicago Foundation for Women. 
Kim Silver
Forefront workshops: Nonprofit Evaluation: Current Methods and Tools
Kim Silver, Principal, The Silver Line, is an entrepreneurial social sector professional with more than 15 years of experience leading and managing nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, and consulting engagements. She has an extensive background assessing social impact, designing feasibility studies and creating new services, programs and partnerships. Kim has honed her strategy and management skills. Prior to founding The Silver Line, Kim was a Director and founding team member with Mission Measurement, a strategy and measurement consulting firm. Kim led the nonprofit and foundation practice team and worked with national nonprofit organizations and funders to measure and improve their social impact.
Lisa May Simpson
Forefront workshops: Lead Right Now
Lisa serves as Director of Education at Forefront, where she develops and manages trainings and other educational programs to meet the needs of Illinois grantmakers, nonprofits, and advisors. She has served as an independent coach, facilitator, and consultant for a variety of individuals and organizations including Chicago Women in Philanthropy, the Chicago Arts Learning Initiative (CALI), and Ingenuity, Inc. Prior to her work as a coach and consultant, she held the role of deputy director at Arts Alliance Illinois. Lisa has served on the boards of Creating Pride, The Hypocrites, and HealthConnect One and currently serves on the Leadership Council of Barrel of Monkeys. She has trained as a facilitator and educator with Kansas Leadership Center, Interaction Institute for Social Change, and the Institute of Cultural Affairs in the U.S.A. and holds a BA in theater from Western Washington University.
Deidra Somerville, MSW, CFRE
Forefront workshops:  Fundraising in Communities of Color 
Deidra is the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs at Roosevelt University. Most recently she worked as Director of Development for Corporate and Foundation Relations for Roosevelt University. Prior to her tenure at Roosevelt, she worked as Senior Grant Developer for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), where she was responsible for leading the grant development team to secure resources from corporations, foundations, and public sector funding sources to benefit residents of public and assisted housing. Ms. Somerville obtained her license as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in 2009 and has worked on behalf of Chicago area municipal and nonprofit organizations in fundraising and program management since her arrival to the Windy City in 1998. She graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a double Bachelor of Arts with honors in sociology and political science, and has her MSW in human resources management from the Boston University School of Social Work.
Kelly Sparks
Forefront workshops: Nonprofit Evaluation: Current Methods and Tools
Kelly Sparks, CEO of Maple Grove Objective, LLC, has over 15 years of experience in the education field and is a national expert and innovator in the areas of data usage, program management, and strategic planning. Kelly is responsible for overseeing all projects, ranging from pure research and data projects to strategic planning efforts. Previously, she held the position of Principal Researcher at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) where she led the college and career readiness group and served as the Director of the National Charter School Resource Center. As Principal Researcher, Kelly was responsible for all aspects of evaluation design and oversight of large-scale evaluation projects. Prior to AIR, Kelly was the Research Director at the Chicago Public Schools responsible for tracking the postsecondary outcomes of students and analyzing the data to better understand the levers that impact postsecondary success. Her research and data team developed innovative approaches to connect school and central office administrators with actionable data to target their efforts and improve their outcomes. Kelly has a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.