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The New Nine on the Cara Associate Board

Meet the nine newest members of Cara’s Associate Board – emerging leaders eager to volunteer their talents, activate their networks, and bring unique perspectives from the public and private sectors to our mission.

Let’s hear it for the 2021 Cara Associate Board

Every year, we look for emerging leaders ready to roll up their sleeves in order to raise both awareness and support for eradicating relational and financial poverty in Chicago, and beyond.

In late fall, we wrapped up our recruitment process and welcomed the newest members of our already dynamic, mission-driven associate board. With answers that blew us away, our incoming changemakers explained why they wanted to join our community, what they hope to bring to it, and how our mission serves as a source of great joy. Here’s what they had to say:

What or who inspired you to join Cara’s Associate Board and why?

“Cara has been close to my heart for over a decade. I am actually a staff alum! I had the honor of working for Cara on their professional development team as Americorps staff from 2009-2010. When I left the social impact sector, I did so knowing I could contribute in a board capacity – and there’s no better place to learn how to be a good board member than from Cara; I hold all organizations to their standard. If 2020 taught me anything, there’s no time to wait on the things that are supposed to matter most to us.”
Megan Roddy, Consulting Manager, Accenture

“With Cara being the Gaelic word for “friend,” it was my friends at Cara who inspired me to join the Associate Board. I met Mark Toriski, Cara’s Director of Marketing and Communication, three years ago through a nonprofit partnership program at my company, Yakkety Yak. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Mark and Cara’s Development team, including Shikha Jain and Claire Roehri, among many other incredible people that create the fabric of Cara. I want to continue to be part of Cara’s impactful and meaningful work, helping people change their lives and communities for the better.”
Andi Summers, Account Director, Yakkety Yak

“I was inspired to join the Cara Associate board after attending my first Motivations and meeting the amazing community of participants, volunteers, and staff that Cara has cultivated. Motivations is unlike anything I’ve been to before, and I knew I had to get more involved!”
Emma Waterman, Senior Workplace Leader, Ferrara Candy Company

What is one thing you hope to bring to the Cara community?

“My goal is to bring connections that I hope to utilize to create more awareness about Cara’s mission and originate new funding sources. Cara’s mission is extremely powerful and impactful and sells itself. My focus would be to reach out to organizations and make them aware of what Cara has accomplished by backing it with metrics and stories.”
Samreen Fatima, Assistant Vice President, PNC

“I want to invest my time and bring my own perspective into the community. Coming from an international background, I often find myself thinking from a different angle than others. I would like to learn more about Cara and make my effort to contribute to the community.”
Tony Wu, Senior Tax Consultant, Deloitte

“I hope to bring my passion for helping others to the Cara community. My first job was as a sports camp counselor in high school, and I enjoyed teaching the campers values such as sportsmanship, hard work, and comradery – principles that can be applied to several areas of our lives. I’m excited to use these tools to further Cara’s mission.”
Russell Richey, Associate, Goldman Sachs

How does Cara and its mission bring you joy?

“Cara’s mission brings me joy because I truly believe that getting and keeping a quality and dignified job is one of the most crucial elements in enabling people affected by poverty to change their lives and the lives of their families. Cara is not only transforming thousands of individual lives – it is also contributing towards building an inclusive marketplace and getting us closer to becoming a more just society.”
João Goncalves, Senior Consultant, Korn Ferry

“Cara has made me aware of non-tangible challenges that marginalized job seekers face…Cara’s mission to transform individuals lives inspires me to live and act with intention in both my professional and personal life.”
Jennifer Harper, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Ethos Veterinary Health

“The Cara community brings me great joy! I am continually inspired by the people, the purpose, and the passion of Cara staff, participants, volunteers, and supporters. Belonging and relationship-building are woven within the fabric of the mission, and it brings me tremendous joy to be a member of this thriving community.”
Becky Michel, Associate Professor, Depaul University

Keep an eye out for our upcoming virtual events, where you will meet our new nine and the rest of the Cara Associate Board!

Curious about starting or growing your organization’s associate board? Check out our post, “What Makes the Perfect Associate Board?”