John Walden Named Chair of Cara’s Board of Directors
Chicago – Cara, an industry-leading workforce development agency headquartered in Chicago, formally announced today the appointment of John Walden to Chair of their Board of Directors, effective immediately.
“We are honored to have John take lead of our Board of Directors,” said Maria Kim, President & CEO of Cara. “As we embark on our 30th anniversary year, we are in an exciting period of reflection and growth as an organization. Under John’s helm, we are primed to leverage a strong organizational foundation including diverse revenue sources, amazing board and staff leadership, a thriving mission, and three decades of insight to help employers and organizations across the country build a more inclusive economy. His appointment marks a new and exciting chapter for us.”
Walden is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Inversion, Inc., a strategy consultancy, and has been at the forefront of multi-channel, consumer-driven retail in the United States and United Kingdom for the past 20 years. He has held leadership positions in companies that include FTD Companies; Home Retail Group (UK); Best Buy Co.; and Peapod. Early in his career, Walden served as an executive for XL/Datacomp, Inc., the business led by Cara founder Tom Owens. He currently serves as Chairman of YO! Group, an Asian food and restaurant business operating in the UK and North America, and has chaired several other growth-oriented retailers.
“I am deeply privileged to serve as the new Board Chair,” said Walden. “This is a significant moment for Cara as we mark a milestone, while also looking to the future of this mission. Cara impacts thousands of lives each year and will impact countless more as our society awakens to the responsibility and reward of lifting up our most vulnerable people. I look forward to working with this Board, which is filled with a talented group of leaders, and the exceptional Cara staff and partners as we continue to scale and meet the growing demand for this work.”
In addition, Andrea O’Leary, PhD, has been named Vice Chair to the Board. O’Leary is a Senior Director, Culture & Change for Aon Corporation and is responsible for the colleague experience and aligning culture with the values of the firm. She also is a strong advocate for Diversity Equity and Inclusion and leads a North America Black Business Resource Group Leadership team comprised of executive and senior leaders
across Aon. Prior to Aon, O’Leary worked at CareerBuilder, LLC as a Human Capital external consultant and product leader, as well as at United Airlines and International Survey Research. She has served on Cara’s Board of Directors for two years.
This appointment coincides with eight new members joining Cara’s Board, bringing the total to 24 Directors for the 2021 term. Click here to view a complete list of new and returning members.
Cara’s mission is to unlock the power and purpose within our communities and ourselves to create real and lasting success. Through its personal and professional development and access to employment opportunities, Cara serves as a leader in poverty alleviation in Chicago and beyond. Since 1991, more than 7,300 people have been placed into more than 11,500 jobs and started on their path to self-sufficiency.