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Chief External Affairs Officer

Tara Harper

Tara Harper is a passionate and strategic non-profit leader, with nearly 20 years of experience working to advance racial equity and social justice for communities that have been systemically disinvested in and under resourced. Most recently, Tara served as the Chief Development Officer at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning, responsible for both public and private revenue at the $37M Chicago-based early childhood and youth development organization. Prior to the Carole Robertson Center, she served as Senior Director of Institutional Relations, Equity & Inclusion, at Children’s Home & Aid — a leading social service agency providing support for nearly 30,000 children and families throughout Illinois. Tara earned her BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign and has completed the Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program through Cornell University. She is also an avid runner who has completed multiple marathons.
Tara’s first job: “Working at a farm stand in the western suburbs, shucking corn and at the register.”

Meet the Rest of the Executive Team

President & CEO
Kathleen St. Louis Caliento
Dr. Caliento has spent nearly three decades focused on issues of social justice, including educational equity, workforce development, and economic...
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Managing Director of Cleanslate
Brady Gott
Brady is the Managing Director of Cara Collective’s flagship social enterprise, Cleanslate. Since 2007, Brady has overseen the financial health...
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Executive Assistant
Emily Billups
Emily graduated from Dominican University in 2014 after majoring in criminology and sociology. She later joined Medix Staffing Solutions where...
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Chief Business Development Officer
Joe Mutuc
A native Chicagoan, Joe began his nonprofit career in 2006 as a Corporate Account Manager at Cara. In his current role,...
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Chief Financial Officer
Joel Pomerenk
Joel leads our Finance, Contracts & Compliance, HR, Facilities, and Solutions teams. He joined Cara Collective in 2019, bringing more...
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Chief Program Officer
Kim Massenburg
Dr. Kim Massenburg holds a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Argosy University. She has over 15 years of...
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Chief Operating Officer
Lauren Feldman
Lauren Feldman joined Cara Collective in 2023. Previously, her work focused primarily in the education sector. Most recently, she served...
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