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Friends of the Children-Chicago

Kris was recommended to Executive Director Taal Hasak-Lowy by the Pierce Family Foundation, and she was approached to help Taal re-imagine the development function. Through interviews with staff, reviewing documents and job descriptions, Kris recommended adding a new mid-level position. As Kris led that search and brought several candidates to the table, the pandemic hit, and all new hiring was immediately put on hold. However, fundraising still needed to proceed. Kris switched gears and produced an alternate recommendation. Ann Goldman from Boulder, CO was identified and hired as a remote, interim major gifts officer. Ann remains with Friends today, having moved into the Director of Development role.

Taal called on Kris again this year after the organization received a significant increase in contributions. Rapid organizational growth was imminent. Kris interviewed staff and created job descriptions for all positions and professional development plans for recently promoted staff. She developed operational and HR processes to clarify new expectations and define new roles. Her comprehensive recommendations were at a policy level, an operational level, and a granular administrative level—recommending budget, credit card, and bookkeeping process improvements.

“The magic of Kris happens both at the macro and micro level. She listened and learned about our organization and staffing structure and then reflected back to us not only the issues that we had already identified, but additional issues as well. As a start-up and growing organization, she helped us identify when a position was overloaded, define new positions and create the systems and policies we need to continue to grow. We are a stronger and smarter organization because we have the support of Kris Torkelson.”

Taal Hasak-Lowy, Executive Director, Friends of the Children, Chicago


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