Ladder to Leadership

Ladder to Leadership is an in-depth capacity building program aimed at strengthening the leadership skills of mid-career professionals. Through an innovative, 16-month curriculum, the program dually enhances the leadership capacity of the nonprofit organizations supported by the Foundation.

Community Memorial Foundation partners with the Center for Creative Leadership to sponsor the Ladder to Leadership program. Initially developed with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the program focuses on cultivating the leadership potential of emerging leaders by training them in skills related to:

  • influencing systems
  • bringing about organizational change
  • adapting innovations from other fields
  • creating more client-focused services
  • working across traditional organizational boundaries

Participants receive support to enhance their skills through a series of courses, mentoring, action learning projects and individual professional coaching.


The 2018 | 2019 Ladder to Leadership cohort includes:

Robert Agnoli, Director of Mental Health | The Community House

Sandra Araiza, Clinical Nurse Manager | Pillars Community Health

Sara Belczak, Director | Center for Speech and Language Disorders

Josephine Boggs, Clinical Supervisor | Center for Independence through Conductive Education

Sheryl Collins, Senior Forensic Interviewer | All Our Children’s Advocacy Center

Javon Harris, Manager, Supportive Housing | BEDS Plus

Spencer Harstead, Director of Operations | Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois

Kristin Hartsaw, Program Director, Training and Technical Assistance | DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform

Maggie Hassler, Community Engagement Manager | Aspire

Tracy Lester, Wellness and Education Programs Manager | Wellness House

Emily Mantucca, Associate Director of Philanthropy | Helping Hand Center

Tramaine Martin, Transition Engagement Coordinator | AgeOptions

Janet Ortega, Safe Adults Coordinator | Family Shelter Service

Lance Williams, Senior Health Educator | Robert Crown Center for Health Education

Katie Wiseheart, Program Director | The LeaderShop


For more information on the Ladder to Leadership program, please contact Foundation staff at 630.654.4729.

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