Darcy brings a wealth of experience to the Village, including leadership roles at public and private universities, libraries, medical, technology, non-profit organizations and media companies. She is active in Chicago’s corporate and civic communities and serves on the boards of Ingenuity Inc., The Guild of the Chicago History Museum, The Kalo Foundation, and the Chicago Innovation Advisory Board. Darcy is a member of the Economic Club, Executives Club, and a variety of cultural and business organizations. She is an avid history buff and author who published Hand Wrought, an illustrated history of jewelry and metalwork from the Chicago Arts and Crafts Movement.
A founding Village member, Laurel started volunteering for the Village shortly before it opened in June 2009 and became a part time staff member in 2010. She worked in marketing for nearly 40 years, in advertising agencies and as a sole practitioner consultant. In her current role, she helps shape strategy, planning and communications for most major Village initiatives. Her proudest accomplishment was founding Bottomless Closet in 1991, the first nonprofit free business apparel resource for women transitioning from assistance to work.
Megan has enjoyed an eclectic career as a freelance writer, photographer, and event organizer. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and also studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Australia. She is a founding member of the international comic book publishing collective, Ladies’ Night Anthology and a former contributing writer for the Eisner award winning website Women Write About Comics. She is still an occasional comic book editor, and loves to share her passion for building community. Upon request, she will happily share photos of her family and cat.
When Betty retired from a long clinical and administrative career as a Social Worker at Jewish Child and Family Services the Village was just beginning and so she joined. She remains an active volunteer and member. Since 2009 she has supervised more than 35 Village Interns from Loyola’s School of Social Work. She also enjoys travel, when sensible, spending time reading, doing Sudoko puzzles and is into Folk Music and the Blues.
Niki joined The Village Chicago in 2015 as a social work intern and, as she’ll tell you, “just never left!” She earned her Master’s in Social Work with a specialization in healthcare from Loyola in 2017. Niki is inspired by connecting members to services, resources, and one another – drawing upon members’ experience and expertise just as they draw upon hers. She appreciates how the Village is adapting, building multigenerational relationships, and finding new ways to support mental and physical well being. In her spare time, Niki can be found reading too many books at once, cutting quilt squares, or cycling.
Jen is a graduate from Northeastern Illinois University and has been in the healthcare field since 2003. As a certified dementia practitioner, Jen has worked primarily in dementia care managing care units, providing education, running support groups and working collaboratively with the Pioneer Network. Her vision has always aligned with the idea of person-centered care, making it her mission to help cultivate communities that provide purpose, meaning and joy to people living with dementia. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her daughters, gardening, cooking and loves to be near any body of water.
Jonathan has been advocating for, learning from, and working with individuals 50+ since high school. Prior to joining The Village Chicago, he held positions at Senior Connections managing a visiting volunteer program in Evanston; at Center on Halsted providing case management services for the residents of Town Hall Apartments, Chicago’s first LGBTQ-Friendly Senior Housing; and at Little Brothers- Friends of the Elderly managing social programs for Chicago’s most isolated older adults. He is also currently working towards a master’s degree in Dementia & Aging Studies at Texas State University. He resides in Ravenswood with his husband, cat, and dog.
Having returned to her home town to help her parents navigate their final years, Susan landed at the Village because its mission resonated with her recent lived experience — “I wish my parents would’ve had a place like the Village.” She received her undergraduate degree in Finance and MBA from Drake University and a Master’s degree in Religion and Ecology from Loyola/New Orleans. Susan has a rich and varied background in finance, working for financial institutions and non-profits, including religious organizations, youth services, and higher education.