Office team

Darcy L. Evon, Chief Executive Officer


Darcy comes to the Village with years of non-profit management experience including leadership roles at public and private universities, libraries, medical, technology, non-profit organizations and media companies. Most recently, Darcy was Chief Development Officer for the Chicago Public Library Foundation, where she led the organization to record-breaking engagement and community awareness milestones. Darcy is active in Chicago’s corporate and civic communities and is a member of the Economic Club, Executives Club, Chicago Innovation Advisory Board, and a variety of cultural and business organizations. In her spare time, she is an avid history buff and author who published an illustrated history of jewelry and metalwork entrepreneurs during the Chicago Arts and Crafts movement. Darcy lives in Chicago’s near north neighborhood.

Laurel Baer, Communications Strategist

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Laurel Baer, Communications Strategist, is responsible for most Village communiqués: Newsletter, Member Memo, Gigs and Bytes, even this website. Her years of experience in advertising as media director, account manager and consultant prepared her well. Laurel enjoys choral singing and, fortunately for the Village, enjoys writing, too; it gives her great satisfaction.

Yoon Tae Chong, Administrative and Fund Development Coordinator


Yoon Tae joins The Village Chicago as the Administrative and Fund Development Coordinator. Previously, he served as the Development Manager for the Hana Center, which is a social service and community organizing/advocacy organization for immigrants. Having studied to be a philosopher and theologian but also being certified as a personal trainer, Yoon Tae provides an eclectic mix of skills and experience. He enjoys all types of cuisine, powerlifting, reading, and tinkering with things.

Susan Samek, Finance and Administration


Susan has spent her career in nonprofits working as vice president of finance and operations at the Healthy Schools Campaign, heading up historic house museums and early on serving as curator of costumes and director of exhibitions at the Chicago History Museum. Susan joined The Village Chicago in February 2018. Susan and her husband artist Michael x. Ryan have two grown children, Sam and Stella, who both live out of state. Susan looks forward to family gatherings, loves working on her family genealogy and is always at the ready to help others discover their roots.

Betty Dayron, Social Work Field Instructor

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One of the Village’s first members, Betty Dayron has always been active: volunteer, participant, and since 2009 Field Instructor for Village interns from Loyola’s School of Social Work (she has supervised more than 20). Betty brings valuable career experience, but she too is learning: Village members from all walks of life have more in common than she anticipated!

Niki Fox, Member Services and Internship Coordinator

Niki Fox

Niki Fox began as a social work intern and has now joined the staff. She marvels at the way small actions can make a big difference. Members appreciate her warmth, possibly because her grandmother taught her that a smile is contagious, even over the phone! Niki is a quilter, scuba diver, avid reader and enjoys competitive sports.

Megan Byrd, Program and Communications Coordinator


With a varied background in photography, independent comic book publishing, and event organization, Megan enjoys combining her passions to serve the local community. As Editor-in-Chief of  Ladies’ Night Anthology, she works closely with a dedicated team of editors to publish an annual comic book collection featuring local emerging creators. Should you meet Megan at one of the Village events, she will happily show you photos of her cat Luke upon request.

Kristine Cichowski, Project Consultant, Healthcare Advocacy Initiative and Memory Loss Program


Kristine Cichowski is an educational and business consultant who has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 30 years. Kristine was the founding director of the Henry B. Betts LIFE Center at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now Shirley Ryan AbilityLab) which is an award-winning family education center that supports family education and professional development in 181 countries. Kristine developed systems and processes to help rehabilitation clinicians, physicians, and nurses better understand the results of patient care and what is needed to successfully resume key life activities. As a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner, Kristine conducts seminars and workshops on topics of family empowerment, team building, and work-life integration. Kristine founded her company, Power To Be, to help individuals, families, professionals, and community organizations connect to resources that enable self-determination, goal achievement, and active community participation. Click here to read more about Kris.

Anna Freedman, MSW Intern


Anna is a first-year MSW student at Loyola University Chicago and summer intern at The Village Chicago. With over ten years’ experience in the nonprofit sector, most recently she was coordinator of Northwestern University’s Work/Life & Family Resources program. There, she provided work-life-family support to faculty and staff, developing and implementing psychoeducational and workplace skills curricula, and teaching classes on workflow- and time-management. When she’s not at The Village Chicago, Anna is working part-time for a private psychotherapy practice as an administrative associate. She looks forward to taking Argentine tango lessons this summer with her husband, Josh, and working with her felines, Scrappy and Dewey, on becoming therapy cats.