Dear Friends of The Fund,
I am writing to share an important team update. After eight years serving across various teams, Chaula will be transitioning from The Fund in April to join Digital Promise, a national nonprofit focused on education innovation, as their Chief Program Officer.
As you all know, Chaula has been instrumental to the success of The Fund – having shaped our program strategy from the early days of Summer Design. When she started this work, we had 13 principals in our network. This year, we are serving more than 300 educators in Chicago’s public schools. So much of our creative expansion is a credit to her innovative spirit and fierce commitment to the work. Chaula has also served as a citywide mentor to many other nonprofit leaders, especially women of color, and is widely considered an expert on the operations of a small nonprofit. In recent years, she has also taken on fundraising work – having secured a major gift just last week.
More than all those things, personally, she has been my most honest critic and most genuine champion. I feel very honored to have worked closely with and learned from her for so long. I am going to miss her very much.
I am thrilled that Chaula will be working closely with Fund Director D’Andre Weaver, who serves as Digital Promise’s Chief Digital Equity Officer — you all know we can’t say no to Chicago principals — and former CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, the organization’s leader. Despite the national scope of their work, Chaula’s ties to Chicago will, thankfully, remain strong. I am happy for Chaula’s new role as it allows her to build on the skills she has learned at The Fund, is close to her personal passion around innovation, and gives her more flexibility to be closer to family on the East Coast.
While we could not have predicted the timing, Chaula and I have been discussing this possibility for a while. And, as is best practice, we have contingency plans in place for all senior leader transitions at The Fund. We are working on the team structure and hiring needs, and we will keep you all updated.
Please join me in wishing her the best as she starts on her new chapter.
Heather Y. Anichini
President & CEO