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June WSPN Education Session - Funders Panel

  • Thursday, June 15, 2023
  • 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Virtual Panel


Registration is closed

Program Description:
What burning questions do you have regarding grants and foundations? 

Join us for a panel of area funders who will tell us about their foundations in general and their grant programs in particular. This program will be highly interactive in nature and encourage open dialogue between panelists and attendees. 

Learn first-hand how grant makers determine their giving priorities, how they prefer to build relationships with charities, what they look for in proposals, and what they expect in communication.

Melvin Kim | CEO | J.R. Albert Foundation
Melvin Kim currently serves as the CEO of the J.R. Albert Foundation, a funder of food system equity throughout the Midwest. The Foundation focuses on supporting organizations that address inequities in local food systems from food production and agriculture, access, education, workforce development, and policy development. The ultimate goal is for communities and neighborhoods to have sovereignty in directing their food systems.

Prior to leading the J.R. Albert Foundation, Melvin served as the Grants and Research Coordinator for the DuPage County Board. In this role, he coordinated grant awards and activities for all DuPage county departments and county-wide offices as well as staffed various board committees.

He has served on various public committees and commissions in his hometown of Naperville. He had the opportunity be part of the City of Naperville Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) Commission for six years including two years as the Commission’s Chair. He helped in the creation of the City of Naperville Public Arts program. He also served on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee for Community Unit School District 203.

Outside of his professional responsibilities, you can find Melvin enjoying his oldest’s band concerts, working GameChanger at his middle child’s sporting events, or biting his tongue at his youngest’s basketball games.

Haydee Núñez | Social Impact Manager | Navistar
Haydee Núñez currently serves as the Social Impact Manager at Navistar and leads efforts to grow the company’s positive impact on people and planet in lock step with the overall corporate strategy and broader communications. Haydee champions the company’s commitment to communities and long-term impact on education and the environment with a focus on equity.

Haydee’s professional and volunteer roles demonstrate her dedication to education, diversity, and community. Before joining Navistar, Haydee held leadership positions with education and community organizations, where she primarily focused on cultivating diversity and inclusion, promoting equity in access to education, and supporting community development.

Haydee currently volunteers as a member of her local school board as recently served as a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission. She has served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of DuPage where she chaired the Community Impact Committee and has led community grant-making programs as chair of the Latino Outreach Committee for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, an organization she had been active with since 2004 and most recently served on the Board’s Committee on Diversity. 

Haydee has a Master of Business Administration from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Barbara S. Szczepaniak | Vice President of Programs | DuPage Foundation  As vice president for programs, Barb is responsible for providing oversight for all of the Foundation grant programs. She works with the Foundation's Board of Trustees, Grant Committee, and staff to develop and implement initiatives aimed at raising the quality of life for DuPage residents. She was instrumental in launching the Foundation's Bright & Early DuPage, Arts DuPage, and the DuPage Community Transformation Partnership initiatives. She is also responsible for building and maintaining effective partnerships with the community's not-for-profits and works closely with Foundation donor-advisors in an effort to connect them to organizations and programs that align with their philanthropic interests. 

Prior to joining the Foundation, Barb served as executive director of the Elmhurst School District 205 Foundation for Educational Excellence for 11 years.  There she managed the Foundation's development and grantmaking activities to increase its visibility throughout Elmhurst, foster strategic partnerships, and ensure its overall success.

Barb serves on several county-wide boards including the DuPage Federation on Human Services ReformDuPage Homeless Continuum of Care as a member of the Leadership, and Rank and Review committees, DuPage Workforce Investment Board, and Impact DuPage as a member of the Steering Committee.

Barb is the recipient of the 2012 West Suburban Philanthropic Network Grantmaker of the Year Award; Suburban Life Magazine’s 2016 Woman of Distinction Award; and is a 2018 Erikson Institute Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellow

She holds a bachelor of science degree in speech communications and a minor in public relations from Illinois State University. Barb is a lifelong resident of DuPage County and currently lives in Elmhurst with her husband, George.

Megan Lynch | 
Manager, Charitable Fund | 
Duly Health and Care
Megan Lynch is a social impact leader with experience across the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. In her current role, Megan is the manager of the Charitable Fund at Duly Health and Care, where she leads grantmaking, community investments, and volunteerism initiatives in collaboration with Duly’s stakeholders and nonprofit partners. Megan also serves on Duly’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council and is the chair of the Inclusion Engagement Initiatives Committee.

Prior to joining Duly Health and Care, Megan was the director of corporate relations for North Central College in Naperville and led corporate fundraising for the college’s $150 million Brilliant Future Campaign. She previously managed corporate partner relationships for two global policy think tanks — The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Council on Foreign Relations — and got her start working in New York City at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

Megan also serves on the Board of Directors for Social Responsibility Chicago and Loaves & Fishes Community Services, as well as the Steering Committee for Impact DuPage. A 2021 winner of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 4 Under 40 Award, Megan earned her MA in Politics from New York University and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

8:30 - 8:35 a.m. - Networking and Introductions
8:35 – 10:00 a.m. Program and Q&A Session

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