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KEES Executive Search Client Partner, Envision Unlimited, selects Dennis James as its next Chief Financial Officer

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Envision Unlimited, one of Illinois’ most prominent providers of programs and services for people with intellectual, developmental and psychiatric disabilities, has selected Dennis James as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Assuming his new role effective January 8, 2024, James will work directly with the Chief Executive Officer and executive leadership team to create, initiate, analyze, and recommend effective financial strategies to maximize operations and mission fulfillment. Leading this executive search included President and CEO Heather Eddy and Project Manager Randi Blasutti of KEES, which exemplifies a collaborative and continued partnership.

With a rich history of over two decades serving in key financial leadership positions and statewide leadership among CPA peers, James brings a strategic and collaborative approach to senior leadership and partnership with the board of directors. His track record demonstrates proficiency in driving growth, optimizing efficiency, and steering value-driven change for prominent nonprofit organizations. James is recognized for his proven ability to elevate organizational performance, foster employee engagement, and successfully implement cutting-edge business software technologies. Recent nonprofit roles included leadership with Chicago-area institutions including The Salvation Army North & Central Illinois Division, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

“We were seeking a passionate, strategic, and collaborative leader to help our organization grow into the future,” said Envision Unlimited CEO Mark McHugh. “James’ dedication to and enthusiasm for the mission of Envision Unlimited is inspiring to our entire community. We look forward to growing and flourishing with James as a key strategic partner on the leadership team. On behalf of everyone affiliated with Envision Unlimited, we welcome Dennis and thank the entire KEES team for their commitment and expertise throughout the search process.”

“I am thrilled to join the Envision Unlimited team,” said James. “Working for a nonprofit organization focused on people with special needs is deeply personal and profoundly meaningful to me because of my own experience as a parent. Having a daughter with special needs has given me a firsthand understanding of the unique challenges and aspirations of individuals facing these circumstances. It has ignited a passionate commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of those who, like my daughter, may require extra support and opportunities to thrive. This personal connection infuses my work with a deep sense of empathy, determination, and a genuine desire to create a more inclusive, compassionate, and supportive society. I look forward to advancing this important mission.”

Envision Unlimited retained KEES, a premier executive search firm specializing in searches for top nonprofit executive roles, as its CFO search partner earlier this year. A comprehensive search was launched, and James was ultimately selected from a passionate, diverse, and talented pool of regional finalists who could best lead the organization’s mission to fulfill its long-term goals.

In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, James holds a Master’s Degree in International Management and Banking/Finance from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Speech Communications from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN.

“With a proven track record of success, coupled with a personal dedication and passion for serving those in need, Dennis will undoubtedly successfully guide Envision Unlimited into this next phase of organization growth,” said President and CEO of KEES. “We are proud to have continued our relationship as Envision Unlimited’s choice search partner and are excited about what the future holds. Congratulations are extended to the entire Envision Unlimited community on this momentous announcement, with great anticipation for the financial milestones ahead!”

About the Partners

Envision Unlimited

Envision Unlimited is a full spectrum of care organization serving people with intellectual, developmental and psychiatric disabilities regardless of age, gender, background, or ability. Since 1948, it has built a legacy of evolving care delivered with empathy, every time and everywhere. Innovative services offered across Chicagoland and Central Illinois services include community living options; novel day programs; employment, respite and mental health services, and foster care for children with disabilities. Today Envision Unlimited supports 4,500+ members and their caregivers in becoming part of the community, transitioning to safe homes, and accessing support services so they can live their lives to their greatest potential. Learn more at


KEES (formerly Alford Executive Search) is a nonprofit executive search firm that builds diverse teams with dynamic leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. A woman owned and operated firm, KEES offers a full array of nonprofit consulting services including executive search, leadership development, interim staffing, and HR support. For more information, please visit

As a premier search firm, KEES specializes in executive searches for top executive positions and has a successful history of placing accomplished nonprofit executives nationwide. This partnership builds upon KEES’ executive search history, commitment, and growth to building meaningful partnerships and relationships with nonprofit organizations serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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