Little City – KEES Executive Search Success Story

Little City Foundation (Little City) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Palatine, IL. Little City serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing the best options and opportunities to live safely, learn continuously, explore creatively, and work productively throughout their lifetime.

KEES was retained by Little City as its executive search partner in 2022. After nearly twenty years of service, Executive Director Shawn Jeffers recommended KEES. Based on his recommendation, the Search Committee selected our team after a competitive bidding process. A comprehensive, national search for Little City’s Chief Executive Officer position was launched. Little City leadership ultimately selected Marie Newman from a dynamic and varied group of finalists.

Marie Newman has a background in nonprofit, private sector, and government and joined Little City following her role representing Illinois’s 3rd District as a US Representative. Marie also founded a nonprofit organization designed to assist and support bullied youth called “Team Up to Stop Bullying” where she developed an anti-bullying curriculum for schools.  

Little City Foundation is a vital and vibrant organization offering a comprehensive scope of services and amenities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). From its modest beginning, the agency has grown immensely. Little City now offers services at its main campus in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, and locations throughout Cook, Lake, McHenry, and DuPage counties. Its Foster Care & Adoption offices in Chicago, Matteson, and Joliet provide additional locations for service. To learn more, please visit

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“We were seeking a compassionate, business-minded, and visionary decision-maker to lead Little City forward,” said Greg Burns, President of Little City’s Board of Directors. “Marie’s executive experience, coupled with her historical and personal passions for Little City’s mission, will help Little City in creating a stronger and dynamic future for the people we serve. We have no doubt that she, along with our passionate and talented leadership team, will move mountains. On behalf of the Board, we would like to officially welcome Marie to the Little City community and thank Shawn for his 20 years of outstanding leadership. I would also like to thank the entire KEES team for their dedication and commitment throughout the entire succession process.”

Little City, KEES, Nonprofit Executive Search, CEO Search