Woodstock Institute – KEES Search Assistance Success Story

Nonprofit executive search firm KEES selected to support Woodstock Institute with search assistance needs.

Woodstock Institute, Chicago-based nonprofit, envisions a society where all people experience economic security and prosperity. At Woodstock Institute, advancing economic justice and racial equity within financial systems through research and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels is paramount. Woodstock Institute selected KEES to support with search assistance.

In spring 2021, new CEO Horacio Mendez was connected to KEES by a trusted mutual professional colleague. Woodstock Institute had a critical need for a dedicated Development professional. KEES, as a nonprofit executive search firm, offers various options to partner with nonprofits and public sector partners. KEES’s Search Assistance option was an ideal solution. A tailored, smaller version of full, retained search, resulted in the Institute’s first Director of Development hire, Barbara Lacker-Ware. Two years into the role, Barbara shared her positivity. “Thanks, KEES – and thanks for your persistence in getting me to the right place! Best job and best boss I’ve ever had!”

Barbara Lacker-Ware is a nonprofit development professional. She served in the roles of Development Director and Grant Coordinator to support housing, health, and education programs. Over her career, she has raised millions of dollars from government sources, private foundations, corporations, and individuals to support the mission of nonprofit organizations.

Horacio Mendez, came to lead Woodstock Institute in 2020, moving from the west coast. His network of relationships in Chicago was growing and he didn’t have many connections in nonprofit executive search. A mutual relationship highly referred KEES. As it turned out, KEES uncovered other mutual relationships with Horacio and Woodstock Institute. After the referral, he quickly launched a partnership with our team for the search.

“KEES did a great job bringing Barbara Lacker-Ware to our attention! Barbara had all the requisite skills Woodstock Institute was looking for in a Director of Development and was a great addition to our team. Recently, I was happy to promote Barbara to Director of Development and Communications. We couldn’t have found Barbara without KEES. Previous search efforts we conducted on our own did not yield any viable candidates and we were thrilled to partner with KEES on this key hire for our team,” said Horacio Mendez.

About Woodstock Institute

Woodstock Institute is a leading nonprofit research and policy organization that works to create a safe and equitable financial system, especially for lower-income people and communities of color. Woodstock partners with community and philanthropic groups, financial institutions, and policymakers to effect change at national, state, and local levels. As a leading consumer advocacy organization, Woodstock builds bridges between key policymakers and affected consumers in low- and moderate-income areas and communities of color.

Woodstock Institute, KEES Search Assistance, Director of Development
Nonprofit executive search firm KEES selected to support Woodstock Institute with search assistance needs.