Executive Director

Kirstin Chernawsky

Kirstin ChernawskyKirstin Chernawsky began her tenure at Erie Neighborhood House in 2013 as Senior Director of Development & Communications. During her three years in this role, she was responsible for setting the organization's strategic fundraising agenda to achieve and exceed revenue goals. Kirstin also represented the agency in external relations and media activities as well as by overseeing agency special events and communications.

The Erie House board of directors named her executive director in March 2016, making her just the ninth individual—and fourth woman—to serve in this capacity since the agency's incorporation in 1915. Kirstin has been a tireless advocate for the mission of Erie House and brings with her a strong background in nonprofit administration and strategic fundraising. She also has extensive experience working with the agency's strategic partners both across the city of Chicago and at the national level. In August 2016 Kirstin was named to the Crain's Leadership Academy, a cohort comprised of rising leaders in the nonprofit and business sectors.

Prior to joining Erie House, Kirstin was director of development & external operations at BUILD, Inc., a youth organization aimed at violence prevention as well as college and career readiness in low-income Latino and African American communities in Chicago. She also worked as manager of institutional giving at Northwestern University Settlement House in the city’s Noble Square neighborhood.

Commitment to Service

Kirstin has applied her leadership expertise by volunteering for numerous organizations in the city of Chicago, including:

  • Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), Board Treasurer
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities, Governance Committee Member
  • Chicago Women in Philanthropy, Board Member
  • City of Chicago Municipal ID Working Group, Member
  • Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, Board Development Committee Member
  • Erie Neighborhood House, TEAM Mentor


Kirstin holds a Master of Science in Public Service Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, both from DePaul University. She also received her Certified Nonprofit Accounting professional designation. 


“By educating an individual, we are strengthening an entire community.”

— Kirstin Chernawsky,
Executive Director

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