CEO of JCFS since November 2009, Howard has over twenty-five years of nonprofit leadership and project management experience. Prior to joining JCFS, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Philadelphia. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Breast Cancer 3-Day, producing and managing a national series of events to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. Prior to joining the 3-Day project, Howard was Assistant Vice President of MossRehab, a nationally renowned rehabilitation hospital based in Philadelphia.
As a volunteer, Howard Sitron is currently serving on the national board of directors of the Association for Jewish Family and Children’s Service Agencies. He is a past board chair and treasurer of the Kardon Institute for Arts Therapies, and continues to serve on their advisory board. He has also served as treasurer of the board of directors of A Chance To Heal, an organization dedicated to the prevention of eating disorders. He obtained his Bachelor of Social Work degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Health Administration from Saint Joseph’s University.
Committed to excellence in service to our community, Howard works to engage our staff, volunteers and board of directors, in collaboration with our many community partners, to meet the needs of the Jewish and larger Chicago communities.
Senior Director, Career & Employment Services
Kathleen Gerhold is the Senior Director leading the day-to-day operations and execution of the strategic vision for JVS Chicago. She is a focused problem solver with a can-do attitude. Prior to JVS Chicago, Kathleen worked for 12 years at the Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities; and most recently led their residential department and was a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Kathleen also has consulted nationally with The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) on best practices in providing human services. Kathleen has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s in Special Education from Indiana University. Before moving to Chicago, Kathleen was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, East Africa teaching in schools for the Deaf. Kathleen was raised on a farm in Central Illinois and enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Chief Financial Officer
Prior to joining JCFS in 2011, Vincent M. Everson served as President and CEO of a social service organization providing residential and life services to individuals with various disabilities from 2002 until late 2009. Most recently, Vince provided consulting services to a number of small to mid-sized Not for Profit agencies throughout Illinois. By combining financial and operational analysis he was able to provide long-term strategic recommendations to enhance quality, productivity, profitability, and efficiency while simultaneously enhancing implementation and adherence to Best Practice Ideals. Everson holds a Bachelors of Administration Finance/Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an MBA from Bradley University.
Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer
Prior to joining JCFS, Michelle J. Jackson, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, served as Senior Director of HR for Vein Clinics of America, the largest US retail healthcare company specializing in vein disease. Michelle uses her deep experience in HR strategy, talent management and learning to drive organizational effectiveness, profitability and innovation by aligning people practices to organizational goals. Michelle has held senior human resources roles in a variety of industries including non-profit, financial services, manufacturing and higher education. As a volunteer, she served on the Illinois State Council of the Society for Human Resources Management for 10 years where she held a variety of positions including Illinois State Director and Certification Director. She also served as the National Director, Banking Industry Group, a sub group of the Association of Talent Development (ASTD). Michelle holds a Bachelors of Arts in International Finance/Spanish from Dominican University.
Janice Kaufman, JD
Director of JVS Institutional Advancement
Jan Kaufman joined JVS Chicago in November 2008 and is responsible for the development and growth of private and public sector fundraising, endowment and donor stewardship, as well as the implementation of agency strategic planning. Previously, she was the Assistant Executive Director at North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, Illinois. As a development associate at National Able Network, Inc. she was responsible for identifying and developing new opportunities that focused exclusively on workforce development. While there, Jan secured funding for an innovative online learning and skills training program for single working women. In conjunction with the Department of Workforce Development in New Jersey and the Sloan Center on Innovative Training and Workforce Development, both pioneers in this arena, this program was replicated for the first time in Illinois. Jan graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA and received a Doctor of Jurisprudence from John Marshall Law School where she was a member of the Law Review.
Jeff Blumenfeld, M.Ed, MA, LPC
Director, Career Services
Over the last 25 years Jeff Blumenfeld has engaged in successful careers in both the private sector and non-profit management. His private sector experience focused on hospitality in fine dining and multi-unit restaurant management, and as a faculty member of the hospitality management department at Roosevelt University. His non-profit experience over the last 18 years includes management positions for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago and the Vietnamese Association of Illinois. For the past five years Jeff has been a part of the JVS Chicago Career Moves staff, first as a counselor and then as the counseling staff supervisor. Jeff holds a Masters in Adult Education from National Lewis University and a Masters in Counseling from the Adler School of Professional Psychology.
Nanette Cohen, CWDP
Director, Employment Development
With over thirty years devoted to employment services, Nanette is the Director of Employment Development for JVS Chicago. Nanette has been instrumental in developing and implementing a variety of employment programs for adults and youth with barriers including those who are low income, homeless, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and/or have a limited work history.
Nanette’s specialties include program management and strategizing to implement results oriented service delivery models including programs for individuals for persons with disabilities. She has proven to be effective in integrating businesses, industries and vocational programs in order to help participants achieve their full employment potential. As a Certified Workforce Development Professional she is committed to providing quality services.
Nanette is currently a member of the Lake County Workforce Youth Council and a member of the Facility Advisory Council for the Illinois Department of Human Service, Division of Rehabilitation Services.
“I have been at the agency for 26 years, and now I can say that I have worked every position in our department,” said Kramp, a winner of JVS Chicago’s 2015 Ken Jacobson Award for Professional Excellence who succeeds the retiring Art Adelberg as director.
For more than 30 years, the JVS Chicago Contract Services program has trained and employed people with disabilities, enabling them to be productive members of our community. Their jobs provide services that fulfill contracts for janitorial, mailroom, supply chain management, warehouse/shipping and receiving and copy operations for customers that include the US Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration and the State of Illinois. The program is part of the national AbilityOne network of agencies employing people with disabilities.
Kramp is a longtime resident of Hoffman Estates, where he lives with his wife Jackie—whom he met in a JVS Chicago first aid/CPR class—and children. A Loyola University graduate with a degree in Psychology, he enjoys restoring classic/antique autos and is “a huge Chicago Blackhawks fan.”
Kenny Smilovitch, MBA
Director, Duman Entrepreneurship Center
Kenny Smilovitch has over fifteen years of experience in education, marketing, and project management. He has worked as a Marketing Director for McGill University’s Executive Institute in Montreal, and as a project manager and consultant in the non-profit community. He helped develop the Entrepreneurs Advisory Program for JVS Montreal, working with aspiring entrepreneurs to develop business plans and identify project funding. He has also worked as a Project Manager with the Aboriginal Human Resource Council and a Business Development Officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories. He has taught in the Nonprofit Leadership Program at Spertus and also teaches entrepreneurship and marketing to artists and arts administrators at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kenny recently served as a Mentor for a community-based Innovation Incubator hosted by the Museum of Science and Industry. He received his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University. Mr. Smilovitch is also an accomplished guitarist.