Meet Genesys Works Chicago

Our Staff

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Kim Day

Executive Director

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Joseph Tollefson

Program Director

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Erika Tarango

Director of External Affairs

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Kate Kiriakou

Manager, External Affairs

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Kanisha Williams

Business Development Coordinator

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Gabriel Lopez

Manager of Recruitment and School Partnerships

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Kristyn Behrends

Program Manager, Internship Services

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Robert Lloyd

Senior Program Coordinator

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Isabel Boratav

Program Coordinator

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Emily Pete

Program Coordinator

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Sharonda Clay

Program Coordinator

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Leonor Guzman

Program Coordinator

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Sharon Ho

Executive Assistant

Kim Day

Executive Director

Kim Day is a demonstrated transformational leader, building a network of innovative schools serving 2000 students on the south side of Chicago from the ground up. Kim is an experienced builder of effective collaborative, cross-functional teams allowing for the creation of robust systems of support across academics, operations, staff support and board governance. Kim partnered successfully with civic leaders, philanthropists, community leaders, teachers, school leaders and families, meeting multimillion-dollar annual fundraising goals. Kim is a catalyst for positive change, building innovative and replicable models resulting in extraordinary improvement in students’ achievement and the expansion of students’ opportunities.

Kim is the Co-founder and past Chief Education Officer of Perspectives Charter Schools. Perspectives Charter Schools was among the first charter school in Illinois and currently operates four public schools in Chicago serving students in grades 6-12. Perspectives received national recognition for its “A Disciplined Life® Education Model” from several national and local foundations including New Schools Venture Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, and a Dissemination Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Kim has spoken across the country on A Disciplined Life Education Model, developing deliberate school culture, college completion work, and successful urban secondary education.

Kim Day earned her master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kim is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and was also a recipient of the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago Fellowship.

Kim Day
Executive Director

Erika Tarango

Director of External Affairs

Erika Lueker-Tarango has spent her career managing development and communication campaigns at organizations such as KIPP Austin Public Schools, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Iowa, and Ruffalo Noel Levitz. She is an experienced manager with a strong background in strategic direction and oversight in community engagement programs. She is an active member of the Junior League of Chicago and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Erika holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and History from Southern Methodist University and a Masters of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

Erika Tarango
Director of External Affairs

Joseph Tollefson

Program Director

Joseph started with Genesys Works Chicago in 2011 as a Program Coordinator and has been a key contributor to the rapid growth that Genesys Works has achieved over the years. Joseph’s primary responsibilities are overseeing internship programming and student success, as well as managing, and expanding, Genesys Works’ portfolio of corporate partners.

Joseph Tollefson
Program Director

Kanisha Williams

Business Development Coordinator

Kanisha Williams is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a Bachelor of Sociology. She brings to Genesys Works a strong background in research and data analysis, particularly focusing on Chicago and its neighborhood communities. She has a passion for developing equitable and inclusive programming for youth. In her free time, she enjoys practicing photography and making films.

Kanisha Williams
Business Development Coordinator

Gabriel Lopez

Manager of Recruitment and School Partnerships

Gabriel is a proud alum of DePauw University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Voice and Anthropology with a Spanish Minor. Since graduating, he has worked with various education nonprofits including City Year, Match Education, and SAGA innovations completing a mixture of teaching, tutoring, and mentoring to Chicago youth grades 6-11. Gabriel is passionate about supporting and empowering the youth of Chicago to pursue their goals through education and meaningful life experiences.

Gabriel Lopez
Manager of Recruitment and School Partnerships

Kate Kiriakou

Manager, External Affairs

Kate’s background is in museum education with experience creating public art education programming at various cultural institutions in Chicago, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Jane Addams Hull-House, and Loyola University Museum of Art. She has a passion for equity and accessibility in education, seeking to create opportunities for everyone to receive the educational experience they want. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts in History of Art and Religious Studies from The Ohio State University and a Master of Arts in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kate Kiriakou
Manager, External Affairs

Kristyn Behrends

Program Manager, Internship Services

Kristyn holds a Master of Arts in Peace Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish.  She has worked in education with youth of all ages through her work in Sierra Leone, China, and Honduras.  In her most recent position in Honduras, she helped strengthen her organization’s education programs and worked with adolescents from communities with low resources to develop practical job skills.  Kristyn is thrilled to be working with Genesys Works to support Chicago youth as they prepare for professional work.

Kristyn Behrends
Program Manager, Internship Services

Robert Lloyd

Senior Program Coordinator

Robert Lloyd earned his Bachelors of Arts in Humanities from Michigan State University. Robert went on to join Americorp’s City Year Program and then served as a Teaching Fellow at Citizen Schools North Carolina. Robert hopes to use his teaching experience to provide the young men and women of his hometown with the resources they need for a successful future.

Robert Lloyd Senior Program Coordinator

Isabel Boratav

Program Coordinator

Isabel received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Biology and Economics from Oberlin College. During her college years, she was led to her passion for social justice and education reform and, upon graduating, joined City Year to teach 4th grade in a Chicago Public School. Isabel is excited to incorporate activism and social-emotional learning into her role at GWC! In her free time, Isabel can be found baking or practicing yoga.

Isabel Boratav Program Coordinator

Emily Pete

Program Coordinator

Emily is a graduate of Illinois State University where she received a Bachelors of Social Work. During her time at Illinois State Emily developed a passion service, participating in volunteer trips both domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Genesys Works, Emily was a Student Success Coach at City Year Chicago. Emily believes that all students deserve to know someone believes in their goals and have someone to help them achieve their goals.

Emily Pete
Program Coordinator

Sharonda Clay

Program Coordinator

Sharonda has extensive experience working in youth development and social work with students of all ages from a diverse background. Sharonda is studying to obtain her Masters in Youth Development from the University of Illinois in Chicago, and she has a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago. Sharonda is passionate about creating meaningful relationships and advocating for career and educational opportunities for youth.

Sharonda Clay Program Coordinator

Sharon Ho

Executive Assistant

Sharon Ho is a proud Chicago Public Schools and University of Michigan graduate, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree. As a former lab research assistant, Sharon is very attentive to details and analytical. She acquired diverse experiences through working with nonprofits both locally and internationally, centered around education accessibility and uplifting marginalized communities. She is excited to bring her longstanding commitment to social justice and her lived experience as a former Chicago student to Genesys Works’ important mission of building successful futures for youth. In her free time, Sharon likes to draw and play video games.

Sharon Ho Executive Assistant

Board of Directors

Tom Nolan (Chair)
Managing Director Accenture (Retired)
Kenneth Shogren (Secretary)
Regional Director - Illinois Private Banking, CIBC
Ola Bolton
Midwest Region Inclusions & Diversity Lead, Accenture
Paul Corning
Co-Founder and CEO, Aptitive Corporation
Josh Davidson
Principal, Prime TSR
Samir Desai
Vice President of Talent Management and Organization Development, Northshore University HealthSystem
David Drummond
Regional Sales Manager for Chicago, Cisco
Kelly Geary
Senior Executive Partner - Gartner
Jim Hart
President, Burwood Group, Inc.
Adam Hecktman
Microsoft Philanthropies, Microsoft
Darryl Henry
President, DTI
Philip Jacob
Executive Director, J.P. Morgan Chase – Wholesale Banking Analytics and Business Management
Thomas G. Knight
COO, ConSol USA
Odalys Lara
Fund Accountant, William Blair
Ryan Libel
Executive Director – Office of the CIO, CME Group
Paul Maranville
Managing Partner, Lantern Partners
Alan Mather
President, Golden Apple Foundation
Karen Nicosia
Key Account Director, Hitachi Vantara
Mike Palumbo
Senior Vice President – Global Digital Solutions & Enterprise Systems, TransUnion
Manish Patel
Executive Director, Sales Group Manager, JP Morgan
Jim Steinback
Former President and Owner, Magnecraft Electric

Associates Board

Moji Akinde (Vice Chair)
Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, Green Courte Partners
Lauren Cano-Granada
Business Intelligence Solution Analyst, Berkley Select
Aaron Deal
Associate for Diversity & Inclusion, CIBC
Luke Elder (Volunteer Chair)
Private Equity Associate, Wind Point Partners
Samantha Galainenia
Director - Client Services, Robert Half
Chris Kiriakou Senior Research Analyst, Aegon Asset Management
Meghan MacFadden (Chair)
Talent Acquisition Recruiter, M&M Home Remodeling Services
Mudessir Mohammed
AQL Technologies
T.O. Odutayo
Corporate Attorney, Locke Lord LLP
Molly Ryanmiller (Events Chair)
Business Analyst, Deloitte
Mike Stergos
Account Manager, Verizon

Get in touch with the team.