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Maggie Morales (she/her)
Maggie Morales was promoted to Executive Director for The Lake County Community Foundation in March of 2019. She joined the staff of the Foundation in a part-time capacity in 2005 and returned full-time shortly after completing her graduate degree in 2011. As Executive Director, Morales is responsible for management and oversight of the Foundation’s growth, donor engagement and operational efficiency.
Morales brings over 20 years of nonprofit and philanthropic experience to her role, utilizing her expertise to drive countywide leadership initiatives in alignment with the Foundation’s community investment strategy. As a longtime resident of Waukegan, IL, she has built strong relationships with stakeholders throughout Lake County and is knowledgeable about the issues many residents and families face. Morales’ professional experience includes curriculum development and instruction in Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language and Health Literacy. As a graduate student, her work was focused on social justice, community development and coalition building.
Morales currently serves on the Charmm’d Foundation’s Advisory Board. She has been a member of the Collective Impact Forum’s Funder Community of Practice as well as Professionals in Development North, the Lake County Estate Planning Council, The Alliance for Human Services of Lake County and serves on the Live Well Lake County Steering Committee. Morales was also a 2018 inaugural fellow of the Lake County Liderazgo Initiative. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Science, Technology & Society from Butler University. She earned her Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) designation in 2021.
Wendy Richter (she/her)
Director of Donor Services and Operations
Wendy Richter joined the staff of The Lake County Community Foundation in July, 2013. After a successful career in systems at Hewitt Associates, Household International and Discover Card, Richter stayed at home to raise her children while keeping active with volunteering.
In her role, Richter oversees the Foundation’s operations, financials, managed funds and donor relations. She earned her Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) designation in 2021. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Emory University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia. In 2015, she earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from North Park University’s Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management.
Richter is a board member and long-time volunteer of ElderCare Lake County.
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Emily Weber (she/her)
Director of Programs & Community Investment
Emily Weber joined The Lake County Community Foundation in April of 2019. In her role, Weber advances the mission of the Foundation through support of Lake County’s health and human service sector, serves as project lead for community partnerships, and drives the Foundation’s grant making through implementation of its Community Investment Strategy.
Weber brings an eclectic background to the Foundation. She began her career as a journalist at several newspapers and magazines in Iowa and Illinois and eventually became editor of a community newspaper in northern Illinois, has worked on political campaigns, and has spent the last decade in the nonprofit sector. These experiences have provided her with a wealth of experience and expertise in program design and management, community engagement, communications, and fundraising. She also developed a deep expertise in local and regional food systems while in graduate school and during several years of her post-graduate school career.
Weber serves on several coalitions and task forces across the County and region. She is a resident of Lake County and is deeply invested in and committed to creating more equitable communities. Weber holds an M.S. in Public Service Management from DePaul University and a B.A. in Journalism from Drake University.
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Maria Sievert, CFRE (she/her)
Director of Development
Maria joined The Lake County Community Foundation as Director of Development in April of 2022. In her role, Sievert is responsible for the administration of fundraising activities for the Foundation; working collaboratively with donors and stakeholders to achieve philanthropic goals.
Sievert started her career as an event fundraising specialist at national nonprofit Foundation Fighting Blindness. Since then, Sievert has spent over a decade in nonprofit resource development within the Lake County community. Having held development roles at Lake County Haven, Heart of the City and Beacon Place, she brings deep experience in collaborating with a variety of local stakeholders.
As a resident of Lake County and the mother of two young children, Sievert is passionate about making Lake County a better place to live, work, learn and play for generations to come.
Sievert holds a B.A. in Business Marketing and English Literature from Augustana College. She earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation in 2020 and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Resource Development from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.
Courtney Combs (she/her)
Director of Community Impact
Courtney Combs joined The Lake County Community Foundation as Program & Communications in May of 2020. In her role, Combs advances the mission of the Foundation through support of Lake County’s health and human service sector.
Combs began her career in Lake County, Illinois as an Early Childhood Home Visitor. After working within Lake County, she realized most families were experiencing systematic issues. Combs was asked to create YWCA Lake County's Racial Equity Initiative, and their Public Policy and Advocacy Program. These experiences have provided her with a wealth of experience and expertise in strategic planning, community engagement, and collaborative impact.
She is a resident of Lake County and is deeply invested in and committed to creating more equitable communities. Combs holds an M.A. in Public Policy from Eastern Illinois University and a B.A. in Sociology from Florida State University. She is currently working on her M.B.A. in Finance at NorthPark University.
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Esther Armenta (she/her)
Esther Armenta joined The Lake County Community Foundation in June of 2023. In her role, Armenta assists with fundraising and donor activities.
Armenta is a long time resident of Highwood, Illinois. Being raised in Lake County, she recognized from a young age that there were major disparities in wealth, education, healthcare and quality of life throughout the county.
Armenta attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she received degrees in History and Latinx Studies. Her interests while studying at the University of Illinois included Latinx history, ethnography, race/ethnic studies, and public health. After taking courses in the aforementioned areas of study and volunteering in the communities of Urbana-Champaign, she became interested in working in the nonprofit sector. Armenta became determined to do work that had a lasting impact and would bring change to her own community, thus leading her to The Lake County Community Foundation.
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Quetzali Gómez (she/her)
Communications & Program Associate
Quetzali Gómez joined The Lake County Community Foundation in June of 2023. In her role, Gómez advances the mission of the Foundation by driving the organization’s strategic communications efforts and assisting with LCCF’s growing programs and initiatives.
Gómez began her professional development/career in Lake County, Illinois as a summer program intern for various non-profit organizations such as Beacon Place in Waukegan, and the Highwood Public Library. These experiences further amplified her passion for visiblizing the strength of community while also advocating for sustainable and continued support for historically disinvested communities.
She is a resident of Highwood, IL and has first hand experience on the power of community support and empowerment. She is an advocate for investing in the well being and healing of our communities through intentional and ground breaking change. Gómez holds a B.A in Sociology & Spanish from The College of The Holy Cross.