Zachary has worked for youth-focused nonprofits across the country for over 20 years. He began his career as a special education teacher, and since that time he has designed, managed and led programming for community arts agencies, after-school programs, mental health facilities and human services providers. For the past two and half years, Zach has led the capacity building and nonprofit education programs for Donors Forum, the statewide association of nonprofits and grantmakers.
Zach knew early on that he enjoyed helping people. He was born and raised in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago and began volunteering with nonprofits while in high school. While attending Princeton University, Zach spent several summers leading kids from nearby Trenton, New Jersey on camping trips with the university’s outdoor education program.
Upon graduating with a BA in developmental psychology, Zach moved to Northern California where he began teaching. After several moves in California, Zach picked up and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana at the turn of the new century. It was here Zach met his future wife, and they both returned to his hometown just before Katrina struck in 2005.
Since returning to Chicago, and settling in Humboldt Park, Zach has worked for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Christopher House and Donors Forum as well as several smaller organizations. He has two sons with whom he enjoys making art and riding the CTA. He and his wife are active volunteers and enjoy showing their sons the vast array of cultural and artistic activities in Chicago.
Alex graduated from DePaul University in 2012 and shortly afterwards found herself volunteering at a Wood Family Foundation event. After being a part of the incredible week long baseball clinic, she decided to pursue a more permanent position. Over three years later Alex is proud to see the work of the foundation result in our feature program, Pitch In.
Office and Events Coordinator
Affectionately known as “Intern 3” just a few short years ago, Mike was born by fire into the Wood Family Foundation during the summer of 2013 with Woody’s Wiffle Ball Classic, before formally graduating from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014.
While in school, he was involved in a variety of organizations serving as President of Student Government, Vice President of Public Relations Student Society of America, a Staff Writer for The Sojourn, 94.3 DJ, Event Planner for the Student Activities Council, and Executive Director of his campus PR agency – all while mentoring youth at Francis Slocum Elementary School.
While continuing to volunteer with WFF in his free time, his experience allowed for him to follow through working with incredible leaders and non-profits in the Public Relations and Special Events industry.
Mike’s passion for working with nonprofits across the world from has led him to assist numerous organizations with PR, events and programming from Sydney, Australia and Tijuana, Mexico to Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Indianapolis and Chicago focused on making a difference in the lives of youth.
As Office and Events Coordinator, Mike is certainly looking forward to making a difference in the North Lawndale community by planning new and returning events, and raising funds for the foundation. In his free time, you can catch him at Taco Bell, listening to “RnB” and spontaneously exploring the beautiful city of Chicago!