Meals on Wheels Chicago Team

Elise Geiger
Executive Director
[email protected]

Elise has over 25 years of leadership experience in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She has focused much of her career on change management to improve organizations, building positive, collaborative cultures. Elise brings the ability to easily toggle from high-level strategic planning to operational-level execution and has a unique experience recognizing and fulfilling the needs of organizations at many levels.

She acquired her degree in marketing from Columbia College then dove in to the for-profit world for 15 years in sales and marketing, and spent 10 years as an entrepreneur and successful business owner. Befitting Elise’s knack for wearing many hats -and her commitment to being a life-long learner- she has been in non-profits for the past 15 years in Human Resources, operations management, strategic planning, PR, Community Relations, fundraising, and event and project management.

Ellen Bouleanu
Director of Marketing & Events
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Ellen has more than 10 years of experience advancing the mission of non-profits in the Chicago area. After graduating with a degree in political science from Beloit College she started her career as an event planner, working for a top venue in the city and then for an event planning company. Wanting to lend her time and talents to the non-profit sector, Ellen transitioned to working for a school where she oversaw the fundraising program, including a transformational capital campaign that raised over $2 million. To satisfy her desire for continued education, Ellen moved on to receive her master’s degree in public policy from Loyola University Chicago and then lent her expertise in fundraising, marketing, budgeting, and strategic planning to a cancer research foundation. Ellen’s prior experience helping organizations through times of growth and transition gives her a unique set of tools that she looks forward to employing at Meals on Wheels Chicago.

Sydney Levison
Assoc Director of Donor Engagement & Retention
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Sydney graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in sociology and started working at a national non-profit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer. There she spent two years leading educational programming and building a community around the most at-risk individuals. Following this, she got more involved with research and worked with Northwestern University examining monetary sanctions within the Cook County criminal justice system. In an effort to more effectively implement data driven insights, Sydney gained her certification in Data Analytics. At Meals on Wheels Chicago, she is able to utilize her experience to create a data driven fundraising environment that leads to improved decision-making and strategy.

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Annie Baxendale
Celebrity Chef Ball Volunteer Manager
[email protected]

Annie works in real estate consulting at Jones Lang LaSalle, with a background in urban planning. A major part of Annie’s upbringing was service to her community and after graduating college and moving back to Chicago, Annie wanted to get involved with an organization that directly assists those in the community. She joined the Associate Board 6 years ago, and immediately got involved with the Celebrity Chef Ball. Annie co-chairs the volunteers committee for the Celebrity Chef Ball and serves as the volunteer/CCB liaison with the Associate Board.

Heidi Clifton
Celebrity Chef Ball Chef Liason
[email protected]

Heidi has always had a passion for helping seniors and while she is a family photographer serving the Chicago North Shore, she also takes the time to volunteer at assisted living facilities. When she started Cecily George Photography (named after her stepdaughter and son), Heidi wanted to give back to her community as part of her business model, and decided to donate 25% of her photography fee and elected Meals on Wheels Chicago (MoWC) to be her non-profit to support.

While creating a partnership with MoWC, she served on the Associate Board and assisted with their biggest fundraiser, the Celebrity Chef Ball. Heidi is an invaluable member of the Ambassador volunteer program and handles chef recruitment, course selection and collaborates directly with the chefs/publicists leading up to the event.

Monika Lotter
Celebrity Chef Ball Event Manager
www.monikabevents.com

Monika provided event consulting and planning, with full on-site support to execute a successful 2018 and 2019 Celebrity Chef Ball. Main event coordination of chefs and mixologists, and ideation throughout the planning process and event wrap up.

“Monika Lotter has been an essential part of the Meals on Wheels Chicago annual Celebrity Chef Ball since 2018. Her depth of experience in the event and restaurant industry has proved invaluable in the planning and execution of this major fundraising event. Monika is incredibly organized, creative, enthusiastic, and always looking for ways to make our events truly special. We are glad for her leadership and appreciate her incredible talent for expertly handling all the moving parts of our complex event!” Elise Geiger, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels Chicago