Kate Attea - Aim & Arrow Group

Kate Attea

Founder & Managing Partner

Kate is a certified professional coach and accomplished strategy consultant. For 20 years she has honed her expertise in strategy, executive leadership and entrepreneurship. She consults high-performing foundation and nonprofit leaders on growth strategy, management and implementation planning. Kate currently partners with The Bridgespan Group, a consulting firm affiliated with Bain & Company, as a coach and facilitator for its Leading for Impact® program in Chicago, helping ambitious nonprofits pursue strategic opportunities and build capacity to improve their performance over time, focusing on customized team-led projects and executive team development. She also is a faculty coach at the University of Chicago’s Booth Business School.

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Kate served most recently as a managing director and head of Project Impact at A Better Chicago, a venture philanthropy fund. In this role, she was a leader in shaping the organization’s grant-making strategy, which involved determining funding priorities, how it supported portfolio organizations and when to exit grantee relationships. Additionally, she oversaw multi-year relationships with a portfolio of grantees, including conducting diligence and brokering management support. She also led community impact strategic planning as a director at the United Way of Metro Chicago.

After earning an MBA from Harvard Business School, Kate received a fellowship to write strategy and marketing cases for that institution. Shortly thereafter, she worked for The Bridgespan Group where she consulted nonprofit and foundation management teams to undertake growth while maintaining high quality outcomes for their beneficiaries. Early in her career, Kate was co-founder and executive director of Computers for Children, an organization that enhances children’s educational opportunities through technology.

Kate attended the College of Executive Coaching, is certified in administering Myers Briggs Type Indicator, and has spent years researching and learning about transition for women and leadership, which spurred an initiative and focus area on women’s leadership.

In her spare time, Kate hosts Iron Chef competitions and enjoys lip sync battles with her husband and their four children. She is actively involved in the Family Action Network (FAN) and in her children’s schools, most recently jamming on air guitar for the McKenzie Elementary annual fundraiser. She is also a Gold Investor Circle member and volunteer at Women Employed, and a strategic advisor for Reading in Motion.

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Eli Cole - Aim & Arrow Group

Eli Cole

Founder & Managing Partner

Eli has spent 20 years as a strategist and philanthropic leader in the Chicago-land area. Since 2012, she has run a boutique consulting agency focused on helping organizations define, measure, and scale their impact. This work has included growth and business planning with A Better Chicago grantees; a 2 year project to re-structure and fortify the public-private partnership of the State’s Early Learning Council; in-house consulting to Ingenuity to oversee arts education grants in the Chicago Public Schools; and collaborative projects to support big ideas like diversifying the orchestral music training pipeline, strengthening relationships between early childhood and K-12 leaders, and piloting family engagement interventions to the point of saturation within diverse communities. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer, teaching nonprofit management courses for undergraduates at Northwestern University.

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From 2008-2012, Eli oversaw $40 million in annual grants to over 250 health and human service agencies as VP of Community Investments at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. Through her efforts to narrow and deepen the impact UWMC was able to make with its funding, Eli honed a strong point of view on the common struggle non-profits share in this era of diminishing resources and increasing need.

Ten years’ experience on the service provision side at YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago grounded Eli in the realities non-profits face as they try to do good, sometimes in too many disparate directions. In her last role at the YWCA, Eli led that organization’s transformation to a focused ‘Model YWCA’ structure, with economic empowerment and racial justice programming in neighborhoods of greatest need across the metropolitan footprint.

Eli lives in Wilmette, IL with her partner, Cory, and two young daughters. She has served on the board of the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, and Center for New Community. Eli leads both her daughters’ Girl Scout troops and chairs racial justice at her synagogue, Congregation Hakafa.

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Annette Charles - Aim & Arrow Group

Annette Charles

Principal, Nonprofit Practice

Annette Charles has worked with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and foundations on community planning, program strategy, design, and implementation, performance measurement, operational improvement, and advocacy. Her interest areas include affordable housing, community development, training and employment, financial empowerment, collective impact, mental health, and collaborative health and human service models.

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From 2012-2014, Annette was the AVP of Community Program Development at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. The team’s charge was to work with a diverse set of agencies & programs to grow resources and advance sustainable initiatives that addressed gaps in community services. While there, her team increased grant revenues by 17%+ in a single year. Annette also crafted the new Jewish Federation Breakthrough Fund, which committed $1 million in its first year to social entrepreneurship efforts and innovation.
From 2008-2012, Annette was Director of Community Investment at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. While there, she led the creation of impact plans, measurement frameworks, and strategic initiatives, as well as targeted fundraising to allow for implementation of larger-scale projects.

Prior to Annette’s move to Chicago, she worked with 11 local units of government in Washtenaw County, Michigan, to form a HUD-designated ‘Urban County’ and develop community plans for two new federally-funded community development and housing programs (CDBG and HOME). This work included the creation of shared goals and programming across diverse communities, and included strategic, annual, and neighborhood-based planning.

Annette has a MPP/MSW from the University of Michigan, with a focus on public policy in the areas of poverty, inequality, and mental health. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Kerwin, and two young sons, Lucas and Cyrus. To feed her spirit, Annette looks for chances to explore, either by wandering, reading, or answering the never-ending curiosity of her kiddos.

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About Us - Aim & Arrow Group

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