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 is a faculty coach at the University of Chicago’s Booth Business School and Adjunct Faculty at Loyola University, teaching Leadership Effectiveness in the Quinlan School of Business.

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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.


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 an Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern university, where she teaches nonprofit management, and Adjunct Faculty at Loyola University, where she teaches Leadership Effectiveness in the Quinlan School of Business.

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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 has served on the boards of the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, and Center for New Community.


Laura Thrall


Laura brings over 30 years of nonprofit leadership experience to her consulting role. A three-time CEO, she is recognized for her ability to envision what is possible for an organization, chart a path to achieve those goals, and bring that vision to fruition. Reinvigorating outdated fundraising models, reimagining program offerings, and repositioning brands, Laura employs a bold, yet measured approach to disrupting existing systems to accelerate mission achievement.

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During her tenure as CEO of YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Laura led the development of the new Model YWCA, an overhaul of disparate programs to enhance focus on sexual violence and support services, economic empowerment, and racial justice. While CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, she shifted the organization from a pass-through, workplace giving vehicle, to an aggregator of community services with measurable impact. The result was Live United 2020, United Way’s decade long strategy to deliver measurable results to communities of greatest need. Most recently, as CEO of CureSearch for Children’s Cancer in Washington DC, she launched the Catapult Initiative, an innovative financial model to support the transition of clinic ready research into pediatric clinical trials and eventual commercialization.

Outside of her staff leadership roles, Laura has served as a board director and board chair of several nonprofit organizations. She was an appointed member of two Illinois Governor’s Commissions, led the Chicago Alliance for Collaborative Effort (CACE), was a founding member of the Back Office Collaborative, and drove the development of Illinois Partners for Health and Human Services and YWCAs Illinois, two state-wide legislative advocacy coalitions. Currently she serves as a board director for Melwood HTC, a large Mid-Atlantic based agency dedicated to ensuring that people of differing abilities are included in the work place.

Laura holds a Master of Science in Public Service Management from DePaul University.


Annette Charles - Aim & Arrow Group

Annette Charles


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.


Devi Raja

Engagement Manager

Devi has 10+ years of experience bridging strategy and social impact. She joins Aim & Arrow Group from Bain & Company, where she led work focused on growth strategy and operational improvement. Her clients included such diverse profiles as several Fortune 500 companies as well as Rowe Elementary School, where she aided the development of the initial business plan, and Spark Program, an education nonprofit, where she guided a 5-year growth plan.

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From 2011-2013, Devi served as Director, Produce Innovation for Feeding America. There, she developed and drove a strategy to more than double distribution of fresh produce through 202 independent US food banks to 500 million pounds in 5 years; this goal was achieved in just three. There, she also worked to develop growth plans, impact assessments, and funding approaches across all parts of the organization, and led several cross-functional teams from across all 202 member food banks.

Devi has worked to develop the program design for the 1,000 Jobs Campaign at World Business Chicago, which mobilized new and existing resources to provide training for jobs in advanced manufacturing, and consulted for the IL Farm to School program. Devi also acted as interim Director, Corporate Development for a salesforce automation start-up called Tandem Solutions from 2010-2011,

Devi Raja holds a BA in Economics and Sociology from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.


Chloe Patton

Head of Operations

Chloe has 20 years of strategic consulting and research experience, helping clients understand themselves – and their audiences – better. For the last decade and a half, Chloe has focused her work on nonprofits, largely in the arts & culture and education sectors, helping to develop and execute complex strategic projects and manage internal operations.

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In addition to her work with Aim & Arrow, Chloe is assisting Chicago-based nonprofit Ingenuity in its efforts to increase access, equity, and quality of arts education in public schools. Chloe is also a Senior Advisor with Slover Linett Audience Research, an audience research and evaluation consultancy focused on nonprofits working with the arts & culture sphere.

Upon moving to Chicago in 2004, Chloe became Slover Linett’s first employee and remained a member of the team until early 2019. While at Slover Linett, Chloe designed and led client research projects and acted as a core member of the firm’s leadership team in the Chief Operating Officer role. Some of Chloe’s clients included Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Art Institute of Chicago, Colby College Museum of Art, the High Line (NYC), Lyric Opera of Chicago, and numerous other arts, culture, science, and public media organizations. She is passionate about helping such organizations serve people’s needs and contribute to thriving, connected, healthy communities.

Chloe began her career in a boutique market research & strategy firm, AMP Insights, based in Boston. In her role as Sr. Account Planner, she designed and led large-scale qualitative research studies for major brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Target, the Ad Council, and Reebok. Her inquisitive nature and analytical skills were initially honed as an undergrad at Colby College (Maine), where she graduated magna cum laude with a dual major in Anthropology and Comparative Religious Studies.

Chloe currently lives in Chicago with her husband Andy and three young sons Cal, Sam, & Theo. Her non-working hours are consumed by LEGOs and playing safety-spotter for her kids’ daredevil feats.


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About Us - Aim & Arrow Group

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