Karin M. Norington-Reaves Joins Chicago Lighthouse Board

Lifelong Public Servant Joins Chicago Lighthouse Board

A distinguished public servant with more than 25 years of experience in education, law, advocacy, community and workforce development has recently joined The Chicago Lighthouse Board of Directors.

Native Chicagoan Karin M. Norington-Reaves, who currently serves as CEO of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, states that she always has been an admirer of The Lighthouse and was thrilled, when asked, to serve as a director of  the 112-year-old organization.

She brings the same passion to the Board that has marked her successful tenure as head of what is now, the nation’s largest workforce system managed by a non-profit administrative agency.  In addition, Karin stays busily engaged as a sought-after speaker at a host of national and global forums as well as an active member of numerous civic organizations.

Still when The Lighthouse called, she couldn’t say no!

 “I absolutely love The Chicago Lighthouse and can’t say enough about all the good work it does in our community,” she says, noting that her five-year-old daughter, Rachelle, who is totally blind, is a student in the agency’s preschool, so she already knew about The Lighthouse’s outstanding work.

“During a tumultuous time when so many social service organizations are grappling with budget cuts and dwindling resources, The Chicago Lighthouse is standing strong and is in fact, thriving!”

For making this happen, Karin credits Lighthouse President and CEO Dr. Janet Szlyk along with her management team and Board colleagues for coming up with an imaginative and bold approach to tapping new sources of revenue by developing call centers that have furnished job opportunities to hundreds of individuals who are disabled and Veterans.

“They have done a tremendous job in diversifying their funding stream while at the same time boosting support for innovative programs that have literally changed people’s lives!”

As a former educator and the proud mother of a blended family of four children, including Rachelle, Karin has a special interest in early childhood education.  “I see first-hand what an outstanding job that they have done in teaching my daughter and her classmates,” she notes, adding that giving children access to a quality education at an early age is essential for their development.

“In fact, The Lighthouse has done such an exemplary job that my personal goal is to see them launch a full-fledged school!” she insists.

As someone profoundly concerned about making sure that the doors of opportunity are fully open to the disabled community and other groups that often have been marginalized, Karin expresses optimism that The Lighthouse will continue to succeed in its historic mission despite facing a myriad of challenges.

All you have to do is walk through the building and see smiles on the people they serve,” she says.  “You can’t help but feel an enormous sense of pride and confidence that tomorrow will be even brighter than today!  That is what makes The Chicago Lighthouse so special!

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