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Rebecca Darr

About

Rebecca Darr was appointed CEO of WINGS Program, Inc. in November 2014 after serving as the Executive Director since 1999. Rebecca’s passion to end domestic violence and homelessness as well as her dynamic and decisive leadership has led to enormous growth. WINGS has now become the premiere and largest regional agency providing services and housing to adult and child victims of domestic violence and homelessness. Growing in response to community needs, under Rebecca’s guidance, the agency has realized new funding sources, launched three resale stores and has grown its annual budget from $350,000 to over $5.0 million. Her ability to run a fiscally responsible agency was acknowledged when she received a full scholarship to Harvard Business School to attend its Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management Program in 2008. Recognizing the need for safe shelter in Cook County, Rebecca led the WINGS team in building and opening the first domestic violence shelter in that region. The shelter opened in 2005 and this accomplishment has meant that more than 3,000 women and children have escaped from abuse to freedom since the shelter opened. In addition to the emergency response, Rebecca developed creative partnerships to secure donated homes and subsidized apartments to allow families the time needed to stabilize financially and emotionally. Each year, she, her staff and Board honor the adults who ‘graduate’ to a new life. They do not go back to abusive relationships and the cycle of violence is broken for their children. Rebecca recently expanded WINGS services into the city of Chicago. In 2013, WINGS was selected by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to build and operate the first new domestic violence facility in the City of Chicago in over a decade, in conjunction with Metropolitan Family Services and Greater Southwest Development Corporation. The new shelter, WINGS Metro, opened on Valentine’s Day 2016 and has increased the number of emergency shelter beds for victims of domestic violence in Chicago by 36%. Over the years, Rebecca has been successful in managing all aspects of WINGS activities. This includes interfacing with the WINGS Board of Directors and Leadership Boards; development and implementation of fundraising plans; development and implementation of programs and services to assist adults and children escape domestic violence; WINGS Resale store operations and overall financial supervision of the agency. Rebecca serves on several other boards and coalitions as part of her effort to advocate for stronger legislation and increased awareness to prevent and end domestic violence.  These include the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Chicago Battered Women’s Network, the Northwest Suburban Alliance on Domestic Violence, the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues, the Run Domestic Violence Out of Town Marathon Team, Chicago Says No More and many other task forces. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of Rashied Davis Charities, Linda’s Voice, the Hoffman Estates Illinois Fire and Police Commission and the University of Illinois Department of Psychology Alumni Advisory Board. In 2000, United Way named Rebecca Executive of the year. Rebecca graduated with Distinction in Psychology, Honors Program, at University of Illinois. She then went on to obtain her Masters in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Rebecca was born and raised in Alton, Illinois. She and her husband, Joe, have three sons, including twins.
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