Executive Director

Kirstin Chernawsky

Kirstin ChernawskyKirstin Chernawsky began her tenure at Erie Neighborhood House in 2013 as Senior Director of Development & Communications. During her three years in this role, she was responsible for setting the organization's strategic fundraising agenda to achieve and exceed revenue goals. Kirstin also represented the agency in external relations and media activities as well as by overseeing agency special events and communications.

The Erie House board of directors named her executive director in March 2016, making her just the ninth individual—and fourth woman—to serve in this capacity since the agency's incorporation in 1915. Kirstin has been a tireless advocate for the mission of Erie House and brings with her a strong background in nonprofit administration and strategic fundraising. She also has extensive experience working with the agency's strategic partners both across the city of Chicago and at the national level.

Prior to joining Erie House, Kirstin was Director of Development & External operations at BUILD, Inc., a youth organization aimed at violence prevention as well as college and career readiness in low-income Latino and African American communities in Chicago.

Commitment to Service

Kirstin applies her leadership expertise by volunteering with numerous organizations across the city of Chicago. She is Board Treasurer for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), Board Member for Susan G. Komen Chicago, Chicago Women in Philanthropy (CWIP),and the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force. Kirstin was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to serve on the 2017-2019 Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC), is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and was a fellow in Crain’s Leadership Academy’s third cohort. In addition, she is a member of Leadership Greater Chicago, Class of 2019.


Kirstin holds a Master of Science in Public Service Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, both from DePaul University, and earned a Certified Nonprofit Accounting professional designation. 


“By educating an individual, we are strengthening an entire community.”

— Kirstin Chernawsky,
Executive Director

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