Mary Morten and Morten Group   President
Mary Morten is the President of Morten Group (MG), a consulting firm established in November 2001 to focus on clients in the nonprofit, for-profit and foundation fields. Morten Group provides a customized approach to solve organizational and resource development challenges and to explore new opportunities. Highlights of recent work include developing and leading a webinar series on organizational assessment for consultants in the US and abroad, conducting Board development trainings and providing resource development services to grantees of Crossroads Fund and The Chicago Community Trust.

Mary is a past Director of the Office of Violence Prevention for the Chicago Department of Public Health. In this position, Mary was responsible for the citywide implementation of the violence prevention plan: Prevent Violence! Chicago. Prior to this position, Mary was an appointee for Mayor Richard M. Daley and served as a Director in the Commission on Human Relations.

Previous positions include Associate Director, Interim Executive Director and Board President of Chicago Foundation for Women, the region’s largest women’s fund; as well as Interim Executive Director of Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM); and Interim Vice President of Development at Howard Brown Health Center. Mary also served as Executive Vice President for the Women’s Self-Employment Project, and Director of Programs for the Midwest Women’s Center.

Recent acknowledgements include: in 2014, a YWomen Leadership Award from the YWCA of Evanston-Northshore; in 2013, a Leppen Leadership Award from About Face Theatre; in 2012, a Black Excellence Award for Documentary Film from the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago; in 2010, the Freedom Award from Equality Illinois; in 2007, the Visionary Award from Rape Victim Advocates and the Women’s Bar Association Community Service Award; in 2004, the Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award from the Women’s Funding Network. Mary is a past appointee to the Illinois Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Mary holds a B.A. in communications with an emphasis in radio and television from Loyola University Chicago and is a member of the Donors Forum of Chicago, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits.

In 2015, Mary and Morten Group celebrate 15 years of service.

Christina Smith, LCSW   Senior Consulting Associate
Christina has worked in human services for more than 25 years. She began her career in child welfare, after which she moved into the corporate arena and later joined the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office of Substance Abuse Policy as the Development Director, where she worked collaboratively with community partners to support alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment programs throughout the city.

After working with the City of Chicago, Christina became Executive Director for a community-based child welfare residential facility, where she supported capacity building efforts leading the organization to increased revenue generation and stability. Christina holds an MSW from the University of Illinois and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at National Louis University.

Since 2012, she has provided a range of consultation in the areas of: national outreach campaign development; strategic community partnership development; data collection and analysis, program monitoring and evaluation; strategic planning, (SRIs) or Social Return on Investment Report Development, Quality of Life community planning, leadership development and transition, FQHC, specifically Collaborative Care Models for Behavioral Health Integration within Primary Care Settings.

Keisha Farmer-Smith, Ph.D.   Senior Consulting Associate
Keisha has partnered with Chicago area organizations dedicated to supporting safe, healthy spaces for youth for 18 years. Her past youth development experience includes: supervising program outcomes and impact at Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago; serving as director of programs at Family Focus Inc.; managing gender specific after school programs at Alternatives, Inc.; and coordinating educational and vocational services for DCFS youth at Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network.

Keisha was an integral part of Morten Group’s work with The Chicago Community Trust’s LGBT Community Needs Assessment; her expertise in research and data was essential in the design of the various survey tools used to gather dates from over 2,000 respondents for the benefit of the larger Chicago LGBT community. A member of the MG Team since 2008, Keisha supports strategic planning, evaluation and outcomes analysis and youth development best practices with our clientele.

A professionally trained social worker, with graduate degrees in Counseling and Urban Planning, Keisha earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois in 2011. Her research applied participatory action and standpoint theory to evaluate outcomes for youth development programs. Keisha is a 2010 Berkowitz Award winner for Outstanding Service to Children and a founding board member of the Chicago Freedom School. In her spare time, Keisha volunteers with her block club, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and is a proud mother of two sons aged 13 and 18.

Norma L. Seledon   Senior Consulting Associate
Norma is a Mexican immigrant and has been a resident of Chicago for over 45 years. She has over 25 years of professional commitment to community and grassroots development around issues of women’s and youth leadership, education attainment by underrepresented groups, domestic violence, sexual assault, substance abuse, cultural sensitivity and environmental health.

Norma is a former director of community-based organization Mujeres Latinas en Acción and has served on various non-profit and government advisory committees including the Mayor’s Advisory council on Women’s Affairs, Latino Affairs, the Governor’s advisory on violence prevention and co- directed Amigas Latinas, an affinity group for Latina Lesbians. In recognition of her lifetime of work in 2016 Norma was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.

Norma holds a BS from Loyola University, an MA from Northeastern University and is a PhD Candidate in the Community Psychology Program at National Louis University.

Jason Cox   Consulting Associate and Operations Manager
As a consulting associate with Morten Group, Jason uses his extensive background in fundraising and event planning to assist with resource and board development. He is also a key member of Morten Group's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team. As Operations Manager, Jason handles marketing and communications for the company, as well as operations.

Jason Cox worked as Associate Director of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce for 11 years, where he organized all fundraising events and managed their extensive membership program. He is currently serving as the organization's Interim Executive Director. Previously, he did event planning and program development in many communities throughout the city at the Chicago Park District.

Jason holds a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, hiking, and catching as many live theater shows as time and money will allow.

Vince Pagán   Consulting Associate
Vince joined Morten Group in 2012 as a Project Assistant and has since served as an employee of the company in various roles. Prior to becoming a Consulting Associate, Vince served as Morten Group's Project and Operations Manager, where his responsibilities focused on office administration, systems and infrastructure, and project management. As a Consulting Associate, Vince works with clients in the areas of operations, strategic planning, and racial equity integration, in addition workshop facilitation, interviews, focus groups, as well as data and research assessment generation.

Vince has also worked as a freelance teaching artist and uses his experience with theatre and storytelling for social change to inform his work at Morten Group. In the fall of 2015, Vince introduced a series of workshops for Morten Group focused on storytelling and fundraising as a part of the company's resource development services.

Vince holds a BA in Theatre Studies from Ithaca College. He is proficient in Spanish.

Lisa Gilmore LCPC, M.Ed.   Consulting Associate
As a Consulting Associate, Lisa is proud to support client development of equity and justice practices through Morten Group's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work. Lisa joined Morten Group in 2015 as Project Manager for “Your Voice! Your Health!,” a University of Chicago research study of shared decision-making and communication between racial/ethnic minority LGBTQ individuals and their healthcare providers.

Outside of Morten Group, Lisa is Lead Consultant for the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women's Grants for Outreach & Services to Underserved Populations, a national technical assistance program administered by the Alliance for Local Service Organizations (ALSO). Lisa also supports grassroots efforts to build justice and self-determination in local communities through the Illinois Accountability Initiative (IL-AI).

Previously, Lisa served as Director of Education & Victim Advocacy at Center on Halsted, Chicago’s LGBTQ community center. While at the Center from 2005 – 2013, Lisa provided victim services and guided the work of the Anti- Violence Project, the Legal Program, professional training and technical assistance, and the implementation of the Center’s formal systems-level advocacy efforts—all aimed at reducing the impact of bias in the lives of LGBTQ people. Lisa has served on the Governance Committee of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs since 2010.

Leela Singh   Project Manager
At Morten Group, Leela provides project management for clients while overseeing logistics and tasks for all client work. She offers focus in research and data analysis, especially around organizational and diversity, equity and inclusion-based assessments.

Leela has a background in performance studies, ethnography, and theater arts administration, and has worked with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, American Theater Company, and Oracle Productions. Leela volunteers in the Audience Research and Evaluation Department at Shedd Aquarium and as a tutor with Chicago Lights.

Leela holds a B.A. in Theater and South Asian Studies with Research Distinction from The Ohio State University. Her thesis, “Preserving the ‘Fine Village’: The Commodification of Rajasthani Folk Performance at Chokhi Dhani,” was selected for presentation and publication at both Ohio State and the National Undergraduate Research Conference.

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