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Northern Illinois Food Bank names new CEO

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:26 p.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
Julie Yurko president and CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank. Julie joined the food bank in 2009 and has served as the organization’s vice president of philanthropy and communications for the past four years; she succeeds Pete Schaefer, who announced his stepping down earlier this year.

GENEVA – Northern Illinois Food Bank officials have named Julie Yurko as the organization’s president and CEO.

Yurko, who is the organization’s vice president of philanthropy and communications, will succeed CEO Pete Schaefer, who announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down from his role.

“I am certainly humbled and very excited,” said Yurko, 45, who lives in Winfield with her husband, Ed, and their four children. “Not only is it a vote of confidence in me, it is a vote of confidence in the whole operation.”

Last year, the food bank distributed 42 million meals to those in need through its network of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior centers. The food bank serves 13 counties, including Grundy County.

Yurko said one of her goals is to increase the number of meals the food bank serves to make sure that fewer people are going hungry. She also wants to continue to increase the awareness of hunger in the counties the food bank serves.

Jeff Burdeaux, chairman of the Northern Illinois Food Bank Board of Directors, said in a news release that Yurko is a “proven leader who delivers results, while seeking innovative ways to keep up the food bank’s positive momentum in our mission to ensure that no one goes hungry in northern Illinois.”

She has more than 23 years of experience in managing, fundraising, operations and marketing at a variety of nonprofit organizations. Since her arrival in 2009, contributed revenue has doubled to the food bank, according to the news release.

Before joining the food bank, Yurko served as director of major gifts at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She also has held positions at The Children’s Memorial Foundation and the Chicago Zoological Society and Brookfield Zoo.

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Learn more about the Northern Illinois Food Bank at http://solvehungertoday.org/

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