Nourishing Hope is thrilled to welcome four new executive leaders to its board of directors to help guide the organization forward.

Collectively, they bring an abundance of social service experience, financial acumen, food industry knowledge and passion for the mission, said CEO Kellie O’Connell. They’ll join a deep and talented team of directors in a time of strategic sustainable growth for Nourishing Hope, as the organization aims to serve more people in need throughout Chicago. 

Nourishing Hope is proud to welcome Liz Buchanan, NielsenIQ; Dan Chavez, PwC; Christa Hamilton, UCAN; and Dan O’Leary, J.M. Smucker Company.  

“We’re so thrilled and grateful to have these four remarkable leaders join our board at such a pivotal time for our organization,” O’Connell said. “They will help us to provide food and hope to our Chicago neighbors.” 

Buchanan is the president of North America for NielsenIQ, a global information services firm serving the consumer goods and retail industries. She’s actively involved in civic causes, serving on the board of directors for Cradles to Crayons, Chicago Humanities and World Business Chicago. She was also a fellow with the 2022 class of Leadership Greater Chicago. 

NielsenIQ works with some of the largest food manufacturers and retailers in the world, providing data that powers the grocery industry, Buchanan said. Fighting food insecurity is core to the company’s mission, providing volunteer power and data consulting to Nourishing Hope. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to now take the work to end food insecurity to the next level as a member of the Nourishing Hope’s board of directors,” said Buchanan, who’s worked in various leadership roles at NielsenIQ over the past 17 years. 

Chavez is a partner at PwC, a global professional services firm, where he’s worked for more than 20 years. He also serves on the board of directors at Chicago Commons and the Latino Policy Forum, and on the advisory board at CareerSpring.

Nourishing Hope’s mental health program, in particular, aligns with Chavez’s passion and past nonprofit involvement, he said. 

“The mission of Nourishing Hope — addressing hunger, poverty and mental wellness for our fellow community members — is one that I’m incredibly fortunate and thankful that I get to help deliver in joining the board,” Chavez said. 

Hamilton serves as president and CEO of UCAN, a 155-year-old youth services organization that provides a continuum of services to more than 21,000 children, youth and families around Chicago. Previously, Hamilton served as CEO for Centers for New Horizons on the city’s South Side. 

A Leadership Greater Chicago fellow, Hamilton also serves on the board of directors of Instituto del Progreso Latino and Social Current. 

“As someone deeply committed to community service and the well-being of others, I am drawn to the mission of Nourishing Hope,” Hamilton said. “I am confident that as a board member, we can further the legacy of compassion and resilience that has defined Nourishing Hope for the past 50 years, ensuring that our neighbors not only have access to food but also the resources and support they need to thrive.” 

O’Leary is the senior vice president and general manager of the sweet baked snacks and pet divisions at the J.M. Smucker Company. He’s a seasoned consumer products executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience. 

Previously, O’Leary held leadership roles at Hostess Brands, Tyson Foods, Mizkan America and Kraft Foods. He and his husband Michael live in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago.  

“I am honored to join the board of Nourishing Hope and support the work of this inspirational team,” O’Leary said. “Nourishing Hope plays a vital role in our Chicago community, and has earned the trust of its clients and partners in providing a range of essential services. I look forward to supporting these efforts and getting started.”