Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Announces Founding Executive Director for Chicago

Jul 19, 2023



Hermilo Hinojosa joins organization to lead 12th GreenLight site

Chicago, IL – July 19, 2023 – GreenLight Fund welcomes Hermilo Hinojosa as the founding Executive Director of its 12th expansion site, GreenLight Fund Chicago. A lifelong Chicago resident, Hinojosa will partner with the local community to break down barriers all too often rooted in racial inequities and open opportunities leading to inclusive prosperity. He will lead a community-driven process to match unmet needs with organizations that have track records of success addressing those needs elsewhere, launching one proven organization each year. With multi-year start-up capital and collaborative support, GreenLight will help the selected organization quickly take root and deliver change in Chicago.

“It is an extraordinary privilege for me to lead GreenLight’s work in my hometown, to make a lasting impact and ignite positive change,” said Hermilo Hinojosa. “In Chicago, every resident in each of our neighborhoods is valued, embodies resilience and is filled with potential. I look forward to working together towards a brighter, more inclusive future for all who call this great city home.”

Hinojosa has a background of working with communities, particularly communities of color, to create equitable, sustainable, and resilient neighborhoods for nearly three decades. With a tenure of more than 20 years at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, most recently as the Vice President of Youth Development, Hinojosa’s leadership was renowned for building strong teams, developing responsive programs tailored to community needs, fostering positive relationships, enhancing academic skills, creating safe spaces and empowering youth to achieve meaningful success. His extensive cross-functional experience in the nonprofit, government and education sectors encompasses strategic planning, change management and effective implementation of transformative and innovative initiatives. Hinojosa grew up in Chicago and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, earning a BA in History.

Sean Garrett, President and CEO, United Way of Metro Chicago, shared his enthusiasm, “With Hermilo’s strong skills and experience, along with GreenLight’s approach to collaborate with the local community, I’m excited for the impact GreenLight Chicago will have locally. I look forward to working together to tackle complex issues with innovative programs that drive sustainable positive change.”

As GreenLight Chicago Executive Director, Hinojosa will assemble a local Selection Advisory Council (SAC) made up of a diverse group of community leaders, experts and residents that will work alongside GreenLight throughout their selection process using the GreenLight Method. The community-driven annual process is designed to find the most effective social innovations not yet present locally to address the needs that matter most to Chicago residents facing barriers to prosperity.

When Hinojosa begins his first annual selection process later this year, he will listen to community residents and partner with the SAC to look deeply at the racial and economic disparities in the region and identify opportunities for impact.

After searching the country for a proven program that could be additive to the local ecosystem and best suited to tackle locally-identified unmet needs, GreenLight will select and invest in bringing an evidence-based program with measurable results to the region with the best local fit. GreenLight Chicago will help the selected organization reach and sustain impact locally with on-the-ground support, multi-year funding, strategic partnership development and accountable measurement systems.

“We’re thrilled to have Hermilo on the team,” said Margaret Hall, GreenLight Fund CEO and Co-founder. “His commitment to fostering inclusive collaboration along with his passion for dismantling deep-rooted racial and economic disparities locally make him an excellent fit to lead GreenLight Chicago.”

John Simon, GreenLight Fund’s Co-founder and Board Chair added, “I’m excited that Hermilo will be leading the charge in Chicago, working across neighborhoods to identify and address seemingly intractable challenges with proven innovations to bring meaningful and measurable change.”

A diverse coalition of investors came together earlier this year to enable the launch of GreenLight Chicago with a $6M Fund. Co-founding funders include: Chris Abbinante, Allstate, Anonymous, Nicholas Antoine, Bain Capital, Jon Ballis, Bank of America, Larry Barden, Eve & Richard Biller, Rebecca & Dan Blumenthal, Jennifer & Alex Brown, Karen & Ethan Budin, Ed Chandler, Liz & David Chandler, Kim & Stephen Chipman, CME Group Foundation, Cresa, Christy & Bryan Cressey, Daube Family Foundation, Liz & Kent Dauten, Deloitte, Debbie & Mike Dickerson, Andy Dunn/Red Swan Ventures, Michelle & Michael Episcope, Finnegan Family Foundation, Jenny and P. Jay Fortner Pay it Forward Fund, Linda & Bill Friend, Lauren & Brian Gallagher, Alyse & Mike Gamson, Garling and Wilson Foundation, Paul Gearen, Julie & Mark Gerstein, Eve & John Goebel, Goldman Sachs Chicago Office, Goldman Sachs Gives, Becca Goldstein Groothuis & Derek Groothuis, Scott Goodman, Grant Thornton, Donna & Jack Greenberg, Emily & Brian Grzelakowski, Erik Hammer/Alumni Ventures, Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin, JD Heinz, Tanner Holmes, Paul Hsu/Decasonic, Nichole & Scott Humphrey, Israel Idonije, iHeartMedia, Debbie & Pran Jha, Pete Kadens, Kirkland & Ellis, Marcy & David Kirshenbaum, Knight Family Foundation, Cary Kochman, Harry Kraemer, Jeff Lampe, Kris & Nate Laurell, Jessica & Mats Lederhausen, Liz & Eric Lefkofsky, Stephanie & Michael Macakanja, Mayer Brown LLP, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Anne & Rob Metzger, Steve Miller/Origin Ventures, Hannah & Joe Musselman, Northern Trust/Waddell Legacy Fund, Obama Foundation, Julie & Jim O’Connor, Amy & Jim O’Donnell, Winnie Park, Shelly & Brett Paschke, Dani Petrie/Origami Works Foundation, Ann & Steve Potter, Pritzger Traubert Foundation, Momei Qu & Nathan Tang, Deborah & Stephen Quazzo, John Raitt, Alyssa Rapp & Hal Morris, Paul Reilly, Mark Richey, Brian Richter, Jim and Michelle Ryan Family Foundation, Elizabeth & Derek Sammann, Muneer Satter, Mackenzie Scott, Joanne & Mike Sekulic, Jenny & Nick Semaca, Valerie & Lee Shapiro, Sidley, Susan & John Simon, Gregory G. Simoncini & Ed Dudley, Karen & Jon Skinner, Jim Streibich, Mark Sullivan, Kurt Summers, Millie Tadewaldt & Ben Levi, Thierer Family Foundation, Genevieve Thiers & Dan Ratner, Marie Tillman & Joe Shenton, The Tullman Family, United Way of Metro Chicago, The University of Chicago, University of Illinois System, Nancy & Mark Van Grinsven, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc, Wilks Communications Group, William Blair, Winforest Partners, Jessica Droste Yagan & Sam Yagan, and Robin & Mike Zafirovski.