Mary Morten (she/her/hers)

Mary Morten is the President of Morten Group (MG), a national 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 and ongoing work include developing an organization wide racial equity integration process for Pride Foundation in the Pacific Northwest; facilitating a 30 million dollar merger between two developmental disability organizations, Countryside Association and Little City Foundation; facilitating numerous strategic planning processes and conducting racial equity trainings on behalf of The Chicago Community Trust’s annual forum, On the Table. Mary’s podcast “Gathering Ground” covering topics on nonprofit management, foundations and equity and inclusion and can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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; 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 2017, a Women in Film Focus Award; 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 holds a B.A. in communications with an emphasis in radio and television from Loyola University Chicago and is a member of Forefront, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits. Mary serves on the faculty for Executive Director Boot Camp at the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University. She is a co-founder and current Board Chair for the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance.

We asked Mary, “If you could share a meal with any 2 individuals, living or dead, who would you choose and why?” She said, “Maya Angelou. And Luther Vandross. I love Luther Vandross. We were listening to him at a party recently and I was reminded me of how much I miss his music.”