As a passionate mission and metrics-driven leader with a strong background in strategic planning, fundraising, and marketing we are excited to welcome Nakia Kyler to our team. As the Chief Development & Marketing Officer, Nakia is responsible for fostering a culture of philanthropy by leading the design and oversight of all fundraising and communication activities.
Before joining ChicagoCAC, Nakia was the Chief Engagement and Equity Officer at the West Michigan Partnership for Children. She drove the agency’s overarching vision to advance DEIAB efforts while strengthening organizational growth. She led strategic planning sessions with the Board and senior staff to identify a road map for growth and sustainability. She collaborated with program staff to strengthen their programming and grant strategies. In this role, she also served as the Head of Marketing developing annual marketing strategies, social media, and countywide awareness campaigns.
As the Global Director of Philanthropy at Bethany Christian Services, Nakia secured major gifts to ensure the safety and protection of the most vulnerable children and families around the world. In this role, Nakia established play therapy spaces addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and expanded their free social services and trauma-informed practices. She educated donor communities on the importance of funding evidence-based practices and combining both community-centric and donor-centric strategies. With a key focus on scaling up programming, she advised donors and board members on the importance of investing in family-strengthening practices and psychosocial support programs to strengthen the lives of the children and families they served.
While working at Susan G. Komen Michigan, Nakia utilized her business banking techniques, which she acquired working at J.P. Morgan Chase, to identify key donors and volunteers creating strategic growth plans in her 5 County service area. As a convener, working at the Alabama Governor’s Office of Faith-based & Community Initiatives, Nakia helped build the capacity of Alabama nonprofits to address critical needs in their local communities.
With over 15 years of experience, securing major gifts, integrating strength-based storytelling in marketing campaigns, and building community collaborations, Nakia is excited to join the ChicagoCAC community to help protect children, battle abuse, and restore the lives of children and families we serve. Nakia earned a BA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and looks forward to making Chicago, Illinois her new home.
We got a chance to ask Nakia a few questions about her goals in her new position and why she chose ChicagoCAC.
What made you interested in choosing Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center?
Every child deserves the right to live in a safe, nurturing, healthy, and supportive environment. Creating safe and open environments is vital to ensuring children are socially, physically, and emotionally secure. Child sexual abuse can have long-term psychological, physical, and behavioral impacts potentially hindering their ability to reach their full potential.
ChicagoCAC’s innovative approach to implementing trauma-informed practices in a child-friendly environment while housing a multidisciplinary team of professionals addressing child sexual abuse under one roof clearly demonstrates their ability to effectively develop cutting-edge trauma-informed systems. Joining the ChicagoCAC community affords me the opportunity to continue to advocate on behalf of children who experienced abuse and neglect to ensure they receive the necessary resources to begin their journey to recovery and support their ability to thrive.
Since this is your first time living in Chicago, is there anything you’re excited about or look forward to trying once settled into the city?
I look forward to enjoying the amazing food, experiencing Chicago’s growing art scene, and discovering the wonderful world of Chicago jazz.
What’s your favorite movie?
Since it’s Mental Health Awareness Month, what do you do for self-care?
My self-care consists of shopping, binge-watching comedies, baking desserts from scratch, and going to the spa.