char rivette headshot

Char Rivette, MSW, LCSW

Chief Executive Officer

Char Rivette has served as CEO of Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center since 2009. In addition to leading the organization’s not-for-profit operations, she oversees the Multidisciplinary Collaboration housed at ChicagoCAC, which includes members of the Chicago Police Department, Department of Children & Family Services, and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. During her tenure, the organization has more than doubled in size and has expanded its physical space by 75 percent. The Center’s growth directly correlates to her unwavering commitment to providing innovative services to victims of child sexual abuse and their families. With over 1,000 CAC’s nationwide, ChicagoCAC is well respected for its innovative services, education, prevention, and policy efforts on the city, state, and national levels.

A respected visionary and motivator, Rivette has long aspired to expand services to all survivors of gender-based violence. Her optimism and collaborative nature have moved this critical work forward. Chicago Advocacy Network for Hope (CAN Hope) is officially in its planning phase in partnership with Chicago’s leaders in serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Char is a member of the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) Board of Directors and currently serves as the Treasurer of the Board.  She recently became a site reviewer for the NCA accreditation process. Within the victim’s advocacy movement, she frequently serves as an authority, contributor, and collaborator with other community leaders to increase the positive impact of their work and advance the cause of survivors locally and nationwide.

With more than 30 years of experience in the field of child abuse, mental health, and victim advocacy, Char began her work in direct clinical services to abused and traumatized children and their families. Before joining ChicagoCAC, she served as Chief of Program Operations at Little City Foundation and held clinical and management positions at Our Children’s Homestead and DuPage County Health Department. Char earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and is a licensed clinical social worker.

Terry Green, MDiv

Chief Human Resources Officer

Terry Green is an HR leader with over ten years of progressive human resources management experience and over twenty years of people management experience working in the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Previously, Terry held positions as Head of Human Resources at Advance Electrical, Director of Human Resources at the Chicago Academy of Science/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Steppenwolf Theatre. These roles provided many opportunities to utilize her expertise in talent management, leadership development, benefits administration, employee relations, DEIA, and employee engagement. Her past positions at Vitas Innovative Hospice Inc and Lifelink give her a wealth of knowledge about human services agencies and their needs. Terry received her Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from East-West University. She holds SHRM certificates from Northwestern University and DePaul University, along with her HR generalist certificate.

Nakia Kyler

Chief Development and Marketing Officer

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.

Michelle Y. Swenson, CPA

Chief Financial and Operation Officer

Michelle Swenson supervises the accounting staff and manages cash flow, financial reporting for grants/contracts, and monthly financial reporting. In addition, she oversees the organization’s annual audit and prepares quarterly financial projections for board meetings. She works closely with fund development and programmatic staff to ensure that the organization’s current and future financial needs are met. Before joining ChicagoCAC, Michelle was a senior member of the audit department at Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd., where she provided accounting, auditing, and tax services to individuals, privately-held businesses and non-profits. Michelle holds degrees in accounting and political science from Augustana College and is a licensed certified public accountant and a member of the Illinois CPA Society.

Jan Waters, MS, LCPC

Chief Program Officer, Clinical Services

Jan Waters manages the center’s mental health services and the PATHH collaboration. She has more than 18 years of clinical and managerial experience working with children and adults who have experienced abuse and other types of trauma, with a subspecialty in working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has extensive training and experience providing clinical interventions to children and adults who have experienced child sexual abuse and sexual assault. Prior to working at ChicagoCAC, Jan managed the community mental health programs for the Canadian Mental Health Association Kawartha Lakes Branch and served as the director of clinical services for Little City Foundation. Jan has presented and offered trainings internationally on topics such as developmental psychotherapy, trauma, autism, and mindfulness. She is a licensed clinical professional counselor in Illinois, holds a master’s in counseling psychology from Benedictine University.

Jason Wynkoop, LCSW

Chief Program Officer, Advocacy and Investigative Services

Jason Wynkoop leads Advocacy and Investigative Services at the center and is responsible for supporting the intake, forensic interview, advocacy, and child life teams. He has been a licensed clinical social worker and supervisor for over 15 years. His professional focus has been on children, youth, and families and includes work in community mental health, residential treatment, and policy and funding. For more than ten years, Jason has been a coordinator and director of programs including outreach services and a residential mental health support program for college students. Immediately prior to joining ChicagoCAC, he served as a Strategic Policy Advisor at the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. His portfolio at ICJIA included trauma recovery centers and VOCA-funded initiatives like Illinois HEALS, a statewide demonstration project to improve service accessibility and engagement for children and youth impacted by violence. Jason is a graduate of Valparaiso University, earned a master’s in social service administration from the University of Chicago, and is an alumnus of the Allstate Foundation’s Executive Leadership Program.

Scroll to Top
Leave Site