Executive Team

The YWCA is grateful for the dedication of our entire staff and their commitment to improving our community. Our senior management staff members are:

Nicole Robinson, Chief Executive Officer

Nicole Robinson Headshot

Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Nicole R. Robinson has spent her career building bridges between communities, individuals, government and business leaders. Today Nicole serves as the Chief Executive Officer for YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, a human centered organization dedicated to empowering women and eliminating racism. As a fierce advocate for women, girls and justice, Nicole is inspired by the resilience of the families who turn to YWCA for family supports, economic opportunities and collective healing.

Prior to joining YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Nicole was the Chief Partnership and Program Officer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository where she designed strategies to expand food access while tackling the root causes of poverty, unemployment, and racial inequity. Her food justice advocacy resulted in a $10MM investment in the emergency food system and she inspired the reimagination of Chicago’s entire food system as one the of the co-creators of Chicago’s first ever Food Equity Council. Before joining the social sector, Nicole began her career in corporate finance supporting various business units and would go on to lead the corporate foundation for Kraft Foods and Mondelez International.

Nicole resides in Bronzeville on Chicago’s South Side and is the founding leader of Chicago’s first ever South Side Giving Circle focused on reducing inequities faced by Black women and girls.

Shelley Bromberek-Lambert, Chief Resilience Officer

Shelley Bromberek-Lambert Headshot

Shelley Bromberek-Lambert has spent over 30 years in the education and social service sectors helping organizations solve complex problems by creating and implementing practical, effective strategies and processes that leverage their number one asset – their people. Shelley is a person who is guided by organizational mission and vision and knows how to translate those principles and practices that strengthen the organizations she works with. In her current role of Chief Resilience Officer, Shelley oversees the IT, Facilities, and Human Resource functions and leads the development and execution of strategies to build organizational resilience and sustainability.

As a passionate advocate for education, Shelley is an active member of the National Afterschool Association and has served as Past Chairman of their Board of Directors. She is also involved at the local level as a member of the Board of Directors for DuPage Federation and DuPage Early Childhood Collaboration steering committee. She also sits on the corporate boards for Reflections Sciences and Right At School. Her work in the field has been recognized with numerous awards such as Richard Scofield Award for Exemplary Service and Leadership in the Afterschool Profession, and Excellence In Leadership Initiatives. Prior to joining the YWCA, she was the Chief Operating Officer for Knowledge Universe, overseeing operations across the United States and India. She received a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University.

Danette Connors, MBA, Chief Youth & Family Potential Officer

Danette is a strong relationship builder and visionary leader with 20+ years of experience in the social service field specializing in strategic program growth to ensure children and families have adequate and equitable resources to reach their full potential.  Danette joined YWCA Metropolitan Chicago in 2000.  She obtained her BA in Business Management from Aurora University and her MBA from National Louis University.

In her role at YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Danette leads all Youth and Family programs across the Chicagoland area with more than 150 team members in programs including Teen Reach, Head Start, Preschool For All Expansion, Prevention Initiative, Teen Parents, USDA Food Program, Child Care Resource and Referral, and Illinois Veteran’s Association childcare assistance program.

Danette is also an active leader in Illinois and local communities.  She serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, Chair of the leadership team for the Child Care Resource and Referral director’s leadership council for the State of Illinois’ Child Care Resource and Referral system and membership committee for the Child Care Aware of America.

Additionally, Danette held previous roles as President of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Education of Young Children – DuPage Chapter and finance committee chair of the Illinois Afterschool Network.  She is a recognized leader and innovator for her work in expanding programs to 5 counties across the Chicagoland area with an unwavering commitment to children and families.

Sharon McFeders, Chief People & Culture Officer

Sharon brings over 20 years of expertise in a combination of business management, human capital management, strategy, process creation, and implementation to her role as Chief People & Culture Officer. Sharon’s focus is on YWCA’s People, Place and Technology. She is leading the effort of what we call, YWCA User Experience: YW(UX) to ensure that any person connecting with the YWCA will have an optimal experience, regardless if that person is a client, employee, donor, or any stakeholder. Sharon is also leading the effort to ensure YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is considering emerging operating paradigms for the delivery of human services. Prior to joining the YWCA in 2008, Sharon held positions at Center for Neighborhood Technology and Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation. Sharon received a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from National-Louis University.

Loren Simmons, Chief Empowerment Officer

Loren Simmons Headshot

For more than 25 years, Loren Simmons has provided strategic and tactical program support to several non-profits. She joined YWCA Metropolitan Chicago in 1998, was appointed Chief Program Officer in 2007, and became Chief Empowerment Officer in 2009. Prior to joining the YWCA, Simmons held positions with Shorebank Neighborhood Institute, Bethel New Life, Inc., and the American Heart Association. Additionally, she has provided oversight to four rape crisis centers and a child sexual assault counseling center. Simmons is certified in sexual assault crisis intervention and Challenging Racism, a racial justice curriculum. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bradley University and holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.


You may reach these staff members at 312.372.6600 or info@ywcachicago.org.