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Celena Roldán Named CEO of the American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois


Celena Roldán of Chicago has been named CEO of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. Roldán succeeds Fran Edwardson, who led the nonprofit organization beginning in December of 2005. Edwardson will retire in January of 2016.

As the Executive Director of Erie Neighborhood House, Roldán led the nonprofit’s comprehensive child care, school-age, youth and adult programs which helps 5,000 participants annually create better lives for themselves and their families. Roldán has also worked to strengthen community action and civic engagement and is a notable leader in the Latino community. “It has been an extreme privilege to be part of the life-changing work of Erie House for the past 15 years, and I could not feel more honored and excited to enter into this next opportunity with the Red Cross in serving individuals and communities in their times of greatest need, " said Roldán.

Roldán serves as the Vice Board Chair for Illinois Action for Children, as a board member for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, and on the Head Start Governing Board for Metropolitan Family Services. She participated in the Marshall Memorial Fellowship, an initiative sponsored by the German Marshall Fund of the United States that enlists a select group of leaders from Europe and North America for cross-cultural dialogue related to social issues and policy decisions. Most recently she was appointed as a member to the National Board of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and to the City of Chicago’s Community Development Commission. Roldán is also the co-chair of the Chicago Coalition for Site Administered Child Care Programs and was elected to the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Child Care Advisory Council. She is a member of the McCormick Early Childhood Policy Fellows, the early childhood “Acuerdo” of the Latino Policy Forum, the advisory board for the Center for Urban Research and Learning at Loyola, and a member of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Roldán holds a Master's degree in Early Childhood Administration from National Louis University, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We are delighted to welcome Celena Roldán as the new leader of our organization. She brings a great deal of experience in both the nonprofit and civil service arenas,” said Grant Hellwarth, Chairman of the Board, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “We also want to express our sincere gratitude to Fran Edwardson for the significant contributions she made to our community during her tenure. We wish her all the best in her retirement.”

Celena Roldán will officially take the helm of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois in March of 2016. Harley Jones, current Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois will serve as interim CEO until Roldán begins her new role.

Koya Leadership Partners and a search committee led by the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois led the nationwide search for the leader of the nonprofit.