Winnetka Community House Names Robert J. Thomas as Executive Director

Winnetka Community House announces the appointment of Robert J. (Bob) Thomas as its Executive Director effective immediately. A longtime resident of Lake Forest, IL, Bob brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the business and nonprofit sectors to Winnetka Community House, a community center providing educational, cultural, social and recreational opportunities to people of all ages.

“Our Board of Governors is delighted to welcome Mr. Thomas as its new Executive Director,” stated Winnetka Community House Board Chair, Leslie Farmer. “Bob’s years of business management experience, coupled with his passion for and commitment to nonprofit organizations makes him perfectly suited to strategically advance the organization’s mission and safeguard its legacy on the North Shore.”

After a successful career as a senior level executive at Corning Incorporated and PepsiCo, Bob transitioned to nonprofit leadership. Most recently, he was CEO and Executive Director of the Partnership to Educate and Advance Kids (PEAK), a nonprofit providing high school scholarships and mentoring support to underserved students in Chicago. In this role, he was responsible for doubling the number of students served and creating a mentor training program. Previously, Bob was CEO and Executive Director of Rainbows for All Children in Evanston, an international nonprofit helping children suffering from grief caused by such life altering events as death, divorce or military deployment.

“The Winnetka Community House plays a vital role in enhancing the lives of our community members and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead such a dynamic organization,” Mr. Thomas said. “I am eager to work with the staff, volunteers and the board of the Winnetka Community House to create lasting partnerships with area businesses and other nonprofits.”

Bob is a member of the board of Blessed Trinity Parish in Waukegan and was previously on the board of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and the Career Resource Center in Lake Forest. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola University of Chicago.

Founded in 1911, Winnetka Community House offers classes, programs and special events for every member of the family, as well as a full-service Fitness Centre and gymnasium. Theater and dance productions are held year-round in historic Matz Hall, performed by groups such as the Children’s Theatre of Winnetka and Village Follies. The facility also plays host to weddings, business meetings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and houses some of the North Shore’s key non-profit organizations, such as the North Shore Art League, Junior League of Evanston–North Shore, Open Communities and the Winnetka Youth Organization.