September 21, 2020

The Board of Directors at Growing Home, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Janelle St. John as its new Executive Director.

Serving as the Interim Executive Director since August 2020 and the Chief Fund Development and Communications Officer since June 2019, Janelle has been integrally involved with Growing Home’s programming successes this past year.  She helped form Growing Home’s essential 3-year working plan that includes initiatives geared towards deepening Growing Home’s commitment to the Englewood community.  One of such initiatives included increasing Growing Home’s food distribution in Englewood, a goal which has been achieved and surpassed this year by distributing up to 95% of produce in Englewood at no cost to the residents.  This year, Janelle played a key leadership role in transitioning the Employment Training program to a virtual format to enable our program to continue during the pandemic. As well, she oversaw the transformation of our annual benefit into two dynamic online events that assured operational funding through the important growing season.

Prior to Growing Home, Janelle spent five years as the Chief Development and Communications officer and later Chief Strategy Officer for Edgewater Health, a Community Mental Health Center located in Gary, IN. She is a dynamic senior level professional with over 20 years of superior performance within the nonprofit industry. She holds a master’s degree in Public Service Administration from DePaul University and bachelor’s  degree in political science from the University of Chicago.

Lynn Sheck, President of Growing Home’s Board of Directors, stated: “The unanimous vote by our board of directors  demonstrates our full trust in Janelle’s leadership. As we have all witnessed since her arrival at Growing Home, Janelle has the ability to lead our organization with her creativity, her resilience and her forward-thinking mindset.  We are grateful she’s applying her 20+ years of non-profit experience here with us.”

As Janelle shares, she looks forward to her new position: “After my years of working in the nonprofit field and using my skills and talents to serve marginalized communities, I cannot thank Growing Home enough for this amazing opportunity to further serve Englewood residents and the many men and women across Chicago who rely on our programs. The needs are greater than ever. I look forward to working with Growing Home’s talented staff, boards, volunteers, and supporters towards growing the footprint and impact of Growing Home in the years to come.”

Janelle officially stepped into Growing Home’s Executive Director role on September 16. Janelle will follow Danielle K. Perry, Esq., who stepped down in August 2020 after a year of impactful service to move to her current role in Illinois Governor Pritzker’s administration as the Cannabis Regulations Oversight Officer.  

The Governing Board is extremely grateful for the Growing Home team and network of supporters for their hard work and patience this summer through this transition.  It is because of the dedication of our staff, donors, and volunteers that Growing Home has been able to thrive during this time.