As Executive Director, Spence will provide organizational leadership and day-to-day operational management of philanthropy strategies
ITASCA, Ill. (January 10, 2022) – Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network has named Audrena Spence as its new Executive Director for the Gift of Hope Community Foundation.
“We are thrilled to welcome Audrena to Gift of Hope and our executive leadership team,” said Harry Wilkins, MD, Gift of Hope President/CEO. “Her extensive executive and philanthropic experience, enthusiasm and deep passion for community and civic engagement will advance our mission in new and critical ways as we work to save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation.”
As Executive Director, Spence will provide organizational leadership and day-to-day operational management of philanthropy strategies, initiatives and projects for grants, major gift campaigns, fund development and partnerships that will increase contributions for the Gift of Hope Community Foundation, research programs and the Illinois Transplant Fund, a program designed to increase access to lifesaving transplantation.
Before joining Gift of Hope, Spence served as Executive Director for the Metropolitan Family Services Calumet Center. Under her leadership and through new development and partnerships, the Calumet Center’s annual budget nearly doubled from 2007 to 2021. She also founded the Metropolitan Leadership Academy designed to enhance, enrich, identify and develop future leaders within the organization.
Spence has received numerous awards and recognitions for her civic engagement including selection to the Leadership of Greater Chicago Fellows Class of 2013; the Rainbow PUSH Dr. King/President Johnson Faith in Politics: Game Changer Visionary Service Award; the Chicago Defender’s Women of Excellence; State Farm’s “Go To Bat” Community Service Award; the National PanHellenic Council Chicago’s Community Service Leadership Award; and the All Stars Project of Chicago Community Spirit Award.
She also completed the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership program. Her active civic involvement has included work with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of Black Social Workers, The Links, Inc. and others.
Spence holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
About Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is the not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. As one of 57 OPOs that make up the nation’s donation system, we work with 180 hospitals and serve 12 million people in our donation service area.
Since 1986, our work with the families of donors and healthcare partners has saved the lives of more than 23,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients.