Audrena A. Spence
Executive Director, Gift of Hope Foundation

As Executive Director for the Gift of Hope Foundation and a member of the Gift of Hope executive team, Audrena Spence provides 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 Foundation, research programs and the Illinois Transplant Fund.

Prior to joining Gift of Hope, Audrena 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.

Audrena 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.

Audrena holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.