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James Michael 

Director of Development

James Michael has worked in a wide range of program and business development environments, including higher education, healthcare, international child development and grassroots social service work.  Jim’s thirty-year career in the nonprofit sector has brought him in contact with an incredibly diverse group of individuals, from military families to ill and injured people experiencing homelessness, to visually impaired to people with developmental disabilities.  He most recently served as the Chief Strategy Officer for Wellness Homes of Chicago, a multi-site integrative primary care and community wellness organization, where he led development planning, marketing, and community partnerships.  He moved to Chicago in January of 2006 from his hometown of Seattle.

Jim is very active in various philanthropic and fundraising project work, as both a consultant and a volunteer, and has a deep interest in community building and cultural engineering.  He has a certificate in Nonprofit Executive Management from Kellogg School of Management, a master’s degree in education from Seattle University, and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Washington.  He trains and competes as a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and is a staunch supporter of Beat The Streets Chicago's efforts to provide critical life skills to young people through the sport of Wrestling.  Jim's teenaged children, Alex and Reland, inspire his commitment to continue to work in the non-profit sector; his 13 year-old daughter, Reland, babysits a non-speaking child with autism, and his 15 year old son Alex, who was diagnosed with autism at 2, competes in several Special Olympics sports.  Autism has been a constant presence in their family, and they are all excited about Jim's new role with Urban Autism Solutions.

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