CHICAGO – August 15, 2018 – The Chicago Community Trust today announced Jessica Strausbaugh as its incoming chief financial officer. Strausbaugh will succeed Carol Crenshaw, who is retiring from the community foundation after 35 years on September 30, 2018.
In the role of chief financial officer, Strausbaugh is responsible for a broad range of financial matters, investments, financial accounting, budgeting, risk management and other legal and tax aspects of foundation administration. Strausbaugh joins the Trust from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where she was treasurer, overseeing the endowment and pension investment portfolios, Enterprise Risk Management, payroll, tax compliance, debt issuance and cash management.
“I’m delighted to welcome Jessica to the Trust family,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, the Trust’s president and CEO. “She has an exceptional background and will carry on our tradition of stellar stewardship of philanthropic resources.”
Prior to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Strausbaugh was first vice president at LaSalle Bank (now Bank of America). Her other professional experience includes three years in London, consulting to European banks, and three years at Standard & Poor’s in New York and Paris. Strausbaugh holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
“I am looking forward to growing our financial resources to support a thriving Chicago region,” said Strausbaugh. “At The Chicago Community Trust, we see firsthand the powerful things that happen when people come together for the benefit of our communities.”
Crenshaw, who joined the Trust in 1983, leaves an impressive professional legacy. Over the course of her career, she helped grow the Trust’s assets from $450 million to $2.8 billion. Crenshaw joined the Trust as assistant controller and was promoted to controller in 1984. She has served in her current role as chief financial officer since 1994. Her responsibilities include overseeing the Trust’s accounting, investment programs, financial reporting; managing an annual consolidated administrative budget of $17 million and a grants budget of more than $300 million; and supervising the fund accounting system, which administers more than 1,200 individual funds housed at the Trust.
“The Chicago Community Trust would not be the cornerstone of Chicago philanthropy without Carol Crenshaw. On behalf of our governing board, grant recipients and donors, I express sincere gratitude for Carol’s commitment to our community,” said Dr. Gayle.
Prior to joining the Trust, Crenshaw was an auditor with KPMG Peat Marwick/Chicago for five years, specializing in banks and nonprofit organizations. Crenshaw is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, a Certified Public Accountant, a member of the Accounting Practices Committee of Community Foundations and a board member of the Northern Illinois University Foundation. Crenshaw has served as a director of tronc, inc since 2016 (TRNC:NASDAQ).