Village News

The Village Chicago Appoints Niki Fox as New Executive Director

Chicago (May 2, 2024)  The Village Chicago, the city’s leading community network of friendship, engagement, and services for people over 50 announced today the appointment of Niki Fox as Executive Director effective May 13, 2024. She replaces Darcy L. Evon who stepped down after five years of extraordinary contributions to the organization.  

David Baker, Board Chair and Chair of the Search Committee said: “Niki’s intimate knowledge of The Village’s mission, members, and programs made her the ultimate choice after a thorough search. I look forward to working with her in the coming years.”  

Since 2015, when Fox first came to the Village she has demonstrated her strategic and operational capabilities which, combined with her skills at listening, understanding, and fulfilling individual and community needs, make her uniquely prepared to step into this role.  

In her previous position as as Director of Health and Wellbeing, Fox was instrumental in developing new program and service offerings with a broad range of community partners – including the development of the Village’s best-in-class Memory Loss and Brain Health programs.  

Neelum Aggarwal, MD of the Rush University Medical Center Department of Neurological Sciences says, “Niki has been a tireless advocate for the health and wellbeing of Village members. She also has worked alongside members of our Village Research Committee, offering her insights, and expertise to the various research proposals we receive from Chicagoland institutions and community partners.”  

Fox says, “I am honored to be selected as Executive Director and eager to put my experience to work on behalf of the Village community. As The Village celebrates 15 years of service to Chicago’s older adults and their families, I look forward to the future from this new vantage point, guided by our shared vision of aging well with empathy, passion, and purpose.”  

About the Village Chicago: The Village Chicago is a community network of friendship, engagement, and services for people over 50. We support all aspects of wellbeing through social engagement, an extensive services and referral network, lifelong learning, health and fitness, intergenerational relationships, work, and purpose.

Darcy Evon to Step Down as Village Chicago CEO March 31, 2024

CHICAGO (January 29, 2024) The Village Chicago announced today that CEO Darcy Evon will step down effective March 31, 2024, to pursue her next chapter. After five years at the helm of this non-profit serving older adults in Chicago, she leaves behind an exceptional staff team, new programs, and special initiatives for the organization. She also departs after seeing the Village Chicago achieve and consolidate the strongest financial position in its 15-year history.

“Darcy has proven to be a remarkable leader by improving the quality of life for older adults and their families in Chicago, building new programs, expanding our connections and community partnerships, increasing our local and national footprints, addressing entrenched ageism, building diversity, and consistently achieving record levels of financial support through the years–including the pandemic period,” said Board Chair David Baker.

“Working at The Village Chicago has been an honor and a privilege,” said Evon. “Building and empowering a highly qualified, caring, and entrepreneurial team combined with exceptional board leadership allowed us to thrive,” she added.

During Evon’s tenure, The Village expanded its intergenerational focus, developed and launched important programs focused on supporting social connection, brain health, and age equity, increased its DEI initiatives, elevated fundraising to unprecedented levels, and launched an annual report and new donor recognition systems. Under Evon’s leadership, the Village Chicago also expanded LGBTQ+ and minority representation, its loyal volunteer base, and community partnerships.

“We know that Darcy will remain active in the Village as a volunteer, and we look forward to her creative energy and insight as we expand in the years ahead,” said Board Member and immediate past Chair Karen Terry.

The Village Chicago is a dynamic community network of friendship, engagement, and services for people over 50. The Village strengthens wellbeing through social engagement, an extensive services and referral network, lifelong learning, health and fitness, intergenerational relationships, work, and purpose. The vision of the Village is a world where older adults are a vital part of a cohesive, collaborative society in which everyone can thrive.

Jazzy and Jubilant – Classic Chicago Features the Village’s 14th Annual Benefit

John Walcher, Joyce Winnecke, David Hiller, Darcy Evon

Village member and journalist Judy Carmack Bross has a feature article on the Village’s annual benefit, Jazzin’ with the Village, in Classic Chicago Magazine. The article features some great photos of the evening’s festivites! Click here to read the article on Classic Chicago’s website.

DePaul University Celebrates Their Trailblazer Win

President Robert L. Manuel joins David Baker (left), chair of The Village Chicago Board of Directors, and Ira Kohlman (right), co-chair of the Jazzin with The Village event, where DePaul was presented with the Trailblazer Award. (Courtesy of The Village Chicago)

​​DePa​ul received the 2023 Trailblazer Award from The Village Chicago, which has partnered with DePaul since its founding in 2009. DePaul was recognized for its support in fostering an age-inclusive city and its commitment to “forming partnerships that bring cultural and social enrichment to the communities that surround it.” Read more on DePaul’s website.

The Village’s Annual Benefit, Jazzin’ With The Village Featured in Classic Chicago Magazine

    An article by writer and editor (and Village member) Judy Carmack Bross shares the excitement leading up to the Village’s 14th annual benefit, and profiles the individuals, author, and organization chosen to receive this year’s prestigious Trailblazer aweards. Read the article “Jazzin’ With The Village” at Classic Chicago Magazine.

Turn the Page on Age Featured in Classic Chicago Magazine

Molly Matthias, Mohit Bathija, Darcy Evon, and Peter DiFrancesca outside the Potluck.

  The Village Chicago and Chicago Innovation hosted “A Night for the Ages” on December 7, 2022, featuring the first-ever Turn the Page on Age awards presented to author Patti Temple Rocks and to Gail Zelitzky and Catherine Marienau, hosts of the weekly podcast “Women Over 70.”   Read the article “Debunking Myths on Aging”,  featuring an interview with Village CEO Darcy Evon, at Classic Chicago Magazine.

Village Featured in Sunday Chicago Tribune

Chris Sweda///The Chicago Tribune

September 18 | September 18 | Featuring a beautiful photo of Village members Mel and Pam Washburn (by the Tribune’s Chris Sweda), a recent story in the Chicago Tribune discussed how older adults are using technology to thrive in their communities, and how the Village plays a part. Read the entire article, written by John W. Bateman, on the Tribune site.

Village Recognizes Three Trailblazers in Building an Age-inclusive Society

September 2, 2022 – The Village Chicago presented their annual Trailblazers Awards. to Dr. Becca Levy Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus (organizational award). (more…)

Village Op-Ed on Ageism in the Chicago Tribune

photo by Ira Nicolai//Getty Images

July 11, 2022 | The Chicago Tribune published an op-ed on ageism by Village CEO Darcy Evon and Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder of Chicago Innovation: “Here’s the thing about ageism. Everyone is getting older — all day, every day. So where’s the logic in age bias, even if it’s well-meaning, against those of us who get older before we do?” Go to the Tribune’s site for the entire op-ed.

Volunteers are Central to the Spirit of the Village

April 30, 2022 | April is National Volunteer Month, and the Village Chicago would like to thank the dozens of volunteers who contribute everyday to its purpose and goals. “Most of our volunteers are members helping members, but we also engage members in serving those in the broader community and  many non-members who want to participate in the Village community.”says Darcy Evon Village CEO .  (more…)

Ready to Watch: Our Thought Leader Event–Ageist, Racist? Who, Me?

March 15, 2022 | The Village Chicago is pleased to share a video of our recent Thought Leader event, “Ageist, Racist, Who, Me?” featuring Ashton Applewhite,  award-winning activist, author of  This Chair Rocks – A Manifesto Against Ageism and Village Board Member Molly Matthias of Facing History and Ourselves, Chicago (more…)

Sponsor Home Instead Honors The Village Chicago

 Home InsteadFebruary 22, 2022 |The Village Chicago is pleased to announce the receipt of a special grant from Home Instead  for the Village’s unique Brain Health and Memory Loss program.   (more…)


A Special, Intergenerational Valentine

February 14, 2022 |This past Valentine’s day, Illinois State Representative Margaret Croke asked The Village Chicago to share 100 gift bags made by children at the Play2Day childcare center in Lincoln Park.

‘Musical Pen Pals’ Plays the Right Note

January 4, 2022 | From the Chicago Tribune: “From February through May, the Music Institute of Chicago paired 25 music students, age 6 to 18, with adults age 65 and over. Every other week, the pairs met to share music and conversation. A grant from the RRF Foundation for Aging made it possible for the music institute to partner with five social service agencies to locate seniors for the program: Highland Park Senior Center, North Shore Senior Center in Northfield, Senior Connections in Evanston, The Village Chicago and Westminster Place in Evanston.”  Click here to read more.

The Village Celebrates at the Lakefront

July 7, 2018 | From Classic Chicago Magazine: Like characters from a Fitzgerald tale, many of the 414 guests at the ninth annual Village Chicago gala lingered at waters’ edge as twilight appeared. Others explored the city’s most tempting new party venue, Theater on the Lake, bidding at auction tables beckoning cruises, getaways, and takeaway treasurers. Watching the mingling, catching the cordial conversations, who would think that the hard task of hitting a new record net of $130,000 could be so much fun? Click here to read the article, including photos of the celebration.

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