Rebecca Darr was appointed CEO of WINGS Program, Inc., in November 2014, after serving as the Executive Director since 1999. Rebecca’s passion to end domestic violence and homelessness as well as her dynamic and decisive leadership has led to the organization tripling in size. Under her leadership, WINGS has become one of the premiere regional agencies that provides services and housing to women and children victims of domestic violence and homelessness.
Under Rebecca’s guidance, the agency has realized new funding sources, launched three resale stores and has grown its annual budget from $350,000 to $6 million. Recognizing the need for safe shelter in the northwest suburbs, Rebecca led the WINGS team in building and opening the first domestic violence shelter in the northwest suburbs. The shelter opened in 2005 and this accomplishment has meant that thousands of women and children have escaped from abuse to freedom since the shelter opened.
On Valentine’s Day 2016, WINGS opened its second Safe House at WINGS Metro, making it the largest domestic violence housing agency in the state of Illinois. Its opening has increased the number of shelter beds for victims of domestic violence in Chicago by 36%.
Rebecca acknowledges that the success of WINGS is also due to the phenomenal commitment of the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and Community Leadership Board. Prior to joining WINGS, Rebecca held positions at Cunningham Children’s Home, Avenues to Mental Health/Adolescent Residential Center and Second Start/Pine Hill School.
Rebecca serves on several other boards and coalitions as part of her effort to advocate for stronger legislation and increased resources to prevent and end domestic violence. She was appointed to the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues, as well as serving on the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Northwest Suburban Alliance on Domestic Violence, and many other task forces.
Over the years, Rebecca has been successful in managing all aspects of WINGS activities. This includes interfacing with the supporting Board of Directors; development and implementation of fundraising plans; development and implementation of programs and services to assist women and children to escape domestic violence; the WINGS’ Resale store operations and overall financial supervision of the agency.
Rebecca is frequently sought after to speak on the issues of domestic violence and operating successful programs to break the cycle in families.
Rebecca graduated with Distinction in Psychology, Honors Program, at University of Illinois. She then went on to obtain her Masters in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Rebecca was born and raised in Alton, Illinois. She and her husband, Joe, have three sons, including twins.
To schedule speaking engagements for Rebecca Darr, please contact Jill Sterling, Manager of Communications, at 847-519-7820, ext. 240.