Non-Profit Expert Sol Anderson Brings Over 13 Years of Experience to I Grow Chicago as The New Executive Director

CHICAGO, Illinois, Sept. 8, 2020 – I Grow Chicago, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering Chicago’s Englewood community to go from surviving to thriving through community connection, skill-building, and opportunity, announced today that Sol Anderson has joined I Grow Chicago as the new Executive Director. 

With over 13 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Anderson is a strong, strategic leader who brings a wealth of knowledge to the organization.

“I am humbled and blessed by the way I Grow Chicago’s mission has taken hold and created space, it is truly where love lives in public,” said Robbin Carroll, President & Founder, I Grow Chicago. “When I founded I Grow Chicago 7 years ago, I couldn’t imagine that we would be here today, with a Peace Campus touching over 3,000 residents each year, over $600,000 invested capital infrastructure to date, and over $100,000 allocated to community member employment in 2020 alone.”

“I am so proud to welcome Sol Anderson as our new Executive Director and pass the torch to him, so that I Grow Chicago can grow further, dream bigger, and be sustainable for years to come. Sol brings a wealth of experience in nonprofits, with community engagement at his heart. As he comes in to lead our organization, my role will also be changing from the day-to-day to being a committed Board member and advocate for resources and opportunities in Englewood. I remain devoted to the Englewood community, and I am excited to support Sol and the community in what comes next with loving compassion.”

Anderson joins I Grow Chicago from LIFT-Chicago, where he had a proven track record of cultivating key new partnerships, building and sustaining relationships with new and existing donors and supporters, and developing and implementing innovative new program structures. During his tenure at LIFT, Anderson was responsible for increasing the organization’s donations by 30% in 2019 and helped 63% of its members increase their income and 60% of its members increase their net savings.

“The first time I stepped onto the I Grow Peace Campus I immediately understood the importance and impact of what The Wisdom Council, the Englewood community, the staff, the board, and Robbin have built together,” said Anderson. “Everyone who has played a part in making I Grow what it is today has clearly brought the “If in doubt love” spirit” to the intersection of 64th & Honore, and I am excited to be joining the organization at a time when Chicago – and our whole world – needs more of that spirit.”

Anderson’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for I Grow Chicago as the current pandemic has disproportionately affected those living in the Englewood community versus the rest of Chicago residents. In response to the pandemic, I Grow Chicago has drastically increased its donation outreach efforts, providing over 31,000 prepared meals and 1,800 deliveries of essential PPE and supplies. 

In addition to overseeing I Grow Chicago’s increased donation outreach efforts, Anderson will direct the organization’s key fall initiatives including:

  • The Born to Thrive Learning Program – which provides resources & opportunities for Englewood students to succeed in remote learning
  • The Strive to Thrive Program – which provides support to Englewood residents to obtain and keep a job.
  • Peace Campus expansion – transforming abandoned homes and vacant lots into community resource spaces, built by and for residents. 

I Grow Chicago is grateful to Reilly Partners search firm for their support in recruiting Anderson to steward the organization in its next phase of growth.