Evette Cardona - Polk Bros. Foundation

This episode features Evette Cardona, Vice President of Programs at the Polk Bros. Foundation – a Chicago-based foundation that supports organizations providing direct services to communities of need in areas such as social services, education, cultural programs and healthcare. Polk's assets have grown to more than $400 million, with more than $20 million in grants distributed each year. Evette joined Polk as an intern 19 years ago, and was promoted to her current role from Senior Program Officer in 2012.

On a personal note, I’m especially thankful to Evette for being a mentor to me when I transitioned into a philanthropic role at JPMorgan Chase. She, and the gentlemen she mentions, David Pesqueira, made it a point to offer valuable advice as I stepped into this new space.

We Learn About:

  • The history of the Polk Bros. Foundation;
  • Evette shares her history with Polk and how it works to support families in need;
  • We hear about Polk's approach to investing in violence prevention and intervention, and mental health services;
  • How she’s balanced bringing her whole-self to philanthropic decision-making;
  • Polk’s efforts to integrate racial equity into their philanthropy and how Latinos fit into that narrative; and
  • How to think about getting into philanthropy.

Notable Resources:

Beryl Satter, Family Properties: How the Struggle Over Race and Real Estate Transformed Chicago and Urban America

Chronicle of Philanthropy

The Non-Profit Times

To learn more about the Polk Bros. Foundation, visit: polkbrosfdn.org