Peggy has been leading WorldChicago since 2001, meeting emerging leaders – young and old – from all over the world and sharing our amazing city of Chicago with them.
Before joining WorldChicago, Peggy worked at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs as Director of Development. While at the Department of Cultural Affairs, she earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Peggy attend Central College in Pella, Iowa which allowed her the opportunity to spend a year at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, the first of her many international travels. Peggy lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
Brian PeckrillVice President
As Vice President, Brian develops U.S. Department of State youth and professional exchange programming and explores new partnership opportunities in Chicago and around the world. In this role, Brian works closely with volunteers, hosts, students and professionals to ensure visitors experience the best of Chicago.
Prior to joining the WorldChicago team, Brian taught English in Hokkaido, Japan, advised international students on the admissions process at Brandeis University and managed communications and outreach at the United Way, Monterey County. Brian developed his passion for intercultural exchange while living in an international dorm while studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. He believes that public diplomacy is a powerful tool for fostering mutual understanding and cooperation across communities and cultures. He has a M.A. in Public Administration and M.A. in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey and a B.A. in English from Wheaton College (Massachusetts).
Donna SadlickiBusiness and IT Administration Manager
Donna has been with WorldChicago since 1998. In addition to financial reporting, technology, and oversight of the internship program, Donna has also headed up the following programs: Community Connections, Open World Leadership and Shanghai Management Fellows.
Before and during her work at WorldChicago, Donna was the Artistic Director of The Opera Factory in Chicago. Her passion for WorldChicago’s mission of citizen diplomacy has led her to travel extensively to international destinations such as Jordan, Israel, Georgia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Turkey to name a few. As a classically-trained singer she performed for the International Committee for Artists for Peace for honoree Carlos Santana and for numerous orchestras and opera companies in the US. Donna majored in Music Performance at Eastern Illinois University.
Kyla WilliamsProgram Manager
Kyla Williams is the Program Manager at World Chicago and is responsible for a range of programs including the Professional Fellows program in Tech, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.
Her role includes reaching out to many sectors of the Chicago community, with emphasis on the entrepreneurial sector, to develop strong connections and programs that impact emerging leaders from around the world. Kyla has worked in the human services field for over 20 years and has extensive experience in the areas of business operations, programming, and strategy design. Before joining World Chicago, Kyla was the Interim Executive Director of Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic technology organization, where she oversaw all administrative, operational, and programmatic functions. During her time at Smart Chicago, Kyla also was chosen as a Professional Fellow to India and hosted several Professional Fellows. In her free time, Kyla is very involved in community-based arts and activism, teaching tech and entrepreneur workshops, and serves as the board president for a family foundation established to honor her late father.
Caheri AguilarIVLP Program Officer
Caheri is the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Officer at WorldChicago. She develops, implements, and monitors local programming for short-term professional exchanges through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program on a wide range of topics, for visitors from every region of the world.
She has an M.A. in International Studies, and a B.A. in Political Science and Italian, from DePaul University. Before joining WorldChicago, she managed an English as a Second Language program at the Vietnamese Association of Illinois. She oversaw three grants and was also responsible for program development and evaluation, curriculum development, student and volunteer recruitment, and collaboration with community organizations to assist with project goals. In her free time, Caheri enjoys learning languages, dancing tango, traveling, and volunteering at film festivals around the city.
Yichun ChenProgram Associate
Yichun joined WorldChicago in July 2020 for a 1-year Fellowship through the NUPIP program as a Program Associate. She recently graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. majoring in History and minoring in Sociology and Legal Studies. While at Northwestern, Yichun discovered her passion for international exchange and became involved in the Global Engagement Summit (GES), a student-run conference that brings together young social entrepreneurs for a week of learning and exchange. She led the team in conducting outreach to university partners and recruiting participants to the summit. Yichun is excited to join WorldChicago and further explore her passion in international exchange and education. In her free time, Yichun enjoys cooking, listening to Kpop, and volunteering as a translator for community health clinics in Chicago’s Chinatown.
Ms. Cathy LiebermanBoard Chair CDL Business Consulting
Cathy Lieberman is an executive coach, facilitator and change management consultant. She founded CDL Business Consulting utilizing her 25 years of managerial experience leading and coaching managers. Cathy held a variety of leadership roles at AT&T in addition to executive roles in the education industry.
For the past nine years, CDL Business Consulting has provided consulting and coaching services for organizations and their leaders. Cathy founded the Chicago Chapter of the COO Forum, a national association providing professional development to second-in-command executives. She has facilitated over 100 meetings of second-in-command professionals.
Cathy is also a Senior Consultant with Simitri Group International, a global corporate learning company with offices in 45 countries. As a senior consultant, Cathy leads workshops for Fortune 500 companies and serves as an executive coach.
Cathy serves as the Board Chair of World Chicago to promote Citizen Diplomacy and welcome 1,000 emerging leaders from over 130 countries annually. She also serves as a Mentor for the Leadership Circle of the Executives’ Club of Chicago.
Cathy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Methods from the University of Illinois. She holds a coaching certification from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy and is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation.
Mr. Brian StarrBoard Vice Chair YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
Ms. Lisa HarwoodBoard Secretary Commercial Real Estate Professional
Ms. Rebecca WellischBoard Secretary Principal, Rebwell Consulting
Peggy F. ParfenoffPresident WorldChicago
Ms. Cathy AdamsVice President Fifth Third Bank
Ms. Karen BrownBridgeArrow
Ms. Linda F. CushmanSloan Program in Health Administration Cornell University
Mr. Bruce LeechExecutive Director Coleman Entrepreneurship Center DePaul University
Ms. Donna LindquistSoleil Global Communications Group
Mrs. Joan MillerMiller, Miller & Co
Mr. Mark MourlasMarketing Director, MBA Programs Northern Illinois University
Mr. James V. Petitpren, IIExecutive Private Wealth Advisor & Chief Investment Officer ORBA Wealth Advisors
Ms. Virginia Russell
Mr. Mark WilsonT-Mobile
Mr. Louis P. VitulloRetired Wildman Harrold