Eva Penar


Eva Penar is the director of marketing and communications at The Chicago Community Trust, where she is involved in practices that support the vision for all Trust marketing and communications activities. During her tenure, she has developed the branding, messaging and marketing for the “We Are Chicago” $1 billion campaign for the Trust’s endowment. Penar was instrumental in creating the ambassador program for On The Table that created a social viral campaign that led to over 17 million digital impressions for that civic engagement initiative. She worked closely with the Sun-Times Foundation in developing the logistics and structure of the Community Match Program that provides dollars and visibility for the region’s nonprofits. Penar directed the development of branding for the new workspace when the Trust moved in 2012. Through Penar’s vision, visitors now experience the mission and impact of the Trust through interactive installations and other engaging technologies. She previously served as manager of public relations, increasing the Trust’s visibility and elevating the work of grant recipients and donors.

Prior to joining the Trust, Penar was part of the launch team behind Time Out Chicago. As marketing manager/events, promotions and publicity, she developed partnerships that made the introduction to the Chicago market successful. Penar also worked at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum for five years. During her tenure there, she worked on the “Gelman Collection: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and 20th Century Mexican Art” exhibition and supported an expansion that tripled the museum’s size. Her achievements were recognized at the Chicago Emmy ceremony in 2004, where a public-service announcement that she coordinated with Univision Channel 66 won an award. She also worked as a communications associate for the Chicago Millennium Celebration, Department of Cultural Affairs for the City of Chicago. Penar is fluent in Polish and Spanish.

In 2009, Time Out Chicago recognized Penar as a “Super Connector” in its feature about Chicagoans who go above and beyond in networking. In 2012 Penar participated in the Young Atlanticist Summit during the NATO summit that took place in Chicago. From 2014 – 2016 she served as chair of the steering committee for CommA, the professional association of communicators affiliated with the Council on Foundations, and is active in developing content for the association’s CommA Days conferences. She is an active member of NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) and a steering committee member for the group’s conferences in 2012-2014 and co-founder of the NTEN Nonprofit Tech Club Chicago Chapter. She is active in the puppetry world of Chicago, supporting the International Puppetry Festival as a member of the Events Committee and committee member for the Living Room Board Tour 2014 & 2015. In addition, Penar is the chair of the Community Council for the Gene Siskel Film Center and served as a board member for the Jackson Chance Foundation 2014 -2016.