Rita McLennon, development director, Merit School of Music
Rita McLennon will join Merit School of Music as director of development this month. She will be responsible for managing all fundraising efforts for Merit in the public and private sectors and oversee a staff of four. She will do this by maintaining and expanding relationships with existing donors as well as cultivating new relationships with individuals, foundations and corporations. McLennon, who has more than 30 years of nonprofit administrative and revenue development experience, most recently was chief operating officer of the Chicago-based Better Government Association. Her duties included the administration of day-to-day operations of the BGA and management of its revenue development activities. She also spent 16 years as executive director of Chicago's Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, where she transitioned the organization to a nonprofit supported entirely by private funds. Merit School of Music is a non-profit community music school in Chicago's West Loop providing high-quality classical and jazz music education to 6,000 Chicago-area students, from newborns to age 18.