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Katalyna Thomas, JD, SHRM-CP

Operations Director

Katie, our dedicated Operations Director, brings a wealth of experience to her role, overseeing budgeting, communication, fundraising, and implementing strategies to ensure agency operational excellence. Her journey with NEDFYS began in August 2019, and she's been a driving force behind our success.


Before joining NEDFYS, Katie spent seven impactful years as a nonprofit director in central Illinois, notably leading one of the region's largest food pantries. The food pantry struggled to get by until she transformed it into a model food pantry sought by other groups for its expertise and vision.

Outside of her professional life, Katie calls Wheaton home, where she resides with her husband, two children, and two dogs, Zola and Tango. Her commitment to making a difference extends beyond her day job, as she also serves as a board member at the Bensenville Wood Dale Food Pantry and is an active volunteer at her church.


Fun facts: In a previous career life, Katie practiced Family Law.  In her spare time, Katie loves traveling throughout the United States and has visited 21 states and Washington, D.C., four times!


  • Financial Stewardship

  • Program Management

  • Human Resources

  • Community Engagement

  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Data Management

  • Communications


  • University of Illinois College of Law, JD, cum laude

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BA, History; BA, Political Science

  • Certifications:

    • Society of Human Resources Management - Certified Professional, February 2024

    • 40-hour Domestic Violence Training - 2024

    • Adult Mental Health First Aid -2023

    • Youth Mental Health First Aid -2021

    • MBA Essentials Certificate, Gies College of Business, 2020

    • Nonprofit Leadership Certificate, Parkland College, 2015

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