United Way of Will County Staff
Kamala L. Martinez, President & CEO
Kamala Martinez is a corporate executive with over 25 years business development and management experience. Kamala currently is the President and CEO of the United Way of Will County. She has held a number of board positions for not-for-profit organizations including Vice President for the Executive Board of Directors at Naperville Cable Television 17, President of RRHOA, Indian Prairie Education Foundation Board of Directors, HACE Board of trustees, the Art Institutes of Chicago Corporate Advisory Committee, and advisor to KidsMatter. Previously, she served as Chairwoman for the City of Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission, an elected Precinct Committeeman, Finance Chairperson for Wheatland Township and a Recording Secretary for the Wheatland Township Organization, for three consecutive terms. She has been active in her church with the children’s ministry and served on the Finance Leadership Board, the PTA, an advocate for children’s causes, and a proponent of empowering women and promoting diversity.
A graduate of the University of Iowa, Kamala received a bachelor’s degree in with a major concentration in Communications and Broadcasting. She has been a residence of Will County since 1996, with her husband of 30 years and their son.
Sarah Oprzedek, Vice President, Operations & Development
Sarah’s United Way career took root in 2006 and progressed to various positions of increased responsibility. Combining her professional background in human resources and employee relations at a Fortune 500 company, along with her education in Psychology and Social Work, she blended these passions to establish her career within the field of corporate relations and corporate social responsibility to benefit the greater community. In her role, Sarah carves the path and leads the team to United Way of Will County’s future through relationship cultivation and stewardship, forging new and unlikely partnerships, while keeping a keen eye on the organizational vision: to be the leading, strategic partner of choice for creating social impact in Will County.
When Sarah is not advocating for community partners and social impact, you will find her dreaming of “a galaxy far, far away,” listening to punk rock and metal, and most importantly, spending “QT” time with her high school sweetheart of a husband and their two spunky children.
Kristi Harrington, Finance Director
Kristi joined United Way of Will County in 2018 to maintain financial transparency and accountability while preparing and monitoring all financial information presented to all constituents.
Before joining United Way of Will County, Kristi worked for Livingston County & Will County in their respective Tax Extension Departments. In these roles, she processed tax extensions, audits, GIS and TIFs, new properties, and school bonds. For more than 12 years, Kristi held the position of Accounting and Office manager for Bielfeldt Realty.
Kristi studied business at Heartland College.
Currently, Kristi treasures her time with her husband, five children, and six grandchildren. Kristi and her husband enjoy spending their weekends camping during the summer.
Loren Yaksich, Community Impact Manager
Loren joined in United Way of Will County in June of 2015 to lead investment procedures, support community/partner relations and manage internal programs that ultimately drive social impact and positive change in Will County.
Prior to joining United Way of Will County, Loren was at The South Suburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse as the Community Relations Representative. There, she coordinated community relations activities and external education/seminar events. She also developed and maintained referral relationships and agreements, help implemented and provided support related to clinical electronic records, and coordinated the Spring Banquet and other fundraisers, while providing overall support and assistance to the Board of Directors.
In 2004, Loren graduated DeVry University with a Bachelor’s in Telecommunications Management. She graduated from Keller’s School of Management with a Master’s in Business Administration in 2005.
Currently, Loren lives in Tinley Park, with her husband, Gary, and young daughter, Emilie. She loves traveling, animals and has been riding horses since childhood.
Kesha Ainsworth, Corporate Engagement Manager
Kesha (pronounced kay-shuh) joined the United Way of Will County as a MSW/MBA intern in the fall of 2018. Following the completion of her MSW, she was brought onto our team full-time as the United Way of Will County’s Corporate Engagement Specialist where she applies her understanding of the unique intersection between local business and social services. She works to establish and steward meaningful corporate impact and innovation partnerships, along with uniting corporations and the greater Will County community in engagement opportunities.
Before coming to our organization, Kesha worked as a Clinical Assessor in substance use disorder treatment where she utilized her Certified Alcohol and other Drug Counseling (CADC) to serve clients and address the identified need for addiction treatment services in Will County. There, she conducted bio-psycho-social-spiritual client assessments and worked with clients to establish treatment plans and outlined interventions based on client need. Kesha coordinated services across agencies to ensure comprehensive service delivery to maintain continuity of care for clients.
Kesha lives with her husband, charming seven-year-old son, and wildly adorable puppy. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Service Council of Will and the South West Suburban Philanthropic Network.