Leadership

Sol A. Flores, Founding Executive Director

In 2002, Sol Flores became the founding Executive Director of La Casa Norte (LCN), a community based organization whose mission is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness. Since opening its doors, LCN has helped more than 20,000 homeless and at-risk individuals. By offering access to stable housing and delivering comprehensive services, LCN acts as a catalyst to transform lives and neighborhoods.

With Sol’s infectious enthusiasm, boundless energy, intelligence and entrepreneurship, LCN is reshaping the physical infrastructure of the Humboldt Park neighborhood and rebuilding broken lives to foster hope, stable homes, and healthy communities. Sol’s passion and determination to help those in need has built LCN from 2 employees with a $200,000 annual budget to an 80 employee, multi-million dollar organization that delivers inspiration and hope to the lives of homeless families, single parents, victims of domestic violence and abandoned youth.

Sol was born and raised in Chicago. Her family emigrated from Puerto Rico in the 1950’s and settled in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where her grandfather worked as a short order cook for 35 years and her grandmother raised 10 children and multiple foster care children. While part of a larger extended family unit, Sol was raised by her single mother, Rosa, her role model and hero who taught Sol that anything was possible. Sol’s commitment to make a difference and live out her personal values through her work at La Casa Norte has proven to be the greatest personal and professional challenge of her life.

Sol currently serves on the board of directors at the Latino Policy Forum, The Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation and Kuumba Lynx. Flores is an appointed member of the City of Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals. Some of her awards and activities while leading La Casa Norte include the White House Champion of Change Award, Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, a Chicago Community Trust Emerging Leader Fellow Award, the Chicago Neighborhood Development Leadership Award, the National Hispana Leadership Institute, and a German Marshall Memorial Fellow representing the U.S.

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Tom Eagan, Vice President of Strategy & Programs

Tom joined La Casa Norte’s Leadership Team in 2016 as Vice President of Strategy & Programs. As such, Tom serves as a strategic advisor, provides vision and direction to the development of La Casa Norte’s programs, and ensures that programs perform at high levels of quality and client satisfaction while maintaining a strong culture aligned with La Casa Norte’s Acuerdos/Core Values.

Tom has more than 30 years of experience working in a variety of human service settings including community mental health, private practice, residential treatment for children and adolescents with complex trauma, adult rehabilitation and child welfare. Tom has performed in many capacities including psychotherapist, counselor, Director of Social Services, Director of Behavioral Health and Associate Director.

Tom developed and implemented specialized mental health and housing programs for the homeless. He also implemented one of the first permanent supportive housing programs for homeless individuals and families in Will County, IL. Tom has ensured that programs under his purview have met national accreditation standards in child welfare and behavioral health.

Tom received a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado. He received his Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Tom is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Tom served as a Board member for the Illinois Council on Training and St. Joseph’s Center for Childhood Trauma.

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Betty Sanchez-Azadeh, Director of Finance

Betty joined La Casa Norte in 2015 with over 15 years of specialized experience in the area of nonprofit finance and administration. Betty’s vast experience has been in budgeting, auditing, operations, government grant management, risk assessment, and effective internal control structures.

Prior to working for La Casa Norte, Betty worked at Jane Addams Resource Center as the Operations Director. Then, at Erie Neighborhood House, Betty moved from Director of Finance to Senior Operations Director, where her accomplishments included assisting with the creation of Erie Elementary Charter School. Betty also worked for the City of Chicago as the Finance Manager of the Central Region within the Chicago Park District. Prior to that, she worked in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where she represented “Specialists/Traders.”

In addition to holding the Director of Finance role, Betty demonstrates her leadership ability by serving the Loyola University Latino Alumni Board as a current advisory board member and former Board Treasurer and Board President. In the past she has collaborated with H.A.C.E. in providing Loyola students workshops and mentoring.

Betty majored in Finance and earned her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University.

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Laron Taylor, Director of Operations

Laron joined La Casa Norte in 2017 with over 10 years of experience working within the public sector. Laron is responsible for managing La Casa Norte’s human resource activities, facilities management, property management, and information technology.

Prior to working for La Casa Norte, Laron was the Director of Supportive Services Housing for Christian Community Health Center, where he was responsible for program operations, outcomes measurement, and budget management. He has also worked with prominent social services and local government agencies such as ReVive Center for Housing and Healing and Milwaukee County’s Special Needs Housing Department.

Laron earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree in Public Administration from DePaul University, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Dominican University.

In his spare time, Laron enjoys outdoor activities, is an avid motorcyclist, and volunteers at local shelters within Chicago.

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La Casa Norte - 3533 W. North Avenue / Chicago, IL 60647 / Telephone - (773) 276 4900 / Fax - (773) 342 4253