Hesed House names executive director
By Stephanie Lulay email@example.com August 20, 2013 3:18PM
Clients line up outside the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry that is part of Hesed House in Aurora Tuesday. | Denise Crosby ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 22, 2013 6:26AM
AURORA — Michael Cobb was named Tuesday afternoon as the new executive director of the Hesed House homeless shelter in Aurora.
Cobb will replace Ryan Dowd, who has served as executive director of the non-profit since 2004. He began work at the shelter in 1999.
Cobb previously served as the interim executive director for South Suburban PADS, an interfaith agency serving the homeless in 52 suburban Cook County communities.
Cobb’s first day is Sept. 16 and Dowd’s last day is Sept. 20. Dowd is leaving the organization to move to run the non-profit Center for Faith and Human Rights, an organization he founded, in Washington, D.C.
While at PADS, Cobb oversaw the successful completion of a 77-unit permanent supportive housing apartment complex designated for the homeless.
Before PADS, Cobb served as the vice president and chief operating officer for the Glenwood School for Boys and Girls, a private residential/educational center for at-risk youth in St. Charles.
Cobb received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in management from National Louis University.
Cobb said that Hesed House is a premiere leader in homelessness prevention.
Applying for the job “was definitely not something I could pass on,” Cobb said Tuesday night.
His first priority will be meeting with shelter guests to determine what their experience is like.
“They’re the reason why we’re here,” Cobb said.
About a dozen candidates were “seriously considered” for the position and more than 50 applied, according to Carolyn Sprawka, chairwoman of the Hesed Board of Trustees.
“We’re extremely pleased,” Sprawka said. “Michael brings an excellent new perspective to take us into the next step at Hesed.”