United Way of Will County President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Hennessy is leaving the community impact organization after 31 years of leadership. Hennessy’s last official day with the organization will be September 27, 2020. He remains committed to the community and plans to serve in another capacity. Sarah Oprzedek, vice president of operations and development will serve as interim CEO and President while a search is conducted.
Hennessy joined United Way of Will County as President and CEO in 1989. About a year later a tornado ripped through Plainfield, Crest Hill and Joliet on August 28, 1990. The storm was the worst on record for that time. It killed 29 people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage including flattening then-Plainfield High School and St. Mary Immaculate Church. Hennessy helped create many local non-profits and community collaborations including South West Suburban Philanthropic Network; Day Break Homeless Shelter; Child Care Resource and Referral; Joliet Alliance for Youth; MAAP (Will County Community Needs Assessment); Will County Community Foundation now known as the Community Foundation of Will County; and Will County Disaster Relief Fund.
Hennessy began his career in public service in 1970 working on the psychiatric floor at St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet. He advanced to Executive Director of Cerebral Palsy of Will County, before becoming President and CEO of United Way of Will County.