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In Memoriam - Denise Stennis

By Executive Director, Tom Spaulding

The Angelic Organics Learning Center board and staff acknowledge the passing over the threshold by Denise R. Stennis on February 16, 2017.  We celebrate her life and her many contributions, and we miss her terribly. 

Denise served as Director of Development & Communications at Angelic Organics Learning Center where she helped expand our base of friends and funds to support our mission and programs.  In particular, her staff leadership was instrumental in a dramatic expansion of our Peak Harvest Farm Dinner. When she started with the Learning Center, this annual benefit was just breaking even and now it raises more than $150,000 annually for Learning Center initiatives. Denise was known among our board and staff team for her strong will, committed service, professionalism, curiosity, and sense of humor. She was determined to make a difference in the lives of those around her. 

At her visitation, the following was shared about Denise: 
Well known and regarded in the metropolitan Chicago nonprofit community, Denise has served a number of social benefit, educational and cultural organizations; and has directly influenced countless nonprofit decision-makers, fundraising volunteers, and the work and careers of many Chicago area development professionals. Denise is a member and past president on Blacks in Development and co-founder of Breakin’ It Down, a fundraising conference.  Denise, along with her business partners, founded the consulting firm Ideation First in 2007. Denise wrote: “I use the word “serve” as a description of my responsibilities to the non-profit community. I do not take that responsibility lightly. My love and faith in mankind is a driving force in my commitment to the profession and to those non-profits I have been fortunate to work with.” 

Our hearts go out to the entire Stennis family. We are grateful for the time we walked along with Denise in this life. 

At the request of her family, Angelic Organics Learning Center has set up the Denise Stennis Fund for New Initiatives and we invite you to make gifts to the Learning Center in her honor:Learngrowconnect.org/StennisFund