CEO Perspectives
Rita Forden Rita Forden
Executive Director
     CEO Perspectives

Rita A.C. Forden is serving as Executive Director of CEO Perspectives. In addition, she is the Chief Operating Officer of Corporate Leadership Center.

Prior to joining Corporate Leadership Center, Rita served as Chief Executive Officer of Susan G. Komen, Chicago, where she led the restructuring of the local Affiliate. Forden is a nationally recognized leader in the health education and cancer prevention community and was a frequent speaker at local and national forums.

Forden also served as the Chief Development Officer for the American Cancer Society (ACS), Illinois, for nearly a decade. During her tenure, Forden led the fundraising efforts that substantially expanded patient navigation services across the state, as well as fueled the very successful and collaborative Smoke Free Illinois Act (410 ILCS82; Public Act 095-0017) Campaign that went into effect January 1, 2008. 

As an executive team member of the ACS Illinois Division, Forden was recognized for her energy, collaborative management style and strategic vision that helped to create strategic initiatives and staffing structures that were adopted nationwide.

Forden is recognized across the ACS Enterprise for restructured the organization’s CEOs against Cancer Program. Thanks to her leadership, the program grew from 30 to 100 active CEOs throughout Illinois; and contributed to the recruitment of nearly 500 CEOs across the country. She also is known for shepherding the creation of the annual Discovery Ball in 1997, the largest inaugural event in the organization’s 90 year history.

While serving as Vice President of Development at United Way in Chicago between 1994 and 2004, Forden developed dozens of nationally recognized fundraising and CRM initiatives that are still in place today. As a Senior Executive Officer, her responsibilities included strategic planning, goal setting, organizational development, volunteer and staff management, as well as crafting the tactical plan that enabled her team to generate over $250 million in revenue. 

Forden is a former Board Member of the Empowering Women’s Network; a Regional Board Member of the American Youth Soccer Organization; and a Member of AFP. She earned a B.S. in Marketing from Loyola University. She lives in Palos Heights, Illinois with her husband and two children.

     
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