Curt’s Cafe Announces Interim Executive Director

Curt’s Cafe Announces New Interim Executive Director, Tanya Jenkins.

The Board of Directors of Curt’s Café is pleased to announce that Tanya Jenkins has been named its Interim Executive Director, following the recent departure of Executive Director Malik Kemokai.

“Tanya’s deep commitment to Curt’s and her extensive background make her a perfect fit to lead our organization during this transition,” says Rick Marsh, president of the Board of Directors. “She understands our mission and is a proven leader.” Mr. Kemokai served as Curt’s first Executive Director after Founder, Susan Garcia Trieschmann, stepped down from her role in 2021. Among other accomplishments during his time at Curt’s, Mr. Kemokai successfully launched an Emerging Leaders program. The Board of Directors thanks Mr. Kemokai for his service. In turn, Mr. Kemokai remains committed to ensuring Curt’s continued success and has agreed to assist as needed in the transition for the next 2 months.

Ms. Jenkins has served on Curt’s Board of Directors since 2019, including serving on the Board’s Executive Committee for the past three years. She has an extensive background in community safety, youth mentoring,
community organization, and business strategies. Ms. Jenkins has a Master of Jurisprudence in Children’s’ Law and Policy, is a Certified Juvenile Officer, and has a certification in Inclusive and Ethical Leadership.

“I am honored to take on this position and work alongside the students, staff and Board to continue our mission to improve outcomes of young adults living in at-risk situations,” Ms. Jenkins said. “ I have always been a strong advocate for second chances -and in some cases, a first chance. Curt’s mission is dear to my heart, and I look forward to supporting our students’ successes,” she continued.

Ms. Jenkins will begin work as Interim Executive Director immediately. Both the Highland Park and Evanston Cafes will reopen after the holiday break on Tuesday, January 9, with limited hours: serving drinks and pastries only – coffee will be free. This will assist the transition and allow time for new staff training, student training, and curriculum updates to be completed — tasks in which Ms. Jenkins will be assisted by Ms. Trieschmann, who has agreed to serve as a consultant in connection with the transition. The cafes are expected to return to regular hours beginning February 6. The Board of Directors anticipates commencing a search for a new Executive Director later this year.

Curt’s Café is a workforce life skills training program whose mission
is to improve the outcomes of young adults living in at-risk situations
through work and life skills training.