Earlier this month, Vanessa joined our staff to guide the creation of a new two-person department which will focus, enhance and streamline CCH’s existing communications efforts, ensuring alignment with CCH’s strategic goals and efforts to advance racial equity. We are excited to have her join our staff.
E. Vanessa Álvarez is a strategist and marketing and communications pro from and living in Chicago. Her love for her city and its people lead her to be a catalyst for its communities.
Vanessa was born with natural curiosity, always asking questions. Early on, storytelling became a part of her life. So much so that in 2013, Vanessa wrote her mother’s obituary, which caught the eye of an editor. Vanessa was interviewed and a week later a full-page feature about her mother was printed in the Chicago Sun-Times. This affirmed to Vanessa that she could and should continue to base her career on words.
Along with receiving her journalism degree from Columbia College Chicago, Vanessa integrated her interest in using technology to bring voice to Chicago communities. Through 16 years of non-profit communications experience, Vanessa has developed a wide range of skills and expertise in social media, traditional media, project management, content curation, video production, web optimization, relationship building and data. She uses this depth of knowledge to create brand identity, unify messaging, create campaigns for advocacy, discover fundraising opportunities, build audiences and generate leads—all in both English and Spanish. Her master’s degree in organizational and multicultural communication from DePaul University strengthened her understanding that every brand, no matter the size, can make an imprint.
Vanessa knows there is much work to be done in Chicago—she is ready to do the work and learn from others to move the needle for systemic change. To balance her sense of self, coffee and cumbia music are a must—daily. She is also a fan of summertime in the CHI and salsa—the kind you eat.