by Joe Vince
David Luna takes over for Gail Schechter, the longtime head of the Winnetka-based Open Communities.
A Highland Park man has been named the new executive director of Open Communities, a Winnetka-based civil rights, housing and social justice advocacy group.
David Luna takes over for Gail Schechter, who had headed the organization since 1993, according to an Open Communities press release. Luna, who has a 30-year career in social justice, starts in the position April 25.
“I have spent much of my career working for justice, and what I have found is that most people want to live and work in communities that try to be inclusive and fair towards all types of individuals and families,” Luna, a Chicago native, said in the release. “I see Open Communities’ role as helping those in leadership and at the grassroots throughout the communities we serve come together to realize the vision of inclusiveness that most of us want.”
Luna recently worked as the principal consultant at Teammates for Health Equity, a consulting and coaching practice in Chicago and Grand Rapids, Mich., that worked with health justice groups. Before that, he was the vice president for health equity at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids. Luna also worked with Chicago’s Latino Institute early in his career.
Luna earned his bachelor’s and masters degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and he has a law degree from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Liliana Fargo, president for Open Communities’ board of directors, said board members looked at more than 100 applicants before choosing Luna as the new executive director.
“Given David’s expertise in organizational change, strategy development, policy advocacy, diversity & inclusion, and leadership coaching, he is the ideal leader to carry Gail’s baton forward, and advance our expanded mission,” she said in the release.