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Meet Our Executive Director

Gene Salvadalena, Executive Director



Gene Salvadalena grew up in the Seattle, Washington area, living there for much of his formative and higher learning years, graduating with a BA in Urban & Regional Planning from Eastern Washington University.  His career in industry spanned over 23 years with The Boeing Company in Engineering, Human Resources, and Corporate leadership positions, and a short stint in Organization Development at Gates Learjet.  He complimented that experience working for several years at The Charmm’d Foundation, a Chicago area foundation, where he was the Director for Leadership Development helping mentor and coach civic and non-profit leaders from all community sectors.

Since 2001 he and his family have lived in the Cary, Illinois.

Gene passion has always been helping others, and in giving back to the community, volunteering in many community capacities, and currently serves as the Vice President of the Cary Park District Foundation Board.

He is an ardent sports enthusiast; an active participant in golf, racquetball, and tennis, and a true Chicago and Seattle area sports fan living the dreams of the Cubs, Bears, Seahawks, Huskies and Mariners with amazing couch viewing experiences.

Servant Leadership, organization change, business focus, building strong teams, and helping leaders grow have been both his journey and practice throughout his career.  Being at the helm at Home of the Sparrow has provided a unique opportunity to tap into those learnings and help address such a worthwhile cause.



As executive director of Home of the Sparrow for more than a year now, I find my days consumed with learning, providing leadership, and coaching. I never cease to be amazed and inspired by our community’s support of our mission.

This time of year is a very busy one for the agency. After wrapping up another HOS record-breaking fiscal year, we are gearing up for a very full 2016 Holiday Season. At headquarters we are preparing for our holiday donation drives, stocking up on winter gear for the families and finishing all the summer housing projects. The day is right around the corner for the Sparrow’s Nest Thrift Stores and Donation Center’s annual transformations into stunning winter wonderlands as well! During this time of the year, homeless women and children in the community need our help more than ever. We are ready to be their rock in their hardest times.

Home of the Sparrow continues to grow in its reach, effectiveness, and recognition as a leading non-profit organization in McHenry County and beyond. However, the growing demand for services requires continuing commitment from you.   Your generous contributions of time, talent, and financial support are a vital component in the work of Home of the Sparrow.

It takes a village to make a difference in the lives of those in the community that need support. We have a first class staff, a wonderful board of directors, an outstanding team of volunteers, and an exceptional cast of donors and sponsors. All are dedicated, focused on the mission, and are true servant leaders. Without this substantial support and input, the capability of achieving our mission would undoubtedly be challenging.

Thank you for all that you do to make a difference for so many.

Gene Salvadalena

Executive Director