DIANA NIELANDER

Diana is beyond excited to blend her career in fundraising with her love of dance and serve as Giordano Dance Chicago’s first Director of Development. Diana spent the last 30 years raising money to support educational programming in social service organizations. Whether it was for children with disabilities or children living in under resourced communities, Diana has used her talents and platform to mobilize donors to connect to causes the liftup communities. She started at the National Lekotek Center when donor records were still kept on simple index cards and eventually left as Executive Director in 2008 when sheopen a small consulting practice targeting nonprofits and small businesses in the Northern suburbs. Prior to joining GDC, she worked for United Way of Lake County building and growing their Women United program which flourished under her leadership. When a serendipitous encounter brought the GDC opportunity her way, she couldn’t pass up the chance to support an organization that she, herself, had such fond memories of from decades earlier. Diana’s love of dance started as a young child and grew through five glorious summers at Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts and hundreds of dance classes over the course of two decades. As a high schooler, she still remembers entering the Giordano Studio in Evanston with dozens of wannabee jazz dancers, walking up the grand staircase, nervously lining up along the mirror and pinching herself in the moment. Being a part of this legendary institution is what dreams are made of. On top of that, Diana came to have an even deeper appreciation for live dance, music and theater when the world lost so much color during the Covid shutdown. She knew that only the strongest arts organizations would make it out of the pandemic still standing. Learning that GDC not only survived but thrived,got Diana’s attention. She can’t wait to begin building the infrastructure, strategy and operation that will ensure GDC legacy lives on another 60 years.