Curt’s Café founder Susan Garcia Trieschmann has announced she plans to transition from her role as the job training non-profit’s executive director later this year.

Board President Rick Marsh says Trieschmann has served as executive director since the group’s founding almost 10 years ago, working ceaselessly to build Curt’s and help the more than 500 students it has served.

The organization operates restaurant training programs on Central Street in Evanston and in Highland Park.

The board has formed a search committee and has engaged an executive search firm, KEES, to help with the search.

Marsh says Trieschmann has agreed to stay on until a new executive director is ready to take the reins and that she will remain an important part of the Curt’s family in the years to come.

After listening to young adults ensnared in the prison pipeline discuss what they wanted, Marsh said, Trieschmann “had an inspired vision to provide a way for youth with challenging backgrounds and experiences to get both job training and crucial wrap-around support services.”

Using both her expertise in the food service industry and her social work background, she created Curt’s Café as a place where students could receive training and support in safe spaces where they feel accepted and welcomed.

“The vision has worked spectacularly,” Marsh says. “Only 4% of our students have subsequently been recidivists, compared to state and national recidivism rates of over 86%.”

“Many of our graduates have completed their GEDs, others have gone on to college, and some have even moved into management positions at Curt’s and other local organizations,” he added. “In short, Curt’s changes lives.”

Questions about the executive director position can be directed to Marsh, at

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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