The Evanston-based workforce education non-profit Curt’s Café has named Malik Kemokai as its next executive director.
In a news release the organization says Kemokai emigrated to the United States in 1976 at the age of seven.
After receiving a degree in food and beverage management, he managed restaurants in Evanston, including The Stained Glass Bistro and The Cellar, and a few Peet’s Coffee and Tea locations.
He also returned to school and pivoted to a career focused on workforce development in the nonprofit sector.
Most recently, Kemokai served as the director of workforce development strategies and operations at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
He led the Chicago’s Community Kitchens project, a 14-week job training program for unemployed and underemployed adults transforming it into a comprehensive workforce development curriculum with wraparound services and individualized education plans to ensure success after leaving the program.
Previously, Kemokai held both fundraising and program leadership roles at Howard Area Community Center in Chicago.
“The mission of Curt’s Café resonates deeply with me because it aligns with the mission and vision I have worked to advance for the last decade.” Kemokai says. “I have a core personal commitment to developing programs and supports which uplift and release the true potential of youth participants.”
Kemokai holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from North Park University.
He’ll take over from founding executive director Susan Trieschmann on Aug. 1.