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Meet Michael Yohanan, our Spring Fever Committee Chair

Michael Yohanan has been involved with our Evanston/Skokie Valley Community Board for about a year, and has already sprung into action on planning our upcoming Spring Fever event. As Vice President & Marketing Director at First Bank & Trust, Michael applies innovative marketing tactics to expand the bank’s customer base. As the Spring Fever Committee Chair, he’s applied those skills to leading the board and supporting our staff in raising both funds and awareness to make this year the strongest yet for Evanston/Skokie Valley’s annual event.

We talked to Michael about his work with Metropolitan, the planning of Spring Fever, and what Mpowers him to support Evanston/Skokie children and families.

Join Michael and the rest of the board in Honoring Our Past … Celebrating Our Future at Spring Fever this Saturday, April 21! Click here for tickets and info.

When and how did you get involved with Metropolitan’s Evanston/Skokie Valley Center?

About one year ago, current center director Carla Frisch asked me to join Metropolitan’s community board. Another fellow board member, Gene Frett, sat down with me over some coffee and pancakes to explain what he loved about Metropolitan. Gene pointed out that society often overlooks the importance of mental health and the significance it can have on the psychological, social and emotional development of individuals and families. Gene’s sentiments really rang true with me and I began researching Metropolitan’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Counseling Services. These programs, combined with Metropolitan’s Family Support and Prevention program, truly have an impact on the healthy development of developing children and families as they navigate personal trauma and struggles.

As someone who is active in the Evanston and Skokie communities, I immediately understood the need to have engaged and energized board members to help support the needs of our local nonprofits. So many local organizations strive to do good in our communities, but struggle because too often staff members are overburdened with administrative duties that prevent them from serving their organizational missions. Supporting Metropolitan with my time and talent allows me to actively participate in this mission while also allowing staff to focus on directly helping the neighbors we serve.

Why do you support Metropolitan, and why is it important to you that others do as well?

Metropolitan serves those in our community who are often overlooked. I am a proponent of addressing emotional, behavioral and life stress challenges and providing resources to those who are affected. Creating a support network for those affected by trauma can give them the tools to prevent further life stress.

What about Spring Fever are you most looking forward to?

  • Honoring the great work Jay and Bonnie Lytle have done for Metro Family Services and within the Evanston community.
  • Helping raise money to support the great work of Metropolitan Family Services.
  • Playing the games!

What does empowerment mean to you?

Empowerment is individuals, families and children having the resources and support network to live a healthy and happy life.