Sharing Connections announces new Chief Executive Officer, effective Nov. 15
Last updated 11/7/2019 at 2:26pm
The Board of Trustees of Sharing Connections furniture bank has
announced the retirement of their Chief Executive Officer, Deb Rickert and the promotion of Ryan Varju to replace
Rickert. Varju, who currently serves as the organizations Chief Operating Officer, has more than 19 years of
experience in non-profit management, including the last 13 years with Sharing Connections managing the
organization's operations as well as programs, volunteers and agency liaison. Since 2006, he has led the effort to
help serve more than 76,000 individuals and build a network of over 550 social service professionals throughout
Northern Illinois through the services of Sharing Connections. In addition to his experience in non-profit, he brings
with him over eight years of banking, HR and IT management. Ryan is a life-long resident of Joliet in Will County.
"We have been fortunate to have Ryan as a critical part of Sharing Connections' growth for the past 13 years and
there is no one better to step in and lead the organization to even greater success", said Board Chairman, Tom
The move comes during an especially active time in the organization's development. In 2018 alone Sharing
Connections served close to 10,000 individuals, up 30% from 2017.
"Yes, we provide much needed furniture and clothing - but it's so much more than that. So many of us here that
have dedicated our professional career, or our free time through volunteering, have also overcome a similar
crisis in our journey. It's this experience that gives us the opportunity to share in the experience with our clients.
We provide more than furniture, each day that we come to Sharing Connections, we truly do furnish hope one
person at a time," said Varju.
Since 1986 Sharing Connections has been providing furniture, household items, clothing and beds to clients
including the previously homeless, unemployed and working poor, veterans, victims of domestic violence,
immigrants, individuals with mental or physical disabilities, victims of fire, flood and natural disaster, etc. Clients
have an average salary of approximately $12,400 a year for a family of four. Sharing Connections accepts donations
of gently used furniture and other household items which they share with clients to fulfill the vision that "tonight
everyone eats at a table and sleeps in a bed".
For information on how to donate furniture or other items visit http://www.sharingconnections.org or call (630) 971-