JOLIET — Lisa Morel Las said the only person who could pull her away from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties is Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow.
When Glasgow spoke with her about an opening for the executive director of Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, Las said “How can I say no?”
“I’ve worked with him in the past and I’ve always admired his vision and commitment to the community. He’s not only a strong prosecutor but he really cares about the community and reaching out to vulnerable people,” she said.
Las said it was a difficult decision but she chose to take the opportunity and leave her position as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“I feel bittersweet. I’m really proud of everything we were able to accomplish at Big Brothers Big Sisters. But at the same time, it’s really sad to leave,” she said.
In the 11 years she was CEO, she helped increase the organization’s profile and footprint across Will, Grundy, Kankakee and Iroquois counties to serve more children. She was able to raise more than $1 million in federal funding for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
In her new role, Las said she plans to do the same: raise the profile of the Children’s Advocacy Center and attract more donors to support children.
“I’m really excited to bring it to the next level … [the center] is kind of Will County’s best-kept secret, which is unfortunate because of all the work it does,” Las said. “Bottom line, it’s there to serve our most vulnerable children.”
Glasgow established the center 20 years ago to improve investigations into cases involving sexual abuse of children, according to a news release from the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. Interviews recorded at the center have been used in the prosecution of thousands of child predators in the past 20 years.