ABOUT OUR TEAM
KEVIN CHASE, MANAGING PARTNER (HE/HIM)
In a career spanning more than two decades, Kevin Chase has led dozens of Executive Search & Leadership Transition engagements for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, as well as companies in the finance, technology, and professional services sectors. Since 2008, Kevin has worked exclusively in the Not-for-Profit Sector, serving clients in the Human Services, LGBT Advocacy & Social Justice, Healthcare Philanthropy, Education, and Arts & Culture sectors – all with a focus on Diversity & Inclusion.
Kevin established Kevin Chase Executive Search Group in 2015 with a simple vision in mind: to help advance the vital work of mission-based nonprofit organizations by providing transformational leadership solutions and talent. Immediately prior to launching his own practice, Kevin was Managing Director in the Los Angeles office of Diversified Search, a top-ten, global, retained search firm, partnering with clients in the Nonprofit and Higher Education sectors. Previously, he was a Partner with McCormack & Associates, a boutique search firm and recognized leader in Diversity & Inclusion search.
The majority of Kevin’s engagements are for Executive Director/CEO, Senior Development, and Board positions, though he has also conducted searches for C-Level leaders of Finance, Operations, and Programs. Kevin has particular expertise in working with small- to mid-sized, mission-driven nonprofits, providing consultation and advisory services to the Boards and Leadership Volunteers responsible for governance and organizational development. His holistic approach to these engagements encompasses all elements of leadership transition: from the assessment, strategy, and stakeholder engagement that precede the launch of a search, all the way through to the on-boarding and integration of the hired executive.
Prior to his transition into the Nonprofit sector, Kevin spent more than a dozen years working with Business & Professional Services clients as a Partner in the Los Angeles and New York offices of Battalia Winston, AT Kearney Executive Search, and Paul Ray Berndtson. He began his executive search career with Haas International and spent his first two years in Haas’ Tokyo office.
Kevin grew up in Utah and attended Brigham Young University, graduating in 1989 with a degree in Public Relations. After 13 years in New York City, Kevin relocated to Los Angeles where he now lives with his partner, Paulo Murillo, and two canine daughters. He recently served for two year as Board Co-Chair of Point Foundation. He was previously a Board member of the West Hollywood Recovery Center and a member of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s West Coast Certification Committee.
CATIE DIFELICE, SENIOR CONSULTANT (SHE/HER)
catie DiFelice joined Kevin Chase Executive Search Group in January 2016 as Senior Associate, bringing more than five years of retained executive search experience. Catie’s search career includes work in the Technology, Healthcare, and Consumer markets in addition to her primary focus in Nonprofit and Higher Education.
Although she has helped recruit C-suite and other senior executives in many markets and sectors, Catie has always felt most connected to her work on behalf of mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations. Her broad nonprofit search experience cuts across the healthcare, civil rights/social justice, education, and arts & culture sectors. Functionally, Catie’s professional expertise includes CEO/ED and general management roles, senior development/fundraising/advancement leadership, chief programmatic and financial officers, and both academic and administrative leadership in higher education.
Among her recent, notable successes are the recruitment of Executive Directors for JDRF, Komen for the Cure, More Light Presbyterians, and Equality North Carolina; CDO/Directors of Development for the Smithsonian, Harvard University, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Penn State; Dean and Chancellor searches at University of Arizona and University of Washington, Tacoma; and CIO/VP Technology searches for Aurora Health Care and Catholic Health Initiatives.
Prior to joining Kevin Chase Executive Search, Catie was an Associate – and previously Research Associate – in the Los Angeles office of Diversified Search, a “Top Ten” U.S. retained executive search firm. During her tenure at Diversified, Catie played an integral role in more than 200 successfully completed executive searches across multiple industries. In addition to candidate identification and development work, Catie provided market assessment, search strategy, talent mapping, and relationship management support on dozens of senior-level searches.
Catie grew up in South Carolina and now lives in Pasadena, CA, with her daughter. She is a strong supporter of Point Foundation and enjoys volunteering with local organizations such as Union Station Homeless Services and Five Acres.
GABY GARCIA-VERA, CONSULTANT (ALL PRONOUNS)
aby Garcia-Vera is a Queer Latinx Puerto Rican with more than 16 years of experience across social justice movements, with a focus on reproductive justice, racial equity through a pro-Black, immigrant rights, and LGBTQ Liberation lens.
In addition to Gaby’s work with Kevin Chase Executive Search, they serve as a Senior Advisor to Consult Catalina, a consulting firm run and founded by Queer and Trans people of color. For nearly a decade Gaby has been part of the leadership team for Union=Fuerza Latinx Institute, a one day convene aimed at bringing Queer and Trans Latinx organizers from around the country together to help advance their leadership in fundraising, campaigns, and culture shift work. Gaby is a former member of the Trevor Project’s National Youth Advisory Council combating stigma surrounding mental health and suicide prevention amongst LGBTQ youth. In 2021 Gaby was named a Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Fellow with Rockwood Leadership Institute.
Gaby has also formerly served in leadership at various organizations including as the Field Director for The National LGBTQ Task Force, Advocacy Manager at Catholics for Choice, Executive Director of GetEQUAL and the Florida state Field and Advocacy Manager for the Latina Institute. Gaby believes in centering passion for innovation, connection, and vulnerability as a model for leadership
Gaby has also completed popular and political education training with Ancient Song Doula Services and is an abortion doula. They have also done training with Wayside Center for Popular Education where they completed coursework surrounding interpretation for social justice. Gaby has led multilingual collectives that prioritize language justice as integral in building solidarity and extending resources to non-English speakers mostly within rural areas.
JEREMY RYE , CONSULTANT (HE/HIM)
Jeremy Rye is an organizer and activist with a strong background in (and love for) organizational development, fundraising, movement work, DEI, philanthropy, grantmaking, and project management. Because of his lived and professional experience, Jeremy has the unique ability to bridge programmatic work with fundraising and the philanthropic sector. He is a natural network weaver, strong relationship builder, and movement and community leader.
Jeremy comes to Kevin Chase Executive Search with nearly 20 years of involvement in the social justice sector. Most recently, he served as a Program Officer at Open Society-U.S., the grantmaking arm of the Open Society Foundations. There, he worked on several projects and initiatives in addition to grantmaking, such as developing and leading a robust fellowship project, managing the Foundation’s first response to Covid-19, and facilitating culture and change management processes, in addition to being an internal advocate promoting LGBTQ grantmaking and an office culture that was LGBTQ inclusive.
Prior to OSF, Jeremy worked as a fundraiser at the Center for Constitutional Rights for 12 years, most recently serving as the Associate Director of Development for Individual Giving. He also worked in Washington, D.C., as a Congressional Fellow for then-chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congressman David Wu (D-OR). Jeremy has served as an organizer within Asian and Pacific Islander and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities, and has done organizing work with the National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO. He has previously served on the Board of Queers for Economic Justice and currently serves on the Board of the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Originally from Sacramento, California, Jeremy graduated from the University of California-Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Minors in Asian American Studies and Community & Regional Development. He is the proud son and grandson of Filipino and Indian immigrants, and is a fierce brother, BFF, and Guncle.
JAMES R. RICE, III , ASSOCIATE (HE/HIM)
ames Rice III brings both lived and professional experience at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality to his work at Kevin Chase Executive Search. An accomplished leader and change management expert, James has more than seven years of experience in mission-driven, direct service and social impact organizations, informed by a lifetime in ministry and a love for people to our team. Having a strong anti-racism and gender equity lens, James seeks and advocates for underrepresented individuals and communities, while providing an additional equity lens throughout the search process. James graduated with his B.A. in Communication in 2010 and currently resides in Charlotte, NC, but considers Columbia, SC, (where he was raised) as home. When not doing recruiting and advocacy, work James is a Segway enthusiast and local event host.