Elizabeth “Betsy” J. Young is an experienced financial professional dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations excel. In retirement, her pro bono work focuses on financial sustainability, enhancing organizational effectiveness, implementing new strategic initiatives and capacity building.
After starting her career as a CPA performing audits, Betsy spent more than 25 years in asset and portfolio management, specializing in the project financing of industrial assets, especially renewable energy (wind and solar) and other independent energy facilities. In addition to advising, originating and structuring financings, Betsy managed portfolio investments in operating assets, having responsibility for designing and implementing processes and procedures to support organizational growth. Prior to her retirement, Betsy spent two years as the chief financial officer of Perspectives Charter Schools, a network of open enrollment public schools serving nearly 2,000 students in grades 6 through 12, with a staff of 250.
Betsy is treasurer of the board of Chicago Tech Academy, a contract high school on the near Southwest side of Chicago which uses project-based curriculum to educate entrepreneurial minded students and ultimately help increase the representation of minorities in the tech industry. In addition, she enjoys participating in the University of Chicago Booth Alumni Nonprofit Consultants’ (BANC) projects, providing pro bono strategy, planning and advisory services.
One of Betsy’s proudest pro bono accomplishments is as the board advisor to a newly formed community utility in Illinois. For the Lost Lake Utility District, she facilitated the successful acquisition of water and wastewater facilities, including conducting all due diligence, raising bond financing and negotiating a multi-year compliance waiver with the Illinois EPA. This secured the community’s only source of water and wastewater treatment and the facilities have remained community owned and operated for more than 15 years.
A firm believer in continuous education, Betsy is a proud alumna of both Northern Illinois University (B.S. accountancy and computer science) and University of Chicago (MBA with honors). She is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and has previously served in various capacities with the CFA Society of Chicago, including as board member and treasurer. Betsy also holds a professional certificate from Northwestern University in philanthropy and nonprofit organizations.