Kerstin Rust

Executive Director

Kerstin leads efforts to strengthen local communities by mobilizing thousands of donors and partnering with over 100 businesses and nonprofit agencies. 

She serves as a board member for the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley and United Way of Illinois. In addition to her board service, Kerstin is actively engaged with Kankakee County's Partnership for a Healthy Community. She serves as an Executive Team member for Project SUN and an Ambassador for the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce. 

Kerstin began her career at a refugee resettlement organization in Indianapolis, served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and later volunteered in the Republic of Georgia and Kenya. 

Prior to United Way, Kerstin managed global programs at Lions Clubs International. She earned a bachelor's degree in International Studies and Political Science from Butler University and master's degree in Public Service from DePaul University.

A life-long explorer, Kerstin enjoys traveling, reading and trying new foods. She lives in Bourbonnais with her husband, daughter Mable, and their beloved pup, Ginny.