New Golden Apple Leadership Announced

The Board of the Golden Apple Foundation is pleased to announce that Alicia Winckler has been selected as the organization’s new CEO, effective October 1, 2017. Dom Belmonte, current CEO, will serve in a new role as CEO Emeritus until his retirement on September 30, 2018.  

“I have been honored and privileged to have served as Golden Apple’s CEO for the last 11 years, and to have been a part of the foundation for over 20 years,” said Dom Belmonte. “Alicia is deeply committed and brings a high level of passion and intellect to Golden Apple’s work. She has extensive experience in all areas of leadership, as well as in education, and an astounding work ethic. Her deep, abiding regard for mentoring young leaders is in perfect alignment with the work of Golden Apple. I welcome Alicia enthusiastically to the role of CEO and will focus on helping her further build strong relationships with important Golden Apple constituents.”

As the longest serving CEO of Golden Apple, Dom’s retirement is well-deserved. His relationship with Golden Apple began in 1987, when he was selected as a recipient of the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dom was instrumental in the creation of the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program, which began in 1989, and eventually led it for ten years. The board offers its heartfelt thanks to Dom for his numerous and lasting contributions to our mission.

“On behalf of the Golden Apple board, I would like to affirm Dom’s confidence in Alicia,” said Bob Newman, board chair.  “As our President and COO, working closely with Dom, Alicia has led the sustainable growth of Golden Apple’s signature programs, such as the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois. This program, which recently inducted its largest class ever, serves to address the nation’s looming shortage of outstanding teachers, especially in schools of need. Just as importantly, during the recent historic two-year budget impasse in the Illinois State legislature, Alicia was instrumental in protecting the future of our mission. After a well thought out three-year succession plan, we feel strongly that Alicia is the right person to lead Golden Apple forward.”

“I am honored by the board’s confidence, and I am excited to work with the entire Golden Apple team and all of our constituents to maximize educational opportunities for our youth,” Alicia Winckler said.

Alicia’s professional experience reflects a unique combination of private, public and nonprofit sector expertise at both the executive and board level, as well as a demonstrated passion for serving others. She is incredibly well versed in the education system in Illinois and her strong relationships at all levels of the Illinois school system will help Golden Apple tremendously as we move to expand our reach and influence in the coming years.

StaffTony Bosma