Vicki Escarra

Board Member

 
 

Vicki Escarra is a dynamic, visionary leader who excels in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. She has enjoyed an uncommonly diverse executive career spanning four decades in a Fortune 100 corporation, two nationally recognized nonprofits, a major civic organization, plus service on boards in healthcare, financial services, and higher education. This varied experience enables her exceptional perspective and skills in leading teams, growing EBITDA, sustaining revenue, and creating competitive advantage. She emphasizes setting the organization’s tone at the top, focusing on vision and hope, and leading through living the organization’s values.

At Delta Airlines, Vicki rose through the ranks over 30 years, learning the industry from airports to call centers, becoming the highest-ranking woman in aviation. She oversaw $15B revenue and 52,000 employees as Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Customer Service. As a senior leader, she had a nimble, adaptable strategic plan, built high-performance teams, and made sure everyone knew that “hope was alive” in the organization. She directed global reengineering of Delta’s post-9/11 flight schedule, dramatically growing revenue and increasing customer satisfaction 35%. During her watch, Delta was named “Airline of the Year” and “Number One in Customer Satisfaction” by Air Transport World.

For two global nonprofits, Vicki created powerful strategies for marketing, branding, organizational culture, and fundraising. As Global CEO of the microfinance charity Opportunity International, she led 20,000 staff and 30,000 donors to help 17 million clients in 22 countries rise from poverty and strengthen their families and communities. She created a long-term strategic plan, united international offices, rebranded, increased global fundraising, and strengthened donor partnerships. Similarly, as President/CEO of the premier food bank Feeding America, Vicki led a reorganization that advanced public recognition from 13% to 85%, increased donations 300%, and doubled the population served to make Feeding America the nation’s third-largest nonprofit. She established partnerships with Walmart, JP Morgan Chase, and others, quadrupling revenue to make Feeding America a $1.2B organization.

Vicki is a civic leader, exemplified by her chairmanship of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, working with and at the pleasure of the mayor. Her board service, present or former, includes DocuSign Advisory, Centene, HealthNet, A.G. Edwards, Roosevelt University, Emory University, Committee of 200, Sesame Workshop, The Chicago Network, and The Economic Club of Chicago. Her many honors and awards include Women Extraordinaire (International Women Associates), Skills to Succeed Award (Committee of 200 and Accenture), Women of Influence Award (Chicago Business Journal), Womenetics POW! Award, Four Freedoms Award (Roosevelt Institute), America’s Top 50 most powerful/influential executives, and profiles in The Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and USA Today.

Today, Vicki is committed to transitioning leaders as a Senior Advisor with My Next Season and Boston Consulting Group. Her direct knowledge of the unique responsibilities of Board members, CEO, and senior management is invaluable in her role as advisor. Throughout her career Vicki has mentored others, often helping women advance in the workplace. Her personal style is hard-working, strategic, and competitive—yet warm, humorous, and humble. Collaborative, articulate, and passionate about learning and technology, she advocates constant communication. She has attracted a followership of great talent through high integrity, listening, empowering others.

Vicki earned her B.A. in Business and Psychology from Georgia State University and certificates from Columbia University’s Executive Management Program and Harvard Business School’s Leadership Program. She lives in Chicago and has two adult daughters. Vicki enjoys sports, many outdoor activities, travel, reading history and philosophy, and is a fan of her hometown team, the Chicago Cubs.