Search is a community-based nonprofit. Our programs serve more than 500 people and their families annually at locations stretching from the southwest side of Chicago to the northern suburbs of Waukegan and Mount Prospect. Search has provided high-quality services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1968. Our services include supported living arrangements, adult learning and employment programs, as well as medical, behavioral, therapy and home-based services.
Search empowers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential, accept a valued role in their community and lead rich, rewarding lives.
Search’s vision is of a world where all people live, learn, work and play alongside one another, bringing their unique abilities to the community.
Search got its start in 1968 as a grassroots movement of parents in the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago advocating for the inclusion of their children into the public school system. Standing up against the segregation of people with disabilities from their communities is core to our legacy.Learn More
Alan Nadolna, Chairman
Associates Group, Inc.
Ray Covyeau, Vice Chairman
International Real Estate Brokerage
Tim Wayras, Treasurer
John Friedland, Secretary
Family Focus, Inc. – Retired
Associates Group Inc.
Federal Bureau of Investigation - Retired
Holland & Knight
Industrial Growth Partners
Munday & Nathan
Ashland Capital Advisors
Rogers Benefit Group
NorthShore University HealthSystem
Chief Executive Officer
Search, Inc. is licensed by the Illinois Department of Human Services and is accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL).
John Lipscomb began his professional life in 1975, before there was such a thing as “community based care”, and at a time when individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) were routinely excluded from community life. John belongs to a generation of pioneering nonprofit leaders from across the state who helped build a statewide network of community nonprofits that now supports thousands of individuals to participate fully in their local communities.
John joined Search in 1996 as CFO. He was appointed President and CEO in 2000.
Through his principled leadership and innovative vision for over 25+ years, John has impacted the lives of the individuals we serve, our frontline and leadership teams, and community members and families from across the state.
At the State level, John has spent his professional life advocated for excellence and solid financial leadership in organizations that provide services to people with disabilities. Here at Search, his sensible perspective on the field, and his experience in supporting those most in need, offers everyone he works with a unique window into the ways that people and communities care for each other.
Under John’s leadership as CEO and President of Search for the past two decades, Search’s annual budget has grown from $5 million in 1996 to $20 million today. Along the way, he oversaw the opening of 25 community living arrangements, expanding residential services to over 140 individuals. An innovator by nature, John has spearheaded visionary initiatives throughout his tenure at Search, cofounding our Planet Access Company social enterprise, and opening two specialized clinics that provide access to quality healthcare and behavioral health services. In 2009, he was instrumental in the founding of the Keystone Alliance, an administrative services organization which has helped strengthen the impact and sustainability of Search’s mission, and the missions of its other nonprofit partners.
John’s signature accomplishments touch on almost every aspect of services and supports for people with disabilities, including access to comprehensive healthcare, disability awareness and self-advocacy, quality housing and supports as well as creative alternatives to traditional services and building pathways to employment through social enterprise, among many others.
For his quarter century of insightful, innovative and collaborative leadership, and for being our champion, we are thrilled to honor John with our 2022 Trailblazer Award.
Learn more about Trailblazers 2022 here.
Wintrust, founded in 1991 in the northern suburbs of Chicago, is a leader in the community-banking industry. Wintrust operates fifteen community bank subsidiaries, with over 170 banking locations located in the greater Chicago and southern Wisconsin market areas. In 2019, Crain’s Business named Wintrust the 4th largest bank in Chicago by deposits. They use their resources to leverage and allow these local community banks to stay true to who they are. By working with Wintrust, one receives all of the perks of a big corporate bank, but the benefit of community banking culture, which is very special.
Despite growing substantially within the last 25+ years, Wintrust has maintained their culture and relationship-centric approach with their clients. They are a community bank at heart. Wintrust strives to understand the scope of our mission, work and programs to the fullest extent.
Here at Search, our relationship started with Wintrust over 12 years ago through a relationship with the Managing Director of Government, Nonprofit, Healthcare Banking, Kandace Lenti. Kandace is now a Search Board Member as of January 2022. For these 12 years, Wintrust has helped fuel Search’s growth by being a partner in solving business programs that allowed us to grow and prosper with our goals for the future.
From the debt crisis of 2008 to our recent financial crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic, to their assistance with applying for the PPP loan, Wintrust has helped Search navigate these troubling times with comfort and confidence. That’s when you need a bank like Wintrust – a bank that you can trust and feel confident in while we focus on our mission and programs for those we serve.
Additionally, in 2021, we were honored to have the Wintrust Mural on I-90/94 during the months of April/May. The theme of this mural connected to our 2021 Trailblazers event, Creating Inclusive Communities – Piece by Piece. The design featured a quilt-like look made up of patches in a variety of colors and imagery. These patches represented the impact collaboration can have on a community, specifically our Search community. Some patches were imagery from our very own Visibility Arts artists and some were photos from of Search participants. The mural also featured powerful words that related to our mission and values, such as advocacy, inclusion and empowerment. Overall, every piece on this work of art was stitched together by a shared vision: the creation of an inclusive community for people with disabilities.
For their relationship-centric approach to banking and for having a strong and positive financial impact on our work, we are thrilled to honor Wintrust with our 2022 Trailblazers Award.
Learn more about Trailblazers 2022 here.
The Keystone Alliance was founded in 2009 through a unique partnership between two like-minded nonprofits with similar missions, Glenkirk and Search, Inc. The Keystone Alliance was created in the interest of generating administrative efficiencies and sharing best practices. Today, Search’s administrative overhead is just 8.5% of its total expenses. Glenkirk and Search have benefited greatly from sharing innovations and best practices with one another.