A native of Lincoln, IL, Mercedes Rohlfs received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University and moved to Chicago to pursue a career in theatre. Soon after, she began working in the nonprofit sector, founding a theatre company and supporting the executive team at a community healthcare organization serving the uninsured. Over 20 years, Mercedes worked in fundraising and sales in the arts, publishing, healthcare, fitness, retirement communities, and animal welfare. As a fundraiser, Mercedes has often focused on taking development programs at small nonprofits to new levels, working with diverse revenue streams to create stability and possibility.
Prior to coming to PTF, Mercedes served as the Campaign Director for Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where she helped lead efforts to raise $73 million for a capital expansion campaign. Before Steppenwolf, Mercedes served as the Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts at Ravinia Festival where she stewarded relationships with major supporters of the 100+ year old music festival. In this new chapter, Mercedes is honored to commit her experiences and continued growth to the Pat Tillman Foundation and the leadership of its incredible scholar community.