Women Who WIN

In celebration of Women’s History Month, iHeartMedia Chicago has joined forces with YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and Chicago Foundation for Women to launch Women Who WIN 2022, a celebration of dynamic women leaders who have made a significant impact in our community as a direct result of their exceptional leadership.


Annette Nance-Holt, Fire Commissioner, Chicago Fire Department

Annette Nance-Holt 

Fire Commissioner

The Chicago Fire Department  

Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt is a 32-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department (CFD).   As the Fire Commissioner, she is responsible for the day to day administrative and operational oversight of the country’s second largest fire department, overseeing a budget of approximately $740M and a workforce of  4846.

As the first woman to hold this rank in the history of the CFD, Ms. Nance-Holt has steadily progressed through the ranks of Firefighter, Lieutenant, Training Instructor, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy District Chief, 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner to her current position. She holds numerous credentials and professional training certificates that include the Northwestern Public Safety Management Certificate, the Outside Chicago Fire Department Oral Boards and Assessment Centers, FEMA Unified Command and the FEMA All Hazards.

She is steadfastly committed to life safety and protection of property for all residents and visitors of Chicago, in addition to the safety and continuing education for all CFD members. She is acutely aware of the importance of training and preparedness and works with many external groups and organizations to ensure that Chicago is as prepared as any metropolitan city can be.

A native of Chicago, Ms. Nance-Holt was raised in the Maple Park community on the southside and attended both parochial and public schools. She learned responsibility at an early age, having worked at the family-owned grocery store on the south and west sides of Chicago, Illinois. She also worked eight (8) years on the corporate side before joining the CFD in 1990. While studying and working full time, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Chicago State University. Ms. Nance-Holt obtained her Master’s in Public Administration in Fire and Emergency Services in 2018from Anna Maria College.

In her personal life, Ms. Nance-Holt’s passion has become the passing of common-sense gun legislation. In May of 2007, tragedy hit when her 16-year-old son, Blair Holt, was fatally shot on his way home from school. Since Blair’s death, Ms. Nance-Holt has supported parents who have lost a child to gun violence with the creation of the non-profit organization, Purpose Over Pain - an advocacy organization that supports parents who also lost children to gun violence, provides safe and positive outlets for children and youth, and advocates and promotes safer communities in Chicago, Illinois. Also, she volunteers with the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute (EDI), which provides a curriculum that prepares Fire Service professionals with the skills to lead departments, which is hosted yearly at Dillard University in New Orleans, LA.

Ms. Nance-Holt is a member of St. Sabina Church, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters and the African American Firefighters & Paramedics League, where she once served as President and Vice-President.

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