Staff Leadership


Christopher House employees are dedicated, highly qualified individuals who reflect the diverse communities we serve. Are you interested in joining our team?
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Click below or scroll down to view the profiles of our staff leadership team:

Lori Ann Baas, Chief Executive Officer

Craig Maki, Chief Operating Officer 

Jill Antoniewicz, Director of External Affairs

Julie Dakers, Director of Early Childhood Development Services

Gloria Kuechenberg, Director of Family Support Services 

Krissy Novy, Pricipal, Christopher House Elementary School

Traci Stanley, Director of Quality Assurance

 

Lori Ann Baas, Chief Executive Officer

Lori Ann Baas is responsible for all of Christopher House's programs and services, including overseeing all the agency’s locations on Chicago's north and west sides. Since assuming the organization's top leadership position in 2002, Ms. Baas has guided Christopher House through an intensive strategic planning process. By implementing a new agency-wide program evaluation process and redefining the organization’s vision and purpose, Baas is raising the bar throughout the organization and building its overall capacity to serve more low-income families and children in Chicago. Under her guidance, the agency developed and implemented outcome measurements for each of its programs and started the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative project. Working with 7 Chicago human service agencies comparing data results; the Collaborative capitalizes on the strengths of seven education and human service agencies, making it possible to make data-based program improvements that deeply and tangibly improve client outcomes.  

She is currently overseeing the continued construction of the agency’s first elementary school in Belmont Cragin, a low-income, high-need community on the city’s Northwest Side, which includes a new Family Resource Center, and will at completion serve children six weeks through eighth grade and their families. This new center offers Christopher House’s unique model of  high-quality early childhood education, after-school programming, and extensive support services to children and their families. 

Prior to her work at Christopher House, Ms. Baas served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Finance Director for Representative Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) for almost 10 years. In these roles, Ms. Baas helped Gutierrez become the first Latino to be elected to Congress from the Midwest. Prior to working with Congressman Gutierrez, Ms. Baas founded her own fundraising consulting firm that served several public officials as clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Kellogg Management Institute. She is the co-chair of Illinois Partners for Human Service and serves on the Illinois Learning Council.

Craig Maki, Ed.D, Chief Operating Officer

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Maki oversees all of the back office infrastructure that enables Christopher House to meet the needs of the children and families we serve; his responsibilities include Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Contract Compliance / Eligibility, and Facilities.

Prior to his work at Christopher House, Dr. Maki served as the Director of Educational Services for the Maryville Jen School.  He designed and started the Non-Public Special Education School in the fall of 2007.  The Jen School serves students who could otherwise not be provided for within the public or private school landscape due to severe and profound emotional, behavioral and cognitive disabilities.  Under his leadership, the Jen School faculty developed academic, social-emotional and vocational programs which were highly recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education and became a national model for the integration of Trauma Informed Care within the school environment.

Dr. Maki currently serves as the President of the Board for the Illinois Consortium for 21st Century Schools.  Through this organization, his work is focused on making the State of Illinois and its teachers national leaders in the 21st Century Skills teaching movement. He received his Doctorate in Education from National-Louis University, Master's in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his undergraduate degree from Hope College. 

JILL ANTONIEWICZ, DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

Jill Antoniewicz

As Director of External Affairs, Jill leads Christopher House’s development and communications efforts to engage private support for our mission and to further our impact. Jill rejoined Christopher House’s leadership in the fall of 2013.  Previously, Jill was the director of development for Christopher House from 2002 to 2005. Between her tenures with Christopher House, Jill was the Director of Public Affairs for U.S. Cellular, where she led the company’s corporate responsibility efforts including charitable giving, volunteerism and executive nonprofit board placement. 

Jill is the Chair of Pulaski International School of Chicago’s Local School Council and a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.  Jill is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio).

JULIE DAKERS, DIRECTOR OF EARLY CHILDHOOD & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

Julie Dakers is responsible for ensuring high-quality early childhood education that has a measurable impact on children’s preparedness for kindergarten. Under her leadership, Christopher House’s Early Childhood Development Services recently expanded to serve an additional 68 early childhood participants ages six weeks to two-years-old, filling a critical gap in services in high need communities. She joined Christopher House in 2004.Prior to her current position, Ms. Dakers oversaw Christopher House’s Youth Development Program, implementing a college and career preparation program and leading the School Age department in the initiative to receive accreditation from the National After School Association.

She has strong knowledge of best practice programming in early childhood education and youth development .Ms. Dakers sits on the board of directors of the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club and is the Vice President of the Illinois AfterSchool Network. In addition, she is a MOST (Making the Most of Out of School Time) Trainer and has been a facilitator at several conferences, including the Illinois School Age Conference and the Chicago Metro AEYC (Association for the Education of Young Children) conference.

GLORIA KUECHENBERG, DIRECTOR OF FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES

Gloria Kuechenberg joined Christopher House in 2008 and oversees the agency’s social work services, food pantries, financial assistance program, clothing and housewares giveaway and literacy services. A native of Colombia, Ms. Kuechenberg is fluent in both Spanish and English. She has over 9 years experience working as a community organizer in Chicago’s low-income, Latino communities. In her most recent position as Executive Director of Northwest Neighborhood Federation, Ms. Kuechenberg revitalized a community center, expanding services to meet the needs of families and leveraging community partnerships to increase the agency’s capacity.  She has also worked as a Spanish language consultant for hospitals and corporations. Ms. Kuechenberg brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and community resources to Christopher House’s efforts to stabilize families and help them reach self-sufficiency and success. Ms. Kuechenberg holds a Master’s degree in criminal law from the Universidad Externado de Colombia. 

Krissy novy, PRINCIPAL, CHRISTOPHER HOUSE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

Krissy Novy has served schools in multiple Chicago neighborhoods over the past ten years as a teacher, literacy coach and Resident Principal. As an instructional leader serving culturally and linguistically diverse student populations, she became a leader in creating curriculum and assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards at the district level. As a literacy coach, she served a pivotal role in increasing student achievement by coaching teachers, implementing balanced literacy, and working with families to create a culture of high expectations and a love of reading and learning. She has created strong leadership teams at two schools that used data to develop and monitor student progress, resulting in outstanding student growth and a more invested staff. Throughout the years, she secured grants to fund many projects to invest her students in learning, including a school newspaper and literary magazine. She is very excited to join the Christopher House team and provide exceptional educational opportunities and supports to our students and their families.

Krissy holds a B.A. in Journalism from Indiana University, an M.A. in Teaching from Dominican University, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University, and earned her school leadership licensure from DePaul University. She achieved National Board Certification in 2009.

Traci Stanley, Director of Quality Assurance 

Traci Stanley

 

 

 

 

 

Traci Stanley ensures that Christopher House continues to increase its capacity to have a positive impact on low-income children and their families. Traci currently oversees Christopher House’s evaluation efforts including implementation and maintenance of an agency-wide database system to track outcome information for all programs to help ensure participants receive the highest quality services. Traci is also leading a collaboration of six social service agencies engaged in a project to improve measured evaluation and program quality.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Stanley previously served as Associate Director and, earlier, Director of Youth Development Services at Christopher House. Through her leadership, tutoring and adult literacy programs expanded to other sites and new program initiatives were launched including mentoring, family literacy, an apprenticeship program, and a college and career preparation program for youth. She increased quality of services by developing evaluation tools and systems to measure and monitor service delivery and improvements in participant status. Ms. Stanley has been with Christopher House since 2000. She is a graduate of DePaul University.