Thomas O’Neill, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Exelon Corporation
Dee Dee Chesley
Jordan Hadelman, Founding Chairman, Witt/Kieffer
Adnan Assad, Senior Vice President, First Midwest Bank
Rolando Acosta, Attorney at Law, Acosta Ezgur, LLC
Ronit Barrett, Partner, Eimer Stahl LLP
Roberto Interiano, Community Lending Sales Manager, CIBC Bank USA
Jeff Kemerley, Multi-Family Segment Lead, James Hardie
Kenneth Langston, Director, William Blair
Daniel Lynch, Managing Director of Corporate and Government Affairs, United Airlines
Nana Owusu, Northfield Police Department
Chad Poznansky, Member, Clark Hill
Stephen Raquet, Vice President, Institutional Equity Sales, RBC Capital Markets
Stu Reed, President, and CEO, Education Corporation of America
George Reimnitz, SVP, Lending, Wintrust Commercial Banking-Rosemont
David W. Rodin, Managing Director, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
Gregory Spitzer, Partner, Paul Hastings
Homero Tristan, Founding Partner, Tristan & Cervantes
Kimberly White, Corporate Compliance Officer, Ingredion Incorporated
Thomas Woodrow, Partner, Holland and Knight
Shari Berland, Education Consultant
Janet Heiman, Education Consultant
Suzanne Miller, Clinical and School Psychologist
Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Policy Director, Erikson Institute
Amy Rasmussen, Executive Director, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
Daphne Sajous-Brady, Director of Student Services, Wolcott School
Jaclyn Vasquez, EDI Associate Director, Erikson Institute
Monica Williams, Education Consultant
Rolando Acosta, Attorney at Law, Acosta Ezgar, LLC
Robert Buono, Owner, Henry Street Partners LLC
Gregory Spitzer, Partner, Paul Hastings LLP
Christopher House employees are dedicated, highly qualified individuals who reflect the diverse communities we serve.
Are you interested in joining our team? Check out our current job opportunities.
Lori 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 oversees 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 full capacity serve children six weeks through eighth grade and their families. This 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.
Kathy Steward joined Christopher House in 2016 to oversee all finance and accounting functions of the organization. Ms. Steward has over 15 years of experience in managing corporation and organization finances. In her most recent position as Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Para Los Ninos in Los Angeles, she was responsible for directing the organization’s financial planning and accounting practices as well as its relationship with lending institutions and the financial community by overseeing and directing treasury, budgeting, audit, tax, accounting, purchasing, real estate, long range forecasting, and insurance activities for the organization.
She has also volunteered and given council to numerous organizations including, the Los Angeles Chapter Tuskegee Airman, Inc., the National Council of Negro Women, San Fernando Valley Section, and LEARN Council, in addition to being a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Los Angeles County – bringing robust knowledge, and experience to Christopher House’s efforts to continue to grow and serve more families in the Chicago area.
Julie Dakers is responsible for overseeing four Christopher House facilities, including managing Human Resources four our growing staff of 220 employees, and IT across the organization. Julie has been with Christopher House is multiple capacities since joining the team in 2004. Under her leadership, as Director of Early Childhood Education and Youth Development, Christopher House’s Early Childhood Development Services 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. Ms. Dakers was instrumental in earning Christopher House Four-Star Accreditation by the Illinois Quality Rating System and Excelerate Illinois – one of ten in the state to earn the award. Additionally, overseeing the Christopher House’s Youth Development Program, Ms. Daker’s implemented a college and career preparation program and led 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 on the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development Award of Excellence Advisory Panel. She is also 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 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 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.
Karen Ross-Williams oversees the agency’s early childhood education, and after-school, including youth leadership. Ms. Ross-Williams has over two decades of experience at Christopher House ensuring successful support of children and families through our family of schools. Serving as Site Director in Uptown previously, Ms. Ross-Williams oversaw the NAEYC accreditation of the site and the QRS: 4-Star Award from the State of Illinois. Christopher House Uptown is only the second childcare facility in the city of Chicago, and one of seven in the entire state of Illinois, to earn four stars. Uptown is the largest site in the state to earn this top rating.
Ms. Ross-Williams has a proven track record of high-expectations, high standards, data driven outcomes, a commitment to the Christopher House mission, and the ability to develop and inspire leaders. In 2013, Karen was selected by staff votes Employee of the Year.
Ms. Ross-Williams is on the Truman College advisory board where she also serves as Adjunct Faculty in the Early Childhood Education Department. Ms. Ross-Williams holds a BA in Early Childhood Education, two Masters degrees, in Human Performance Improvement Training and Development, and in Early Childhood Administration. She also holds numerous certifications: Illinois Director Credential: Level 3, Gateways, Infant Toddler Credential: Level 5, Gateways, Christopher House Emerging Leaders Cohort, 2013, Certified CLASS observer, Teachstone.
Penne Silverman is the Director of External Affairs for Christopher House. Leading communication, private philanthropy and thought leadership in an effort to bridge the financial gap between government funding and what is needed to insure our students and families have the support necessary to succeed and reach their full potential. Prior to coming to Christopher House, Penne had more than 30 years of professional experience in leadership roles in finance and operations. She has held a variety of executive level positions at Magnetar Capital, LLC, AdFam, Pritzker Financial Management and the Ryan Enterprises Group, LLC. Penne specializes in managing philanthropic efforts, communicating with high net worth investors, leading high performing operations and finance teams, and implementing business discipline into for-profit and non-profit environments.
Penne is a Founding Board member of the Lincoln Park Music Center Foundation. She also serves on the Board of The People’s Music School and as a member of its Finance Committee. In the past, she has served as a member of the Oversight Committee of the Joint Development Campaign for Anshe Emet Synagogue and the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. As part of this group, she helped to develop strategies for expanding the school to increase educational opportunities for its students and to help create a since of community between both organizations. She has served as the Treasurer of the Magnetar Capital Foundation/Magnetar Youth Investment Academy and was involved in establishing the Alain Locke Charter School.
Penne earned her MBA at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two children and is passionate about being an active and contributing member of the Chicago business and philanthropic communities.
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.