Little City Leadership

Leadership team and Board of Directors/Advisors

Leadership Team

Marie Newman

Marie Newman

Chief Executive Officer

Rich Bobby

Rich Bobby

Chief Operating Officer

Bill Brennan

Bill Brennan

Chief Administrative Officer

Tina Maraccini

Tina Maraccini

Chief Development Officer

Kelly Evans

Kelly Evans

Chief Human Resources Officer

Emily Rawsky

Emily Rawsky

Chief Program Officer of Family & Community Based Services

Theresa A. Moran

Theresa A. Moran

Deputy Chief – Centralized Support Services

Board of Directors

Little City’s Board of Directors oversees agency policies. The board is made up of community leaders from a variety of backgrounds, all who have a shared interested in furthering the mission of Little City.

Interested in joining the board? Contact Lisa Mariscal, [email protected].

Gregory Burns


Allstate Insurance

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Greg Burns is the President of the Board of Directors and has been an ally and advocate of Little City since 2016.

Greg joined Countryside’s Board of Directors in 2013 and, being the brother of a special needs resident, he was happy to be an integral part of the merger between Countryside and Little City in 2016.

Greg recently retired from Allstate Insurance Company after 36 years. Greg spent most of his career in Human Resources, however, was in the role of a Sr Vice President in the Business Transformation area upon his retirement.

Greg currently is working as the principal in his HR consulting company called MB3.

B. Timothy Desmond

Vice President

Project Management Advisors, Inc.

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Timothy Desmond is an accomplished senior executive with over 35 years of experience in real estate development, with proven expertise in all aspects of the development process including acquisition, planning, zoning, financing, legal, budgeting, design, construction, contract & lease negotiations, public relations, sales and marketing, and asset management. As an experienced team leader, he is skilled at collaborating with stakeholders and building strong working relationships with diverse professionals in the achievement of business objectives. His portfolio of first class assets includes commercial office, hospitality, convention, land development, and high rise luxury condominium residential development ranging from $70M to more than $1.5B, including over 30 high rise office buildings, 7,000 units of high-rise condominium/apartment buildings, 5M square feet of corporate office development, retail properties, and over 3M square feet of convention and hotel developments. Tim has served on the board of Little City since 2011.

Jennifer Gavelek

Vice President

Alliant Financial Services

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Jennifer Gavelek joined the board in 2014 and has a passion for working with nonprofits and those that serve the special needs community. She participates in the Little City programs and services committee which aligns with her professional experience in operational risk management.

Jennifer is a senior vice president at Alliant Insurance Services (formerly part of Mesirow Financial), with over 25 years working as an insurance and risk advisor in property and casualty. She founded a nonprofit practice group to provide services and consulting specialized for charitable organizations.

Nick Helmer


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Nick Helmer is a 28-year commercial real estate law veteran currently practicing at DLA Piper LLP in Chicago.  This is Nick’s second tenure at DLA where he originally practiced as an associate from 1996 to 2002.  Nick’s career includes positions as General Counsel for one of the largest private real estate companies in Chicago as well as Chief Real Estate Counsel for a publicly traded Manhattan based FinTech Fund.

Nick joined the Board of Directors for Little City Foundation in 2023 when his daughter become a resident of a Little City CILA.  Nick is passionate about improving the health and wellness of all Little City’s residents concentrating on nutrition, diet and lifestyle.  He looks forward to lending his expertise with the Campus Planning Sub-Committee which is advising on proposals for major development,  building projects and proposals for repairs, maintenance and reallocations of existing facilities and housing.

Bill Chepulis

Zurich Insurance Company

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Bill Chepulis is the Head of Underwriting for the U.S. National Accounts business in North America and is responsible for the underwriting performance of the $9.5 billion National Accounts portfolio. Responsibilities and oversight include the development and execution of portfolio insights and underwriting actions, prioritization and development of new products, capabilities and training needs, underwriting quality, transactional pricing and the overall portfolio management of the National Accounts portfolio.

Before being named Head of Underwriting, Bill’s previous role was Head of Finance for U.S. Commercial Insurance where his focus was ensuring that the business had the appropriate support in terms of analytics, expense management, strategy, financial planning and forecasting. He has over 22 years of experience in the financial services industry with 20 years specific to insurance. Bill has held a number of management and leadership positions within the Zurich organization across Finance, Operations and Underwriting.

David Pfau

Assistant Treasurer

Hive 10

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David Pfau has served on the board since 2014. Upon learning of the excellent work Little City does, he knew he had come to the right place to share his professional talent with the goal of building measurable incentives for corporate philanthropy that self-propel ongoing growth and giving.

Although David does not have any personal or family ties to the Little City client base, he immediately connected with the urgency and value embodied in the foundations mission.

David is the CEO of Hive10, LLC, a technology focused strategic business operations consultancy practice serving clients both domestic and internationally. Outside of work, David is a professionally licensed motorsport racing driver, holds a second-degree black belt in Hapkido, and studies business innovation and law at Harvard University.

James Testa

Show Sage, LLC

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James Testa joined Little City as an advisor in 1997 and moved to the Board of Directors to Little City shortly thereafter. He became involved with Little City through a work colleague that had a connection to the organization. Having a cousin with Down syndrome helped James to understand the need for advocacy of children and adults with developmental disabilities. James is the owner and president of Show Sage, LLC, a leading provider of multi-channel audio-visual technology solutions. Prior to acquiring Show Sage in 2010, James spent over 20 years as a management and information technology consultant. Besides being on Little City Board of Directors, and being a businessman, he is also involved in the O’Hare Chamber, the O’Hare Rotary Club of Chicago, and with Boy Scouts.

Jeff Julian

Harper College

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Jeff Julian is the chief of staff at Harper College, also manages legislative affairs and government relations. He previously served as the executive director of communications at Harper, overseeing media relations, legislative affairs, internal and external communications, community relations and crisis communications. He has also served as the director of public awareness at the American Library Association, the executive director of communications at Elgin (Ill.) Community College, and the director of communications and external relations at Joliet (Ill.) Junior College.

Jeff has a Masters Degree in English Studies from Elmhurst (Ill.) College and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Communications from the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Ill. He is a member of the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) and AGB’s Prime Chief of Staff and holds a certification from the Crisis Leadership in Higher Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Jeff serves as the Secretary-Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the NCMPR Board of Directors. He also hosts NCMPR’s podcast Peer and Simple. He previously served as the District 3 Director from 2018-2021.

Amar Kapadia

Executive Vice President

Alvarez & Marsal

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Amar Kapadia is a Managing Director in the Healthcare Industry Group at Alvarez & Marsal (A&M). Amar joined Little City’s board because he is passionate about improving the health and wellness of communities around him and A&M is a strong supporter of community engagement and giving. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board Affairs committee and in this role, helps manage the board structure and governance.

In his day-to-day job, Amar helps corporate and private equity healthcare clients with difficult strategic topics, such as growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and performance improvement. Amar has a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to Little City, he served on the board of Pressley Ridge, a leading human services not-for-profit. He is also an active supporter of Boy Scouts and serves on the Community Advisory Council for Edward-Elmhurst Health.

Dale Rublaitus

Vice President

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

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Dale is a senior director of engineering at Motorola Solutions, Inc and joined the Little City board in 2016.  Little City’s mission of serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities was what moved him to join the board.  With the Little City campus in close proximity to the Motorola Solutions Schaumburg campus, a primary goal for Dale has been to strengthen the long-standing partnership between Little City and Motorola Solutions.

Charles G. Fergus


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Charles “Gil” Fergus has been an integral part of Little for many years. Gil‘s son Marty is a participant, and has been for over twenty years, starting in the children’s program and then transitioning to the adult’s program. Through his time with Little City Gil served as the President for the Parent Family Guardian Group, a position he held for over 20 years. He is now currently the Secretary of the Board of Directors. Professionally Gil served as the special consumer counsel at the Office of the Attorney General and is currently enjoying retirement.

Julie Bell

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Julie Bell is a proud Board Member of Little City. Supporting Little City and improving the lives of disabled residents with quality life stages is Julie’s lifelong passion. Her sister, Andy, is an original Resident of Little City and has lived there for over 60 years. Supporting Little City’s mission will always be a priority in Julie’s life, and she is honored to be on the Board of Directors.

When it comes to her professional life, Julie is an internationally recognized Beauty Industry strategist and innovator with 40 years of dynamic experience across sales, marketing and product development. Known for her skill in creating unique marketing positioning with a perfect storm of storytelling, DNA names and creative copy that produce sales results. Julie was the EVP of Global Marketing for Benefit Cosmetics for 20 years. Julie also served as the Benefit brand spokesperson and key product expert for global media and influencer events. Julie was also an executive at Estee Lauder Companies with multiple roles spanning 20 years in sales and marketing.

Originally from Chicago, Julie currently lives in San Francisco and spends the weekends enthusiastically exploring the local neighborhoods, beachs and Golden Gate Park.

John M. Duffey

LionFish Capital LLC

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John Duffey has a sister with developmental disabilities, which lead him to join the board at Little City in 2010. John is Managing Partner of LionFish Capital LLC and  Retired President & CEO of Six Flags Entertainment. John, his wife Becky, and their Family Foundation have been strong advocates of children and adults with developmental disabilities and the support of education for disadvantaged children.

Alexander A. Gianaras

Alec K. and Viena P. Gianaras Foundation

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Alex Gianaras is the President and CEO of Transformer Manufacturers Inc. in Norridge Illinois.  A 73 year old company focused on the manufacturing of Low Voltage Magnetics and Value Added Electronic Assemblies for the electrical and electronic industries. Alex has been committed to serve our community throughout the years.  He enjoys working with people in trying to advance causes in both the secular and non-secular worlds.  Here are some of the organizations Alex has been involved in.

St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church:

Alex served on the Parish Council for over 3 decades, serving as President for three terms in addition he Chaired committees such as the Annual Festival, Capital Campaign, Finance during that tenure

National Hellenic Museum:

Alex has been serving on the board since 1984 and has been involved with the Capital Campaign, Fundraisers, Event management, and other projects.

Little City Foundation:

Alex has been serving on the board for over 30 years and has Chaired the Golf Committee and other fundraising projects.

Other Organizations:

Hellenic Foundation Board Member

Past President — Stick and Rudder Flying Club, Waukegan Illinois

Immediate Past President — The Transformer Association

Sean Moran


Elizabeth Williams

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Elizabeth Williams is an accomplished senior corporate executive with deep international experience across multiple industries. Over the years, Elizabeth has led teams and initiatives that have delivered tangible and sustained results for global corporations by leading corporate strategy and portfolio optimization activities, as well as large and complex M&A transactions for multiple global Fortune 500 businesses. Elizabeth studied Economics at Stanford University and earned her MBA from The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Andy Richmond

Vice President

Cornerstone Research

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Andy Richmond is a Senior Vice President at Cornerstone Research, a leading economic consulting firm.  He is a CPA, a Certified Fraud Examiner and Accredited in Business Valuation.  Andy has served on the Boards of Countryside Association and Little City for over 12 years including terms as Board President, Finance/Audit Committee Chair, and Investment Committee Chair.  Supporting people with disabilities and their extended families is Andy’s passion project.  Andy lives in Barrington with his wife Kim and their daughters Abby, Emma and Lily.

Heather Ritter

Vice President

Daily Herald Media Group

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Heather Ritter is the Executive Vice President on the board and has been a friend and advocate of Little City since 2016. She had joined Countryside’s Board of Directors in 2011, and being a mother of a special needs son, Heather was happy to be an integral part of the merger between Countryside and Little City in 2016. Heather is the Vice President of Human Resources for the Daily Herald Media Group in Arlington Heights. Her expertise in H.R. allows for valuable insight related to labor laws, and her 23 years working for a media company has allowed her to bring a new dimension to media relations and communications.

Chad Werkema

Assistant Secretary

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

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Chad Werkema is the Corporate Vice President, Chief Supply Chain & Procurement Officer at Motorola Solutions. Chad is a recognized and awarded supply chain advisor and sales leader. His background includes extensive international and transformational supply chain roles.

Chad is a first-generation college graduate who brings high energy to everyone he engages and high impact to all endeavors. His goal is to inspire others to lead in this way.

Chad is honored to serve as a Board Member and Executive Committee Member at the Little City Foundation– a vital and vibrant community that offers a full range of services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Eleni P. Bousis

Hippocratic Cancer Research Foundation

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Eleni Bousis is a dynamic advocate in diverse organizations in the fields of humanitarian endeavors, both nationally and internationally. She has administered successfully many acclaimed fundraisers to support and sponsor people’s specific needs. Eleni is a strong, defendant and reliable leader in the Greek, American, and Hispanic Communities. Aside from aiding, with the continuous influence of spreading Greek Culture throughout the World.

Eleni has a Certificate of Proficiency in speeches from the University of Michigan, Bachelors Degree from North Park University in Psychology- Human Development. Along with being on the Board of Directors for Little City Foundation, Eleni is the Chair of the Board of the Greek American Rehabilitation and Care Centre, Serving the Board of Directors “Leaders 100”, Serving Presidents Counsel “Maryville Academy”, member of the Ladies Philoptochos Society and supports many other charities in different capacities.

Rit Faisal

Spherade Inc.

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Rit Faisal is a strategic IT and business consultant, advising CIOs and IT leaders. He is the owner and principal consultant at DuarIT Inc.

Marcus D. Montanye


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Marcus Montanye is a Managing Director with CIBC Bank, USA where he serves as President of the Bank’s Structured Finance and Financial Institutions Group. Marcus has been with CIBC dating back to October 2007. He began his career in 1996 with LaSalle Bank, progressing through several commercial banking and business development officer positions, becoming a Commercial Bank Division Head in 2007.

Marcus serves on the Board of Directors for Little City Foundation, an organization whose mission is to serve children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Marcus has been involved with Little City dating back to 1998. Over the past 22 years he has served on the Planning Committee for the Little City Foundation’s Annual Golf Invitational Tournament. In addition, he served on Little City’s Board of Advisors from 2005 thru 2013, at which point he transitioned to the Board of Directors where he continues to serve in that capacity.

Marcus and his wife, Melissa, along with their two daughters, Kaitlyn and Madeline, reside in Clarendon Hills.

Anshuman Vaidya

US Department of Treasury

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Anshuman Vaidya joined the Little City Board in 2022 as a way to serve the special needs community and also to honor the memory of his younger brother, Devneil. For his day job, he is a supervisory attorney with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, serving as an Area Counsel (Criminal Tax) to the Internal Revenue Service. Anshuman manages IRS attorneys throughout the Midwest and acts as agency counsel to IRS Criminal Investigation on criminal enforcement matters in the midwest. Anshuman is also adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Northwestern Pritzker Law School.
Board of Advisors

Timothy Bleuher, Department of Building and Zoning of Cook County

Randi B. Blume, BMO Harris Bank

Paul A. Castiglione, States Attorney Office

Amit Choksi

Kevin J. Conboy, SalesForce

Thomas J. Dart, Sherriff’s Office of Cook County, Illinois

Lincoln D. Germain, Honeywell International

Jonathan C. Green

David Rose, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Jack Shum

Ron Sowadski, ADP

Neil Cooper

James Hartwell

Andrius Kasparaitis

Emeritus Board

Alex Alexandrou, City of Aurora 

Associate Board

Holly Bachman
Curt Beckman
Joseph Bieda
Laura Dierking (Co-Chair)
Lauren Fifarek
Ian Mattern
Kyle Prentice (Co-Chair)
Jack Richardson
Rebecca Schlesinger
Sam Shah
Ryan Van Stedum
Brianna Wielinski
Joseph Zanfardino

Learn more about the Associate Board. 

General Counsel

John George, Akerman LLP