Staff + Board


Executive Director

Gabriel Gonzalez


ulieJay eakspay igpay atlinlay.


Favorite Children’s Books: the Monster at the end of this Book by Jon Stone and The Bit-Wide-Mouthed Frog by Ana MartÍn Larrañaga

Julie Pinn
Director of Finance and Operations


Julie is a true crime fanatic.

Favorite Children’s Books: Nancy Drew Series by Caroline Keene

Julie Reeder
Director of Development


Lauren is an adoptive mom and gave birth to her adopted child via embryo adoption.

Favorite Children’s Book: To the Moon and Back for You by Emilia Bechrakis.

Lauren Jarvis
Director of Education and Programs

Bernadette has 68 first cousins - so she knows a lot about hosting relatives!

Favorite Children’s Book: When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant.

Bernadette Diaz
Extra Dosage Instructor

Shanell is an aspiring author of a children's book series called Mattie's Tattle Tales.

Favorite Children’s Book: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Day Walt and The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

Shanell Townsend
Instructional Coach and Volunteer Coordinator

Little is fluent in American sign language (ASL). He is a pastor at a church for the deaf and he teaches the members of the church to read and comprehend English.

Favorite Children’s Book: Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch and Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry.

Little Tom Jackson
Instructional Coach

Avo also teaches West African drumming classes.

Favorite Children’s Book: Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd and Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey

Avo Randruut
Instructional Coach

Brenda loves yoga especially when she’s been able to practice in different settings and with animals including goat yoga, puppy yoga, and even bunny yoga!

Favorite Children’s Books: The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat by Nurit Karlin and Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Brenda Robertson
Lead Instructional Coach

Cynthia's favorite comfort food is chicken noodle soup.

Favorite Children’s Book: Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Cynthia Lerma
Instructional Coach

Engagement and Communications


Gareth played rugby in the UK.

Favorite Children’s Book: Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Gareth Troake
Senior Engagement Manager

Kaitlin is an aspiring interior designer.

Favorite Children’s Book: A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla

Kaitlin McFarland
Communications Coordinator

Board of Directors

Chair of the Board
Jill Fraggos
Senior Director, Government Relations
Lurie Children’s Hospital
Vice Chair
Sherri Hlavacek
Retired EVP, Head of Finance
Nuveen Investments
Vice Chair
Bruce Jones
President, Founder
International TEFL Academy

General Directors

R. Ross Baker
Senior Partner, Mercer
Tanya Burnell
Director, CCI - Henry Crown and Company
Ryan Gillespie
Consultant, PWC
Rajan Barad
President/Owner, RR Textile Mills
Brian Buehling
Founder and Managing Director, Dakota Systems, Inc
Aaron Mikulsky
President, Love 2 Lead Consulting
Adrianna Sanandres
Max Schwein
Kellogg School of Management,
Golub Capital Board Fellow 2023-2024
Bradley Joutras
Director of Individual Giving, UofC Medicine
Jamie Whiteman
Managing Director, JP Morgan Chase