Our Team


OUR STAFF   OUR BOARD   WORK WITH US

Our staff members bring diversity in experience and skills, but share two qualities. They have a genuine appreciation for the unique personalities of our participants and a commitment to helping them succeed every day, and throughout their lives. 

 


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Carl is a native of Malden, Missouri.  He attended Midamerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas and worked in a l’arche house before moving to Chicago.  He is passionate about the work that he does at Our Place, where he can often be found working the room with participants and keeping everybody smiling.

 Contact Carl -
 cbowlby@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

Aidan Guimond
Program Leader

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Aidan started as a volunteer for Our Place in the winter of 2016.  When a part time position opened at the beginning of 2017, Aidan jumped at the opportunity and soon his part time job became a full time one.  He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and majored in psychology and minored in educational psychology and human relations.  

Contact Aidan -
aguimond@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

Catherine Hattendorf
Program Leader

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Catherine has 10 years of experience in Special Education. She has volunteered with individuals with disabilities since high school and has worked for NSSRA. She received her BS in Special Education from Northern Illinois University after which she worked in Virginia at an adult day program as a counselor. Catherine recently moved back to the northern suburbs and is very excited to be part of the Our Place team.

Contact Catherine - 
chattendorf@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

Sterling Humphrey
Program Leader

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Sterling has been working with young adults with developmental disabilities for over 15 years. Before coming to Our Place in 2011, he worked as a teacher’s aide at New Trier High School. He attended Loyola Academy High School where he played football and basketball and received an Associate’s Degree from Grand Canyon University.

Contact Sterling -
shumphrey@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

 

Brittany Mussen
Program Leader

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Brittany is a recent graduate of Illinois State University where she studied Human Development and Family Science with a minor in Children’s Studies.  She also has a background in event development including  ISU's Up ‘till Dawn, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  A former intern for Autism Speaks, Brittany worked with individuals with developmental disabilities in both high school and college and is excited to be part of Our Place. 

Contact Brittany -
bmussen@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

 

Cindy O'Donnell
Program Manager

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Cindy O’Donnell has extensive experience in special education.  She was the Chairperson of the Special Education Department at Schaumburg High School, where she worked for over 30 years.  She has a BS in Special Education and an MS in Educational Administration.  She retired from teaching a year ago and Our Place is thrilled that Cindy has chosen to return to work with us

Contact Cindy-
co'donnell@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

 

Sara O'Keefe
Program Manager

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Sara joined Our Place in October 2017.  She has an MSW and BSW from Loyola and James Madison University, respectively.  Sara brings a wealth of experience to her job at Our Place. She has worked in camps for children with autism, managed community relations and even helped with fundraisers in previous positions and internships.  

Contact Sara-
so’keefe@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

Therese O'Toole
Program Manager

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Therese has her BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana and her MSW from Loyola University.  She has extensive experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses, as a case worker and counselor.  She is certified as a QIPD, TCI and SBIRT.

Contact Therese- 
to'toole@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

Michelle Patzke
Administration Manager

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Michelle joined the Our Place staff in 2013 after spending over 10 years working as a lawyer before beginning a career for a hedge fund in Chicago. That work did not satisfy her soul and after a brief stint on the Our Place Board she joined the staff as a Job Coach and Administration Manager.

Contact Michelle -
mpatzke@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

 

Emily Stern
Senior Program Leader

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Emily has been with Our Place from the beginning. She was inspired to become a volunteer in 2010 by her brother, Josh—a participant. Since she was young, Emily has known that her dream when she grew up would be to work with people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to live her dream at Our Place. Emily is currently completing her studies to become a  speech-language pathologist.

Contact Emily-
estern@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

 

Nicole Seidlitz
Executive Director

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Nicole Seidlitz has 10+ years of experience in nonprofits in Chicagoland, including Impact 100. She was previously the Associate Director of the Cancer Research Foundation at the University of Chicago. She began as the Executive Director of Our Place in July 2016 and is thrilled to be part of this organization.

Contact Nicole- 
nseidlitz@ourplaceofnewtrier.org

 

Jamie Weller
Program Leader

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Jamie began as a volunteer at our Place in the winter of 2013 and eventually became a full time staff member.  Jamie received is BA in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is interested in psychology because he loves understanding how people’s minds function. He finds working with individuals with developmental disabilities incredibly rewarding. 

Contact Jamie-
jweller@ourplaceofnewtrier.org
 

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Our Board


Camille De Frank

Camille De Frank is a Founding board member, and Officer, Women’s Advisory Board, Misericordia. Member of Impact 100 Chicago.

Robin Downe

Robin has a degree in education and specialized in teaching children with developmental delays in Toronto Canada. After moving to Chicago, she worked as a substitute teacher and resource for students with learning disabilities.

Jane A. Gallery

Jane Gallery is the founder of Our Place and serves as President of the Board of Directors. She is also the Treasurer and Director of The Lowe Syndrome Association and a member of Impact 100 Chicago.

Matt Cohen

Matt Cohen is the founder of Matt Cohen & Associates and is well known for his work in special education law.   He has served on boards at both the national and local levels and has lectured nationally on a wide variety of special education topics, as well as on mental health and confidentiality law and has authored numerous articles on these subjects.

Ellen Hayden

Ellen Hayden is a designer and also serves as an officer of the Woman’s Club of Evanston, fundraiser for Life Span, and is an Auxiliary Board Member of The Ted Fund.

Pamela Sheridan Pappano

Pamela Sheridan Pappano is a practicing lawyer and also serves as Arbitrator, Cook County Board of Arbitration and as a Substitute Teacher at Loyola Academy.

Barbara Saavedra

Barbara Saavedra is a legal assistant and is involved in Special Olympics and special recreation projects.

Avidan Stern

Avi is a founding board member. He is Associate General Counsel of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and serves as secretary for the Board of Directors of Our Place.


Employment at Our Place


Please see open job listings below. If you're interested in working with Our Place,
but don't see an option that fits your skills, please reach out!


On my first visit to Our Place I knew I wanted to be part of this unique place. There were no openings, so I started volunteering. Now, roughly eight months after I first felt the love of Our Place, I’m a full-time program leader. I couldn’t be happier with the friendships I’ve made with the participants and the sense of community I experience every day.
— Aidan Guimond, Our Place Program Leader
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Open Positions


We do not currently have any open positions.

 

Although we do not have any open positions, we are always happy to keep your resume on file.  Please email us at info@ourplaceofnewtrier.org with your resume.