BOARD MEMBERS and Staff
Board Member: President
Brenda has lived in the McHenry County community since 1992. She has spent that time raising her family and staying actively involved in projects that empower our youth. The BREAK is a special project that she and a group of sophomores from Crystal Lake South High School began in January 2013. Watching the community and the youth evolve into a partnership of empowerment has been a highlight of her work in the community. She holds her B.A. in Biology with a minor in Psychology from Drake University. She is co-owner of Fast Finish Coaching, loves running, reading and spending time with her family.
Board Member: Vice President
Pat has lived in Crystal Lake since 1990, is married to Gayle, and they have three children and four grandchildren. He was a Part Time staff member at Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association (NISRA) for 10 years after having retired from the Allstate Insurance Corporation in 2011. He is a certified Special Olympics coach and has coached Special Olympic basketball teams since 2005. He has had decades of experience as a coach of youth sports in the area. Pat is also volunteer at Senior Care Volunteer Network (SCVN). Pat has served as a past President and Board Member of the NISRA Foundation Board of Directors 2012-2018. Other previous board membership includes the Crystal Lake Raiders 2000-2004 and the Crystal Lake America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta 1997-1999.
Board Member: Secretary
Michelle lives in Crystal Lake with her husband and two teenagers. Soon after moving to the area in 2018, Michelle was looking for activities for her youngest child and was so grateful to find the BREAK that she wanted to help support the mission in whatever way she could. Michelle has a degree in Journalism, but spent most of her career in corporate training and development management. Even after staying at home to raise a family, Michelle has been actively involved in every community she has lived, and currently serves as president of a nonprofit supporting local mothers.
Board Member: Treasurer
Adam has lived in the McHenry County area since 2001 with his wife and three kids between the ages of 14-21. He has been involved in non-profit organizations since 2013, and having two teenagers finds the mission of the Break a much needed one in this community. He graduated from Illinois State with a Sociology degree and is currently an Account Lead in Technology Sales. He enjoys sports, music and good food.
Laura is an attorney at Kelleher + Holland, LLC, and concentrates her practice in estate planning, estate and trust administration, commercial and residential real estate, and business enterprises. She graduated from Western Michigan University Law School, Cum Laude, in 2012, and from Western Illinois University with a B.B.A. in finance in 2009. Laura is the recipient of the 2021 Super Lawyer "Rising Star" and 2021 Illinois Leading Lawyer awards. Laura lends her time and knowledge to many organizations, including the Illinois State Bar Association, the Advocates Society for the Association of Polish American Attorneys, the American Diabetes Association, and both the Chicago Alumni Chapters of Delta Zeta and Delta Sigma Pi. Laura lives with her fiance and two Australian Shepherds in Crystal Lake and enjoys spending time cycling, golfing, kayaking, and involved in her local community.
Board Member: Director
John was born and raised in McHenry County and graduated from Marian Central Catholic in 1987. He attended Northern Illinois University and achieved a BS in Biology. He moved back to the area in 2009 and in 2010 became a founding member in Domek Logistics an international logistics company based in Crystal Lake, IL. His career in logistics has allowed him to travel extensively around the world solving supply chain-related issues on a global scale. In 2018 he sold his interests in Domek Logistics to Masterpiece International. He is currently the top salesperson for Masterpiece International. He was introduced to The Break while serving as a team member of LGMC with Brenda and has previously offered input and assistance on the fundraising efforts. When not working, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, golfing, and running.
Board Member: Director of Social Media and Marketing
Sara grew up in Oakwood Hills and graduated from Crystal Lake Central back when phones still had cords and call-waiting was cool. After high school, she joined the Navy and spent the next 8 years in California before returning to McHenry County. Sara continued her education and eventually received her degree in psychology/human services. Believing there are a million ways to be of service to others, she continued her volunteer service as a McHenry County CASA and eventually went on to join Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County as their Operations Director in 2018. As a graduate of the 2021 LGMC class, she discovered The BREAK and couldn’t resist becoming a part of the mission. Sara currently lives in Lake in the Hills with her husband, two daughters and their two German Shorthair Pointers she obsesses over.
Staff: Health Promotion Manager
As the Health Promotion Manager, Mandy will team up with organizations in the community to create structured programs to keep teens in the communities safe, including recreational events and expansion of programs for the alumni group. Mandy has 12 years of experience with people of all ages with different abilities in recreational settings. Her experiences include program development, staff training, relationship building, behavioral management, life skills training, and leadership. She also have experience with instructing resume writing, mock interviewing, and job coaching. Mandy, a new mother to twin boys, spends her free time with her husband and two pups, taking photos and trying out new restaurants.
Staff: Building Manager
Naikeema is a recent graduate of Jacobs High School. She has lived in the McHenry County Area for most of her life. Naikeema aspires to be a juvenile probation officer once she graduates from college. Currently, she is a soldier in the US Army Reserves. Her service in the army has allowed her to travel to Africa in order to form a relationship with the Rwandan army. Her goal in life is to network and provide compassion to every individual she meets within her lifetime. She is very passionate about The Break's philosophy, and even wants to organize her own at-risk youth center in the future.
We would like to say big thank you to our sponsors for helping to support us and the teens! If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please Contact Us.
BRIXMOR Property Group
All Star Painting and Papering, Inc.
Fast Finish Coaching
Ed's Rental & Sales