Auxiliary Board Members
Paula is currently retired after working 37 years as a manager at AT&T. She has enjoyed all the community service work she did with the AT&T Pioneers while working and retired. Her favorite projects were those helping with food, but she especially liked preparing meals at Care For Friends.
Angela has been involved with Care for Friends for many years along with her husband and two teenagers. She joins the CFF Auxiliary Board with a commitment to helping those who are food insecure in Chicago. A city composter and supporter of several Community Supported Agriculture programs, she believes all people should have access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food and is excited to support CFF in playing their part in this mission. In her career she was a founding executive of Cielo, inc. and helped lead them through high growth in Sales, Human Resources and Operational roles. She is currently applying that experience to corporate board work, executive coaching and advisory services for growth companies.
Ashley is the former Volunteer Coordinator for Care For Friends. Originally from Northwest Indiana, she attended the University of Missouri for undergrad and spent a few years in Arizona, before returning to the Windy City. Ashley's background is in Hospitality Management, Special Events and Catering, though she always maintained an authentic interest and involvement in social justice issues and volunteer work, which showed through her activism and time with local organizations such as #TheTakeBack Chicago. She loves working with people who care and are striving to create better systems and situations for others. She is currently pursuing her Master's of Counseling at National Louis University, in hopes of becoming a School Counselor in CPS. Entertaining is her jam- She grew up dancing and can still be convinced to bust a move when the timing is right! She and her partner, Sam, live in Pilsen, with her cat Marlyn, and loves a solid podcast, movie or recipe recommendation!
Katie is an employee benefits consultant with over eight years of experience acting as a trusted resource to employers. She is accustomed to managing books of business up to $1.5M, including programs for self-funded and fully-insured businesses nationwide with up to 30,000 lives.
Katie graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor's degree in Sociology, and is a licensed Health, Life, and Accident Producer in all 50 states. She lives in Avondale with her cat, Callie.
As the President and CEO of Water Integrated Treatment Systems, Rico is responsible for running all facets of the business. Under his leadership, the company has been fortunate to enjoy rapid growth and profitability. Previously, Rico held various senior management positions in wastewater and environmental services for over 25 hears. he led continuous improvement teams on water treatment processing equipment. Additionally, Rico has designed and built over six treatment facilities across the Midwest.
Rico sits on committees for the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council and is involved in organizations such as the National Oil Recyclers of America, American Gas Association, and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Rico earned a B. S. degree in mechanical-electrical engineering from FIME Mexico University.
Francisco is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served from March 2001 to March 2005. During his enlistment, Francisco participated in combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon his separation from active duty, Francisco had earned the rank of Sergeant and other personal and unit recognitions. Francisco grew up in the Marshall Square neighborhood in Chicago, where he still resides. After his service, Francisco earned a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Francisco has worked in banking, non-for-profits, education, and government. At the age of 3, Francisco emigrated from Mexico with his mother (Adriana), older sister, and younger brother. Fleeing an abusive marriage, Adriana came to the United States for a better future for her children. Francisco was able to obtain his permanent legal residence in 1988 and became a citizen of the United States in 1995. Francisco is also a member of many military organizations and an active community member.
Justeen currently serves as Director of Community Partnerships at Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting under and unemployed Chicago jobseekers to career opportunities. Prior to her role at Skills, Justeen served as an Intact Case Manager and Wrap Around Facilitator for justice involved youth for the Department of Children and Family Services. Justeen received her graduate degree in Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus on Community Development and Education at DePaul University in 2013. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, mentoring youth in Englewood and serving as the Global Goals Ambassador for UNA Chicago, UN Global Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Jennifer has worked in international education for over 20 years. She has taught and advised students and managed programs at a variety of institutions, including the current Politechnika Koszalinska in Koszalin, Poland, Loyola University Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Institute for the International Education for Students (IES Abroad). In her most recent role of Program Dean with IES Abroad, she managed a portfolio of study abroad programs in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Jennifer is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
Angelina is a Senior Associate with Grant Thornton where she plans and implements virtual and in-person internal training programs. She was previously a paralegal with Legal Aid Chicago. Her work included increasing access to public benefits, anti-human trafficking outreach and immigration relief.
Angelina is a graduate of Amherst College with a B.A in Environmental Studies and Spanish. She is originally from San Diego and has called Chicago home for the last 10 years. In her free time, she volunteers as a Spanish interpreter through the National Immigrant Justice Center pro bono program.
Arjun is the CEO and Co-Founder of Chicago-based startup, Goodsend, where they provide a mobile platform for localized, peer-to-peer giving. Since launch in late 2020, his team has recruited hundreds of donors onto the platform, and partnered with several nonprofits to provide thousands of dollars in direct cash transfers to vetted recipients in the community.
In addition to Goodsend, Arjun has several years of professional experience in the software industry, as he’s worked on teams developing and supporting SaaS products across various industries in the city of Chicago.
Arjun’s parents moved to Evanston, IL from India in the 1980s and have called the Chicago area home ever since. He later grew up in the NW Suburb of Schaumburg, IL and attended the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Arjun now resides in The Loop downtown with his fiancé, Natasha.
Jennifer is the Director of Marketing and Events at Logan Square's cherished independent movie house - the Logan Theatre. Previously, she was the Vice President of Operations for a property management and acquisitions company as well as a Marketing Director for a number of packaged goods clients - including Dole and Dairy Farmers Association. With the mixed bag of experience gained over the decades, Jennifer has been able to use her operational proficiency and combine it with her creative side to develop extraordinary campaigns and events - all of which she is excited to bring to Care For Friends.
Having family that has been affected by homelessness and volunteering with a number of other organizations focusing on homelessness and social work, it was a natural calling to work with Care For Friends.
Born and raised in Chicago, graduating with a Bachelor's in Marketing at Northeastern University, she lives in Old Irving Park with her husband Troy.