Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Sherlanda Brooks, President
Sherlanda Brooks is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Sourcing Solutions. Sherlanda has extensive experience in Supplier Diversity with major global organizations. In addition, she also has experience as a successful business leader and entrepreneur in the consumer product industry.
Prior to forming Diversity Sourcing Solutions, Sherlanda has had the privilege of working in Supplier Diversity for global procurement leaders such as Kraft Foods, Mondelez International and PepsiCo. Sherlanda’s passion for Supplier Diversity began when in 1996 as a Women Owned Minority Business Enterprise; she started her own consumer product company “As Good As Mother’s” Inc., a specialty product line of seasonings. Through her work with Supplier Diversity leaders at Kroger, Safeway and Albertson’s, she secured local and national distribution in over 1500 grocery stores and food service outlets across the country. In 2007, amid rising cost, Sherlanda sold As Good As Mother’s as intellectual property.
Currently Sherlanda serves as the chair for Diversity and Social Responsibility for the Institute of Supply Management (Chicago), Lane Tech Alumni Board Member and the advisory board for the Women’s Business Development Center. She also plays an active role in working with and empowering youth in underserved communities as well as supporting women’s shelters. Sherlanda attended the University of Kansas on a full track scholarship where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications.
Susan Andrews, Vice President and Assistant Secretary
Since her early years in a small town in Michigan, Susan has been living, raising two children, and making photographs in Chicago for more than 20 years. As a photographer, she specializes in photographing people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Her clients include companies that serve babies and children, and include Radio Flyer, Gerber, McDonalds, PepsiCo and Quaker.
Susan combines a keen eye for photography with a heart for the young - supporting the work of HelloBaby, Special Olympics, The Adoption Center of Illinois, The Lincoln Park Zoo, and other family-focused community organizations. According to Susan, “The great joy of my life has been raising my children. The highlight of my career is the work I have done photographing infants and children. Working with HelloBaby is a natural fit for me”.
Nicole Borovicka, Treasurer
A native Southern Californian, Nicole has made Chicagoland her home for the past 12 years. There are many advantages to living in a thriving and robust city like Chicago, but for many it presents a number of challenges. One such challenge is a safe place for underprivileged moms to take their babies to play outside the home. Although she has enjoyed a successful career in finance for the past 20 years, Nicole felt that she was lacking a connection with her community. She was thrilled when Debbie approached her to join the HelloBaby Team. Nicole hopes she can bring her passion and love of books, music, travel and fun to the children at HelloBaby. Nicole works in the Private Bank at JPMorgan Chase, and holds a BA from the University of California at Los Angeles. She and her husband John are the parents of 2 beautiful, spunky children and one hilarious hound dog.
Akilah Townsend, Secretary
Akilah Townsend grew up on the southside of Chicago. Her family and education instilled a deep sense of community and service in her at an early age, which led her to work as a volunteer and activist. Having been raised on the southside, Akilah attributes much of who she is today to the vibrant character of the southside. She sees tackling the limited resources of her community as a personal challenge to dedicate her life towards rectifying. Having experienced the struggles of being a single parent in a discouraging environment with a lack of resources, through family members and friends, Akilah is passionate about unifying and equipping her community with successful tools for growth and development. Akilah holds a BA in Environmental Policy from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Akilah works as an environmental scientist at Environmental Design International.
Ashley Bennett, Director
Ashley Bennett earned her Bachelors of Science in Special Education at Illinois State University. Following graduation, Ashley moved to Chicago and taught at a therapeutic day school for children with autism. While teaching, Ashley saw the complex needs of children and families, which inspired her to enroll in graduate school. In fall of 2008, Ashley began a dual degree program toward obtaining her MSW at Loyola University and Masters of Science in Child Development with an Infancy Specialization while continuing to teach. While doing her internship at Loyola University Medical Center, Ashley found her passion in hospital social work. Once her degrees were completed, Ashley left teaching after six years and worked at Loyola University Medical Center as a social worker on the pediatric and pediatric intensive care unit for two years. In November of 2015, Ashley accepted a position working on the general medicine unit at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.
Ashley has a passion for working with children and families, be it providing education surrounding child growth and development, empowering children and families facing chronic illnesses and disabilities, supporting families struggling with mental illness, or linking families to community services. With this in mind, Ashley is excited to be a part of HelloBaby and cannot wait to support its growth and the families and communities this wonderful organization serves.
Meredith Clayton, Director
Meredith is a pediatrician who has served in a broad range of healthcare contexts, from a regional children’s hospital to utilization management and from a mission hospital in Africa to a large HMO practice in southern California. Presently she works both as a Physician Advisor for AIM Specialty Health and as a pediatrician at Aunt Martha’s Children’s Reception Center on Chicago’s southside.
Born in Kansas and raised in France, Meredith graduated from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biological Sciences in 2003. Following her pediatric residency, she undertook a second residency in Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University in California, where she also earned a Masters Degree in Public Health.
Meredith is particularly excited to be affiliated with Hello Baby, given its strong belief in the importance of early literacy and interactive play for child development, two evidence-based practices she emphasizes in her own pediatric work.
Vicki Reynolds, Director
Vicki Reynolds is retired and has spent a life time in community service. She grew up in a small farming community in Kansas. In addition to raising three sons and serving as the Mission and Outreach Director in two congregations, Vicki considers herself to be a “professional volunteer.” She has served on many community boards, church boards, YMCA boards, and Parent Teacher Association Boards. Much of her volunteer involvement has been connected to at-risk youth. She believes building relationships and connecting both with community residents and community agencies are key aspects to building bridges and trust throughout Chicago neighborhoods. People working together in every neighborhood can enable change that will make our communities safe and prosperous.
Kathy Campbell Wolf, Director, Chair Resource Development Committee
Kathy Campbell Wolf holds a BA in International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, OH. Kathy began her career as an agent at Elite Model Management in Chicago, eventually starting her own agency representing fashion photographers and producing photo shoots. Kathy and her husband are the proud parents of a son and daughter and are actively involved with their school. After adopting their second child, Kathy met Debbie Frisch in 2009 when they both were Board Members at the Adoption Center of Illinois. Together, with photographer Susan Andrews, they spearheaded a rebranding and new marketing material for the adoption agency. Kathy is also a Board Member at the Chicago based not for profit Spark Ventures, an international organization servicing communities and enhancing the quality of education for people in Zambia and Nicaragua.
Jeff Braddy, Advisor
Jeff and his wife Susan are the Andrews and Braddy of Andrews Braddy Photography. For over 20 years, Jeff has worked for a wide variety of satisfied clients including many Fortune 500 brands. Jeff’s brings drama and life to the products he photographs.
As a life long resident, Jeff is deeply committed to Chicago. Jeff and Susan are parents to a daughter and son, Alex and Ian, and were very active in CPS when their children were students. Jeff has always used his photographic skills to give back to the community. Jeff is committed to capturing the story of HelloBaby on film.
Gerri Cicchinelli, Advisor
Gerri became a fundraiser from her involvement as a volunteer at Children’s Memorial hospital and for her passion for making a difference. While she had enjoyed a career as a retail entrepreneur and corporate executive, being able to apply her drive and energies to a mission driven organization is what she aspired to do.
She attended the Northwestern School of Continuing Studies and obtained a Certificate of Philanthropy. Gerri has worked at various Chicago nonprofit organizations and is currently at her dream job as the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation.
Gerri believes that an education is the key to reducing the cycle of poverty and changing the trajectory of a family. She believes that HelloBaby will facilitate positive change in the communities it serves and is honored to be part of this groundbreaking work.
Sidney Frisch, Advisor
Sid grew up in Highland Park, IL, and has lived in Chicago since receiving his bachelor and law degrees from the University of Illinois. He is an attorney at the law firm of Frisch & Frisch, Chtd. His practice has been primarily focused on business, real estate, and tax matters. He is married to Debbie, and together they are parents of daughters Lauren and Michelle, puppies Hunter and Morris and grand puppies Boone and Daisy.
Sid is happy to lend his legal and business expertise to HelloBaby. With his wife Debbie, Sid believes all children are entitled to opportunities for safe, inspired play.
Kerry Grady, Advisor
Kerry is a Father of three, youth leader, adjunct professor, designer, business owner, volunteer, author, missionary, coach, life-long learner, and servant. Thirty years ago, he moved to Chicago from his hometown is Muscatine, Iowa. Kerry's belief in God’s sovereignty is central to his spirituality as a twenty-first-century Christian. It simultaneously offers him the freedom and the responsibility to participate fully in the social, political, and economic life of the world.
Kerry believes that God is not a hypothesis or a good idea, but the power which turns what was, into what will be: "As Christians, we share a different, large vision of the future - where the practices of justice and mercy and kindness and peace are always the order of the day. It is a vision of the world in which no one is under threat and no one is at risk, because all are safe, all are valued, all are honored, all are cared for. And this community of peace will come only when the vicious cycles of human selfishness is broken". For him, participating in the work of HelloBaby and other community organizations, supports the belief that we are called to share our understanding of God's grace and expectations for us, and it is our responsibility to support our communities, our families, and our children.
Young Professionals Board
Young Professionals Board
Kassie Cicchinelli, President
Kassie was born and raised on the North side of Chicago and loves the city and all it has to offer. She is passionate about caring for the people of Chicago, especially those that are less fortunate. Kassie is honored to be part of the founding team that has started the Young Professionals Board for HelloBaby, serving in the role as President.
Kassie graduated from the Latin School of Chicago and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Indiana University. She currently is a project manager for a marketing firm. She loves spending time with her friends and family, dogs, being outdoors and pizza!
Erin Young, Secretary
Erin was born and raised in Chicago. She has been lucky enough to call multiple Chicago neighborhoods home, including her childhood home in the South Loop. Erin is passionate about science, engineering and education. Her interest in childhood education began while volunteering at Loyola University's Early Childhood Cognition Lab as an undergraduate. Erin has since been involved in many STEM programs to encourage and share her passion with girls and young women. Erin is beyond enthused to assist in the founding of HelloBaby’s Young Professionals Board and continue her work supporting mothers and their children.
Erin graduated from Whitney M. Young High School and received her Bachelor's of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. She currently works for Google in the West Loop.
Alex Giordano, Treasurer
Alex experienced her first year living in the city of Chicago when she transferred to the Latin School of Chicago during her Junior year of high school. Born and raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Alex was not used to the bustling, inner-city lifestyle that quickly became her new home. Not surprisingly, Alex instantly fell in love with the city – its culture, diverse neighborhoods, endless things to do and of course, the food! Upon learning of HelloBaby’s mission to serve families in the south side of Chicago, Alex was eager to assist in an organization that gave back to her community. Alex is excited to be a part of HelloBaby’s Young Professionals Board and eager to make a difference and tangible impact on the community.
Alex graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. She is currently an Investment Banking Associate at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
Debbie Frisch, Founder and Executive Director
Debbie Frisch is a Mother, Foster Mother, Spiritual Director, Volunteer, Community Activist and Philanthropist. Debbie is a Chicago transplant who comes from modest beginnings. The City of Chicago welcomed her with open arms and she is thrilled to give back to the city that she loves. Debbie is actively involved with many not for profit organizations that support economically disadvantaged families and children. But her true love has been the children she has been blessed to care for. She is passionate about continuing on her journey to partner with and support families with young children. “I created HelloBaby to help moms and to give all children a joyful, healthy, safe start.”
In response to the lack of services available to parents in underserved communities, Debbie decided to take a chance. Her goal is to establish a safe place that that is friendly, welcoming, environmentally responsible, accessible and fun. Simply said, Debbie believes every baby deserves the best.
Kiah Demery, Director of Operations
Kiah Demery is responsible for ensuring that HelloBaby is a positive experience for all of our guests - whether child or adult. She coordinates every aspect of operations, supervises staff and volunteers, and assists with future planning.
Kiah was a Program Coordinator for a Level 1+ school - which is the highest ranking a Chicago Public School can receive - on Chicago's Southside.
Kiah's unique and wide-ranging skill set has enabled her to successfully contribute in a variety of roles. These including program coordination, education services, and project management. She has the profound ability to interface and coordinate project scopes with ease. Her vast knowledge of project assessment, financial management, and art history has made her coveted key player in the youth and human services field. At CPS she was promoted to Project Coordinator for After School All-Stars, and appointed to Art Liaison for digital and art media projects.
Kiah possesses broad knowledge in nonprofit, education and public policy and holds a B. A. degree Applied Behavioral Science. She is trilingual - having basic conversational knowledge of French and Russian.
Kiah believes that children have made her a more knowledgeable and well informed person. Supporting children and their families is the most rewarding job she can think of. Kiah knows that working with HelloBaby will help parents and children achieve their full potential and to her nothing is more important.
In addition to planning projects, Kiah likes to spend her time with her mentor group and younger sisters. She is known for her DIY crafts and face painting. She also enjoys bikram yoga.
Amanda Freeman, Director of Social Media
Amanda is our resident social media expert. She grew up in the western suburbs and has lived in or around Chicago all of her life with the exception of completing a degree in photography at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and teaching English for a few years in Seoul, Korea. She has always loved children and is excited to combine that love along with her passion for photography and social media to support the work of HelloBaby. Amanda believes that building stronger communities will lead the city of Chicago to a brighter, safer future.
Anitra Stewart, Assistant Manager
Anitra is a ten year resident of the Woodlawn community. She is a single parent of five children, four boys and one girl. She has been a member of Living Hope Church and working with the youth for four years. She enjoys working with children watching them learn and grow. Anitra is excited to be apart of the HelloBaby team because, as a mother, she knows it will be a blessing to our community.