Harriet Sadauskas, President
As President, Ms. Sadauskas oversees all aspects of the organization’s 13 million dollar budget including the efficient management of resources and expenditures, the management of more than 200 employees and three facilities, and works in tandem with a dedicated governing Board of Directors. She joined Association House 40 years ago as a secretary for the senior outreach program, rising up through the ranks. Her “hands on” approach to enhance the quality of life for diverse communities has enabled her to lead and implement strategic programmatic and administrative developments for the organization.
Julie Rodriguez, Vice President
Julie Rodriguez is our Vice President, and has served at Association House since 1997 when she began as a Masters level intern in the counseling program. Since then, she has served predominantly in a managerial capacity. As Vice President, she is accountable to the President for the full cycle of design, development, delivery and improvement of programs. Julie implements and leads a continuous quality improvement process through the program and service areas, focusing on systems/process improvement. She develops and implements new services and provides leadership and supervision to the program directors. In her most previous role as the Behavioral Health Director, Julie provided clinical oversight for staff throughout the implementation process for 18 fully-accredited programs ranging from mental health, substance abuse, and specialized programs for populations with developmental disabilities.
Association House’s dedication to community, appreciation for family and the overall atmosphere of welcoming and openness shown to participants are what drive Julie’s commitment to the organization. She also credits Association House’s success to the collaborative spirit among staff and participants alike. A proud mother of daughter Jayla and a pet cat Roxie, Julie has lived in multiple neighborhoods throughout Chicago’s Northside. Her baseball allegiances lie with the Chicago Cubs, although her go-to sport is volleyball.
Julie currently serves on the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois’ Board of Directors representing the Northeast District. She is a state-licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and received her Bachelors from the University of Illinois in Champaign, and her Masters of Science in Applied Family & Child Studies from Northern Illinois University.
Damaris Acevedo, Director of Child Welfare
Damaris Acevedo currently oversees the programs within the Child Welfare Division, which now provides quality services for more than 175 active family cases that include foster care, intact family services; and adoptions. Damaris attended the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams School of Social Work, where she received her Bachelors of Social Work; and received her MSW from Dominican University. She is a Licensed Social Worker with an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services license and is 402 & CCA certified. Since 2005, Damaris has worked in the Child Welfare Division and began her tenure as a foster care case manager. Prior to joining Association House, Damaris worked at Casa Central as a Teen Parenting Service Network case worker and at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center as a GED instructor and then GED counselor.
Damaris enjoys Association House’s culture and finds staff to be warm, hardworking, genuine and committed. She believes the secret of the Association House’s quality services stems from these qualities where participants feel welcome and respected, and can benefit from the multidimensional approach in regarding the provision of services. A Humboldt Park native and resident, Damaris has three children and a pet fish Zappy. Damaris values education tremendously and credits her parents who greatly supported her pursuit of higher education opportunities.
Jaime Garcia, Director of Human Resources
Jaime Garcia oversees the everyday operations and planning of Association House’s Human Resources Department, which includes the development, modification and consultation of human resources policies and procedures, benefits administration, federal/state employment regulation compliance, and recruitment. His journey with the organization began in November 2003 as a part-time Human Resources Clerk. After finishing his undergraduate degree, he became the Human Resources Coordinator. With little formal education in the field, Jaime hit the ground running and quickly gained tremendous experience as he learned the ropes of Human Resources. In 2009, he was promoted to Human Resources Manager where he was responsible for employee benefits, recruiting, and employee relations.
Jaime feels that he has been very fortunate for the professional opportunities he has gained and the skill set he has expanded throughout his years at Association House. He believes firmly in the importance of the organization’s impact to the larger community and is happy to contribute to that great impact in some way. The youngest of four siblings, Jaime was raised in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and Berwyn. He attended the University of Illinois of Chicago where he received his Bachelors of Science degree in Finance and Management, and has a MBA from National-Louis University. Jaime completed a certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from DePaul University. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and is also active in the Greater Chicagoland Not-for-Profit Human Resources Directors Group.
Tina Leeson, Director of Performance Quality Improvement
As the Performance and Quality Improvement Director, Tina is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has 20 years’ experience in social services and spent 15 years working in the field of Child Welfare. In 1995, she moved to Chicago and immediately began working as a Foster Care Case Manager at Metropolitan Family Services and transitioned to ChildServ later in 2011. During her 13 years at ChildServ, she worked as a Foster Care Case manager and was promoted to Foster Care Supervisor, where she served for three years. Tina transitioned into the Quality Improvement Department as a Coordinator in 2003 and served as Program Director at ChildServ’s Lake County Family Service Center, Group Home and the Chicago Temple Tutoring Program. In 2006, she was promoted to Director of Quality Improvement at ChildServ, where she remained until her transition to Association House in August 2011.
Tina’s journey in Quality Improvement began in 2003 when basically, it chose her. She assumed a position as the new Continuous Quality Improvement Coordinator when little professional education was available in the nonprofit sector and few professionals were in the field. She quickly found that she had already performed these duties in her previous position. Today, she’s happy to have started her journey, and is passionate about Quality Improvement. Tina received her Bachelors of Arts degree from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and her Masters in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago.
Anthony Lopez, Chief Financial Officer
Anthony began his tenure as an evening receptionist for Child Welfare at Association House’s original home on 2150 W. North Avenue. At the time, he was a high school student at Holy Trinity. Twenty years later, he forms part of the Association House’s Leadership Team as its Chief Financial Officer. Anthony has over a decade of experience in contract administration and fiscal management. His firm commitment to the organization stems from the great enjoyment and constant challenge of providing quality services to the program participants through sound management. He believes that regardless of one’s role at Association House, we all can make a difference.
Born in Chicago and raised in Pilsen, Anthony is a proud Chicago White Sox fan. He has a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.B.A from National-Louis University. Anthony embraces the spirit of entrepreneurship and during his free time, works with diverse community organizations through a business he co-established alongside his brother – Envisage Strategy, LLC.
Tom Mathews, Director of Facilities
Tom manages the maintenance of the buildings, grounds, and equipment of Association House’s 153,000 square foot community center and three residential locations. He assures safe and efficient operations and meets agency, accreditation, funder, State Fire Marshall and Department of Building standards. His background includes thorough knowledge of mechanical, electrical, and control systems including computerized building automation and energy management systems. Tom loves his work at Association House, enjoys helping to make a difference, and is happy to be an integral part of the leadership to continue our mission.
Prior to Association House, Tom served as the Operations Manager at AvAirPros serving Midway Airport where he was responsible for maintenance, contracts, operations, and general day-to-day interactions of various operational equipment and facilities systems. In 2005, he adopted his youngest daughter from China. Recently, his eldest daughter has blessed him with two granddaughters. Tom holds a certification in HVAC, a universal refrigeration license, and a stationary engineer license and a Bachelors of Science degree from Southern Illinois University’s College of Engineering. Finally, he has a certificate in e-Business Strategy from University of Chicago.
Emily Marion, Director of Behavioral Health
Serving first as a clinician, Emily came to Association House to counsel youth and adults. Since that time, she has been a Supervisor of the Community Support Team (CST), Supervisor of Community Reintegration and Support, and most recently, the Williams Quality Administrator, working with team-based intensive case management programs, including transitioning participants from institutional psychiatric care to independent living in the community. Currently as Director of Behavioral Health, she oversees the mental health programs, substance abuse services, and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Emily began her career in clinical services as an intern at the International Children’s Center through Heartland Alliance assisting mostly Central American children, and as a human rights intern through a University of Chicago- placement at Casa Alianza in Guatemala City on the Family Reintegration team. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has a Bachelor’s of Science in psychology from Loyola University Chicago and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.
Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Emily has lived the past 15 years in multiple Chicago neighborhoods. She’s proud to be a part of the team at one of Chicago’s original settlement houses and enjoys working across diverse cultures and collaborative service disciplines, while empowering, advocating for, accompanying, supporting, and learning from Association House participants. Emily enjoys dancing, camping and gardening and rooting for the Chicago White Sox.
David Pieper, Principal, The Association House High School (Formerly El Cuarto Año High School)
David is the Principal of Association House’s public charter high school. Mr. Pieper began his career in education in 2006 as a Social Studies Teacher in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. After six years of teaching, Mr. Pieper became a Curriculum Specialist focused on secondary education. Mr. Pieper came to Association House as an Assistant Principal and now serves as the school’s leader. Mr. Pieper has a Bachelor’s degree in History Education from Illinois State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University.
As a school leader Mr. Pieper leverages the resources available at Association House to connect every student with success. He believes the school’s unique character and small size enables him to create a positive school culture that reengages students who have been out of school or have not thrived in traditional academic settings. Mr. Pieper understands that the school’s mission does not end with the final bell or at the school door. He strives to ensure students make successful post-secondary transitions and possess key skills to create life long learners and vital contributors to our society.
Linda X. Tortolero, Director of Development
Linda began her professional career in nonprofits as an administrator and fundraiser and has always found it be fulfilling work. As of December 2013, she is the Association House’s Director of Development and works closely with the President to implement all aspects of the Development Department. She is responsible for the supervision of the Development staff, assists with gift initiatives and manages the daily operation of the Development department. Recently, she was a Proteus Fund Diversity Fellow at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation in Quincy, MA. She supported the Foundation’s Director of Policy with various grant making and policy projects as they relate to student centered learning initiatives and systemic change throughout New England. Linda served as the Special Projects Director at the National Museum of Mexican Art. In this role, she supervised new projects and activities that augment the museum’s programming and capacity in addition to overseeing and assisting with various fundraising activities including identifying new funding prospects.
Prior to her work at the Museum, Linda was the Development Manager of Mujeres Latinas en Acción and led fundraising initiatives to secure foundation and corporation grants and special events support. She also established the Pilsen/Little Village Information Center to serve as a Chicago Empowerment Zone liaison for Pilsen/Little Village cluster and to promote the Empowerment Zone opportunities and programs and help the community to secure resources for socio-economic development. Finally, Linda practiced litigation in various areas at Schiff Hardin LLP and was awarded the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Distinguished Service Award. Coming from a family of three generations of White Sox fans, Linda also loves soccer and traveled to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where she saw both Teams USA and Mexico play. She reads newspapers voraciously, enjoys historical and political documentaries, and has attended numerous musical performances from World Music to pop/rock en español. Linda has a Bachelor’s in History of Modern Latin America and Political Science from Brown University and a Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law.
Tanya A. Wade, Clinical Director
Tanya A. Wade is a licensed clinical social worker with over 23 years of service. As a native New Yorker, Tanya’s passion for human services began as a youth counselor working with intellectually and developmentally delayed children. Tanya graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and began her professional career at a residential treatment center with youth who had emotional and behavioral difficulties. Over the next five years, she worked for private child welfare agencies contracted with the Administration for Children’s Services in New York as a foster care and adoption case manager.
In 1998, Tanya moved to Chicago where she continued to serve children, adolescents and families for another 5 years as a special needs case manager for private agencies contracted with DCFS. During that time, she facilitated trainings and workshops on the psychological effects of pediatric HIV and AIDS, stress management, child and adolescent trauma, and caregiver self-care. After receiving a Masters of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago, Tanya honed her clinical skills as a diagnostician in the admissions department at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, and later as a therapist to adolescent girls. Tanya returned to child welfare and was employed by La Rabida Children’s Hospital for nearly 6 years as a Clinical Screener in the DCFS Integrated Assessment program.
Energized by the organization’s formidable reputation and community reach, Tanya began working for Association House as a Continuity of Care Coordinator in May 2013. She was promoted to her current role as Clinical Director in July 2014, where she monitors program performance, provides clinical supervision and direction and ensures that participants receive high quality clinical services and care.
When Tanya is not keeping up with her active twin stepchildren, she is an affiliate therapist providing individual, parenting and couple’s counseling. In her limited free time, Tanya is a fitness enthusiast, reads horror novels and personal finance blogs and listens to outrageous and intriguing podcasts.