Our Board of Directors represents a cross-section of Will County community leaders who passionately advocate on behalf of children who have endured sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, sexual exploitation, child pornography, neglect, and exposure to violence. They provide strategic leadership, ensure long-term sustainability, and provide the oversight needed to achieve our mission and goals.

JAMES W. GLASGOW - Chairperson
Will County State's Attorney

MIKE KELLEY - Vice Chair
Will County Sheriff

DAWN MALEC - Secretary
Chief, Joliet Police Department

David J. Thornton, CPA

MIKE FRICILONE - Executive Committee
Will County Board Member, Dist. 7
EVP, Midwest Office Interiors

RICH WILK - Executive Committee
Commander - Zone 3, Illinois State Police, Dist. 5

DR. RITA GRAY - Executive Committee
Director of Clinical Training - Behavioral Health, Will County Health Department

MICHAEL FERGUSON - Executive Committee
Area Administrator, Illinois DCFS

Will County Auditor

Will County Board Dist. 8
Pastor, St. John M. B. Church

President & CEO, Silver Cross Hospital

Retired, Will County Board Member

Owner, Nowacki Insurance

Mayor, Village of Channahon

Program Director/Broadcaster, WJOL Radio

Adult Probation Supervisor, Will County Adult Probation

Sales Director, Hawk Chevrolet Joliet


Operations Staff

Advocacy Staff

  • Sara Ruzevich M.S.W. - Senior Family Advocate
  • Cheri Johnson - Child Sexual Exploitation Advocacy & Outreach Coordinator, PAWS-4-KIDS Coordinator
  • Ashley Pattino B.A. - Bilingual Family Advocate

Trauma Therapy Staff

Forensic Interview Staff


Lisa Morel Las, MEd
Executive Director

Lisa Morel Las was selected by Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, with Board of Directors approval, for the position of Executive Director in August 2015.

Previously, she served as the Chief Executive Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties. During her 11-year tenure at Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lisa raised the organization’s community profile, secured more than $1 million in federal grant funding, spearheaded a successful capital campaign to purchase new office headquarters in Joliet, and opened satellite offices in Grundy and Kankakee counties.

She also previously served as District Administrator for Illinois Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson, and before that, she served as State's Attorney Glasgow's Director of Information & Public Administration where she was instrumental in securing federal grant funding that led to the establishment of the Will County Drug Court program. Lisa was also instrumental in the lobbying efforts for Glasgow's successful legislative initiatives.

In 2012, Lisa was honored by the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce with the ATHENA Award, and in 2011 she was awarded the Joliet Catholic Academy Alumni Association's Career Achievement Award.

Lisa earned a Bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College - Notre Dame and a Master’s degree in Counseling Education from Loyola University, Chicago. She also completed postgraduate business administration courses for not-for-profit organizations at the University of Notre Dame. She is a member of the Joliet Rotary Club and the Holly Club of Joliet.

Lorraine Guerrero Neumayer MSW, LCSW, CCTP
Senior Trauma Therapist

As a proud alum of Joliet Township Central High School and Joliet Public Grade Schools, Lorraine holds a master’s degree in social work from Aurora University, and a B.A. in social work from Lewis University. She successfully passed the LCSW exam in November 2018 and in 2019, she earned Certified Clinical Trauma Therapist status.

Lorraine was appointed to serve on the District 204 - Joliet Township High School Board of Education in 2020. Lorraine previously served as a member of the Board of School Inspectors of Joliet Public Schools - Dist. 86, and as a Commissioner on the Housing Authority of Joliet board.

 She spends most of her spare time with familia, practicing Spanish, reading anything about social justice and listening to NPR. Lorraine aspires to travel the world and to learn more about both of her parent’s cultures. She loves anything rainbow, Dr. Seuss, photographs and hope filled quotes. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome” ∼Booker T. Washington

Sara Ruzevich MSW - Family AdvocateSara Ruzevich, MSW
Senior Family Advocate

After completing a 2-semester internship at the Will County CAC, we were thrilled to welcome Sara Ruzevich of Tinley Park back as a full-time Family Advocate. She is responsible for providing crisis support, system information, and community resources for children (and their non-offending family members) who have endured severe physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, and exposure to violence.

Sara earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Augustana College, and a Master’s degree in Social Work at Aurora University. She previously worked as a Care Coordinator at PLOWS Council on Aging, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting senior citizens who are physically or psychologically impaired.

Most recently, Sara was the Community-Based Case Manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties where she was responsible for creating and supporting evidence-based, one-to-one mentoring matches between adult volunteers and children.

Denise Arroyo, MSW
Bilingual Trauma Therapist, Back-up Forensic Interviewer

After completing an internship at the Will County CAC in 2016, Denise returned in August 2017 as a Trauma Therapist, providing bilingual, trauma-specific, individual, group, and family therapy.

Denise also serves as a backup Forensic Interviewer, conducting bilingual fact-finding interviews with alleged child abuse victims.

Previously, Denise worked at Family Focus in Aurora as a Family Support Worker for first-time teen mothers where she also co-facilitated a teen mothers weekly support group. Denise also has training and experience working with sexual assault and domestic violence victims.

Denise earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis University and a Master of Social Work degree from Aurora University.

Savannah Regis, BS
Intake & MDT Coordinator

Savannah Regis attended Eastern Illinois University where she received a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Family Studies and a minor in Psychology. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at Governors State University.

As the Intake/MDT Coordinator, Savannah is in charge of scheduling all forensic interviews, communicating any needs the children may have to the multi-disciplinary team, and assisting the families to ensure their children have the best experience possible at the Children’s Advocacy Center. Additionally, she coordinates the monthly, multi-agency review of cases.

HANNAH KOHUT, B.A. - Grants ManagerHannah Kohut, BA
Grants Manager

Hannah Kohut is a native Louisianan and has been in the Chicago area since 2008, moving from New Orleans to work for The Chicago Tribune and CLTV/WGN-TV. Her background is in news writing and producing, and she has reported for The Daily Southtown, The Herald-News (Joliet), Chicago Tribune and Chicago, Sun-Times and WBBM-AM.

In writing, her goal is to drive the main point home, telling the readers what they need to know, exactly how it happened and why. She applies these same disciplines to grant writing for the Children’s Advocacy Center.

She graduated from the University of New Orleans with a bachelor’s in communications in December 2005 – only months after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city on August 29. It was this tragedy and its aftermath that motivated Hannah to become the eyes and ears for the public – to get vital, sometimes life-saving information out as accurately and quickly as possible, and to tell the stories of people as they recovered and rebuilt their homes, cities, schools and lives.

After a few years of news reporting in the Chicago area, then a brief career pivot to marketing, Hannah felt called to use her writing, marketing and strategy talents in a meaningful way that would make a difference, which led her to the CAC. She is proud to serve on such a team of truly diverse disciplines and backgrounds, and looks forward to contributing toward the CAC’s mission.

Outside of work, Hannah loves doing intensive genealogy research, watching wrestling and going to as many hard rock music shows as possible.

Ashley Patino, B.A.
Bilingual Family Advocate

Photo and bio coming soon!

Billie Terrell, PhD LCSW, ACSW
Clinical Supervisor

Dr. Billie Terrell retired as professor emeritus from the University of St. Francis in August 2017. She previously served as the program director of their Bachelor of Social Work program, and then she developed and chaired their Master of Social Work program which was fully accredited in 2010.

Dr. Terrell previously practiced medical and psychiatric social work extensively at Silver Cross and St. Joseph Hospitals in Joliet, IL. Other career achievements include opening her own practice for multicultural families and working as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois until becoming a full-time faculty member at the University of Illinois in 1985.

After earning her Bachelor's degree in social work from then-College of St. Francis, Dr. Terrell earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois and a doctorate from the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago.

Terrell serves her community by participating on the board of several community agencies, including the Guardian Angel Home and the Center of Correctional Concerns. She currently serves as the president of the Will County Board of Health.

Jaclyn Lundquist, MSW
Senior Forensic Interviewer

Jaclyn first joined the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center staff in August of 2002 as a Case Manager and went on to be trained as a forensic interviewer at CornerHouse in Minneapolis. She continued serving as a Case Manager/Back-up Forensic Interviewer until February of 2006. During that time she conducted over 500 Forensic Interviews.

After starting a family and earning a Master’s degree in Social Work, she returned in July 2008.  A few months later, she obtained her Advanced Child Sexual-Abuse Forensic Interview Certificate of Achievement from CornerHouse. Since that time, Jaclyn has been the primary Forensic Interviewer and has since conducted close to 2,500 interviews with children, adolescents , and vulnerable adults, resulting in a career total of almost 3,000 forensic interviews.

Jaclyn graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois in 2001, earning a Bachelor of Science in Family Social Services. She graduated with honors from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois in 2008, earning a Master’s in Social Work.

Ivette Nodal MSW, LCSW
Bilingual Trauma Therapist

Ivette Nodal earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from Edinboro University and a Bachelor's degree in Social work from the University of St. Francis.  Ivette successfully successfully passed the LCSW exam in October 2020. She previously worked at La Rabida Children’s Advocacy Center where she served as their MDT Coordinator and Bilingual Family Advocate.

Ivette also serves as a back-up Forensic Interviewer, after completion of the Corner House Forensic Interview training in May 2018. She has experience providing crisis intervention, individual therapy, as well as family and group therapy under the supervision of clinical supervisors.

Cruz Ramirez Arzuaga, MSW
Bilingual Forensic Interviewer 

A native of California, Cruz began working with the Will County Children's Advocacy Center in January 2017 as a contractual Mental Health Counselor. She then moved into to a newly-created Child Sexual Exploitation Victim Advocate position where she provided crisis intervention, ongoing case management services, and assistance in getting basic needs met.

In October 2017, she transitioned to the newly-created, bilingual Forensic Interviewer position -- to help children tell their story through a series of unbiased, non-leading questions in a one-on-one setting, to elicit information about the abuse in an age- and developmentally-appropriate manner.

Cruz received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Sociology and Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of St. Francis. She lives in Minooka with her husband Marco, and son Abraham.

Cheri Johnson - CSEC Advocacy & Outreach Coordinator, PAWS-4-KIDS Coordinator

Cheri is the Child Sexual Exploitation Advocacy & Outreach Coordinator for the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center where she provides confidential case management, support and advocacy to youth who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation.

Cheri also is the Coordinator for the Paws-4-Kids program, which is a part of Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow’s League of Extraordinary Canines.   Three Labrador Retrievers (Jackson, Malley and Kiwi) are available at the Children’s Advocacy Center to comfort the children who come there for services.

Cheri previously served as Jim Glasgow’s Executive Assistant for 11 years.  Before joining the State’s Attorney’s Office, Cheri served as Director of Development for the Rialto Square Theatre for two years, and Director of Development for the Joliet Region Easterseals for 15 years.

GLORIDY TALOFF M.A. - Bilingual Family Advocate/Forensic InterviewerGloridy Taloff, MA
Bilingual Trauma Therapist/Back-Up Forensic Interviewer

Gloridy initially joined the Will County Children's Advocacy Center in March 2020 as a Bilingual Family Advocate and back-up Forensic Interviewer. She moved to a Bilingual Trauma Therapist position in May 2021.

She previously worked at La Rabida Children’s Advocacy Center where she served as Bilingual Family Advocate and Forensic Interviewer.

A native of Puerto Rico, Gloridy earned a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Lewis University and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the Ana G. Mendez University. She has extensive experience providing crisis intervention, support and community resources for children (and their non-offending family members) who have endured severe physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, and exposure to violence.

Gloridy spends most of her spare time with her daughter Mia Isabella. She enjoys cooking and traveling to Puerto Rico to visit her family.

Susan Thedens, B.A.
Grants Accountant

In December 2020, Susan Thedens retired from the Illinois State Police with over 31 years of experience. In her Administrative Assistant position at the Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory, she was responsible for managing the laboratory's budget.

Susan attended DePaul University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, and has completed coursework in Governors State University’s M.A. in Clinical Mental Health program.

As the Grants Accountant at the Will County Children's Advocacy Center, Susan is responsible for the fiscal operations and management of all federal, state, and private grants.

Most importantly, Susan is a mother of three, a grandmother, and an avid baseball fan.

Help us continue to provide hope, healing & justice for abused children.

Annually, the Will County Children's Advocacy Center serves more than 700 Will County children (and their non-offending family members) who have endured sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, sexual exploitation, child pornography, neglect, and exposure to violence.

Children who have been victimized, and receive services are less likely to: abuse drugs or alcohol, grow up to become victims of domestic violence, become involved in some sort of criminal activity, suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, or post-traumatic stress disorder, and/or develop suicidal ideation and self-harm.

Your financial gift can make a profound difference in changing a child’s life.