BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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
WILLIAM EVANS - Secretary
Chief, Joliet Police Department
DAVID THORNTON, CPA - Treasurer
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
ANTHONY OLLINS - Executive Committee
Area Administrator, Illinois DCFS
DUFFY BLACKBURN, CPA, CFE
Will County Auditor
REV. HERBERT BROOKS, JR.
Will County Board Dist. 8
Pastor, St. John M. B. Church
RUTH A. COLBY
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
Attorney/Owner, Sterk Family Law Group, P.C.
Sales Director, Hawk Chevrolet Joliet
- Lisa Morel Las M.Ed. - Executive Director
- Jaclyn Lundquist M.S.W. - Assistant Director/Forensic Interviewer
- Esther Borrego B.A. - Intake/MDT Coordinator
- Christine Coster B.A. - Grants & Finance Manager
- Sara Ruzevich Innocenti M.S.W. - Senior Family Advocate & Back-up Forensic Interviewer
- Cheri Johnson - Child Sexual Exploitation Advocacy & Outreach Coordinator, PAWS-4-KIDS Coordinator
- Ashley Pattino B.A. - Bilingual Family Advocate
Trauma Therapy Staff
- Lorraine (Lorena) Guerrero Neumayer M.S.W., L.C.S.W., C.C.T.P. - Senior Trauma Therapist
- Gabriela Mancera, M.S.W. - Bilingual Trauma Therapist
- Savannah Regis M.S.W. - Trauma Therapist
- Dorothy (Dorota) Kruczek M.S.W. - Trauma Therapist
Forensic Interview Staff
- Cruz Ramirez Arzuaga M.S.W. - Senior Forensic Interviewer
- Denise Arroyo M.S.W. - Bilingual Forensic Interviewer
Lisa Morel Las, MEd
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
Lorraine has over 15 years of experience working with children, families and community members impacted by trauma in a myriad of environments including schools, hospitals and community agencies. She conducts individual and group therapy and supervises a team of trauma therapists and interns.
As a proud alum of Joliet Township Central High School and Joliet Public Grade Schools, Lorraine earned her MSW from Aurora University with a Type 73 school social work license. She has been trained and certified in several therapeutic modalities, mostly utilizing Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
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
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 Forensic Interviewer
After completing an internship at the Will County CAC in 2016, Denise returned in August 2017 as a Trauma Therapist.
In 2021, Denise moved to a full-time Forensic Interviewer position where she conducts 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.
Gabriela Mancera, MSW
Gabriela Mancera earned her earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology at University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master of Social Work from Texas State University at San Marcos. She completed her graduate school internships as a mental health counselor for Gary Job Corps and as a legislative advocate at the Texas State House of Representatives. Gabriela has worked as a graduate research assistant focusing on health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations, as well as addressing equity for Hispanic students. During her graduate program, Gabriela was inducted into Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Workers. Gabriela worked as a Bilingual Family Advocate for the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center and Back-Up Forensic Interviewer from 2017 to 2019 until she left to pursue her Masters. Gabriela was born and raised in Joliet where she has chosen to come back and make a change in the community she loves. She has 2 German Shepherds, Capitan and Chispa.”
Savannah Regis, MSW
Savannah joined the Will County Children's Advocacy Center in 2017 as our Intake/MDT Coordinator. In June 2022, she moved to a Trauma Therapist position where she provides evidence-based trauma therapy for clients to identify and overcome traumatic experiences, develop positive coping skills, build healthy relationships, and tell their trauma story.
She earned a Masters degree in Social Work from Governors State University, and a Bachelor's degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Family Studies a minor in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University.
Esther Borrego, BA
After an exemplary 8-year tenure as a Victim & Witness Advocate for the Office of Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, Esther accepted the Intake/MDT Coordinator position at the Will County Children's Advocacy Center.
Esther is responsible for scheduling all forensic interviews, communicating any needs children may have to the multi-disciplinary team, and assisting families to ensure their child has the best experience possible at the Will County CAC. Additionally, Esther is responsible for coordinating the monthly, multi-agency review of cases.
Esther is originally from Los Angeles, California and moved to the Joliet area in 2000. She earned an Associate in Arts degree in Criminal Justice at Joliet Junior College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Governors State University with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Restorative Justice, while also working and raising a family.
In 2013, while a GSU student, she completed an internship in the Victim/Witness Services division at the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. The following year, she was hired at the State’s Attorney’s Office as a Victim Advocate - a position she held for over 8 years.
Esther values the opportunity she has to work with many talented individuals who help in the prosecution of violent crimes in the Domestic Violence Unit and later in the Felony Division, and she is proud that she was able to assist those impacted by those crimes by advocating for their rights.
Jaclyn Lundquist, MSW
Assist. Director/Forensic Interviewer
Jaclyn joined the Will County CAC in 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 and obtained Advanced Child Sexual Abuse Forensic Interview Certification from CornerHouse shortly thereafter. She has since been the CAC’s primary forensic interviewer and conducted close to 2,500 interviews with children, adolescents , and vulnerable adults -- resulting in a career total of more than 3,000 forensic interviews.
Jackie graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois in 2001, earning a Bachelor of Science in Family Social Services. She graduated with honors from the University of St. Francis in 2008, earning a Master’s in Social Work.
Cruz Ramirez Arzuaga, MSW
Senior 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.
Since October 2017, she has conducted bilingual forensic interviews 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. In 2021, she was promoted to Senior Forensic Interviewer.
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.
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 services, 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.
Dorothy Kruczek, MSW
Dorothy first joined the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center back in 2019 while completing a two-semester family advocacy internship. She returned to the Will County CAC in February 2021 as a Trauma Therapist.
Dorothy received her Bachelor’s in Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Loyola University in Chicago. After completing an internship with the Gender-Specific Unit at the 19th Judicial Circuit Court’s Adult Probation Department, her passion for social work began. Many of the high-risk female offenders Dorothy worked with, had a history of involvement with the Criminal Justice System due to experiencing early childhood sexual abuse traumas. She then obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Simmons University in Boston, MA.
After obtaining her MSW and prior to returning to the CAC, Dorothy worked as an Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinician with Amita Health in Aurora where she provided individual, family, couple, and group counseling to children, adolescents, and adults struggling with mental health challenges.
Christine Coster, BA
As Grants Manager, Christine produces and submits all federal and state government grant applications and reports that fund our programs. She most recently held the position of Program Manager - Records & Reporting for the Dept. of Adult Education at Joliet Junior College, where she was responsible for providing oversight and maintenance of grant-funded budgets and ensuring the compliance of multiple grants. Previously, she worked as a Program Coordinator for Education Service Network (ESN) and volunteered as a facilitator for Kendall County Operation Snowball.
Christine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences from the University of Illinois in Springfield.
Ashley Patino, BA
Bilingual Family Advocate
Ashley joined the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in October of 2021 as a Bilingual Family Advocate. She is focused on creating a supportive and child focused environment by providing crisis support, community resources, and system information for children, and their non-offending caregiver, who have endured physical or sexual abuse or have even witnessed a traumatic and violent crime.
Ashley attended the University of Illinois at Chicago where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Criminology, Law , and Justice. With a passion for working with children, Ashley worked for Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School as a Youth Development Team mentor, doing community outreach, cultivating student employment opportunities, helping students develop resumes, providing case management, and providing overall emotional support to gain experience needed for life post-graduation.
In the future Ashley hopes to continue to help families in need and serve her community.
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.