Skip to Site Navigation | Skip to Content

Board of Directors

Sharon Swanson


Sharon Swanson is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Village of Arlington Heights at the Arlington Heights Senior Center.  She joined the Arlington Cares Board because she believes in serving others and helping those in need. She and her husband Paul have lived in Arlington Heights for almost thirty years. Sharon has volunteered in numerous ways over the years in raising their three children both through their church and through schools. She is very proud to be a resident of Arlington Heights with all of the services that the Village provides to their residents.

Ron Crawford

Vice President

Ron and his wife, Diane, live only a few blocks from Village Hall, in the second house they have owned in Arlington Heights since moving here in 1977. They have two children, a son Ryan, and a daughter, Andrea. Ron worked for Com Ed for 31 years and retired in 2001. During his career, he worked in 10 different offices for Com Ed, all around the Chicago area. His last job was as Public Affairs Director for the northwest suburbs, a position that involved working with public officials and Chambers of Commerce for 15 communities. In that position, he joined the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce board of directors and served as president in 1997.

Ron is active with the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights and served as its President in 2008-2009. He also started a bicycle donation program through Rotary which donates “gently used” bikes to needy kids and adults. The program has donated more than 1000 bikes over the last six years. Rotary District 6440 selected Ron as the International Service Chair for 2011-2012. A large part of this responsibility is to plan the District’s International Service Trip to Guatemala in January. Next year will be the sixth time that Ron and Diane have traveled to Guatemala to work at a school for Mayan youth in the jungle near the Caribbean.

Mary Ellen Juarez


Pastor Randy Thompson

Chaplain - Secretary

Pastor Randy Thompson has been the pastor of Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights since April, 2001. Cross and Crown reaches out to the community in two significant ways. They have a preschool/daycare called “Kids of the Kingdom” that serves under-resourced families. Also, since May of 2006 they have reached out to the homeless and jobless of the community with a Saturday program called the “Ministry of Hope.” 60-70 guests come for a hot breakfast, hot lunch, a worship service, fellowship, and other services. Pastor Randy lives with his wife, Carol, and daughter, Kira.

Nicole Espinoza

Village Laison

Nicole Espinoza is the Social Services Coordinator for the Village of Arlington Heights and serves as Liaison to the Arlington Cares Board of Directors. Nicole received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Social Welfare and Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds a Masters in Social Work with a concentration on International Program Development from Dominican University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who has been in the Social Services field since 2001. Nicole is a bilingual Spanish-speaking practitioner who works with diverse populations presenting with a myriad of needs and challenges. She has a background working in non-profit organizations, community mental health facilities, municipalities and schools. Additionally, she has international experience working with NGOs in Guatemala and Nicaragua, where she worked with children living on the streets and designed a domestic violence prevention program. Nicole has a deep dedication and passion for serving those in need, increasing equity and reducing poverty. She is excited to be a part of Arlington Cares and is humbled to be able to serve the residents of Arlington Heights.

Nancy J.Cardella


Nancy works for the Village of Arlington Heights in Human Services. In this capacity, she sees the need and the impact that the funds we raise for Arlington Cares has on its residents. She wishes everyone could see the “hope” in our residents faces when we are able to assist them and is excited to work with this committee on fundraising for Arlington Cares. She has been involved in numerous fundraising opportunities with her church and other community organizations. She is a strong believer in the Village’s and our committee’s motto of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”.

Ray "Buzz" Gross


Senior Citrus Promotions and Marketing Specialist for State of Florida Department of Citrus for over 30 years. Developed and presented marketing, advertising, and promotional programs to all major accounts in 21 Midwest States and Westeren part of Canada. Also developed theme marketing promotions and community relations programs.

Worked for the following sports teams: Cook County Cheetahs Baseball Team, Crestwood, IL, Kenosha Mammoths Baseball Team, Kane County Cougars, Windy City Dawgs Basketball Team, Elgin Racers Basketball Team, and Schaumburg Flyers Baseball Team for over 12 years. Developed and presented marketing, advertising, and promotional programs to all major accounts in the market place. Also, developed theme marketing promotions and community relations programs.

Ray is a member of Faith Lutheran Church for over 50 years. He is the Head Usher, President of the Men's Bowling League, Member of the Men's Club, set-up the altar for Communion every Sunday and also assist on giving communion. Set up the Men's Club baseball outing each year. Past years for the church Ray was Chairman of the Elder Board, Chairman of the Personnel Committee and set-up the men's softball and basketball teams. Also worked on many other committees when needed.

Claudette Nowell-Philipp


Claudette is a 25 year resident of Arlington Heights and joined the Arlington Cares Board in 2018. She cherishes Arlington Heights as a vibrant and caring community. Prior to retirement in 2012, she served as Director of Leadership and Staff Development at the College of American Pathologists. Claudette is an idea person who enjoys using her marketing and organizational expertise to increase community awareness of Arlington Cares and develop fundraising efforts that support Arlington Heights residents in need.

Georgine Voight


Dwight Walton


Dwight Walton is a resident of Arlington Heights since 1964. He has served on the Arlington Heights Village Board for twenty years. Upon leaving the Board in 2001, he initiated the creation of Arlington Cares to assist in providing much needed emergency assistance funding.