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Board of Directors

Bridget Schank


If you ask Bridget what she loves most about Arlington Heights she will say, “Hands down, the people.”  That is the main reason she and her husband, Tim, their children, Jack and Gracie, and their golden retriever moved here seven years ago.  Bridget is currently a community activist and volunteer.  Her son had a liver transplant when he has 2, and at that point she decided to stay home full-time.  Before that, Bridget was a lobbyist for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, working heavily on perinatal depression issues and overseeing a statewide campaign to increase funding for early childhood home visiting.  Bridget was a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and a community organizer in Fresno, California and on the south side of Chicago.  She and Tim helped start and run the youth group at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago for six years.  Bridget received her B.A. in Government from the University of Notre Dame and earned her Master’s in Public Policy from the Harris School at the University of Chicago.  Bridget’s deepest held values, thanks to her parents and grandparents, are to care for those in need and to fight social injustices.  She is active in supporting Arlington Cares, Teen Parent Connection in Glen Ellyn, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and North Star Reach, a camp for children with serious health conditions.  A proud resident of the Pioneer Park neighborhood, Bridget leads the service club at Westgate School, is the PTA’s Legislative Liaison, and helps run the school’s art club.  Bridget is also a first person narrative storyteller performing at shows in Arlington Heights and around Chicago. Bridget has been a Board member since 2019.

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.

Jay Nelson


Jay and his family moved to Arlington Heights in 2014. From the moment they moved in, they've been continually amazed by the strong community spirit that Arlington Heights offers.

A Minnesotan transplant, he has lived in the Northwest suburbs since the late 90's. In 2017, he traded in his 20-year telecommunications engineering career for a more rewarding job as a stay-at-home dad to his two daughters. This gave him the opportunity to become much more involved with their school and the Westgate PTA. It also affords him the opportunity to spend time giving back with Arlington Cares.

He is proud to call Arlington Heights home and is excited todo his part and make a difference in the community that has been so welcoming to him and his family.

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.

Susan Klawitter

Susan and her family have lived in Arlington Heights for 30years.  She has an MBA from Northwestern University and worked in sales and marketing for Northern Trust for 25 years.  She has volunteered with a number of different organizations including Wheeling Township, PADS, Read to Learn AdultLiteracy, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glenbrook Hospital, and Kids Hope.  She enjoys volunteering as a way to meet and help a variety of people with different life stories and challenges.  She joined the Arlington Cares Board in 2020and looks forward to using her marketing skills to support their fundraising efforts and to helping neighbors in need.

Jennifer Zimmerman

Jennifer lives and works in Arlington Heights with her wonderful husband and her three amazing children.  She is a broker at D’aprile Properties and prides herself on communication and helping clients find their perfect home.  Jennifer is also winner of the coveted d’aprile properties 2016 and 2020 Dharma Award. She loves to meet new people and is passionate about discovering new ideas to constantly learn and contribute to her community.   Jennifer is an active member of St. Edna's parish, where she has taught religious education for the past eight years. She is also involved in networking groups filled with extraordinary men and women of Arlington Heights.  She is a member of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce and an active volunteer with PTA.  She organizes neighborhood service projects such as “Little Elves Stock the Shelves” Holiday Food Drive, the "Annual Halloween decorating contest" and the "Annual Holiday Tree" program with our Arlington Heights neighborhoods.  Jennifer is an artist and loves to be creative.  She spends her free time travelling and seeking out new places and experiences.  In the heart of it all,  you will find her spending time with her friends and family as this is her reason for everything. She is so honored and grateful to be a part of Arlington Cares. She truly feels she was given this gift to spread to all the message of GRACE and to never give up HOPE!

David Roberts

David Roberts has worked for the Village of Arlington Heights Fire Department for over 21 years and is currently the Division Chief of Community Risk Reduction. He lives in Arlington Heights with his wife Nadine. Dave has a great deal of volunteer experience with the Arlington Heights Firefighters Association Local 3105 where he was the Vice President for over 10 years.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree IN Occupational Safety and Health/Fire Science from Columbia Southern University.

Grantee Liaisons

Nicole Espinoza

Village Liason

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.

All of our Board members volunteer their time to help make Arlington Heights the best community it can be.  They share their time and resources freely to support Arlington Cares and the funds it provides to offer assistance to families who live in Arlington Heights during times of crisis.

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