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Our Staff

Simone Mitchell-Peterson

Simone Mitchell-Peterson

Chief Executive Officer

Simone Mitchell-Peterson joined Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly in May 2004. Simone leads a team of 35 employees and more than 1,500 volunteers as the organization provides friendship and services to isolated older adults.

Simone came to LBFE from the Urban League in Chicago where she was group vice president. Simone is a Board member of the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago, a board member of the Urban CPE Consortium, and a charter member and former board member of TEMPO International. She is a past recipient of Business First’s “40 under 40” award. Simone has a BA in sociology and anthropology from York University, Toronto, Ontario; an MS in general education from Canisius College; and an MBA from State University of New York in Buffalo.

Daniel Gurgevich

Daniel Gurgevich

Director of Finance

Daniel Gurgevich joined LBFE in September 2005. He is responsible for financial planning, record-keeping and financial reporting for the organization. A past Director of Finance for Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly National Office and Director of Finance for the Emergency Nurses Association, Daniel has worked with non-profits for more than 21 years. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana University.

Cecilia Straney

Cecilia Straney

Chief Development Officer

Cecilia Straney joined LBFE in September 2010. She works with staff and volunteers to raise funds for the organization and is also responsible for overseeing public relations and marketing efforts. A past Campaign Director with the ADA Foundation and Development Director at the YMCA, Cecilia has worked in resource development for more than 25 years. She has a BA in English from Michigan State University and an MA in Philanthropy from the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Heather Dudzinski

Heather Dudzinski

Director of Program

Heather Dudzinski joined LBFE in July 2004. As Director of Program, with the support of the Program team and 1,600 volunteers, she manages LBFE’s programs and activities to provide friendship and services to lonely and isolated adults aged 70 and over. LBFE’s spectrum of programs includes in-person and phone visits, in person gatherings, holiday celebrations, outings, vacation activities, technology tutoring, and direct service support.

Heather’s previous roles at LBFE include Project Manager for the design, implementation, and migration of a new CRM database to improve program delivery and planning. She worked with the International Federation of les petits frères des Pauvres to pilot their Great Neighbors program in the US in Chicago. She launched and served as Manager of the Young Professionals Advisory Board at LBFE and was the Community Outreach Coordinator at LBFE from 2005 to 2010. Heather has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Drake University.

Josh Chartier

Josh Chartier

Director of Volunteer Services & Community Engagement

Josh Chartier joined LBFE in October 2017. He and the Volunteer Services team oversee a volunteer corps of over 1,600 individuals and the support of over 100 organizations, along with the continued recruitment and recognition of volunteers. He also works to connect LBFE to corporations, nonprofits, community groups, and neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

Josh has worked in nonprofit operations and volunteer management for over 15 years, primarily in museums. He has a BA in History from Pace University in New York, a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University, and an MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

Executive Office

Simone Mitchell-Peterson
Tina Mei
Rosa Torres 

Development Department

Cecilia Straney

Dan Baron
Sherri Gorski
Araceli Nevarez


Dan Gurgevich
Sinai Ornelas


Program Department

Heather Dudzinski
Brooklynn Ault
Jamesha (J.) Davis
Emma Dempsey
Ana Rosa Garcia
Karen Rodriguez Luevano
Jennifer McGowan
Adriana Molina
Blanca Moreno
Liliana Rendon
Evelyn Sanchez
John Silver
Olivia Tsotsos
Jaime Vaca
Justin Wettstein

Volunteer Program Assistants

Pierre Abdelkarim
Livia Cabasson
Matteo Salvatores

Volunteer Services

Josh Chartier
Anum Ahmed
Megan Couch
Amy Lambert
Angelina Márquez-Reyes



Northwest Indiana

Jacqueline Townsend

DuPage / Kane Counties

Lauren Duddles