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 elders.
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.
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.
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.
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 elders. 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.
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.
Shayna Courtney Serpe
Ana Rosa Garcia
Jamesha (J.) Davis
Volunteer Program Assistants