Board of Directors

Meet the Board of Directors of NNA... and if you see any of them in the neighborhood, be sure to say hello!

Anne Brogden and her partner, Taylor, moved to North Center in 2013. Knowing little about the neighborhood, they were pleased to discover a vibrant community, and a diversity of small businesses and restaurants. Anne has a background in non-profit management, and spent several years working on youth development initiatives on Chicago's south and west sides. She now works for Chicago Public Schools on workforce development programs for Career & Technical Education students across the district. Anne has a strong interest in public policy, and has enjoyed volunteering for several political campaigns in recent years. When she's not tracking politics, she enjoys running, cycling, and cooking.

Gretchen Decker and her husband, Paul, have lived in Northcenter since 1997. Their two children are both graduates of Bell School and CPS high schools. Gretchen has been a Northcenter Neighborhood Association Block Captain and Garden Walk Volunteer for many years. In her free time, she enjoys painting, gardening and exploring the many great neighborhood restaurants. Gretchen works in Admissions and Outreach for Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. 

Amy de la Fuente (Secretary) has lived in Northcenter since 2010 with her husband Carlos and two children who attend Coonley Elementary and Lane Tech High School. She and her family were attracted to Northcenter because of the strong schools and neighborhood amenities. Amy is a former teacher and recently finished a graduate degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Through the years she has been active in volunteering with Open Books, WITS, Northside Housing, Chicago Ballet Arts and The Coalition to End Money Bond. You might have seen her canvassing the neighborhood with Raise Your Hand in the fight for an elected school board. In addition to advocating for just causes, Amy enjoys reading, growing things in her yard, travel, and talking to people.

Carissa Finn, a proud Northcenter resident since 2012, lives with her husband, Shaun, and two children, who attend Bell Elementary. If you're out and about, especially when it's warm, you can often find the Finns on their front porch or in the yard, where they love to connect with neighbors, host BBQs, and work in the garden. Carissa, a former classroom teacher, is the co-founder of a literacy organization in Chicago and coaches teachers across the city and the suburbs. She also loves to travel, cook, and laugh with friends.

Larry Griffin and his wife Mollie have lived in Northcenter since 2010. For five years, Larry and Mollie lived on Lincoln Avenue, enjoying the many locally owned shops, restaurants and bars. In 2015, the Griffins added son Nicholas, and moved to a home near Addison and Hoyne, gaining more space for toys, while remaining close to all they love in Northcenter. Larry is an attorney and works for Beazley, a business insurance company. Larry previously served as a commissioner for Wicker Park/Bucktown Special Service Area #33, and actively supports several non-profits, including the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and 826-Chicago. On weekends, Larry enjoys cycling, craft beer and cheering on Tottenham Hotspur, London’s finest soccer club.

Kate Kreinbring (President) came to Northcenter when she and her husband bought a house near Western and N. Belle Plaine about two years ago.  Before that, they lived for six years nearby in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, which is how they fell in love with this neighborhood and decided to buy and become long-term residents.  Kate is and has been a Chicago Public Schools teacher in a high school in the Little Village neighborhood for the past nine years.  Her hobbies include vegetable gardening, making pottery, and cooking.

Diane Louis and her husband, David, and first visited Chicago in 2010 and fell in love with the city and decided that they would settle here. They moved here from New York State in 2016 and recently purchased a condo near Irving Park Road and Damen Ave. They have two children; one lives in Albuquerque, NM and the other in New York City. Diane is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo and her employment history includes working as a Research Scientist at the Research Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse in Buffalo, NY; a Field Representative for the Public Employees Federation Union, and work for the Speaker of the New York State Assembly. She volunteered as a School Board member, Thrift Shop Coordinator and Food Pantry Worker. Since coming to Chicago, Diane has been active in the St. Vincent De Paul Society which assists families in transition. She also joined the Compassion in Action Committee of NNA, and helped to organize a recent presentation by the Chicago Police Department on establishing Neighborhood Watch Programs.

John Liebert (Treasurer) moved to Northcenter in 2010 with his wife Carmin Ballou. They have two children, the oldest of which just started at Bell School. Having lived in Chicago for nearly 20 years, he is delighted to find the sense of community he always wanted in Northcenter, thanks primarily to NNA. He enjoys biking to work, exploring the neighborhood and fixing up their 100-year-old house. John is an IT business analyst and project manager at an investment management company downtown.

Michael Menelli moved to Northcenter with his family in 2015 for its vibrant community, excellent schools and parks, and diverse local businesses. He served for two years in the Peace Corps and upon returning moved to Chicago to organize meatpacking workers fighting for fair wages and safe working conditions. Today, Michael works in the financial services industry and, in addition to his work with Northcenter Neighborhood Association, is also involved with the Welles Park Advisory Council and Waters Elementary. He lives with his wife, daughter, and dog near Western and Cullom Ave.


Susan Reed Schwartz (Vice-President) has lived in Northcenter since 1986 with her husband, Ed, and daughters, Emma and Maddie, both of whom graduated from Bell School before going on to complete high school and college. Susan teaches health care at DePaul and is interested in that issue. When not working, Susan is trying to get fit at the Lakeview YMCA or spending time in the garden. In the summer, her home is the neighborhood drop-off site for Angelic Organics produce. Northcenter neighbors and community have given so much to her family and she enjoys giving back through NNA.


Kevin Sullivan and his wife Linda Storbeck moved to Northcenter in 1992. Originally knowing nothing about the neighborhood they were pleased to find a home near entertainment and transportation, turns out Lincoln Ave extends beyond Lincoln Park. All four of Kevin and Linda’s children attended Bell School before moving on to Lake View, Von Steuben, and Lane Tech. Kevin worked on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange for 20 years before moving on to a career in Real Estate with Coldwell Banker. Kevin is an arbitrator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and a Greeter for the City of Chicago.

Michelle Weber, her husband Fred, and their three sons moved to North Center in 2006. All three boys graduated from Bell School and her two oldest will graduate high school in 2018. Michelle is a public relations, marketing and communications professional, and consulting for nonprofit organizations in Chicago and beyond has been a hallmark of her career. She is passionate about community engagement and is excited to deepen her involvement in North Center. When not working, she enjoys traveling to national parks with her family, yoga, neighborhood walks, taking care of her three chickens (no not the kids, real chickens!), and dreaming up ideas to improve peoples’ lives. Yep, it’s open-ended on purpose.  


NNA Advisory Board

Kathleen Abbott is originally from a small farm town in northern Illinois and moved to Northcenter in 2007 after stints on the south side and San Francisco. She has been active in the University of Chicago Alumni Association (Go Maroons!) in various capacities for many years and in local organizations like the NNA zoning committee, 47th Ward Transportation Committee, and the German International School Chicago. Kathleen is an attorney for the State of Illinois and you will likely see her on her bike hauling kids around the neighborhood. She lives near Damen and Berteau with her husband, Stephen, their two kids and dog.  

Matt Boemmel and his wife Tracy first moved to Northcenter back in 1996. He and his wife have three children attending Bell School. Matt joined the Board of the Northcenter Neighborhood Association as a way to give back to the neighborhood where he and his family have made their home. Matt has been a full time Real Estate Consultant on the north side of Chicago since 1993. Matt is closely involved in his children's extracurricular and school activities. In his free time, Matt enjoys cycling, skiing, local sporting events, and cooking.

Karen Carter Lynch and her husband, Brad Lynch, moved to Northcenter over 20 years ago when they were just newlyweds. They now live in a sunlit house with kids Annie and Blake and their hound dog, Buddy. Karen and fun-loving neighbors helped start the Northcenter Neighborhood Garden Club, which sponsors the Annual Garden Walk for the Common Pantry. She often “gets lost” in the neighborhood making new friends. In the real world, Karen is an award-winning filmmaker and video producer.

Julie Hobert has lived in Northcenter for over 20 years. She is a mother of four great kids who attended Bell School, Whitney Young, and The Hyde Park Day School. She is active in the Northcenter Neighborhood Garden Club, a founder of the Northcenter Parent Support Group, and is actively involved with Epiphany Church's outreach to Common Pantry clients. She draws and paints in her spare time.

Marnie Schwartz enjoys her family life in Northcenter with her husband, Keith, and their two teenage sons. She and Keith moved to near Addison and Damen in 1997, thinking it would be only for a couple of years.   Northcenter has been a great neighborhood for raising their sons and meeting new friends. Her boys attended Aududon, Bell and Coonley elementary schools. She is actively involved in her sons’ schools, Epiphany UCC and The Welcome Meal (which serves dinner to neighbors every Wednesday night). Marnie owns a small management consulting firm and enjoys yoga, cooking and travel. 

Jill Stein (Secretary) has lived in Northcenter for 12 of the past 15 years. She and her husband, Phil Dunn, have three boys who attend Bell Elementary and Jones College Prep. Jill works in the field of change management, with a focus on enablement and education via technology applications, for Accenture. Jill is currently serving as president of the McFetridge Park Advisory Council, where her kids play hockey--Go RiverDogs! In her free time, Jill enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family exploring the neighborhood and city.

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