Executive Director Alan Morales has served as Executive Director of The LeaderShop since 2003. Alan attended Northern Illinois University and has a B.S. degree in Human and Family Resources, with an emphasis in Child Development. Alan joined the agency after serving two years as Executive Director of a YMCA in Metropolitan Chicago. Other professional experience includes the role of Assistant Vice President of Operations and 15 years of service to Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. Since arriving at The LeaderShop the agency has received the Annual Fund Achievement Award, the Most Engaged Board Member Award, the Fund Development Achievement Award from Community Memorial Foundation, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Support of Diversity from the CommUNITY Diversity Group. Alan has also received the Community Service Award from the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry for his volunteer work and impact in the west suburban community. He has held various leadership roles in local civic organizations, including President of the La Grange Kiwanis Club.
Fun Fact about Alan: Alan believes each of us has a personal responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the world.
Cathy began her LeaderShop experience as a volunteer when she was home during college breaks. In 1984, after graduating from the University of Iowa, she was hired part time to provide clerical support. She assumed this would be a temporary position, but soon discovered that working with kids was her passion. She considers her career at The LeaderShop a blessing and says it has made her the person she is today. Over the years, she has had the pleasure of witnessing the life-changing impact that The LeaderShop programs and staff have had on the lives of so many youth. Cathy has received several awards throughout her career, including the NAACP Humanitarian Award (1996), the Maasaline Staves Humanitarian Award (1998), The Whispering Oaks Girls Scout Council Woman of Distinction (2003), and the CommUNITY Diversity Group of LaGrange Life Time Achievement Award (2012).Fun Facts about Cathy: Cathy loves vacationing with Guy, family and friends. Her favorite destinations include soaking up the sun on a beach and enjoying the beauty of the Northwoods.
Bruce was named the Director of Development and Public Relations for The LeaderShop in September of 2014. After a lengthy career in Development in higher education he decided running his own small development and public relations office would be an exciting opportunity. A graduate of Elmhurst College and the University of Memphis, he worked at Elmhurst, National Louis University and Aurora University. Bruce volunteers at his church and continues to serve on the Board of the Suburban Chicago Planned Giving Council, where he was president from 2010-2012. He also helps an enthusiastic group of volunteers raise money for the Bosworth Scholarship at Elmhurst College.
Fun Fact about Bruce: Bruce has been the public address announcer for Elmhurst College athletics for the last 30 years.
Katie joined The Leadershop team in January of 2016. She is an alum of the University of Illinois, where she previously served as a Project Manager for the Learning in Community program. She is deeply motivated by serving others, youth development, and the thrill of project planning. Katie is working with Girls' Group, Afterschool Programs, Camp LeaderShop and the Junior High Leadership Program.
Fun Facts about Katie: Katie loves traveling, running, listening to music/podcasts, and following the Chicago Blackhawks.
Matt joined the LeaderShop staff in February 2016, after graduating from Roosevelt University with B.A. in Social Justice. While attending Roosevelt he spent 3 years working with the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, leading restorative practice peace circles with CPS students K-8. Before this, he spent 7 years as a lifeguard and swim instructor for the Des Plaines Park District. Matt found his niche working with youth and is eager to help those whose voices are often marginalized.
Fun Facts about Matt: Matt enjoys cooking, hiking, drawing, photography, spoken word/poetry, art galleries and concerts.
Lynne joined the staff at The LeaderShop in May 2015 after a 10-year hiatus from public accounting, with a specialization in the not for profit and healthcare areas. She attended the University of Illinois for her undergraduate degree as well as for her Masters Degree in Accounting. Go Illini! Lynne has lived in Western Springs for 15 years, she has 3 boys, one in elementary school, one in Middle School and one in High School at LTHS. She is actively involved in Cub Scout Pack 216 and Troop 216, from La Grange Highlands.
Fun Fact about Lynne: Lynne is an HGTV binge watcher!
Danielle began working at The Leadershop in July 2016. She graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. Throughout her years at DePaul, she served as both volunteer and intern at multiple organizations with responsibilities including mentoring CPS high school students and assisting recent immigrants with English skills. She grew up in the Brookfield/LaGrange area and is excited to help advance The Leadershop’s mission to empower the youth in both her home town and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Fun Facts about Danielle: Danielle loves reading, journaling, watching movies, and hanging out with her family (especially her little cousins!)
Catherine joined the LeaderShop staff in November 2016. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Social Work in 2014 from Washington University in St. Louis and her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2013 from the University of Iowa.
Catherine has always been interested in working with children and youth, holding such positions as babysitter, nanny, swim coach, foster care case manager intern, community organizing intern, and bookseller. Having lived in La Grange her entire life, Catherine is eager to give back to her community and encourage others to do the same.
Fun Facts about Catherine: Catherine’s hobbies include reading, hanging out with her husband, and watching old reruns of CSI.
Seth Gardner, Program CoordinatorSeth joined The LeaderShop staff in February 2016 after graduating from Appalachian State University with a degree in Recreation Management and a minor in Psychology.
Originally from the small town of Tobaccoville, North Carolina, Seth has spent his years working with youth in the community through after school programs, athletic mentoring and recreational outreach. He spent several years as a sports coordinator and teen group leader at the YMCA which is where he discovered his fondness for working with youth.
Fun Facts: Seth enjoys being outdoors and active. Depending on the day, you can catch him on the nearest ball court or at the skate park.