Meet The LeaderShop’s Staff
Since joining as Executive Director in 2003, Alan has aligned The LeaderShop's mission and programs to help local youth become community-minded individuals. His education and work history have prepared him well: he graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human and Family Resources, with an emphasis in Child Development. More recently he earned an MBA in Leadership and Change Management from Concordia University.
Prior to The LeaderShop, Alan served as Executive Director of a YMCA in Chicago and as Assistant Vice President of Operations at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. When he started at CEP (now The LeaderShop), it faced a serious financial crisis. Working closely with the board and staff, Alan put the agency on a path to long-term stability. During his tenure both he and the agency have received several nonprofit-management awards from organizations such as the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He currently serves as President of the La Grange Kiwanis Club.
Cathy began her LeaderShop experience as a volunteer during her college breaks. In 1984, after graduating from the University of Iowa, she was hired 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 has 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).
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.
In addition, Katie has worked with youth at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, the Urbana Park District and COVE Alliance Uganda.
Katie is deeply motivated to serve others, especially in the area of youth development, and enjoys the thrill of project planning.
Her personal and professional expreiences working to create positive change have helped her develop as a leader, so she is excited to help youth do the same.
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. 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 local youth.
Fun Facts about Danielle: Danielle loves movies, reading, journaling, and hanging with her family (especially her little cousins!)
Catherine (Cat) LeBeau
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.
Alyssa joined The LeaderShop team in July 2017. She graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in French and Journalism in 2014 from the University of Iowa.
From 2015 to 2017, Alyssa served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Albania, creating various youth development programs focused on English education, girls’ empowerment and health, gender equality, leadership, and volunteerism.
Alyssa is happy to return to her hometown of La Grange and encourage and inspire local youth through The LeaderShop programs.
Fun facts about Alyssa: Alyssa loves cuddling with her stray cat, weightlifting, watching The Bachelor with her friends, and going on outdoor adventures.