Chair Maureen Fitzpatrick is the City Colleges Associate Vice Chancellor of Adult Education. Prior to joining City Colleges, her work in Chicago included a Mayoral Fellowship in the City of Chicago’s Office of the Mayor, Community Organizer with the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), and New Americans Democracy Project Fellowship with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Before moving to Chicago, she spent two years in Latin America - worked in Tijuana, Mexico at the Scalabrini Casa del Migrante and studied at the Maryknoll Instituto de Idiomas in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Born in the Philippines, Maureen moved to the United States with her family as a child. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Side Housing Center and the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Theological Union Graduate School. Maureen has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago.
Vice Chair Francisco Ramirez is the Program Director at buildOn, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. He has overseen the service learning program team since 2015, and prior to that he was the service learning program manager at Schurz High School in the northwest side.
In 2014, he was the feature in WGN's Chicago's Very Own, and in 2015 he was awarded the Nonprofit Professional of the Year Award by YNPN Chicago. Before joining buildOn, he volunteer taught high school English in the Federated States of Micronesia through WorldTeach. Francisco has also taught elementary school in Kansas City, KS, and worked in after school college readiness programming at Kauffman Scholars, Inc. He holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Treasurer Alex is the Director of Marketing at Monroe Management. Alex is responsible for leasing and selling the company’s diverse real estate portfolio.He uses his combined decade of experience in investing, banking, and property management to negotiate win-win scenarios for the parties involved throughout each transaction. In the past few years, Alex has bought/sold over $40M in real estate and was recognized by the Chicago Association of Realtors as a Top Producer in 2016. Alex is passionate about helping and educating his clients and the community. As the Treasurer of the Northwest Side Housing Center, he teaches quarterly First-Time Home Buyer classes at Wright College and also volunteers as a soccer coach.
Alex graduated from the enriched Business Leadership Program at the University of Puget Sound.
Asst. Treasurer As a dedicated board member of the Northwest Side Housing Center for the past two years, Tom Bugielski is humbled to serve the community where he grew up. “It’s important to give back to the place that shaped the person I am today,” Tom said when asked about his work with NWSHC. Tom is inspired by the mission of NWSHC to respond to the needs of the community, and he approaches his work with NWSHC, as well as his professional work, with a similar attitude.
As the President and the Chief Operating Officer of Republic Bank of Chicago, Tom remains committed to strengthening the communities the bank serves. Tom emphasizes the significance of a collegial approach both as the President of the bank and also as a board member. This focus on teamwork and creating an inclusive atmosphere allows for communities to thrive.
Prior to joining Republic Bank of Chicago in 2015, Tom served as the Managing Director Head of Retail Banking at Private Bank. Before joining Private Bank, Tom was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Founders Bank. Tom’s long history in banking gives him a unique perspective on how a community bank and the community it serves should work together to enhance the neighborhood.
Additionally, Tom was a Director and Chairman at the Illinois Bankers Association and served as a member of the State Banking Board. With a finance degree from St. Joseph’s and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Tom truly understands the importance of a financial institution in a community and strives to be a supporting partner.
Secretary Laura Sayen works for US Bank’s Community Development Corporation as a project manager underwriting affordable housing transactions across the country. Laura first learned of the NWSHC as a student earning her Masters of Science in Real Estate from Roosevelt University. Steve Cleary, fellow board member, was her Real Estate Law professor and mentioned his involvement with the agency and his desire at the time to grow the Board.
Laura was immediately interested and excited by all the NWSHC does within Belmont Cragin and the broader northwest side. She’s always had a passion for social justice and throughout her personal life and career has sought ways to expand equity and institutionalize equality. her particular interest in housing began when she was earning her social work degree and was exposed to the history of housing, social, and socio-economic injustice in Chicago.
Laura has witnessed first-hand the positive impact of safe, affordable, and stable housing has in families’ lives. Her family currently lives in Belmont Gardens, enhancing her connection and commitment to the NWSHC.
“My hope for the NWSHC is that it continues on its successful pathof sustainable growth and building partnerships to provide wraparound services to the northwest side. It’s an honor to serve as a board member, and I’m proud of all our organization does,” she shared.
Member Steve is the Founder and President of STOKED, an award-winning nonprofit that uses the lifestyle and culture of action sports to empower low-income youth in NYC, LA, and Chicago through leadership and mentorships to pursue the life of their dreams. STOKED gives high school-aged youth the skills, relationships, and experiences to become leaders personally and professionally. Since its inception, STOKED has served over 4,000 youth. STOKED is a semi-finalist in the Non Profit Excellence Awards, voted to the NY 100 (100 most innovative businesses in NY), and Steve was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Black MBA Association. Honored as a Hometown Hero, his work has appeared in the New Yorker Magazine, ESPN, Huffington Post, Nylon Magazine, Fuel TV, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, and Transworld Business.
Steve speaks worldwide on the subject of youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, community building, and closing the opportunity gap at places such as Do Lectures, Creative Mornings, Nike, The United Nations, and various universities. Prior to Stoked, Steve began his career with an independent marketing firm that he founded working with clients such has Sony Music, Reader’s Digest, and Rock the Vote.
Asst. Secretary Stephen L. Cleary is a principal in the law firm of Cleary & Associates, Ltd., practicing in the areas of business and real estate law. He is licensed to practice law in three states. During his legal career he served as in-house general counsel and held other corporate positions for a number of national retail and franchising companies. Steve holds an Illinois Managing Broker’s license. In addition to the practice of law he is a faculty member at University of Phoenix – Chicago on-ground campus and Roosevelt University’s real estate program. He previously served as the NWSHC Board President.
Board Member homas Naset is a Lead Large Bank Examiner in the Supervision and Regulation Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Thomas is responsible for assessing the safety and soundness of large and complex banking organizations within the Reserve Bank’s regulatory portfolio. Throughout his time at the Reserve Bank, Thomas has maintained responsibility over a broad range of risk types, horizontal projects, and major supervisory activities, including: legal and compliance risk; litigation risk management; mortgage servicing operations; incentive compensation; implementation of Intermediate Holding Company requirements for Foreign Banking Organizations under the Dodd-Frank Act; corporate governance and enterprise risk management practices; and the issuance and remediation of major enforcement actions. Thomas holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. Thomas is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois.
Thomas is a lifelong resident of the Chicagoland area. He grew up in the suburb of Naperville, IL and has resided in Chicago since beginning university in 2001.
Diana's involvement with NWSHC began as block club leader in 2017, and from then she grew into a very active community leader. She is the current President of Blackhawk Park Advisory Council. She is a retired quality engineer for B-Way Packaging. She has lived in Belmont Cragin for over 45 years, is a Foreman High School graduate, and her first job was right here in the community at Parkview Metal Projects.
She is connected to our Avenues for Growth Plan, and involved in our small business community development efforts and cares most about getting community members involved in making Belmont Cragin a stronger, safer, closer-knit community.
She shared: "my hope for the NWSHC is to continue being as effective as we are, and to stay in Belmont Cragin championing all of us. Whenever I needed help, this is where I go."
Board Member Juan works for Blue Cross Blue Shield as a Regulartory Analyst, helping a large team ensure health care delivery is meeting state and federal laws. Previously, he worked a variety of roles in education and in the nonprofit sector.
Juan is connected to the NWSHC as a passionate resident, and has been involved in many community-based initiatives including the Quality of Life Plan and Avenues for Growth Plan.
“My hope is that every person on the northwest side is aware of, and has access to the NWSHC because everyone there cares deeply about the community and is committed,” Juan shared.
Board Member Sasha Ongtengco started her social impact career in 2011 with Cara Chicago, a non-profit focused on breaking the cycle of generational poverty through a holistic approach that includes quality training, job placement and retention support. In 2013, Cara Chicago launched a mission-driven staffing firm called Cara Connects. As its Director, Sasha cultivates a rich network of resource, community, and company relationships to maximize economic impact in service of increasing the quality of life for motivated job-seekers impacted by poverty in Chicago. Cara Connects has worked with NWSHC since 2016 to bring employment services to Chicago's northwest side communities, most recently through a unique co-location initiative that features a dedicated Staffing Account Manager at the NWSHC. Over the years, Sasha developed a deep care, admiration, and respect for NWSHC's commitment to Belmont Cragin's residents and effectively listening and responding to the community's needs. To serve on the Board of Directors is a great honor and a deeper expression of investment in the local community, where Sasha seeks to amplify NWSHC's voice and influence among larger networks. She is most excited about the launch of the NWSCDC and envisions more companies choosing to bring more employment and opportunity to the northwest side. In her free time, Sasha enjoys the challenge of adventurous travel with a "less is more approach" - she's known for taking multi-week trips overseas with nothing more than a backpack.
James Rudyk, Jr.
Executive Director James joined the Northwest Side Housing Center as Executive Director in May 2012. James came to the NWSHC with over four years of experience in the non-profit housing sector. James was previously the Director of Community Organizing for ESOP (Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People), an Ohio based non-profit community organizing and housing counseling agency. A native Clevelander, James is a graduate with honors from John Carroll University with a BA in Race and Identity Studies and a minor in Political Philosophy. James also holds his Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University, writing his thesis on the influence of race, socioeconomic status, and parental involvement on children’s educational attainment.
During James’ tenure at NWSHC he has focused on expanding and deepening the NWSHC’s organizing efforts as well as adding additional programs and services to better serve the community. Since 2012, James has led the growth of the NWSHC from a team of eight to 27 and increased NWSHC’s annual operating budget by over 300 percent. In 2017, James was elected to the National Council of La Raza’s Affiliate Council representing the Midwest affiliates nationally. James’ also serves on Ocwen Financial Corporation’s Community Advisory Council, Nationstar Mortgage’s Community Advisory Group, and 5/3 Bank’s Community Advisory Board. James is a graduate of the Latino Policy Forum’s Leadership Academy as well as an inaugural fellow in the University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy. In James’ free time he coaches and plays soccer, is an avid cross fitter, and enjoys reading, cooking paleo, and traveling. James currently lives in Uptown.