Leadership

Jacqueline C. Hayes

Founder and President Emerita President, Jacqueline Hayes & Associates, Ltd.
Email

Jacqueline C. Hayes

Founder and President Emerita President, Jacqueline Hayes & Associates, Ltd.
Email

Jacqueline is founder and president emerita of The Chicago Help Initiative and for more than 17 years she has unselfishly donated thousands of hours to help those less fortunate than herself. Jacqueline is a Chicago real estate broker specializing in retail leasing along the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street and a community activist.

Executive Director


Douglas B. Fraser

Executive Director Executive Director, Chicago Help Initiative
Email

Douglas B. Fraser

Executive Director Executive Director, Chicago Help Initiative
Email

The Chicago Help Initiative is an amazing and unique organization. It is two communities – the guests we serve, whom we try to connect to the best resources and opportunities and the most caring and committed volunteers that I can imagine. I like to think that whether someone is with us for one meal or for fifty and whether they are dining with us or serving with us, that they will leave with something positive. It is truly a privilege to be here.

Board of Directors - Officers


Chris Stathopoulos

President Grant Thorton LLP
Email

Chris Stathopoulos

President Grant Thorton LLP
Email

Chris has been a board member of Chicago Help Initiative since its inception.  He is a father, a husband and a lawyer.  He feels strongly about his responsibility to help others.

“I think we often forget how truly lucky we are. Chicago Help Initiative reminds me that many of the things I often take for granted – a warm home, food, a loving family and friends – are things that many don’t have.  And the perspective and gratification that I get from being a member of CHI makes me feel like I benefit as least as much as our guests do.”

Alison Jannotta

Vice President President, Alison Jannotta and Associates, Inc.
Email

Alison Jannotta

Vice President President, Alison Jannotta and Associates, Inc.
Email

Starting as a volunteer more than 5 years ago serving tea and coffee to the dinner guests at the weekly meal, I could not resist the force that drew me in to a more active role in The Chicago Help Initiative. Once you have arrived, one cannot help but be drawn in to the spirit, energy and life of this wonderful organization’s people; the dedicated leadership, the selfless volunteers and the unique guests that we serve and assist.  I was unaware and unconcerned with the plight of the homeless and disadvantaged - and their needs - until CHI. This organization changes your mindset and your heart. We can – and do - make a difference in so many of the lives that we touch.

Robert E. Thomas

Treasurer Jameson Commercial Real Estate
Email

Robert E. Thomas

Treasurer Jameson Commercial Real Estate
Email

Rob was introduced to the organization in 2002 when he was seeking community service opportunities for his children. As his children moved on, he remained involved. A life-long Near North Side resident, he observes first hand the good that CHI does in the community it serves. Rob is an active real estate practitioner providing project management and brokerage services.

Marge Sondler

Secretary LSW, MSW, ACSW
Email

Marge Sondler

Secretary LSW, MSW, ACSW
Email

I am a retired social worker, having worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for many years as a manager of mental health services. Many of the clients we served were, or had been, homeless. Some years ago, I learned of Jacqueline Hayes’ effort to bring together the local business community, religious organizations, and social service providers, to address the needs of homeless individuals in the Near North area. I thought this was a unique approach, participated in the planning discussions, and ended up on the board of directors of what eventually became the Chicago HELP Initiative. I have remained involved because of the organization’s commitment to providing not only weekly dinners to the guests, but also information and resources that help change lives.

Board Members


Christy Agee

Senior Director, Project Management, AbelsonTaylor

Christy Agee

Senior Director, Project Management, AbelsonTaylor

I started volunteering with the Chicago Help Initiative in 2015. Being a former restaurateur, I was immediately drawn to the hospitality, warmth, and menu quality during the Wednesday meals. Not only is everyone treated with dignity and respect, but also as a guest at a dinner table, something we so often take for granted. Since I’ve joined the Board, I’ve seen the organization expand and challenge itself to provide exceptional supplemental services for our weekly guests.

Jeanie M. Barnett

Content and Communications Consultant

Jeanie M. Barnett

Content and Communications Consultant

Claude Battat

Number one in retail furniture sales/design in the Chicago area until I recently retired and discovered an entirely new work ethic…Helping the needy.
I started volunteering for CHI more than 2 years ago and was drawn to make it part of my life after experiencing a compassionate yet enthusiastic group that truly pushes to make a difference.

Paul Bryant

Principal and Senior Vice President, Mid America Real Estate

Paul Bryant

Principal and Senior Vice President, Mid America Real Estate

Paul Bryant is the principal and senior vice president in the Chicago office of Mid-America Real Estate Corporation, the brokerage division of Mid-America Real Estate Group,.

Jean S. Eisenman


Email

Until 2002 I served as Director of Library and Learning Resources at the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology.) During a 25 year career in academia, I came to appreciate that helping others to better themselves is also a path to a more fulfilling life for me.

Susan C. Gold

I have worked with the Chicago Help Initiative for almost 9 years and have found it to be the most rewarding job a person who wants to help others can do.

Mickie Gordon

Executive Director, River North Residents Association

Mickie Gordon

Executive Director, River North Residents Association

Karen Hickey

Vice President, Membership, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Karen Hickey

Vice President, Membership, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Thomas Morrisey

Cedar Realty Group

Thomas Morrisey

Cedar Realty Group

I was attracted to working with The Chicago Help Initiative because it serves a core need for disadvantaged individuals. In addition to providing free meals CHI also offers educational, personal improvement, and healthcare options to its guests.

Michael D. Prost

Senior Managing Director, Newmark Knight Frank

Michael D. Prost

Senior Managing Director, Newmark Knight Frank

I was introduced to the Chicago Help Initiative by the late Father Damian Charbonneau. This was a special organization to Father and I soon realized why. It is my pleasure to work with such a vital and necessary organization. It truly makes a difference.

Did you know?

Over 85% of the people we serve are unemployed.

Goodness. All-encompassing goodness. In a world filled with so many who have so little, they give so much.”

Gloria