Fr. Scott with Mercy Home young people.


Rev L. Scott Donahue
View Rev. Scott Donahue's profile on LinkedIn

Fr. Scott Donahue

Rev. L. Scott Donahue Mercy Home’s President & CEO. He has been involved with the Home since 1990. Fr. Scott leads a strategic vision to expand and strengthen the life-changing services Mercy Home provides, and to advance insights in the field of caring for trauma-effected and disadvantaged youth.

Fr. Scott’s advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged children is rooted in his ministry as a Catholic priest. Ordained in 1982, Fr. Scott has served as a resident priest in a number of Chicago area parishes. He held leadership positions within the Chicago Archdiocese, including vice chairman of the Association of Chicago Priests and Vocations Director. Fr. Donahue holds master’s degrees in theology, applied spirituality, and social work. He has authored a book entitled ‘Years of Mercy’. Additionally, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Xavier University.

In addition to his leadership of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, and his parish ministry, Fr. Scott serves as the principal celebrant of the televised “Sunday Mass at Mercy Home” on WGN-TV Ch. 9. The televised Mass reaches over 60,000 elderly, sick, and homebound folks every week.

Senior Leadership

Headshot of Joe Wronka

Joe Wronka, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Since he began as a MercyWorks volunteer in 2004 Joe has been an active team member in various departments within Mercy Home. Joe has BA in Sociology from St. John’s University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Joe supported youth to attain their academic, career and interpersonal goals as Youth Care Worker, Education Coordinator and Vice President of The Academy. As a member of the Youth Programs Administration team, Joe coordinated and led youth activities and, as a supervisor of the Home’s training program, designed training curriculums and oversaw training of all agency coworkers. Since 2015 Joe has led a team of fundraising professionals to garner the financial resources needed to operate Mercy Home for Boys & Girls from generous supporters across the country. Today, as COO, Joe directly supports President & CEO Fr. Scott Donahue and members of the Office of the President to establish and meet their departmental goals.

View Joe Wronka's profile on LinkedIn
Headshot of Cheryl Murphy

Cheryl Murphy, MBA

Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Finance, Human Resources and Facilities

Cheryl has a BS degree in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University and an MBA in Finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Cheryl is also a certified public accountant. Cheryl worked as an auditor at Ernst & Young for four years and then for Dominick’s Finer Foods for nine years with the last four as the Vice President and Treasurer. Cheryl has been at Mercy Home since 1999 and oversees Finance, Human Resources, Facilities and our printing and kitchen operations.

Alban Fisher

Alban Fisher, Ph.D.

Vice President of Residential Programs 

After graduating from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska Alban Fisher joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to work as a community organizer in Detroit, Michigan, and moved to Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood where he lived and worked in a community of former Jesuit Volunteers and other social service activists and leaders. He completed his Master’s in clinical psychology from DePaul University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 2003. Prior to joining Mercy Home in 2010, Fisher’s work provided him extensive insights into the child welfare system, especially around the implementation of services in foster care, group homes, psychiatric hospitalization, independent living programs, and school settings. At Mercy Home, he served as a program manager and later as the Home’s clinical director before being named Vice President of Youth Programs in October 2021. 

Liz Kuhn Tomka, LCSW

Vice President of Education and Career Resources

Liz Kuhn Tomka, LCSW, was promoted to Vice President of Education and Career Resources in May 2019. Liz received her undergraduate degree in Family Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and, upon graduation, became a full-time MercyWorks volunteer at Mercy Home. Liz later enrolled in the Columbia University School of Social Work and received a certificate in School Social Work. Liz worked as a Program Coordinator and later as the Chair of the Department of Student Life at a charter high school for five years. Liz returned to Mercy Home in 2010 to manage the volunteer program. She transitioned back to her passions of Education and Social Work in 2012, and she has provided leadership of after school programs and academic resources since that time. Outside of work, Liz enjoys time with her family and is highly invested in her neighborhood.

Daniel Nelson headshot

Daniel Nelson, MSW

Vice President of Community Care

Daniel earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from Illinois State University in 2002 and his MSW from the Jane Adams School of Social Work at UIC in 2003. He began working at Mercy Home as a therapist in August of 2003 and was tasked to lead the expansion of the Home’s  AfterCare program in 2005. In 2009, he became co-director of boys’ programs at our West Loop Campus while continuing to direct AfterCare. In 2012, Daniel leads the development of Mercy Home’s supportive housing program, providing affordable housing units to former residents and their families once they’ve reached adulthood.  During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he led an expansion and formal renaming of AfterCare. The Community Care program, as it is now called, provides ongoing support, encouragement, and access to community resources to former Mercy Home residents, youth participating in our Friends First mentoring program, and families of current and former residents and youth in our mentoring program. Daniel was named Vice President in 2024. 

Emily Neal, LCSW

Vice President of Organizational Development and Clinical Operations

Emily Neal has been with Mercy Home since 2002 and held numerous positions at the agency including Therapist, Contracted Clinical Supervisor, Manager of Training, Director of Admissions, and Clinical Director. She received her master‘s degree in social work from the University of Chicago in 2002. Her work and training has focused on providing trauma-informed interventions to children, adolescents, young adults, and families in a variety of settings, including residential treatment, outpatient mental health, schools, and juvenile corrections. Emily is a faculty member of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network and the founder and convener of the IL ARC Consortium. Emily is a certified to train the ARC Framework, the National Resource Center for Youth Services’ Residential Child and Youth Care Professional Curriculum and is certified in the Child Trauma Academy’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT).

Steve Snyder, MBA

Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information Technology

Steve received his undergraduate degree from DePaul University in Information Systems. While working for a consulting company, Steve earned his MBA in Operations Management from DePaul University. While completing his master’s degree, Steve started his own consulting company, which he successfully ran for 17 years. Steve holds Project Management Professional (PMP) and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certifications. His blend of technological and business skills allows him to be a resource for all of Mercy Home’s departments.

Amy Schulz, MSW

Associate Vice President of Walsh Campus Programs

Amy graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in psychology and began working with our older boys’ programs in 1999. She earned a master’s degree in social work from Dominican University in 2004 and became director of youth programs at our West Loop campus in 2007. Schulz was instrumental the Home’s programmatic and therapeutic enhancement, contributing to the development of its treatment model. In 2012, Schulz became director of our Walsh Campus for Girls where she advocated for numerous building and program enhancements and encouraged greater involvement from the local community. Amy also managed the Walsh campus through its greatest crisis in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced its temporary closure, and eventual reopening. She was named Associate Vice President in 2021. 

Patrick Needham headshot

Patrick Needham, MSW

Associate Vice President of Planning and Evaluation 

Patrick began working at Mercy Home as a MercyWorks volunteer after earning a degree in theology from Notre Dame in 2009. Patrick managed the program quality assessment and improvement process in our Admissions department before moving to our Organizational Development department in 2014. He also earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago that year. Patrick was instrumental in the development of a new program data management system, which updated the way we track information about youth, making it easier for coworkers to enter and access information to help them work with youth and families. In 2020, Patrick led the Compassionate Care Task force, which coordinated the therapeutic and tangible support we provided to our young people and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, he was named Associate Vice President of Planning and Evaluation where he will lead the Home’s new Project Management Office (PMO).

Mercy Home’s Boards


Board of Directors

This group of board leaders and past Board of Regents chairman serve as the governance board for the Home, approval of the annual audit and budgeting processes and strategic vision.

Nancy A Temple


Katten & Temple, LLC

Rev. L. Scott Donahue


Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

Timothy Knight


Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Rich Daniels


City Lights Music, Inc.

Mark Brady

William Blair

Robert G. Carmody

Eileen Mitchell

AT&T Illinois

Joe Nolan

Beverly Capital

Fran O’Malley

Worsek & Vihon

Johanna Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Board of Regents

Mercy Home’s Board of Regents is the main advisory board for the organization providing oversight of key programs and fundraising initiatives.

Peter Argianas

Gold Coast Bank

Shay Bahramirad

Quanta Technologies

Skip Behm


Sue Bettman

Brunswick Group

Felicia Davis Blakley

Dave Braun


John Chandler

St. Ignatius College Prep

Emily Cole

Cook County State Attorney’s Office

James Corrigan

Corrigan Financial, Inc.

Mary Dempsey

DePaul College Prep

Antwan Dobson

Chicago Fire Department

Edward Gamble

Robert Gauch

Jim Jenness

Kellogg Company

Paula McGrath

Harris Associates

Richard Price

Mesirow Financial

Bill Rancic

Bill Rancic Productions

Angelique Richard, Ph.D.

Rush University Medical Center

Mark G. Sander

Old National Bancorp.

Kathy Seegebrecht

Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL)

John Sheehy

StarCom MediaVest Group

Paul Tashima


Alex Wiggins

Rush University Medical Center

David Williams

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Rana Wright

Harris Associates

Ambassadors of Mercy

The Ambassadors of Mercy is a select board of prominent men dedicated to advancing the mission of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. This board of resourceful professionals surfaces and helps develop key influence support to sustain and expand vital programs for children in need.

Tim Cimaglio


Outdoor Interiors

Scott Dias


Goldman Sachs

Paul Adcock

Executive VP


David Baez

Cook County Sherriff’s Police

Michael Barrett

Brendan Breen

Chicago Housing Authority

William Busch III

Kevin Cassidy

Chief Growth Officer
Health Care Services Corp.

Timothy Cavanagh

Cavanagh Law Group

John Clesen

Ernest J. Codilis, Jr.

Founder & Senior Partner

Codilis & Associates, P.C.

Dennis Culloton

Culloton Bauer Luce

Keith Giemzik


Taft-Hartley Services BMO Harris

John Jaeger


OneDigital Health & Benefits

Michael K. Lall

President & COO

AED Professionals

Eric Larson

Walsh Construction

Sidney Lee 


William J. Lewis

Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Dominic LoVerde

Power Rogers LLC

Vincent LoVerde

Core Spaces

Michael McCarihan

Wells Fargo Securities

Terrence G. Muldoon

Capital Market Solutions

George Nolan


Timothy J. Nolan


Peter O’Brien

MADO Management

Brian Oleniczak

William Blair

Scott Pearson

The Northern Trust Company

Jeffrey Pettiford

Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.

Bill Pragalz

360 Benefits

Patrick Quinn

JP Morgan Private Bank

Thomas Robinette

Robinette Demolition, Inc.

Kevin Rooney

Focuscope, Inc.

John Sadofsky

Robert Half International

John Salvino

Performance Wealth

Rick Stern  

Todd Steffen


Tim Webb  

RCM Wealth Advisors

William Weldon

Weldon Investments

Kenneth J. Wroblewski 

Andersen Tax LLC

Patrick Zamkin

Edward Jones

Leader Council

The Leader Council members are powerful and accomplished professional women who strongly believe that the lives of Mercy Home’s young people can be improved through education. They meet throughout the year and donate their time, talent, financial support and professional resources to open doors to education in order to change the trajectory of children’s futures and break cycles of abuse, neglect, and poverty.

Mary Lee Schneider


Bridget Gibbons


Onward Healthcare Consulting LLC

Jessica Balfour


Maribeth Beahan

Northwestern Medicine

Nancy Bentley, PhD

Benedictine University

Sue Bettman

Brunswick Group

Deirdre Bormes

Keller Williams

Eileen Bower

Clyde & Co.

Beth Bracco

Blue Plate Catering

Micae Brown

Micae Brown Sales Agency

Juliann Cecchi

Northwestern University School of Law

Jean Ratty Chidley

Chicago Parking Meters, LLC

Patty Meagher Clare

PM Clare & Associates

Emily Cole

Cook County State’s Attorney

Tracey Coyne

Kodiak’s Solutions

Mary Dempsey

DePaul College Prep

Susanne Dumbleton, PhD

DePaul University

Elizabeth (Liz) Evans


Susan Flood

Emily Garrison

Karen Golden

Susan Golden

Golden Leadership, LLC

Anne T. C. Harney

Collins Engineers

Erin Hurley

HBK Engineering

Nancy Iannotta

The Private Bank

Caroline Becker Joss

Caroline Rose, Inc.

Elizabeth (Lisa) Krepps

Kerry Long

K. Long & Associates

Jennifer Lyons

CBS-2 Chicago

Claire Manaois

M Consulting Group

Natalie Martini


Kathleen M. McCabe

Ann Mendelsohn

Mendelsohn Group Inc.

Eileen Mitchell


Mary Kay Mulvaney, PhD

Elmhurst College

Mary Beth Matheney

RW Collins Co.

Kerry O’Hare

Oxford Capital Partners, Inc.

Katina Panagopoulos

Wintrust Commercial Banking

Meghan Perna


Rachael Phillippe

Phillippe Builders

Lora Powers

Wells Fargo

Maureen Gainer Reilly

GO Coaching & Consulting

Jasmine Shells

Five to Nine

Salme Harju Steinberg, PhD

Northeastern Illinois University

Kathy Taylor


Nancy Temple

Katten & Temple, LLC

Susan Templeton

Stafford Wells Advisors

Susan Tomilo

Sikich Investment Banking

Katie Twardak

Tomasik Kotin Kasserman

Marcy Twardak

Corboy & Demetrio, P.C.

Monica Tynan


Patricia Vassallo, M.D.

Northwestern Medicine

Jill Wenninger

Ulta Beauty

Laura Wicklander West

Great Lakes Advisors

Nancy Loewenberg Young

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Associate Board

Ryan Kruzel  


Lincoln Property Company

Maura Keller



Jack Baumann

Northern Trust

Cassandra Belek

UChicago Medicine

Lisa Brzezicki

Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation

Tim Bullock

Advocate Medical Group

Ethan Cole

Equity Lifestyle Properties

RJ Curington

Curington Law, LLC

Jenna Doherty


Patrick Durham


Tobias Dwumaah


Ryan Ferris

The Huntington National Bank

Maggie Fobare


Jenny Giudici

Crescent Parts & Equipment

Melanie Golden

SC Johnson

Jennifer Goodwin

JP Morgan Healthcare

Dan Hack

Morgan Stanely

Amber Hough

Worsek & Vihon LLP

Brianna Hughes

Luke Hughes

S & P Global

Megan Kellen


Mitchell Krafcheck

BMO Harris

Aubrey H. Laverty

Ethan Levy

Jenner & Block LLP

Mario LoVerde

LiUNA Great Lakes

Michael Lyons

Horizon Therapeutics

James Marek

Origami Risk

Conor McDonald


Emily Daniels McDonald

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Kathleen McGovern

Sinai Health

Dremain Moore

Thompson Coburn

Jack Morgan

Harris Associates

Katie Mullen

Environmental Protection Agency

Gannon O’Brien

Zeller Realty Group

Kenny Palmer

Risk Placement Services

Krista Paplaczyk

Northwestern Medicine

Rick Perez

Subrosa Investigations

Lauren Porto

SWC Technology Partners

Molly Reilly

ICF Next

Reggie Williams-Rolle


Thomas K. Smith


Mark Stevens

Sikich, LLP

Nicole Tolentino

Taylor Precision Products

Emma Walsh

Northwestern University

Ashley Yelpo

Weber, Inc.

Matt Yonover

Indiana Sugars

Have a question?