Fr. Scott with Mercy Home young people.
2021-09-16 02:00:00
2021-11-01 12:00:00

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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. Currently Mercy Home provides care for over 600 children and families in need.

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

Tom Gilardi, MSW

Vice President of Youth Programs

Tom started at Mercy Home as a youth care worker in 1992. After spending time in Youth Programs, Tom moved to Human Resources to help cultivate qualified employees for Mercy Home and then back to Youth Programs as Vice President due to his strong understanding of the needs of Mercy Home’s children. Tom has a Masters of Social Work degree and extensive field experience. His strong clinical and management skills have increased the effectiveness of youth programs.

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.

Headshot of Joe Wronka

Joe Wronka, MBA

Vice President of Advancement

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Daniel Nelson, MSW

Associate 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 lead 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 Associate Vice President in 2021. 

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.

Robert G. Carmody


Diana’s Bananas

Rev. L. Scott Donahue


Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

Robert Greco


Rich Daniels


City Lights Music, Inc.

Eileen Mitchell

AT&T Illinois

Johanna Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Joe Nolan

Beverly Capital

Patricia Walsh

Jim Williams

CBS 2 Chicago

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.

Lydia Andrews


Peter Argianas

Gold Coast Bank

Shay Bahramirad

Quanta Technologies

Skip Behm


Sue Bettman

LSC Communications

Mark Brady

William Blair

Dave Braun


John Chandler

St. Ignatius College Prep

James Corrigan

Corrigan Financial, Inc.

Jim Curtin

Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Felicia Davis

Chicago Foundation for Women

Mary Dempsey

DePaul College Prep

Robert Gauch

Jim Jenness

Kellogg Company

Timothy Knight

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Paula McGrath

Nuveen Investments

Daniel A. Nicholas

Harris Associates

Fran O’Malley

Worsek & Vihon

Richard Price

Mesirow Financial

Bill Rancic

Bill Rancic Productions

Mark G. Sander

First Midwest Bancorp, Inc.

Kathy Seegebrecht

Underwriter’s Laboratories

John Sheehy

StarCom MediaVest Group

Paul Tashima


Nancy A. Temple

Katten & Temple, LLC

Alex Wiggins

Rush University Medical Center

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.

Rick Stern


CEO Nitel USA, Inc.

Paul Adcock

David Baez

Cook County Sherriff’s Police

Michael Barrett

William Busch III

Kevin Cassidy


Chief Growth Officer
Health Care Services Corp.

Timothy Cavanagh

Cavanagh Law Group

Tim Cimaglio

Outdoor Interiors

John Clesen

Ernest J. Codilis, Jr.

Codilis & Associates, P.C.

Kevin Crain

Morgan Stanley

Dennis Culloton

Culloton Bauer Luce

Scott Dias

Goldman Sachs

Keith Giemzik

BMO Harris

John Jaeger

OneDigital Health & Benefits

Michael K. Lall

President & COO
AED Professionals

Eric Larson

Walsh Construction

William J. Lewis

Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Michael McCarihan

Wells Fargo Securities

Terrence G. Muldoon

Capital Market Solutions

George Nolan

Timothy J. Nolan


Peter O’Brien

MADO Management

Brian Oleniczyk

William Blair

Scott Pearson

The Northern Trust Company

Jeffrey Pettiford

Window Rock Capital Partners LLC

Bill Pragalz

360 Benefits

Patrick Quinn

JP Morgan Private Bank

Thomas Robinette

Robinette Demolition, Inc.

Kevin Rooney

Focuscope, Inc.

John Salvino

Performance Wealth

Konstantine Sepsis

Avison Young Chicago

Don Silich

Constant Organization, Ltd.

Todd Steffen

Newell Brands

Robert Van Fossan

William Weldon

Weldon Investments

Kenneth J. Wroblewski

Andersen Tax LLC

Patrick Zamkin

Olenik & Associates

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.

Emily Cole


Cook County State‘s Attorney’s Office

Mary Lee Schneider



Nancy Bentley, PhD

Benedictine University

Sue Bettman

LSC Communications

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

Tracey Coyne

Crowe LLP

Lisa DeCristofaro


Mary Dempsey

DePaul College Prep

Mary Dominiak

Village of Antioch

Susanne Dumbleton, PhD

DePaul University

Elizabeth (Liz) Evans


Julie Fitzgerald


Susan Flood

Emily Garrison

Patricia Gianone

Duffy Designs, Ltd.

Valerie Giardini

The Northern Trust Company

Bridget Gibbons

Onward Healthcare Consulting, LLC

Karen Golden

Susan Golden

Golden Leadership, LLC

Anne T. C. Harney

Collins Engineers

Nancy Iannotta

The Private Bank

Caroline Becker Joss

Caroline Rose, Inc.

Claire Koeneman


Katie Kornel

Elizabeth Krepps

Sook Lee

Stout Risius Ross

Anne Leyden

Kerry Long

K. Long & Associates

Claire Manaois

M Consulting Group

Natalie Martini


Kathleen M. McCabe

Ann Mendelsohn

Mendelsohn Group Inc.

Alexandra Mihalas

Kirkland & Ellis, LLP

Eileen Mitchell


Kendra V. Moten

Mary Mulhern

Marsh USA, Inc.

Mary Kay Mulvaney, PhD

Elmhurst College

Kathleen McDonough Mundo

Wilson Elser

Kerry O’Hare

Oxford Capital Partners, Inc.

Katina Panagopoulos

Wintrust Commercial Banking

Rachael Phillippe

Phillippe Builders

Diana Pisone

Lora Powers

Wells Fargo

Maureen Gainer Reilly

GO Coaching & Consulting

Virginia Rugai

Salme Harju Steinberg, PhD

Northeastern Illinois University

Ivana Taylor

BD Associates, Inc.

Kathy Taylor


Nancy Temple

Katten & Temple, LLC

Susan Templeton

Taiber Kosmala & Associates LLC

Susan Tomilo

Sikich Investment Banking

Katie Twardak

Tomasik Kotin Kasserman

Marcy Twardak

Corboy & Demetrio, P.C.

Monica Tynan


Patricia Vassallo, M.D.

Northwestern Medicine

Denise Wienand

Rush Oak Park Hospital

Laura Wicklander West

Great Lakes Advisors

Nancy Loewenberg Young

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Associate Board

Interested in becoming an Associate Board Member? Contact us for more information.

Dominic LoVerde


Motherway & Napleton, LLP

Mark Stevens


Riveron Consulting

Brendan Breen

The John Buck Company

Ryan Brown

BI Partners

Lisa Brzezicki

Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation

Tim Bullock

Advocate Medical Group

Vianni Busquets

Guerrero Media LLC

Maura Carr


Josh Cauhorn

Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella

Timothy Compernolle

Peapod Digital Labs

Emily Daniels

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Tim Day

Madison Capital Funding

Maggie Doyle

UpRight Law

Patrick Durham


Tobias Dwumaah

British Petroleum (BP)

Ryan Ferris

The Huntington National Bank

Maggie Fobare


Jenny Giudici

Crescent Parts & Equipment

Melanie Golden

SC Johnson

Amanda Healy

AKA Media Inc.

Demetrius Hill


John Hoppe

Madison Capital Funding

Amber Hough

Worsek & Vihon LLP

Brianna Hughes

Luke Hughes

S & P Global

Erin Hurley

HBK Engineering

Megan Kellen


TJ Kistner

Segal Marco Advisors

Ryan Kruzel

Pearlmark Real Estate

Aubrey H. Laverty

Tiffany Lim

Kirkland & Ellis, LLP

Mario LoVerde

LiUNA Great Lakes

Michael Lyons

Horizon Therapeutics

Jack Maloney

Moran and Company

James Marek

Origami Risk

Krissy Mariano

Rush University Medical Center

Matt Martin

Stumm Insurance

Taylor Martin


Stephanie Maslen

Rebound Fitness

Conor McDonald


Kathleen McGovern

DuPage Medical Group

Claudia Minner

Claudia Minner, PLLC

Isaiah Mireles

Maddie Mitchell

DePaul College Prep

Katie Mullen

Environmental Protection Agency

Kara Myers

StarCom Worldwide

Christopher Nolan

Anderson Tax

Gannon O’Brien

Zeller Realty Group

Krista Paplaczyk

Northwestern Medicine

Rick Perez

Subrosa Investigations

Lauren Porto

SWC Technology Partners

Reggie Williams-Rolle


John Sadofsky

Robert Half International

Kimberly Schneider

Sarah L. Siderius


Nathan Sonoskey

True North Holdings LLC

Nicole Tolentino

Taylor Precision Products

Jasen Toussaint

Northbrook Bank & Trust

Emma Walsh

Northwestern University

Arlo Walsman

Arlo Walsman Law Office

Brian Weber

Duff & Phelps

Jill Wenninger

Ulta Beauty

Emily Wisniewski

Arabella Advisors

Matt Yonover

Indiana Sugars

Have any questions?

Contact Rita McGovern