Our People

Learn more below about our dedicated staff and boards that make up Erika’s Lighthouse.

Our Staff

Our staff is an amazing, hard-working and dedicated group who develop and implement programming to educate communities about teen depression, break the stigma that surrounds mental illness, and promote mental health in teens.

Brandon Combs

Executive Director

Brandon joined Erika’s Lighthouse in June 2019. He brings with him over 20 years of nonprofit experience ranging from Executive Director, Board Member to volunteer for many passions and causes. He earned his Master’s in Nonprofit Administration in December 2009 from North Park University and his BA in Political Science from Indiana University in May 2004. Brandon wants to ensure that every child feels empowered, validated and important.

Contact Brandon at brandon@erikaslighthouse.org or call 847.386.6481 ext. 101.

Peggy Kubert, L.C.S.W.

Senior Director of Education

“I am excited to represent an organization that provides hope to so many young people and families.”

Peggy is a licensed clinical social worker, addictions counselor, student assistance trainer and parent educator.  She has a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago, and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.  Peggy has been with Erika’s Lighthouse since 2006, developing our programming and working with schools to implement our programs. Peggy is passionate about providing consultation, support and training to students, educators, parents and health professionals to help young people lead healthy, happy and productive lives.

Contact Peggy at peggy@erikaslighthouse.org or call 847.386.6481 ext. 103

Ilana Sherman

Director of Education

Ilana joined Erika’s Lighthouse in September 2019 as Director of Education. She has a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ilana brings with her over 15 years of non-profit health education programming experience ranging from Outreach Coordinator to Director of Education. Ilana is excited to be part of Erika’s Lighthouse to help further the mission and empower preteens, teens, their caregivers and educators to learn and talk openly about adolescent depression.

Contact Ilana at ilana@erikaslighthouse.org or call 847.386.6481 ext. 106.

Kristina Kins

Director of Program Development & Operations

Kristina came to Erika’s Lighthouse in 2016 as a graduate intern and joined the team full time in 2017 as Director of Outreach & Development. After spending many years in the business and finance sectors, Kristina changed career directions and is excited to be working with an organization working to spread the importance of good mental health through education. She obtained her Master of Social Work (MSW), along with a certificate in Non-Profit Management and Philanthropy, from Loyola University Chicago. Kristina graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a BA in sociology.

Contact Kristina at kristina@erikaslighthouse.org or call 847.386.6481 ext. 105

Lisa Honcharuk

Manager of Marketing and Engagement

Lisa joined Erika’s Lighthouse in September 2019. Prior to joining the team, Lisa served in various marketing and customer-facing roles in Fortune 100 Technology companies. She is excited to redirect her focus towards a cause she is passionate about and is looking forward to bringing her experience, enthusiasm and talent to the organization. Her goal is to discover what communication methods resonate best with our diverse audiences. This means different methods are called for: from written word to live events, from video to interacting via social media, and even good old-fashioned talking to one another. Lisa holds a Bachelors of Marketing from Northern Illinois University.

Contact Lisa at lisa@erikaslighthouse.org or call 847.386.6481 ext. 102.

Meade Means

Development & Operations Assistant

Meade joined Erika’s Lighthouse in October 2019. She brings over eight years of nonprofit experience as both a professional and a volunteer. She is committed to helping nonprofits and is excited to be a part of an organization that is tirelessly working to improve mental health in young adults. Meade has a BA in Political Science from Kenyon College, and a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University.

Contact Meade at meade@erikaslighthouse.org or call 847.386.6481 ext. 104.

Shira Lichtenstein

Social Media & Events Coordinator

Shira joined Erika’s Lighthouse in 2015 as a member of the Lighthouse Council while completing an online Master’s program in psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology, with a concentration in children and adolescents. She is recently completed a Master’s in social work at The University of Chicago. After Shira’s involvement on the Lighthouse Council, she joined our staff in 2018 to oversee social media communication and uses different platforms to help spread our message and promote our depression awareness programs. Shira is passionate about mental health issues and strongly believes that given the right tools and resources, anyone can improve their mental health.

Contact Shira at shira@erikaslighthouse.org or call 847.386.6481.

Our Boards

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is made up of ten members who oversee the mission and governance of Erika’s Lighthouse.

Meet the Board of Directors

Legacy Board of Directors

Our Legacy Board of Directors is made up of members who have served on the Board of Erika’s Lighthouse.

Meet the Legacy Board of Directors

Lighthouse Council

Our Lighthouse Council is a group of members who are actively involved in advocating for Erika’s Lighthouse in our community and raising funds for our programming. Fill out the interest form to learn more.

Meet the Council Members

Young Adult Board

Our Young Adult Board is composed of post-college members who host activities to raise funds and awareness about teen depression and mental health among their peers.  Contact us to learn more.

  • Alexandra Perraud (Chair)
  • Rolando Montoya
  • Jessica Jones
  • Amy Hrad
  • Benny Mathew
  • Lucy Mahoney
  • Jesseca Hutchins
  • Spencer Schiele
  • Danielle Spiekhout

Professional Advisory Board

Our Professional Advisory Board includes both educators and experts in mental health who provide us with their expert guidance on issues surrounding teen depression and mental health.

  • Penny Powers Beitler, M.S., L.M.F.T.
  • Robin Bluestone-Miller, L.C.S.W.
  • David C. Clark, Ph.D
  • Dan C. Daly, M.S.
  • Tom Golebiewski, Ph.D, L.C.S.W.
  • Lauren Gumbiner, M.S.W.
  • Jason LaHood, PsyD
  • Deborah Lazar, M.L.S.
  • Melissa Perrin, PsyD
  • Alec Ross, L.C.S.W.
  • Father Charles Rubey, L.C.S.W.
  • David Schreiber, M.D.
  • Dan Schwartz, Ph.D., Ed. D., Principal
  • Sharon Weingarten, M.S.W., A.C.S.W.

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