Staff and Board of Directors

Current Staff

Lupe Ortiz

Executive Director

Lupe has worked in the social services field in McHenry County for the past four years, providing mental health services and support to youth and families in the community. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 2011 and has since worked at Pioneer Center for Human Services as a Community Support Specialist/Therapeutic Mentor. In the summer of 2012, she volunteered her time and skills to an organization in Nayarit, Mexico, known as PEACE Mexico, helping provide services in their alternative school program and summer camp program. The experience of living in a different country and serving a very low-income community was life-changing. Through her experience in employment and volunteering in different nonprofit organizations, she has discovered her passion and love for child advocacy and overall making a difference in the life’s of others. She is grateful to have the privilege to be a part of this “family” and the opportunity to give her passion, love, and skills to the organization and the Garden Quarter community as the Executive Director

Meghan Sullivan

Development Coordinator

Meghan started as a program volunteer at the Garden Quarter Neighborhood Resource Center in 2005.  She served as the Program Director of GQNRC until the McHenry County Latino Coalition had to close the center’s doors in July, 2009.  She collaborated with other former GQNRC employees and AmeriCorps members to form a non-profit organization to operate the GQNRC programs.  Since that time, she has served in various officer positions on the GQNRC Board of Directors.  During the school year, she is the Dual Language Instructional Coach at North Elementary School in District 47.  As a lifelong resident of McHenry, she is passionate about encouraging education for all its members and developing multicultural relationships between people of diverse backgrounds.

Patricia Wallin

Parent Program Manager/Bi-Cultural Service Navigator

Patricia has worked within the social services field in McHenry County and Chicago assisting families by providing them with appropriate referrals and supporting them in accessing different resources in the community based on their needs.

She was born in Latin America and immigrated to McHenry County when she was a child. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Western Illinois University and is currently working on a Master’s degree in International Social Work from the University of Stockholm, Sweden.

Michelle Luqueno

Youth Program Manager

Michelle started working at GQNRC in August, 2016. She began at the center as a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in October, 2012. Michelle has lived in McHenry with her parents and 4 sisters for many years, and she is a first generation college student. She is dually enrolled at the College of Lake County and Northern Illinois University, and is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree. Michelle has declared her major at NIU in Family Social Services. Michelle’s goal is to become a social worker and she hopes to continue working with adolescents in the future.

Michelle enjoys interacting with youth and meeting new people, especially when they come from a different background than herself. She is able to get to know people from different cultures through her work at GQNRC and also as a writing tutor for the College of Lake County. The people Michelle tutors come from different parts of the world and she loves learning about their different cultures and values. In her free time, Michelle likes going to the movies with friends and also going out to dinner.

Michelle came to work at GQNRC because she wants to help the community that she grew up in. She wants to make a difference in the lives of others and has seen GQNRC impact many families in the community in a positive way. She believes that no one should have to feel like they are facing a problem alone, there are services out there to help and GQNRC can help connect people to the resources they need.

Megan Cocker


Megan is a student at George Williams College of Aurora University, pursuing a Master of Social Work degree. Megan has been an intern at GQNRC since August, 2016 and will be ending her placement in May, 2017. She came to GQNRC to gain experience working with children and adolescents and learn about the services GQNRC has to offer.

Board of Directors

Sherry Arevalo, President

Gina Swinney, Secretary 

Yvonne Semel, Treasurer 

Margi Patel

Amber Bowgren

Josh Reitz

Jennifer Caballero

Eduardo Zepeda

Interested in joining our Board of Directors? Visit our Volunteer page to learn more about Board of Directors responsibilities and to find an application!

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