Board of Directors


Catherine Hamrick,
President . . .

Catharine Hamrick is an Associate Partner in Aon Hewitt’s Consumer Experience practice. She partners with clients to create and execute high impact communication strategies to help employees understand the value of the total rewards they receive and engage them in improving their physical, financial and emotional wellbeing. For example, she produces campaigns designed to help employees understand the importance of saving in their 401(k) plans, how to make investment decisions, how to choose their health plans, and how to make the most of programs that support their Work-Life balance. Some of her clients include: Target, Allstate, Best Buy, McDonald’s, and Cintas.

Prior to joining Aon Hewitt, Catharine was the Vice President of Integrated Brand Management at the American Medical Association. She received a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. from the University of Notre Dame. Catharine became involved with Impact almost 25 years ago, when she joined the staff as part-time administrative assistant while working on her graduate degree. Her commitment to the organization continues today because she sees it as a model for how individuals can come together to change lives and communities, by respecting the dignity of every human being.

Peter Michaels,
Treasurer . . .

Peter Michaels has spent his entire professional career as a Financial Adviser, working with individuals, companies, pension plans, endowments and foundations to help achieve their goals for their investment programs. Currently he works for NexTier Consulting Solutions where he advises investment firms on accelerating the growth of assets under management and improving profitability. Peter obtained the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

It is his passion for working with clients and helping them achieve their objectives that attracted him to volunteering for Impact. The agency's ability to provided tangible, measurable services, such as affordable housing, clinical services and employment education, to those with chronic mental illness, is very meaningful to Peter. He has volunteered with the organization for over 15 years, and during that time he has assisted Impact in bringing additional housing units to the agency and maintaining its financial stability during challenging budgetary times

Claire McCarthy Peterson,
Immediate Past President . . .

Since the 1980’s Claire McCarthy Peterson has been an outspoken Evanston advocate on behalf of persons with mental illness and those facing homelessness. Over 25 years ago she was a founding member of the Housing Options board. She has served as Chair of various City committees addressing homeless issues and helped author Evanston’s Continuum of Care for the Homeless, which resulted in significant federal support for local housing and intervention programs for vulnerable residents.

Kathleen Gillespie . . .

Kathleen Gillespie joined the Impact Board in October 2015 because she wanted to both advocate for the extraordinary clients Impact serves and provide energy and support to the talented staff, board and generous donors who assist Impact clients as they recover from serious mental illness. Following a career as a healthcare consulting firm partner, Kathleen serves on several nonprofit boards involved in healthcare for older adults, education for underserved and minority communities, and civil liberties, including Three Crowns Park Senior Living, the Barat Education Foundation and the Nominating Committee of the ACLU of Illinois. Kathleen has an undergraduate degree in History and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.

Carol Henes . . .

Carol Henes joined the Impact Board in August of 2016, although she first learned about the organization during its early years. Carol has lived in Evanston since 1981 and has served on several not-for-profit organizations including the Evanston Mental Health Board, the Evanston Community Foundation, and the United Way. She strives for creativity, simplicity, and really good communication when addressing problems and needs. Carol has been an administrator at Northwestern University for close to 20 years. Before transitioning to higher education, she worked in the health care field. She has an undergraduate degree in music and a master's degree in public health.

Daniel Smith . . .

Dan smith is a Level II Bank Manager and Mortgage Professional at TCF Bank.

His interest in Impact began thanks to its talented and enthusiastic staff and board. He has great confidence in the Impact team to deliver services and care to our community. Seeing the lives affected by this good work keeps his passion and engagement strong in the organization.

Harvey Saver . . .

Harvey Saver became involved with Impact Behavioral Health Partners more than 25 years ago. As the CPO for the Evanston Mental Health Board he was their contract officer for City funds. He also worked collaboratively with them as chair or working on various committees, planning groups and advocacy initiatives in developing Evanston’s community mental health and homelessness service networks. Mr. Saver joined the Board in 2009, and has served as the Chair of the Planning Committee and on the Board Development Committee. Harvey has more than 40 years of experience in Michigan and Illinois in community mental health and behavioral health programs, and developing community-based housing. His enthusiasm for Impact has stemmed from the commitment of both the Board and staff to enable people to live as a part of, rather than apart from, their community.

Advisory council

Ed Fortino
Ellen Rockwell Galland
Larry Gavin
Ed Getz
Debra Hill
Paul Larson

Al Belmonte
Janet Dotson
Dayle Duchossois
Mark Epstein
Naomi Feldman  



Randy Usen,
Vice President . . .

Randy is a commercial banking and finance professional in the industry for over 35 years. He attended school at NIU and DePaul University earning my MBA. I’m from the Chicago area.

He has been in the Evanston banking market for over 20 years and specialize in small business and not for profit organizations and their banking services financial requirements. He has been with the local established community bank First Bank & Trust for 18 years and got to know Impact initially as their banker and later joining the board. Randy has chaired the Employment Services Advisory Committee which since its inception in 2010.

He believes that mental illness affects many people and with proper support and assistance they are good fully functioning citizens contributing to our society. Not everyone is cut out to go it alone.

Renee Lanam,
Secretary . . .

Renee Lanam is a senior executive with over 20 years experience in the areas of finance and legal. Former CFO and General Counsel for Equinix, Inc., a multi-national company that designs, builds and operates Internet data centers and former attorney at Gunderson, Dettmer, a business law firm for entrepreneurs, emerging growth companies and venture capitalists.

Renee chose to be on Impact's board because she believes that those in need must be part of our communities and provided with the services they need to succeed. Impact's model of scattered sites in our community and wrap around clinical and job placement support is successfully executed by a passionate team of professionals.

Lara Duda . . .

Lara Duda first became involved with Impact in 2000 as a communications associate. After working for several years in the nonprofit sector, Lara attended law school. She is currently a partner in a Chicago-area law firm where her areas of practice include probate, guardianship, elder law, mental health law, and special needs planning. Lara also frequently serves as a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem in guardianship proceedings for disabled adults. Lara is a past chair and current member of the Chicago Bar Association Mental Health Law Committee. Lara is a compassionate advocate for people with serious mental illness and their families. She strongly believes in the mission of Impact and the need to expand supportive housing options for people with serious mental illness.

Geoff Harlow . . .

Kevin Hopkins . . .

Kevin Hopkins is a Professor of Law at the John Marshall Law School located in Chicago, Illinois where he teaches Torts and Advanced Torts. He researches and writes in the areas of race, torts and ethics. Prior to joining the John Marshall faculty in 1996, he was an Associate in a civil litigation firm in Louisville, Kentucky where he practiced in the areas of torts, real estate, corporate and commercial law, and insurance defense, and a Professor at Widener University School of Law (Delaware and Pennsylvania campuses). He is a past recipient of the Georgetown University Law Center’s annual W.M. Keck Essay Contest on Legal Ethics for his essay, “Law Firms, Technology and the Double-Billing Dilemma,” and a multiple winner of the John Marshall Law School’s “Best Professor” Award which is given annually by the Student Bar Association. He is also a 2016 recipient of the John Marshall Law School’s Annual Service Award. He has been a visiting professor at several law schools in the U.S. and in China.

Kevin has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Impact since 2008. “My decision to join the Housing Options Board was greatly influenced by Impact’s strong commitment to helping individuals who suffer with mental challenges live independent, productive and fulfilling lives.”