CEO | Founder, A Ray of Hope on Earth
Ray McElroy is a former NFL football player spending six seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, and the Chicago Bears. A native of Chicago, Proviso West High School alum, and graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Ray served as Team Chaplain for the Chicago Bears Organization from 2008-2013. He is currently devoting his post football career to making a difference one life and community at a time through A Ray of Hope on Earth, his newly written forty-day devotional, “From Grace to Renewal”, the motivational speaking initiative, “Life Beyond the Game”, as well as the newly developed lifestyle elevation program, “Ascender”, designed for professional athletes transitioning from sports to their next exciting career.
COO, A Ray of Hope on Earth
Michelle McElroy is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor Degree in Arts and a Masters Degree of Science in Education specializing in Community Counseling. She also has a Bachelor degree in Theology and is a licensed, ordained minister. Currently, she is training to become a Leadership Coaching Specialist. She has been happily married since 1996 and is enjoying motherhood of four beautiful children.
Executive Director, A Ray of Hope on Earth
Dennis Rizo earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He began his career in sales with CDW Corporation where he helped develop and grow a new department of the company from $300,000 in annual sales to almost $6,000,000 before leaving. After being deeply influenced and transformed by Christian radio, Dennis decided to take his talents to the radio industry. He spent the next leg of his career in Radio Promotions, working for both Moody Radio Chicago and AM 1160 WYLL. Dennis was responsible for developing and maintaining audience loyalty through contesting, promotions, and live local events. Dennis met Ray McElroy during his time in radio and the two have been friends and colleagues since. In 2011, after a few years of helping A Ray of Hope on Earth gain media exposure, Dennis was invited to join the Board of Directors. A few years later, in January of 2014, he was appointed the new Executive Director. Dennis is married, has one son, and lives in the Chicagoland area.
Steve Wille, Board Vice-Chair
CEO, Advantage Contractor Solutions
Steve was raised in Chicagoland, graduated in business from DePaul University and now resides in the Phoenix area. Steve is a husband (to Deanna), a father (to Jeff, Christopher and Caeli) and an entrepreneur (for the past 20+ years). Steve has focused primarily in the residential construction trade and has successfully built a team that grew a small 8 person company into a thriving 140 employee organization.
Keith Richards, Board Member
Store Manager, Walmart
Keith Richards, a Store Manager of Walmart in the Northern Illinois region, is responsible for the strategic direction and financial performance of the Walmart business. Leading over 300 associates, Keith and his team are focused on executing the Walmart core business model, which includes lowering costs in order to offer customers lower prices and fulfilling the company’s mission of saving people money so they can live better.
Nicholas Roach, Board Member
NFL Linebacker, Oakland Raiders
Nicholas Alexander Roach, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is an American football linebacker for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). Roach attended high school at Milwaukee Lutheran High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he lettered in football, basketball, and track. He played college football at Northwestern University. Roach has also played for the Chicago Bears. Nick is a husband to Anna Marie and soon to be father.
Jonathan Hauser, Board Member
Senior Tax Manager, KPMG
Jonathan Hauser is a senior tax manager with KPMG and has been with the firm since 2004. Jonathan focuses on providing tax compliance and consulting services to large multinational corporations, as well as being a trusted advisor to his clients. Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University, and he went on to receive his Master’s in Accounting from the University of Florida. Jonathan is married, has two sons, and currently resides in the city of Chicago.
Cindy Tomei, Board Member
President, Valley Industrial Association
Cindy is originally from Pennsylvania and graduated from Kutztown University with a B.S. in Marketing. Her career in the Chicagoland area has been centered in the non-profit sector. Currently, as President of Valley Industrial Association, a 113 year old organization, she leads a team of skilled professionals in serving the manufacturing and industrial community in the Fox Valley Region of Illinois. She has served a variety of non-profit organizations as both a volunteer and Board member. Cindy is an avid NFL fan and greatly believes team sports can build character and provide lifetime leadership skills to young athletes. She is the very proud mother of two young adult children, Savanna and Davide.
Emanuel C. Welch, Board Member
Partner – Sanchez, Daniels, & Hoffman, LLP
Chris has served as a partner at the law firm of Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman, LLP since July 2007 after originally joining the firm in December 1997.
Chris has served as a State Representative in the Illinois Generaly Assembly since January 2013. He is a member of the following committees: Appropriations-Higher Education, Higher Education, Health Care Availability & Accessibility, Judiciary, Small Business Empowerment & Workforce Development, and Transportation/Regulation, Roads and Bridges.
Chris served on the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education from November 7, 2001 to May 2013. Chris served as President of the Board for a decade, and during his tenure, he championed the effort to create the first ever suburban based magnet high school, the Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA).
Chris also serves as legal counsel for various school districts and municipalities, and he is a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys. Chris has successfully tried cases at both the State and Federal levels, and he has argued appeals in State and Federal Appellate courts Chris is also a certified administrative hearing officer with experience serving as the hearing officer in code enforcement court.
Chris has received the Operation Uplift Hometown Dreamweaver Award (January 2005), the prestigious PLCCA Image Award (June 2006), the Village of Hillside Chairman’s Award for his contributions to Human Rights issues (January 2007), the Man of the Year Award from the Proviso Township Dream Team (May 2009), in August 2010 Chris was named one of the top 40 Game Changers under the age of 40 by Black Enterprise Magazine and WVON AM-1690, and in 2011 Chris was named a Rising Star by Superlawyers Magazine and Chicago Magazine. In 2012, Chris was elected Illinois State Representative, 7th House District. Chris was named a SuperLawyer in 2013.
Ron Lofton Jr., Board Member
Director of Marketing & Community Relations at 3Key Management/ McDonalds Restaurant Group
Ron Lofton, Jr. is the Director of Marketing and Community Relations at 3Key Management/McDonald’s Restaurant Group. He has a bachelors degree from Eastern Illinois University. Ron is also a proud father of his son, Justin