BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Margaret "Peg" Lee
Margaret (Peg) Lee retired in 2015 after 30 years of teaching and administrative leadership at Oakton Community College, the site of many Chicago Summer Programs. The mother of nine children, sixteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, Peg has previously been a Board Chair and active member of the Board. She has supported the organization in many other ways, including traveling on the first Multi-Narrative Tour to Israel/Palestine in 2011.
Rich Katz and his wife, Heidi, have been a part of the Hands of Peace community for many years, hosting participants and facilitators from 2009 through 2018 and chairing several Chicago Benefits and Farewell Celebrations. Rich has long had a keen interest in peacebuilding in the Middle East and has traveled extensively through Palestine and Israel on several trips to the region.
Bonnie’s career in academic computing and data spanned 40 years, and she is now retired and Vice President Emerita at Oakton Community College. Bonnie, and her husband, Stuart, engage in annual mission trips to El Salvador with Eye Care International, where Stuart performs surgery and Bonnie supports the computer software systems.
Past Board Chair
Board Chair Wayne Andersen and his former wife, Sheila O’Brien, with their three daughters, Mary, Maureen, and Noreen, were an original host family for Hands of Peace. Wayne is a retired Federal and State judge and is now handling commercial arbitrations and mediations through JAMS, the premier commercial arbitration/mediation service.
Rob has treated orthopaedic injuries and disorders, particularly those of the hand and upper extremity, for over 20 years. A resident of North County San Diego, Rob is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and the National Board of Medical Examiners as a licensed Medical Examiner.
Reem is the Executive Director of the Rotary Action Group for Peace based in Portland, Oregon. She is a Positive Peace Activator and a Global Peace Index Ambassador for the Institute for Economics and Peace. Reem is also an internationally acclaimed public speaker, well known for her expertise in human rights and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Gretchen has served many roles at Hands of Peace, focusing on leadership, strategic planning, and fundraising as the organization has grown. Gretchen holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Hamilton College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. From 1985-1997, Gretchen worked for First Chicago Capital Markets as an economist and securities trader.
Adam Heffez is a Hands of Peace alumnus 2006 -2007, and staff member 2008-2010. Adam’s passion for conflict resolution led him to work for the U.S. government, then a think tank, where he wrote for Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, and The Jerusalem Post. After receiving his MBA at Stanford, Adam entered the business world in management consulting and international business development.
Dr. Ross D. Peterson
Dr. Ross D. Peterson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and works as a therapist and consultant. Ross has served as the Executive Director of Midwest Ministry Development Service and Southwest Ministry Development Service, Faculty Member of the Pastoral Counseling Center of Lutheran General Hospital, and Executive Director of the Wholistic Health Center of Hinsdale. He is a co-author of Health, Wholeness, and Holiness for Ministry Leaders. Ross is ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church, and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago Theological Seminary.
Alan Rubin is a retired professor of Psychology and Student Development at Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL. He has been involved in Hands of Peace since the beginning, developing the first dialogue program and serving as one of its first facilitators. He also helped develop the first XL program, served as Treasurer helping to establish Hands of Peace as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and developed its first attempts at systematically evaluating the program’s effectiveness. Alan and his wife, Patty, live in Evanston, IL.
Michele is a Senior Manager at the consulting firm BDO where she works with clients to improve process efficiency and profitability. She is a CPA and received her B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has an MBA in Policy Studies from the University of Chicago and is a certified PROSCI Change Management practitioner.
Lori Kaskowitz Kenward
Bev Shurman Lavitt