Our dynamic leadership team is actively engaged to strengthen CHIL's impact, extend our reach, and maximize our capacity to serve those in need.
Susan Reyna-Guerrero, LCSW
In June of 2021, the Covenant House Illinois board of directors concluded their search for a new Executive Director, hiring Susan Reyna-Guerrero. Susan is a seasoned administrator and leader with more than 30 years of social service experience, all of which have been spent in the Chicago community. Prior to joining Covenant House Illinois, Susan worked as Chief Programs Officer at Children’s Place Association. In this role, Susan was responsible for the operations of the organization’s domestic programs, including the Early Learning Center, Family & Community Services, Foster & Adoptive Care and the Residential Center. She spent 17 years of her time at Beacon Therapeutic Diagnostic and Treatment Center as Chief Executive Officer and then President and Chief Executive Officer. She has been an independent practitioner providing clinical consultations, trainings, and individual psychotherapy since 2017. Susan has dedicated her career to focusing on helping to systematically advance the issues surrounding homelessness, and its resulting impact on children’s mental health, physical health and overall well-being. She is a graduate of Loyola University (MSW) and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. In February 2022, she was appointed by J.B. Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, to the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness where she represents the youth provider sector.
Amy Laird, LCSW
Director of Programs & Program Implementation
Amy is a licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who has been working with at-risk youth for the past fifteen years. She started her career as an Intensive Foster Care Social Worker, and has continued to work with at-risk youth throughout her career as a Psychiatric Social Worker, Residential Clinician and Clinical Director. Throughout her career, Amy has been instrumental in program design and implementation across multiple Organizations, and brings to Covenant House Illinois a depth of experience that is vital to running effective programming.
Director of Development
Johnpaul is an accomplished non-profit professional with nearly two decades of development experience under his belt. With a background in literary arts, community outreach and advocacy, his career has exposed him to wide range of people and organizations. He joins the CHIL leadership team after spending two years in the development department working on CHIL's capital campaign. Intimately familiar with the organization and mission, and with a strong background in securing resources for some of Chicago's most vulnerable populations, Johnpaul is excited to bring his experience and passion to bear on providing essential services to our region's young people struggling with homelessness.
Johnpaul attended Kent State University as both an undergraduate and graduate student, where he studied English Literature and became heavily embroiled in the perilous world of underground poetry. Narrowly surviving a cascading crown of sonnets, Johnpaul moved to Chicago in 2003, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and irredeemably naughty dog.
Director of Finance
Chris has worked in the field of Finance for over 20 years and brings a great set of skills and experiences to Covenant House. His work stints include time in Banking, Financial Planning and Analysis, and Controllership roles. His most recent experience was at a non-profit, where he provided financial leadership to turn around the organization and put it in a sound financial position. Throughout his career, Chris has been known as a solid leader of financial processes, budgeting, and financial stewardship that helped organizations reach their goals. He looks forward to helping Covenant House Illinois as they move into their exciting growth phase to help more youth in the Chicago area!
Jennifer Nelson Seals, MSHRM
Director of Administration & Operations
Jennifer Nelson Seals comes to Covenant House with over 27 years of not-for-profit management and executive leadership experience. She has been nationally recognized by the National Health Care for the Homeless for her strong leadership and ability to manage high risk-populations, forging strong relationships with hospitals, managed care organizations and community partners. Prior to joining Covenant House, she helped establish The Boulevard of Chicago, a medical respite center for homeless individuals. Serving as CEO for 17 years, helping to bridge the gap for vulnerable homeless populations, advocating for services, and bringing awareness about homelessness Nationally. Jennifer has served on various boards, committees and task- force with All Chicago, National Health care for the Homeless, National Coalition for the Homeless, Service Provider Commission, Center for Health and House and more. Mrs. Nelson Seals has a certificate in Executive Management in Nonprofits, holds a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from Roosevelt University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Robert Morris College.