Allie Temkin, Chair
Talent Acquisition and Program Manager for Common Threads
Allie knows the benefits of Playworks firsthand, as she was a Playworks Coach in Chicago for almost three years. Being able to teach her students important social skills through play, like cooperating with peers, self-regulating emotions, and problem solving, was the most rewarding part of the job. Currently, Allie is the talent acquisition and program manager for Common Threads, where she manages cooking and nutrition programs for students in Chicago Public Schools.
Allie grew up in Skokie, Illinois and went to Beloit College where she majored in sociology and was a student athlete and a captain of the women's basketball team. She continues to play today in a co-ed, adult basketball league. When she's not on the court she's reading books for her book club, playing word games, and watching her beloved Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers.
Erin Guthrie, Vice Chair
Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company
Erin has always recognized the value of play. as a former camp counselor, middle school tutor, and mentor to high school students, she knows how important it is that students of all ages balance their classroom studies with activities that re-energize and bond them with their peers. She believes every student has the right to learn and develop in a safe, collaborative and fun environment.
In her spare time, Erin plays in an indoor soccer league (avoiding the icy Chicago winters!), traveling, and the outdoors. She is a former California girl, receiving her B.A. from Stanford University, and relocated to the Midwest starting with her MBA at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Yeyry Garcia, Secretary
Internal Audit Manager at The PrivateBank
Yeyry is an Internal Audit Manager at The PrivateBank. Yeyry joined the PrivateBank in 2014. She is responsible for planning, executing, and reporting on operational, financial, and compliance related audits. Prior to joining The Private Bank, Yeyry worked at RSM, a multinational accounting firm, for over 8 years and focused on both audit and consulting services for various banking clients. Yeyry received her Masters in Accounting from Florida International University. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband Steven and Siberian Husky named Angel. In her free time she enjoys traveling, playing beach volleyball and spending time with her family. Yeyry is excited to join the Playmakers given the positive impact the organization has on helping kids develop leadership and social skills.
Mary Beth Johnson, Celebrations
Philanthropy Officer at Spark Ventures
Mary Beth is the Philanthropy Officer for Spark Ventures where she manages donor relationships and services, insuring that donors experience high-quality interactions that foster long-term engagement and investment. Prior to Spark, Mary Beth's career path took her to Egypt where she co-founded an international service-learning organization, then to Evanston where she developed Rotary International's first global strategic partnerships, and on to Chicago where she followed her passion for good food and community engagement at Whole Foods Market. You can find Mary Beth riding her bike around Chicago, experimenting in her community garden, and teaching yoga throughout the city. Having been an athlete and on teams most of her life, Mary Beth strongly believes in the power of play and is thrilled to support Playworks' mission as a Playmaker.
Michael Gondhi, Communications
Project Manager at ATS Sortimat
Michael's passion for the kids and sports has motivated him to pass down the life lessons he learned through sports to the next generation. He believes kids develop teamwork, discipline, and leadership skills through the programs organized by Playworks. The programs also give kids the opportunity to be active in a safe environment. Michael was born in India and moved to the United States to attend an undergraduate school in Michigan. During his free time he is either biking, playing tennis, or golfing.
Libby Baker, Development
Organizational Solutions at McKinsey & Company
Libby Baker is an Expert on the OrgSolutions team at McKinsey & Company, working closely with clients on a variety of organizational issues, including organizational health, organization design and change management. She is passionate about helping companies realize the value of their human capital and achieve sustainable performance through organization health, as well as helping employees thrive and succed in their workplace. Before joining McKinsey, Libby worked for 6 years as an ERP implementation conslutant, assiting clients in their implementation of new PeopleSoft Financials systems. She graduated from Northwestern with a BA in Economics and Grench and has an MBA in International Business from Georgetown University.
Associate Marketing Manager, TRANSEARCH International
Traci wears many hats in her role at TRANSEARCH ranging from, client relationship building, recruiting, social media, to the creation of marketing materials and more. She is a creative professional with strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills. She continues to use these same skills to benefit Playworks through brand awareness and the power of play!
She has always given back to her community through various non-profits and coached AYSO soccer. Originally from California, she has made Chicago her home since graduating from Loyola with a Bachelor’s in Business and a concentration in Marketing. In her free time, she loves travelling, watching sports, and enjoys being outdoors either running or hiking.
Steven B. Walker
Finance Director, Instituto Del Progreso
Steven has over seven years of experience in financial management, with a focus in nonprofit organizations. He is currently the finance director for Instituto Del Progreso, a nonprofit whose mission is to prepare the next generation for a successful road ahead.
As a former high school athlete, Steven knows the positive effects that play has on the development of self-confidence and leadership skills. He experienced first-hand the development of self-confidence through play and the comfortable nature of leadership, creating a foundation that fostered positive social interactions and emotional stability. He believes the organic nature of play provides kids with a platform to be their true- selves.
Steven is excited to play and in his spare time enjoys big bowls of vanilla ice cream topped with whip cream and bacon.
Development Operations Coordinator, U.S. Soccer Federation
Jenna is the Development Operations Coordinator for the U.S. Soccer Federation. In her role she handles all logistics surrounding VIP Travel Programs to the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team games, Youth Fantasy Camps, and other fundraising events. She graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Child and Family Studies.
Throughout her various professional and philanthropic work, one goal is constant: to provide youth a chance to lead a holistically healthy lifestyle! Soccer was initially introduced to Jenna as a first grader during recess, which fostered a deep love for the sport. Because of this experience she strives to give back to her community’s youth by providing them with innovative opportunities to lead happy and healthy lives. She is excited and honored to continue her path with Playworks.
Outside of work you can find Jenna playing a number of sports, grooving to live music, giggling her way through movies, and exploring new areas of Chicago.
Joya M. Knox
HR Associate Labor Relations Specialist
Joya Knox is currently on special assignment to HCSC’s Labor Relations Group as an associate labor relations specialist. Prior to November 2016, she served as executive administrative assistant to Karen Atwood, EVP for HCSC's Information Technology and Service Delivery and Operations divisions.
Joya is graduating from Chicago State University in the Spring of 2017 with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and continuing in the Fall of 2017 with her studies for her master’s degree in Liberal, Arts & Science at the University of Chicago.
She loves roller skating, hiking, and she is a professional camper. Twice a year, she and her husband take at least 10 kids camping with them to Indiana Beach Campground for the weekend to experience the joys of camping, cooking outdoors and old fashion fun. She is hoping to bring similar experiences of enthusiasm and fun to Playworks!
Molly MacCready, MPH
Executive Director, CROSO
Molly is a Chicago area native with a passion for education and youth empowerment. Molly has been on sports teams most of her life and strongly believes in the life lessons that can be learned through games and team sports. While pursuing her Master of Public Health at Tulane University and UIC, she worked as a health educator promoting increased physical activity and healthy eating. Molly is very excited to be joining this board and looks forward to supporting the mission of Playworks.
Molly currently works as the Executive Director of CROSO, a nonprofit she founded that provides college scholarships to former street children in Uganda. In her free time, she loves to travel, scuba dive and play with her nieces and nephews. Her most recent hobby has been starting her own podcast (The Nonprofit Optimist) to showcase and support small nonprofits working to improve communities.
Almira Goethe, Assurance at CDH
I grew up on the closed military base in the very center of Russia. Growing up in a very small community environment, school was very important to every kid in town. Our teachers, school friends and subjects were all that we knew. I spent my whole day at school since it offered a lot of activities before and after classes. I think my teachers realized that kids could not really get outside the boarders of the town, and besides a little park and a school there was nothing else for kids. In school, I was in track and field team for 7 years, the basketball team for 3 years, and also drama classes (I even went to the regional and international competitions for the performances). I also took extra classes on algebra and English, along with biology and physics research teams and participated in various academic competitions. My younger sister took another route, and she learned how to play an accordion, drums, guitar, piano, she was in several bands. So, as you can see, I had very interesting school years, and it’s only because the school’s efforts allowed me to do that. I strongly believe that kid’s character evolves while in school, not only academically, but more importantly socially.