Board of Directors
Our current Directors on our Board are Alyssa Relyea, Anne Gulotta, Carla Craig, LCSW, MSW, MA, Chuck Roper, Erica Marks, Erika Barber, MAT, Judson Ely, MBA, Megan Graf, Dr. Richard B. Kirchhoff, DDS, Steve Moore, Esq, Tommy John, and Dr. Zane F. Muhl, DDS, MS, PhD.
Board Member Biographies
Alyssa Relyea - Alyssa has been involved with the AFSP since the Overnight Chicagoland Walk in 2005. As a volunteer, Alyssa serves as the Chairperson for the Women’s Outreach Committee, a Survivor Outreach volunteer, a Chicagoland Walk Team Captain, Volunteer Intake Coordinator, and Survivor Group Facilitator. Alyssa’s passion for suicide prevention began in 1997, when she lost her twin brother, Andrew, to suicide. Having lost a classmate and uncle since then has strengthened her dedication to the cause.
Anne Gulotta - Anne Gulotta is Senior Vice President at Northern Trust Securities, Inc in Chicago. Her two passions in life are suicide prevention and organ donation. Anne began volunteering for AFSP-IL in 2006 when she attended her first overnight walk in Chicago. Anne continues to participate in the Chicago Community walks, and is Co-Chair of the High School Outreach Committee. Anne resides in Barrington, IL, and lost her husband to suicide in 2002. She is dedicated to providing help, encouragement, resources, and education to promote mental health and reduce the occurrence of suicide and other harmful behaviors.
Carla Craig, LCSW, MSW, MA - Carla Craig is a licensed clinical social worker holding an MSW from Jane Addams School of Social Work, UIC. Carla has worked in the field of mental health for over 30 years. Working for and with people of all ages who struggle with mood disorders, trauma and other life challenges fostered an enduring commitment to prevent suicide, raise awareness about suicide and prevention, and reach out to those who have lost dearest loved ones to suicide. Carla is currently employed as a social worker for an inpatient mental health unit in a community hospital in northwest suburban Chicago as well as in private practice. Carla serves as President of the Illinois Chapter Board, Chair of the Senior Outreach Committee, and a member of the Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Walk Committee and is Team Captain of team NCH Thrive! that will be walking in the Chicagoland Walk.
Charles "Chuck" Roper – Chuck Roper became involved with AFSP in 2011, when he participated in his first Out of the Darkness Walk. In 2012, he participated in his second Walk. Also in 2012, he became the Chairperson for the Out of the Darkness Bloomington/Normal Walk and was a volunteer at the 2012 Chicagoland Walk. He serves as the Co-chairperson of the College & ISP Outreach Committee and serves on several other committee’s as well. Since losing his youngest daughter, Wendi, to suicide in 2010, he has been passionate about suicide prevention and raising awareness.
Erica Marks – Erica, a former technology auditor for Deloitte and Northern Trust Bank turned stay-at-home mom of 2 young children, became involved with AFSP in 2010. She participated in her first Out of the Darkness Walk three months after the loss of her sister. The effect of attending the walk was profound on Erica. She made the decision that day that she would do whatever she could to raise awareness for Suicide Prevention, especially for those experiencing a sibling loss. She is Co-Chairperson of the International Survivors of Suicide Day – Chicagoland and also Chairperson of the Sauk Valley Out of the Darkness Walk.
Erika Barber, MAT - Erika Barber became involved with AFSP in 2005, when she participated in her first Out of the Darkness Overnight. She has since served as a Co-Chairperson of the Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Community Walk for the past several years. Following her sister Andrea’s suicide in 1983, Erika has strived to have a positive and supportive influence on survivors struggling with the effects of sibling death. Her publication,Letters from a Friend: a Sibling’s Guide for Coping and Grief,has been utilized in many therapeutic settings and grief support programs nationwide. Erika is a certified Child Life Specialist and holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from National Louis University. She remains committed to suicide prevention and awareness opportunities and is a dedicated advocate of AFSP’s mission.
Judson Ely, MBA – Jud is Chief Financial Officer of POS Remarketing Group that is based in Wauconda, IL. He also serves as AFSP – IL Chapter Board Treasurer and has been involved with the AFSP as a volunteer since 2011. As a volunteer, Jud is on the Chicagoland Walk committee and serves as walk registration coordinator. Having lost a friend to suicide in 2004, he has a passion for raising awareness about suicide prevention and money for the Chicagoland walk.
Megan Graf - Megan Graf is the Chairperson of the Community Outreach & Education Committee in addition to serving on other Committees and Walking in the Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Community Walk. Megan led the efforts to organize the Depression & Bipolar Awareness Day Event as well as the upcoming Research Town Hall. Megan is an active Board Member of the Illinois Chapter of AFSP.
Dr. Richard B. Kirchhoff, DDS - Dr. Kirchhoff works as a Pediatric Dentist. He has an extensive military background and is a retired Army Aviation Officer. He is the Co-Chairperson of the Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He also serves as a National Board Member and as a national Chairperson of the Chapter Leadership Council.
Steve Moore, Esq - Steve Moore loss his 19 year old son died by suicide in 2006. He joined the board of the Illinois chapter in 2008. Steve is the chapter’s Secretary, a member of its Executive Committee, Chair of its Legislative Committee, its representative on the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance and captain of the Race AFSP Team. He is on AFSP’s national Public Policy Council and a participant in AFSP's Field Advocate program. He is also a facilitator for survivor support groups in a program run by Chicago Catholic Charities. Steve has earned national recognition for his work in preventing suicide in Illinois and throughout the country.
Tommy John - Baseball legend Tommy John is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball whose 288 career victories rank as the seventh highest total among left-handers in major league history. This includes 17 seasons with 10 or more victories. He also had 46 career shutouts; a remarkable feat. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is honored that he will be speaking at the Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Walk. Last year, Tommy John's Walk Team, Team Taylor, walked in memory of Taylor John. This year Team Taylor's fundraising page shares: "On March 9, 2010, Taylor passed away. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has given us the opportunity to create some hope out of our immense loss and sadness. Taylor used to wear a red bracelet that read, "Never Give Up." In honor of his strength and heart, we refuse to. Since last year's walk, members of Team Taylor have lost other friends and family members to suicide, making our mission ever more pertinent. We walk to shed light on suicide, depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse; we will not let these often stigmatized terms remain in the darkness." The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is grateful to Tommy John and all of Team Taylor for their generous support.
Dr. Zane F Muhl, DDS, MS, PhD - Dr. Muhl’s professional career consisted primarily of teaching and research on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry. He joined the Board of the Illinois Chapter of AFSP after taking part in the Out of the Darkness Overnight in 2005, the first time it was held in Chicago. This event was so meaningful in his journey of healing from the suicides of his mother and sister that he is now devotes himself to giving something back to the cause of suicide prevention. He finds great satisfaction in serving alongside the dedicated and resourceful board members and volunteers of the Illinois Chapter, where he currently serves as Co-Chairperson. Dr. Muhl also is a member of the Chapter Executive and Nominating Committees.