Team Members

Mary Anne Ehlert
President & Founder

 

Mary Anne Ehlert is a financial professional and sister to an individual with disabilities. She is a highly regarded specialist working with families of individuals with disabilities and serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Board of Directors of the National Disabilities Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Special Olympics of Illinois. She speaks at conferences nationally and locally on planning for families with special needs. She recently completed her book entitled The Gift I Was Given.

 

Mary Mucci
Senior Director

 

Mary R. Mucci is highly experienced in understanding the issues surrounding families with special needs. Trained in special education, she worked as a therapeutic teacher for several years before taking on administrative roles and eventually becoming the Director of Children’s Services for a large social service agency in Chicago. She was responsible for contracts with the State of Illinois and Department of Children and Family Services to provide day and residential treatment for children whose needs could not be met within existing systems. After working with CARE International, Lake Forest Academy, The American Red Cross and Easter Seals, Inc. Mary again joined Mary Anne Ehlert as Senior Director, Protected Tomorrows this past January

Judy Faczek
Operations Manager

 

Judy is the Operations Manager for Protected Tomorrows. She brings a strong, professional background in process organization, marketing, and website management. Over the past 13 years, she has worked within the special needs field. This work has allowed Judy to realize a greater understanding of the needs of families who have family members with disabilities.

Carol Carlsen
Client Service Coordinator

 

Carol joined the Protected Tomorrows Client Services Team as the Client Care Specialist in 2004. She is responsible for ensuring clients receive timely services and identify future needs they may have. Carol has worked with children with special needs in local church programs and was her grandmother’s caregiver.

Samantha Nord
Family Services Coordinator

 

Samantha has 10+ years of experience working in the non-profit industry in her area of expertise in Social Work. She earned her BSW at the University of Iowa, School of Social Work.

Samantha has worked with a variety of populations including: the homeless, mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Her biggest achievement to date was founding and directing “Living for Success”, a day program for individuals with mental illness. This program was designed to, and still does, promote independence and build self-esteem to achieve their goals. Through Samantha’s experiences she recognized gaps in how clients were being served and what was holding them back. Whether it be lack of information/support, insufficient financial planning, or housing issues – they needed guidance. This insight is what prompted Samantha to become interested and involved in a more comprehensive planning approach for clients.

Irene Coleman
Benefits Coordinator

 

Irene has been our Benefits Coordinator since 2012. Irene’s formal education background is in Early Childhood and Sociology from Indiana University, South Bend. Irene’s life was given an endless gift the day her daughter came into her world. Her daughter’s 2008 diagnosis with autism propels her mission to educate families for a lifetime. Through her efforts, Irene has secured grants, scholarships, and funding for AAC devices, therapies, evaluations, and recreational activities for families.

Barb Gier
Operations Support

 

Barbara has over 30 years of experience in the Insurance Industry in the Customer Service area. Over this same period, she has served as a fierce advocate for her son John who has Cerebral Palsy. John now lives independently in the community. Barbara enjoys giving back and would like to use her experiences to help others secure the services they need.

Roberta Costion
Marketing Coordinator

 

Roberta worked for 22 years in the radio and TV industry as a specialist in marketing, sales, and operations. She is also the proud mother of two sons, Jase and Jack. Her son Jack was born with Down syndrome and began involvement with GiGi’s Playhouse, a Down syndrome achievement center. Roberta served on their Executive Board and as the President at their local Hoffman Estates location. She has successfully worked with special needs families to help them navigate the educational system and community resources. She has become a strong advocate for families through inspiration and the experience of her own son.

Denise Wallace
Operations Support

 

Denise is responsible for Benefits Payroll Reporting and Medicaid Eligibility, as well as the Document Security Program. She currently volunteers as a foster family for the Young At Heart Senior Pets adoption program.

Ramesh Gulatee
Architect

 

Ramesh, a licensed architect in the U.S. and Canada, is the owner and principal of the LifeCare Design Studio, a sister company to Protected Tomorrows. The LifeCare Design Studio emphasizes barrier-free and universal access strategies by offering ADA consulting, planning, design and building services. These are offered for existing and new businesses, specialized homes, assisted-living and community settings. Ramesh has more than 25 years of experience on numerous projects around the world. Since 1997, Ramesh has focused on building projects in the Chicagoland area.

Sean Reeves
Office Assistant

 

Sean joined Protected Tomorrows in 2005 after having worked in the retail field for many years. Sean assists our office with various clerical duties that include prepping marketing materials for conferences and readying our monthly mailings.