Meet our Team
Meet our Staff
Volunteer Driven, Professionally Motivated....
Meet the small staff of SIDS of IL, Inc. who help keep the organization running!
Nancy Maruyama RN, BSN, NCBF
Nancy has been part of SIDS of Illinois, Inc since her son Brendan, died in 1985. She began volunteering in 1986 with Peer Contact support until 2000, when she was hired as the Director of Education and became Executive Director in 2002. A skilled educator and passionate community advocate, Nancy travels throughout the State of Illinois, presenting hundreds of trainings each year to healthcare professionals, childcare providers, law enforcement officials and parent and family groups. She has worked extensively with Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office on Home Safe Home, a safe shopping guide, to increase awareness concerning safe sleep for baby. She has chaired the Illinois Child Death Review Team from Aurora and served on several regional, national, and international committees for the SIDS organization. Nancy has written and published a number of articles on the topics of Parental Loss of a Child and Safe Sleep for Baby. Nancy was awarded the LORETTA LACEY MATERNAL & CHILD HEALTH ADVOCACY AWARD in June of 2013. She and her husband Rod have two subsequent children, daughters Caitlin and Jennifer.
Glendean Burton RN, BSN, CLC, MPH
Project Coordinator Special Beginnings Program
Glendean has over 40 years of MCH health care experience. She has worked in community (public) health, outpatient/residential behavioral health, adolescent health, hospitals and academic settings. Prior to working at SIDS, Glendean was Chief of Materval and Child Health Bureau at the IL Department of Human Services and the Associate Director of the Family Health Division. Glendean has been the Program Coordinator of the Special Beginnings Program at SIDS since June of 2016. Glendean loves cooking, traveling, reading and spending time with her beautiful 6 grandchildren and two married children.
Lucy Lachowski BSW, MS
Lucy joined the team in May 2018 as an administrative assistant and has since become the full-time executive assistant. She studied Social Work in undergrad and has completed her Masters of Science. Her goals and passion have always been revolved around helping empower women to take care of their bodies, and now their babies! Since joining the organization, Lucy has managed and lead various fundraisers, baby showers, and has taken over the organization's marketing. Lucy has two young daughters, Julia (3) & Emma (1), with her husband Mark. Lucy loves to dance and enjoys all the dance parties in her room with her two girls.
Meet our Educators
Meet the SIDS of IL, Inc. Educators who provide safe sleep education to the state of Illinois! Because of them, we are able to reach families on a personal level. They offer customized and culturally appropriate education telephonically through our crib and educational programs.
Erika Ruiz RN
Spanish Safe Sleep Educator & Outreach, Spanish content translator
Erika graduated from National Autonomous University in Mexico and is a registered nurse. She met SIDS of Illinois through the Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium after more than twenty years of living in USA and has worked for the organization as a Spanish Safe Sleep Educator since 2017. Erika enjoys helping people in need and enjoys educating her families on safe sleep and SIDS prevention. Erika is married and has 2 children. She loves taking care of and spending time with her family. She loves everything Illinois has to offer and enjoys outdoor and indoor activities with people she loves.
Jennifer Kupitz BS
Safe Sleep Educator, Office Support Staff
Jennifer Kupitz is a bereaved sibling; her older brother died from SIDS. Jenny is one of the Health Educators for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Special Beginnings program and is our office support staff. Jennifer has her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Jenny and her husband, Steve, live in the suburbs with their son, Logan, and have a black lab named Rhaegar.
Kimberly Rowe BA
Safe Sleep Educator, Domestic Violence Educator
Kimberly Y. Pryor-Rowe was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Fenger High School, in 1975. She matriculated and graduated from Chicago State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Criminal Justice, in 1984. She has worked, for over 40 years, in the Social Service field; working in the Child Welfare field, as a Case Manager, working with pregnant and/or parenting teen wards of the State and has worked, in the Domestic Violence field, as an advocate for victims and perpetrators to help stop the cycle of violence. Kimberly has been an SIDS Educator, providing educational trainings, to help reduce the risk factors that could possibly cause SIDS, for over 15 years to diverse communities, church/community health fairs, homeless/domestic violence shelters, jail/prison that incarcerate women/pregnant women, DCFS staff, teen parent programs, father programs, community baby showers, day care centers and home day care providers. Kimberly is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She is also, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Women At Peace Domestic Violence Counseling and Referral Agency.
Safe Sleep Educator, Special Beginnings Assistant
Lisa is a Health Educator for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Special Beginnings program. Lisa has a background in Psychology Child Development, and has special training as an EMT-B. She has been with SIDS of IL, Inc. since 2017. Lisa and her husband, Dave, have 3 beautiful girls. In her free time she enjoys camping and traveling with her family, working in her garden, or being with the kids in the pool.
Mary Beth Morrell PsyD
Safe Sleep Educator
Marybeth Morrell has worked as a health educator for SIDS of Illinois since December of 2016. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Midwestern University in August 2017. She is currently expecting her first child due in June.
Natalie Farmer DT
Childcare Outreach, Law Enforcement Outreach
Natalie Farmer, DT is health educator for SIDS of Illinois, Inc. She obtained her BS in Psychology with a minor in Interpersonal Relations from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. Natalie is a certified Developmental Therapist and has worked closely with Nancy Maruyama, RN on Tummy Time for Baby information. Natalie’s son Holden, died in 2003; a victim of SIDS. Natalie and her husband John, have four beautiful children; two of whom were born after Holden’s death. Natalie has been with the organization as an educator since 2005. She is the primary educator for Childcare Providers and Law Enforcement Officials.
Meet our Board of Directors
Without them there would be no SIDS of IL, Inc. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.
Marsha is a SIDS grandparent, having suffered the loss of her first grandchild in October 2000. She has retired after teaching preschool for 14 years which followed 22 years in the Oak Park elementary schools. She has also taught Religious and Hebrew Schools at Oak Park Temple and was a summer reading guide for 22 years with the Oak Park Public Library. Volunteerism has played a major role in her life for nearly 40 years. She has served in leadership positions in numerous organizations and is always ready to step forward when a need arises. She and her husband, Ralph, have been married for over 50 years and have 3 gown children and 6 grandchildren.
Robin Cullotta is a SIDS mom. She and her husband, Giovan, lost their youngest child, daughter Sophia Danielle, to SIDS in 2007. They have 2 children, Julianna & Anthony (Tony) who are the older siblings to Sophia. Robin and her family have been very instrumental in fundraising for SIDS of Illinois, by hosting many events at Giovan's Restaurant in Crest Hill, IL. Robin and her husband also assisted with passing two laws for the safe sleep of newborns and for the education of care givers in the state of Illinois. Robin is currently employed with IRC Retail Centers in Oak Brook, IL as a Technical Support Administrator. She was previously on the Board of Directors in 2008 and returned in 2015.
Becky Baker BS, M.Ed.
Becky joined SIDS of Illinois in October 2018, two years after losing her 6 month old daughter Grace to SIDS. Being part of the organization has given her a sense of community and support, and she feels fortunate to support the wonderful work of SIDS of Illinois. Becky holds a BS in Chemistry and M.Ed. from the University of Illinois. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and cooking with her husband and three rainbow babies, Maeve, Patrick and Bridget.
Dr. Jean Silvestri
Board Medical Advisor
Dr. Joe Hageman
Kayla Forschler BA
Kayla Forschler is a Board Member for SIDs of Illinois since 2019. Kayla grew up in Crystal Lake, IL and currently lives there with her husband, Eric and their dog, Sammy. She has been involved in many non for profit organizations helping to foster community relationships and assist with fundraising efforts. Kayla has her Bachelors Degree in Communications and Sociology and currently works as the Director of Inside Sales for Bunker Hill Farms and Bunker Hill Charities.
Kim Pittenger BS, DPT
Kim Pittenger has had the pleasure of serving as a SIDS of IL board member since 2015. She graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from Bradley University in 2011 and completed her DPT at Northwestern University in 2014. She is a practicing physical therapist specializing in Oncology rehab. Kim lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband and enjoys camping, kayaking, and spending time with her dog.
Shauna Oosterbaan LCSW
Shauna Oosterbaan has been a Board Member since 2022. Shauna has her bachelor’s degree in History of Science and Psychology from Harvard University and her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago. Shauna has spent most of her career working as a school social worker, including supporting pregnant and parenting teens. Shauna, her husband, Mike, and their young children live in the suburbs of Chicago where they love to spend time outside and try new foods.
Meet our Volunteers
Special thank you to these amazing supporters. They are essential to the success of our programs and services.If you would like to join our volunteer team, please contact Lucy@sidsillinois.org.
Caitlin Maruyama & Phil Brown
Caitlin has been a volunteer for SIDS of IL, Inc. for over a decade and has been involved in many projects lending her hand in events like, teddy bear teas, Family Day at Brookfield Zoo, and our October fundraising!Her partner, Phil, recently joined our volunteer team and we are so happy to have him! He has helped take photos for our First Annual Fallen Leaf Fundraiser, and is always willing to be our tech support for events.Thank you Caitlin & Phil! Your work is much appreciated!
Marvin has been instrumental in offering tech support and offering his photo expertise during some of our events. Special thank you to Marvin for helping develop the new website!
The Cipriano Family
Family Bereavement Event Support
We would like to give a special thank you to the Cipriano Family. Lisa Cipriano is a long time standing board member who always is the first one to volunteer for special projects and sit on various committees. Her wonderful family, husband and two kids (Roco and Francesca) have been at every event lending a hand for the last couple of years. Thank you Cipriano family!
Ralph Cooper, spouse of our president Marsha Cooper, has been volunteering for all of the events we have held for many years! Thank you so much for your many years of service Ralph!
The Cullotta Family
Family Bereavement Events Support
The Cullotta Family has graciously supported our organization for many years and we would like to give a big thank you to them! Robin Cullotta is our current Vice President and has been on the board for many years. Her family includes her husband, Giovan and children Anthony and Julianna. Her family has been incredibly supportive and has been instrumental in working with SIDS of IL in various capacities including, lobbying, event support, fundraising support, and bereavement support. Thank you, Cullotta Family!
BIG thank you to Vicki who is our volunteer accountant for our organization!
Raina & Whitney Ford
Special thank you to Raina and Whitney Ford for volunteering their time, when they aren't in school, helping make sure our office stays organized! Thank you!
2022 Volunteer of the Year
For the last 2 years, Janice has been our weekly office support volunteer. She played an important role during the 2022 Spring season when Lucy and Jenny were on maternity leave. She ensured the office ran smoothly and assisted Nancy with donations and events. Janice was awarded the 2022 Volunteer of the Year award during our 1st Annual Fallen Leaf Fundraiser in October 2022. Thank you Janice!
Steve, spouse of our educator Jenny, has been volunteering for our events for many years. Thank you for your help, Steve!
Kathy & Bob Madura
Brookfield Zoo Volunteers
Kathy & Bob Madura leant a hand at last year's Brookfield Zoo Event. We look forward to seeing them at future events!