Board of Directors

The Juvenile Justice Initiative Board and Staff gratefully remember and honor the memory of our first Chair, Frank Kopecky. 

Frank was a founding board member, the first Chair of JJI, and a dear friend to us all. Frank Kopecky died unexpectedly while traveling in Uruguay last month.  You can read a little about his remarkable life and achievements at:
But this obit merely covers the highlights – what we all cherished from working with him over these many years was his kind, generous and gentle spirit, coupled with his passion for justice for all our children.
Frank was the living brain trust – the most knowledgable person in Illinois on the history and meaning of the Juvenile Court Act.   It is a sad personal loss, and a huge loss to the field.  Our condolences to his family.


Chair: Michael “Mike” Rodriguez, Chicago

Image result for mike rodriguez alderman

Mike Rodriguez, the current Chair of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, has devoted his life to advocacy for marginalized communities.  Before his election to serve Cook County residents as alderman, Mike was Executive Director of Enlace Chicago, a nonprofit organization based in Little Village with programs in violence prevention, education, community development, health, and immigration advocacy. He also served as Vice President of the National Council of La Raza, Affiliate Council (now Unidos US) and as a Gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

First Vice-Chair: Paula Wolff, Chicago; Policy Advisor, IL Justice Project

Second Vice-Chair:  Ngozi Okorafor; Director of Employment Actions, Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Secretary: David Reed, Evanston; Retired.

Treasurer: George Hill, Decatur; Former owner MidStates Construction Co.

Julie Anderson, Chicago

Christine Bass, Chicago

Khadine Bennett, Chicago

Julie Biehl, Chicago

Eddie Bocanegra, Chicago

Amy Campanelli, Chicago

Terry Carmichael, Springfield

Courtney Carson, Decatur

Herschella Conyers, Chicago

Catherine Hart, Springfield

Mark D. Hassakis, Mt. Vernon

George Hill, Decatur

Hon. James M. Radcliffe, Belleville

Keyria Rodgers, Decatur

Leo Smith, Chicago

Hon. George Timberlake, Mt. Vernon

Litesa Wallace, Rockford

David Whittaker, Chicago

Veronica Williams,  Zion