Members of Our Board

Our board gives We Grow Dreams the guidance and support that it needs in order to continue to be successful. 

They work very hard to make the concept of We Grow Dreams and our mission known for the world to see.

Ben Hum

Ben and Crys’s son, Eric, has been a team member for more than 17 years.  Ben has been on the Board for over 15 of those years.  He is retired from IBM as a Project Executive since 2007 and in his spare time likes to golf, travel and volunteer at We Grow Dreams.
Ben and his wife, Crys, are staunch supporters of the greenhouse and its mission.  Their generosity with time and donations are unparalleled.  We would be lost without Ben’s skills at fixing things…there is usually a list of items that aren’t working that require his ability to find parts online or make a trip to Menards and there are very few tools or pieces of equipment that have gotten the better of him! And trust us when we say, he will always have a home here and work to be done!
The Hum Family members are staunch supporters of the greenhouse and its mission.  Their generosity with time and donations is unparalleled and we are so grateful.

 

Donna Jarmusz

Donna is one of the founders of We Grow Dreams dating back to 2006, when her son, Justin was aging out of the area high school Transition Program and she recognized the need for a place for individuals with disabilities to go to learn viable job skills and training.  The entire Jarmusz family became involved in doing whatever was needed to keep the greenhouse functional and strong for the Team Members
Donna F. Jarmusz possesses over thirty years of extensive healthcare and corporate experience and is the founder and president of IBIS Enterprises.  Although Donna and her family now reside in North Carolina, she is still invested in the overall operations of the greenhouse, fundraising efforts and continued growth of the program to support young adults with disabilities.

Karen Pachyn

Karen is a retired actuary, after 30 years working in Property and Casualty Insurance.  Since 2006, she’s been active with many volunteer activities, most of which involve gardening and sustainability.  Karen has been a U of I Extension Master Gardener volunteer since 2009 and began volunteering at WGD that same year.
She helps out with the annual Bowlathon fundraiser and heads up a group of Master Gardener volunteers who work at the greenhouse providing gardening expertise and guidance to team members during the school year.  During the summer, they help team members manage 12 raised beds on the property, where they have grown hundreds of pounds of food for the Northern Illinois Food Pantry.
Karen’s husband, Don, is also an avid gardener and can occasionally be found planting seedlings or doing chores at WGD…they both enthusiastically support our mission and have a personal connection through their own family member with challenges.

 

Holly Riordan

Holly is one of the co-founders of We Grow Dreams.  Along with Donna Jarmusz and Art Swanson, she envisioned a safe environment where individuals with disabilities could learn work skills in a community-based environment.  She has been a school social worker in the Plainfield IL school district for over 20 years and is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.  
Holly is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Illinois Association of School Social Workers. She is currently a member of the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Events) committee and the Building Autism Team for the Plainfield (IL) School District.  Holly and her husband, Mark, have four grown children and some grandchildren thrown in, and reside in Naperville.  For her, We Grow Dreams is her “fifth child.”

 

Eric Stenstrom

Eric has been on the board for a few years now,  after starting in 2008 as a parent volunteer for a family member who was working there on weekends.  He enjoys gardening and feels that WGD is a good organization to volunteer for.  
Outside of WGD, he is a mechanical engineer and likes to do home vegetable gardening, working on cars and completing some minor home projects.  
There is always a list waiting for Eric when he arrives at the greenhouse to fix, assemble, move or improve whatever needs some attention that week.  He attention to detail is greatly appreciated because once Eric is done with something, you know it was done right and will last a very long time!

Linda Yoakam

Linda has been an integral part of the greenhouse since it started.  Her son, Billy, started at the greenhouse when he was 18 and in the transition program but she was his job coach, coming every Saturday morning to help Billy become experienced at social settings and job tasks suitable for his abilities.  She is a firm believer in what the greenhouse can do for a young adult with some limitations of skills since Billy is now living on his own with friends and is now comfortable coming to the greenhouse with a job coach instead of mom.  This is a major accomplishment from years gone by when Billy would only come with Linda.  There are tasks at the greenhouse that are perfect for Billy and he looks forward to coming to work.  
The greenhouse annual fundraiser is the Bowlathon, and Linda recently joined the committee since her retirement.  We are so glad she has because she brings new insights and enthusiasm, always willing to do whatever is needed.  She is generous with her time and resources in support of our mission.
People

Gregg Bettcher

Gregg is a nine year veteran as Executive Director of We Grow Dreams.  His life’s work until joining the greenhouse was in industrial sales covering the Midwest territory for manufacturers of engineered components.   He volunteered years ago with Western DuPage Special Recreation Association as a basketball coach and loved working with the disabled population.  
Every summer you can find him as the Head Coach of the Rising Stars Buddy Baseball program sponsored by Wheaton Junior Woman’s Club, where able-bodied buddies are paired with players of all abilities on the baseball field learning about baseball and friendship.
Gregg and his wife, Gail, have 3 children and 2 new twin grandbabies.  Gail retired from WDSRA and is a greenhouse fundraiser, overseeing the annual Bowlathon and trying other ways to increase bottom line numbers to help repair and replace aging structures.

1055 W Washington St

West Chicago, IL  60185

 

Mailing:

PO Box 861

West Chicago, IL. 60186

Office:  630/293-0100

Fax:  630/293-0100

[email protected]

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May Hours:

Monday - Friday:  9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday:  9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday:  10:00 am - 3:00 pm