Bernie Rupe

Executive Director
Chicago Voyagers

Bernie is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). He has 25 years experience working with at-risk youth.

Duke Smaroff

Board Chair
Partner, RSM US

Duke has been with McGladrey for over 20 years and is passionate about mentoring young individuals professionally and personally.

Juan Ascencio

Board Vice Chair
Teacher, Chicago Public Schools

Juan currently works for Chicago Public Schools and Christopher House. He has been working in the field for 17 years and understands the impact Chicago Voyagers have on the teens we serve.

Carl Hurdlik

Board Secretary
Community Engagement Specialist, Chicago Public Schools

Carl has spent his entire career working in or with Chicago Public Schools; teaching health education and implementing violence prevention curricula.


Britton Lombardi

Board Member
Director of Strategy and Finance at OptionsHouse

Britton is responsible for growth-stage technology companies’ financial planning and analysis. As a lifelong participant in team sports and adventure activities, she strongly believes in their positive impact.

Ian Kasper

Board Member
Principal, Kasper Law Office

Ian is a practicing attorney who focuses on adult and juvenile criminal defense. He has been involved in after-school programs and summer camps for urban and at-risk youth since 1984.

Randy Pfeifer

Board Member
Vice President, Development, Cleversafe, Inc

Randy is a senior engineering executive leading the development of complete real-time communication systems. He has a long relationship with the Boy Scouts of America where he has served as Scout Master and High Adventure Coordinator.

Jorge De Leon

Board Member
Social Worker, Addison Trail High School

As a Chicago native and social worker, Jorge is a Chicago Voyagers founder and strongly believes in reaching out to youth who have not experienced the outdoors.


Erine Sadera

Board Member
Outdoor Enthusiast

Ernie is retired and enjoys spending his free time backpacking, paddling, fly fishing, and skiing. He came to Chicago Voyagers to share his passion of the outdoors and to mentor youth.

John Huston

Ambassador
Polar Explorer

John is a professional polar explorer and veteran of the first American North Pole unsupported expedition. He wholeheartedly believes in supporting at-risk youth and the power of outdoor education.