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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.

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Duke Smaroff

Board Chair
Partner, RSM US

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

Gary Tomal


Jim Kastenholz

Board Vice Chair
President, Kastenholz construction

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Juan Ascencio

Board member
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.

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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.

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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.

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Ernie 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.

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Dan Coyne

Board Member

Dan is a licensed clinical social worker with 23 years of private/public school experiences. He and his family live in Evanston where they have learned to access local/national outdoor resources in every state
and province.
Dan voluntarily serves several organizations that introduce outdoor fun to children and families- serving Chicago Voyagers is a natural fit.

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John Huston

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.