Bernie Rupe

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – LCPC, NCC

With over 25 years of experience working with at-risk teens, Bernie is the guiding star of Chicago Voyagers. Since taking over the Trips for Kids Fox Valley chapter in 2008, he continues to remain active in leading programs, and is determined to ensure that all Chicago teens have an opportunity to explore the outdoors and themselves.  


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Jory Fitzgerald

director of strategic ADVANCEMENT

Jory is passionate about providing opportunities for at-risk youth and has more than 25 years of experience in education and nonprofit leadership. As former CEO of one northern Indiana’s largest human service agencies, Jory has extensive experience in strategic planning, board governance, and fundraising. A self-described adventure junkie, when not working, you’ll most likely find Jory enjoying the great outdoors.


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Bess McGeorge

PROGRAM manager - lpc

Bess has worked as a camp counselor, a camp director, and even a wilderness therapist — all stemming from her positive experience spending time in the outdoors as a kid. She has a degree in Recreation Education and a Masters in Counseling.


Bob Faber

Program Leader

For Bob, canoeing is his primary passion. He is also an avid cyclist (riding well over a thousand miles a year), a cross country skier, and swimmer.

Catalina Gomez

Program Leader

On trips you can find Catalina stargazing, journaling by the water and hunting for rocks. At home, she is a bilingual Child Development Teacher for moms and young children. Catalina obtained her Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and joined Chicago Voyagers as a program leader in 2017.

Kaitlin McBane

Program leader

As a youth care worker at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Katilin is passionate about youth development, even when it’s challenging. She discovered her love of the outdoors while attending Camp Tecumseh as a child.


Eli Sugerman

Program leader

Dedicated to creating opportunities for underserved populations, Eli leverages his experience as a non-profit board member, camp counselor, and wilderness field guide to deliver Chicago Voyagers' mission. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Eli spends his free time skiing, biking, climbing, practicing yoga, and exploring the city.

Joel Wallen

Program Leader

Joel’s life mission is to provide growth opportunities for at-risk, urban teens since he is also a beneficiary of such experiences as a teen. He believe those experiences made him the person he is today.

Luigi De Col Wrooman

Program leader

Luigi has passion for guiding youth to the right path in life – whether on our programs or coaching water polo and swim teams from an inner-city high school in Chicago. He has also worked as a lifeguard for the Chicago Park District. Combining this with a love for sports and the water, Luigi hopes to never stop teaching, coaching, and learning.