Cindy Housner – Executive Director and Founder
Cindy has spent her career expanding sports opportunities for individuals with physical or visual disabilities. She has coached internationally and she is an active speaker and strong advocate for inclusion in school athletics. Cindy holds a Bachelors degree in Therapeutic Recreation and Adaptive PE and a Masters in Exceptional Education.
Brad joined GLASA in 2022 after a 30-year career in college athletics, including time as a student-athlete and coach at Northwestern University and an administrator with the Big Ten Conference. Brad runs point on GLASA’s Great Lakes Games, Twilight 5K Run, Walk and Roll, USA Wheelchair Football League Tournament and various sport clinics.
Mak Nong – Program Manager
Mak Nong is one of GLASA’s Program Managers. He grew up in Long Beach, CA where he learned his love for adaptive sports. Mak graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with his degree in recreation, sport, and tourism. He was also captain of the men’s wheelchair basketball team his junior and senior year. Mak also played professional wheelchair basketball in Europe where he won an IWBF championship with LUC Handibasket of Lille, France. Mak has also represented Team USA in amputee soccer at the 2018 World Cup and the President’s cup in 2019 where USA won the competition. Mak also is a member of the GLASA Bears Wheelchair Football team where he was selected to the all pro team in 2022. Mak hopes to advocate and share his love for adapted sports with everyone!
Mandy Willmore – Program Manager
Mandy grew up in a small town in Wyoming, where her love for the outdoors and sports began. Mandy attended SDSM&T after high school on a basketball scholarship. After paralysis, Mandy completed her undergraduate degree at Regis University. A few years later after being introduced to adaptive sport she was empowered to make a career change. From 2020-2022 Mandy attended UW-Whitewater to obtain her MBA in addition to playing for the women’s wheelchair basketball team. Mandy is beyond excited to work at GLASA, share the mission, and support the athletes and staff.
Kelly Candotti Habas – Development Director
Kelly joined GLASA in 2021 as Development Director with 10 years of nonprofit fundraising and event leadership experience. After graduating from Marquette, Kelly held several roles in sports marketing including with the Milwaukee Brewers, Bucks and Admirals during her time in Wisconsin before moving to nonprofit. Kelly cultivates relationships with corporations, sponsors and donors.
Cherie Hrusovsky – Chicago Marathon Charity Coordinator
Cherie joined GLASA in 2007 as Office Manager. She quickly moved into the Development Director role where she cultivated relationships with corporations, sponsors and donors. Cherie retired from GLASA in 2021, but remains on as our Chicago Marathon Charity Coordinator where she manages the charity runners who raise vital funding for our participants.
Christine Kizawa – Grant Writer
Christine joined GLASA in 2020 and holds a BA in English and American Literature as well as a JD from Northwestern University. In her short time at GLASA, her favorite memory was listening in on calls to veteran athletes to gather quotes about what GLASA meant to them. “Their responses were really heart-warming and made me glad to be working at GLASA.” Christine spends her time away from work taking long walks with her husband, baking and learning new recipes with her two boys and cheering for the English Premier League.
Emily Higgins – Volunteer Coordinator
Emily is a college student at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and is working towards her dual degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She has been involved with GLASA since 2015 when her brother, Drew, was first introduced to the organization to play adaptive sports. She has participated in GLASA’s wheelchair basketball and football programs and has volunteered for various events such as Camp Trek, the Twilight 5K and the Great Lakes Games. One of her favorite things about being a part of the GLASA family is having the ability to see each athlete grow not only in their skill level, but in confidence and independence as well. She hopes to continue to share her passion of adaptive sports with anyone she meets in order to promote inclusion in both recreational and competitive athletics.
Aileen Pecora – Accountant
Shannon Hellen – Office Manager and Asst. to the Executive Director
Shannon has been with GLASA since 2015 after moving to Illinois from sunny Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining GLASA, she worked as a Recruiting Manager for a large non-profit in Memphis, TN and then spent many years as a stay-at-home mom. Shannon holds a BS in International Marketing with a minor in Japanese language from the University of Alabama. A fun fact about Shannon is that she has visited 21 major league baseball parks, adding a new one each summer with her two sons and husband.
Flo Cheek – Program Assistant
Flo was GLASA’s first volunteer starting in 1996! She considers herself a “Jill of all Trades” doing whatever is necessary to get the job done. Flo also volunteers for Meals on Wheels and Spay and Stay in her spare time. When asked about her favorite thing about working at GLASA, Flo said, “Working with so many wonderful people and all of the different kinds of things we do like the Great Lakes Games, Twilight 5K, etc.”
Cindy Clement – Special Projects
GLASA is also supported by many highly skilled coaches who have sport experience and certifications from: The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation, National Association for Sport and Physical Education- Adapted Physical Education, USA Track and Field, US Golf Association, USA Hockey, USA Swimming, USA Judo, US Weightlifting, the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, the United States Tennis Association, and Safe Sport.