About The Team

Associates

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Deborah Giesler 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Deborah is the Founder and Director of Synapse House. After 25 years as a successful speech pathologist, helping to rehabilitate many individuals affected by brain injury and stroke, she conceived the idea of creating a facility to restore skills, hope and dignity. Founded in 2012, today Synapse House is the nation’s premiere social enterprise dedicated to giving brain injury survivors a second chance.



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Pattie Zinski

DEVELOPMENT DIREC​TOR
Pattie was a practicing lawyer for 25 years until her husband Chris, also an attorney, suffered a devastating brain injury in 2012.  She helped Deborah Giesler to launch Synapse House in Elmhurst and to develop the programs used in our Clubhouse model.  As Development Director, Pattie works to raise operational funds from grants, fund-raising events, sponsorships and donors, and to encourage attendance at events and programs.

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Joanne Hennig

ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR/WORK UNIT COORDINATOR

Joanne has a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Aurora University and has been with Synapse House since its beginning in 2015. She creates a productive and fun environment at our Clubhouse.



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Mary Drabik

VOCATIONAL COORDINATOR
Mary has worked in vocational rehabilitation for thirty years and has worked with a variety of disability populations, including those with traumatic brain injuries and the chronically mentally ill.

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Daniel Perez

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR/CULINARY COORDINATOR
Dan is our Communications Director. He is responsible for creating our marketing material such as newsletters, e-mail updates and helping maintain our social media.

Board of Directors

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Paul Jastrzebsk

VICE PRESIDENT
Paul is a loan officer at a Chicago based non-profit that helps business owners obtain commercial real estate financing. I personally believe that getting back to work was an important part of my healing and development.

Wendy Keller
Wendy Keller

BOARD MEMBER
Wendy manages, markets and promotes exceptional authors and speakers at Keller Media, Inc.  She is passionate about helping people achieve their missions, especially when they are doing good things in the world.

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Laura Pagano Ludwig

BOARD MEMBER
Laura is a professional engineering consultant providing quality assurance for design and construction of buildings, focused on aspects like energy efficiency and performance, and verifying the construction meets the design intent.  Laura is the Midwest Regional Principal for SSR-INC.  She has significant business development experience.

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Jim Meier

BOARD MEMBER
Coming Soon

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Frank A. Sommario

BOARD MEMBER
Frank is a Partner at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC in Chicago, where he practices as a petitioner’s workers’ compensation and a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer.

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​Courtney Turner

BOARD CHAIR AND SECRETARY
Coming Soon

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​Joe Urban

TREASURER
Coming Soon

Want to help?

Synapse House is the premiere social enterprise wholly dedicated to giving brain injury survivors a second chance.

Questions? Want to get involved?  Please contact Founder Deborah Geisler. 

A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS:

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