Building communities. One relationship at a time.
The Friendship Centre approach focuses on five specific areas of community life: family; recreation; education and career; spirituality; and health and wellness.
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NIFC Board: Nick Ryan, Michael Vickery, Karen Lippoldt, Jeff Prosapio
IFC @ HighPoint Board: Bryan Bernicky, Lori Casey, Tom Wells, Tim Kukuk, Mike Vickery
Executive Staff: Michael Vickery-Executive Director, Scott Knollenberg, Operations Director, Joe Johnson Community Liaison
Advisory Board: Bruno Bottarelli (Founding Board member), Troy McMahon (Founding Board Member), Neil Gerald (Casa de Luz Founder), Marilyn Brautigam (Casa de Luz Founder), Perry Bigelow
More of our Leadership:
Michael Vickery began as the IFC’s first employee back in 1998 and serves as the Executive Director. His duties include developing program initiatives and working with the board of directors to ensure the IFC remains mission-driven and spirit-filled. Mike graduated from Northwestern University’s Human Development and Social Policy Program and also holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. In 2004, Mike was honored by the American Institute for Public Service and NBC5 with a Jefferson Award for his work in communities across the Chicago area. As an Executive Director, Mike has led the development of nonprofit initiatives adding millions of dollars in facilities, programming, and fundraising across the United States and Central America for community building projects. He helped found Casa de Luz, a childcare center with two locations in Honduras. Mike also wrote the initial curriculum and programming for Community Life, a program operating in over 50 locations in across the country in 2018, creating value for residents through the development of relationships and genuine community. Mike lives in Kankakee, IL with his wife Sondra, their four daughters and two dogs. He volunteers in his own community as an Assistant Varsity Football Coach and as a Tester-Observer-Handler for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Inc.
(708) 253-7090 | email@example.com | @MikeVickery
Nicholas M. Ryan is the CEO of Marquette Real Estate Investments, LLC, one of a family of related real estate companies called the Marquette Companies.
Mr. Ryan co-founded Marquette in 1983 and since its formation, it has designed, developed, acquired and operated more than $2 billion of apartments, master planned communities, student housing, mixed use developments, office and industrial properties.
Marquette Management, Inc., is the National Award winning apartment operating company of Marquette, has more than 250 employees, and currently manages 9000 apartment units throughout the central portion of the United States. The Marquette Principals have managed more than 50,000 apartment units throughout the country, during their careers.
Mr. Ryan co-founded Kensington / Marquette Partners in 1994, which has acquired more than $1 billion of investment properties on behalf of its clients, including apartments, senior housing and student housing.
Mr. Ryan is a civil engineer, graduating from Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in 1975. He is a board member of the National Multi-Housing Council, the National Institute for Community, Choose DuPage and is a member of the Pension Real Estate Association.
Nick lives in Naperville, IL, with his wife Teresa and their numerous dogs.
Lori Rodriguez Casey, Vice President, Mesirow Financial
Lori Rodriguez Casey joined the firm in July 2014 as vice president of asset management for the Real Estate Direct Investment business. Mrs. Rodriguez Casey has more than 25 years of real estate experience, all within the multifamily sector. Prior to joining Mesirow Financial, Lori worked for The Marquette Companies, a Naperville, Ill.-based private real estate company that has been a leading property manager and developer of apartment and condominium communities and has significant expertise in purchasing value-add apartment communities. During her 17 year tenure at Marquette, Lori was a business developer and regional manager, most recently overseeing the operations of a portfolio of 11 properties consisting primarily of value-add and new development property and totaling more than 3,000 units. At Marquette, Lori worked with numerous institutional partners including Hunt and Seminole. Prior to Marquette, Lori worked as a regional manager for Insignia Management Company and Coventry Properties. Lori is a certified Apartment Portfolio Manager by the National Apartment Association (NAA) and a former Chicagoland Apartment Association Board Member from 2010 – 2011. Lori is currently a member of the National Apartment Association and the Chicagoland Apartment Association.
Joe Johnson, Founder Ice & Fire Leadership Academy
He works with youth ages 11 to 24 years old in Bolingbrook, Romeoville and its surrounding areas, mentoring the youth on life skills, covering a full spectrum of activities and developmental skills for success and motivation. He runs a basketball program that goes far beyond the court. His top accomplishments include the many examples of success from the youth that have come thru the program.
Past accomplishments and work experience:
US Army Vet, Commander City of Chicago City Corp. Staff (JROTC), President Minority Business Exchange , President of Exchange Club Bolingbrook, Vice President Augusta Village HOA, Board Director of Illinois Aviation Museum, Board of Director for Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce, Member of Will County Citizens Against Abuse
Karen Lippoldt is a leading full-time Real Estate professional. Her compassion, attention to detail, strengths as a negotiator, and her professional marketing approach have all contributed to her recognition within the industry. She has been recognized as a knowledgeable asset in her field by the Daily Herald, The Sun, and Chicago Tribune. With over 25 years experience in Real Estate, 2 years experience in Relocation, and 8 years experience in Corporate Recruiting, Karen has built her foundation on being accessible and dedicated to her clients. Karen lives in the western suburbs of the Chicago area with her husband, Keith. She enjoys spending time with her adult children and her grandchildren.
Perry Bigelow is the founder of Bigelow Homes. In 2005, the company was honored by Professional Builder magazine as the recipient of the prestigious “Builder of the Year” award. The award recognizes one building company in the nation that best represents replicable ideas that can be emulated by other builders. Bigelow Homes was selected for “Doing Good by Doing Right.” Perry was named “Energy Builder of the Year” for eight consecutive years by the Chicago Sun Times. He has been featured twice on public television’s “This Old House.” Bigelow Homes developed HomeTown in Aurora, IL, a spiritually, culturally, and environmentally sustainable community of 1,300 homes located in nine real neighborhoods. Perry is perhaps best known for guaranteeing heating bills on his homes throughout Chicagoland for the last 25 years. His desire to use respectfully God’s gift of the earth is the foundation of his business philosophy.
Born in Michigan and raised in Florida, Perry received a B. A. in Mathematics from Taylor University and a B. S. in Civil Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Ohio State University. Perry was a member of the Board of Directors of the Energy Environmental Building Association and an Adjunct Professor of Housing and Urban Development at Eastern University Graduate School of Business.
Bryan Bernicky is a Director of Information Technology for Marquette Management and has been in the field for over 20 years. He is a very involved leader and coach in the community currently serving at the Church at Highpoint coaching the music arts team. A graduate of Columbia College with a B.S. in Instrumental and Vocal performance, Bryan performs in and around the area in various music productions and bands and is a studio musician and producer. As a former Volunteer of the Year at the Institute for Community, Bryan loves to serve the community of Romeoville and the surrounding areas and is committed to making community great again through his gifts of music, technology and Christian mission. Bryan lives in Plainfield with his wife Amy, two sons Brandon and Jonny and dog, Eddie.
Tim has been a resident of Romeoville since 1998, when he moved to the HighPoint Apartment complex. In 2001 he purchased a home at the nearby Hometown Romeoville neighborhood as a result of a partnership between Bigelow Homes and Marquette Management. Since 2006 Tim has been a board member of the Hometown Homeowners Association. He is also a member of the Character Committee at the IFC. The Character Committee meets as needed to help residents and members remain as valuable members of the community.
Tim has been with Brenntag Specialties since 1998. Brenntag is the global market leader in chemical distribution, with more than 550 locations in 74 countries.
Jeff Prosapio is president and founder of FiveFour Company, LLC, a real estate development company based in Denver. Jeff has over 27 years of development and construction experience with specific expertise in the multi-family, mixed-use, transit-oriented (TOD), condominium, and hotel/hospitality asset classes. Over the span of Jeff’s career, he has overseen the development of over $500,000,000 in commercial real estate. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Jeff has dedicated the majority of his professional career to commercial real estate development. Jeff is a Chicago native, married for 31 years to his wife, Debi, and they have 3 sons. He has served as a ministry leader and coach, and is passionate about people living abundant, reconciled lives. Interests and enthusiasms include, music, shooting sports, fishing, motorcycles, culinary arts, architecture, and travel.
Craig Miles is an ordained minister and serves as one of the Executive Pastors at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, ID. He currently oversees the Creative Arts and International Missions ministries as well as multisite campus oversight. After starting the church in Post Falls, Real Life Ministries started three more campuses in Kootenai County. Craig served as Campus Pastor at the 2nd campus for 6years and has been involved with the other launch and continued operations of the other two campuses. One of the primary responsibilities of campus leadership is community relations & partnerships. Ongoing partnerships between Real Life Ministries and the community include the local school districts, sports and outdoors organizations and performing arts programs among others. Craig has a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and worked for a defense contractor for 9 years before becoming a minister. He lives with his wife, Sherri in Hayden, ID and loves spending time with his four adult children and two grandchildren.
Tom Wells is the Senior Managing Partner at Wells, Roselieb & Raia Wealth Management
Senior Managing Partner of WR&R with over 23 years of experience in providing wealth management services to clients.
Tom is dedicated to serving clients who have successfully prepared for retirement and are now ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Tom began his pursuit of community with others after reading the book “Making Room for Life” by Randee Frazee at the recommendation of his friend, Mike Vickery.
Tom is married to Stacey Wells and they have three adult children. He is a devout Christian as well as Kansas State Wildcats fan. All his kids are Wildcats, too. Tom and Stacey live in the far western suburbs and enjoy raising and caring for their dogs, goats, and horses. Yes, we said goats.
Glen Lanker is the President at A R T I O S, Inc. inCoeur d’Alene, Idaho, United States. Glen is an architect by trade and a devoted Christian leader in his community. He has been a principal driving force in the development of the Institute For Community at Hayden Canyon as part of a master planned development in Hayden, ID. Glen and his wife Linda have adult children and enjoy time with their grandchildren, as well as attending Real Life Ministries, where Glen is an elder. Glen’s wife Linda has been a prominent track coach for over 26 years, answering the call to coach at all levels, including the U.S. Olympic Team. In college, Glen was a lineman for the Arizona State Sun Devils. Glen enjoys CrossFit and sharing his faith in Jesus Christ with others.
Gabe Cleave is a product of being discipled in Real Life Ministries. He came on staff at Real Life in 2012 and has served as a High School Pastor, Young Adults Pastor, and Hospitality Pastor, and is now the Lead Pastor at the Hayden Campus. Gabe has been married to his wife Aubrey since 2009 and they have three children, Stella, Ruby and Beau.
Gabe was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene and met Aubrey in Southern California in 2006. After moving back to Idaho in 2009, Gabe and Aubrey started attending Real Life, but it wasn’t until they connected in their first life group, and started serving, that they truly felt connected. Together they enjoy camping with their family, eating sushi, and going to warm places in the winter.
God has blessed me as a husband to Michelle, father to Chloe, and with a role as a community developer and pastor in a community that has changed my life. I resigned from a Fortune 50 company in 2005 to help others build community and commit their lives to the rescue and rule of Jesus Christ.
As our nation continues to spiritually decline, God has broken my heart to help other pastors and missional leaders heal through this transition, refuel their hearts, and reimagine how we will continue to advance the Kingdom in a changing nation by empowering Mission Partners and Local Missionaries.
Scott is co-author of just 12, a book focused on helping everyone prioritize 12 others in their lives…just like Jesus did as His primary earthly ministry.
Scott worked for Caterpillar, Inc for 12 years, Community Christian Church for 10 years, Owner of Community Construction Services Inc for 5 years, and has worked at the Institute For Community for 8 years. Scott has a Bachelors Degree from Illinois State University and a Masters Degree from The University of Michigan.
175 S HighPoint DriveRomeoville, IL 60446(815) 588-6130