With nearly 20 years experience at Boys & Girls Clubs, Scott is passionate about creating opportunities for young people to succeed in life. He is a firm believer that children who participate in sports programs receive skills that benefit them throughout their lives. Scott was awarded a scholarship to play basketball at Olivet Nazarene University, where he graduated with a degree in Social Work. Because of this, he is deeply tied to Heart of the City’s mission to create opportunities for youth to attend college through the game of soccer. In his free time, Scott enjoys playing golf and basketball and spending time with his family.
For Dean, soccer is a way of life. He has been involved in soccer all of his life and even played professionally in England. After his professional career, Dean began coaching at Derby County F.C. Academy and has since worked as a college coach, Director of Coaching, and most recently a staff member of Illinois Youth Soccer Association. Dean was drawn to Heart of the City because he saw an opportunity to help youth access a sport that he knows can make a positive difference in their lives. A fun fact about Dean is that he loves karaoke, especially classic 90’s British songs.
Jennifer joins us as a seasoned administrative professional with over 20 years experience with an emphasis in project management, implementation and new business development. Jennifer’s love for Waukegan and Lake County really took a leap when she became active with the Waukegan Chamber of Commerce as a volunteer in 2018. Her youngest daughter became involved with the Summer Soccer Academy offered at Heart of the City, and that is when Jennifer decided she wanted to be part of Heart of the City and its mission. In her free time, Jennifer loves cooking, being outdoors, watching her oldest daughter compete in competitive cheer and her youngest daughter play soccer and tumble.
Thomas has coached soccer for over 16 years and has helped build highly successful soccer programs in Northwest Illinois. In addition to serving as the head soccer coach at Elgin Pumas S.C. and Chicago Mustangs, he helped launch the Elgin Pumas Recreational Program and the Lil’ Kickers soccer franchise for children 18 months to 12 years. He has coached all levels of soccer, including professional indoor and semi-professional outdoor (UPSL), and with IYSA in the Illinois ODP program. Thomas strongly believes in developing youth players and helping them discover their true potential; building a strong foundation and teaching strong values that will help youth achieve success in their future, on and off the field.
Shelley joins us from Minneapolis, MN, where she worked the last several years at a nonprofit called Haiti Outreach. With a degree in Social Work and an MBA in Finance, Shelley has always sought avenues of employment that utilize both her skills and her passion for empowering the underserved. She has a long history of playing and coaching soccer, so she is a believer in its benefits and thrilled to be part of the team at Heart of the City! In her spare time, Shelley stays connected to family and friends and remains active by walking her dog, running, biking, and practicing Pilates.
Mayrani has worked in customer service roles for over six years. She studied early childhood education at the College of Lake County, and has two USSF national coaching licenses. Mayrani wanted to work for Heart of the City because of its focus on helping kids in need achieve better futures. In her spare time, Mayrani enjoys watching soccer and spending time with her daughter and family.
Board of Directors
City of Waukegan
4SBay Partners LLC
Ombudsman Educational Services
LEARN 9 Charter School
4SBay Partners LLC
Gurnee Community Bank
First Midwest Bank
College of Lake County
Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Without a strong board of directors and committee members supporting our efforts, we could not keep building stronger players, families, and communities in Lake County.
Interested in becoming a committee or board member? Email our Executive Director at email@example.com.