Kandice is the Founder and Executive Director of the Alive Not-for-profit Center in Naperville, Illinois. The first organization of its kind, Alive aims to provide the community with an inclusive experience of learning, sharing, and discovery that enables people to connect with what makes them come alive. From the merger with NaperBridge in January of 2015, Alive will have an even stronger teen program.
Kandice is a Life Coach and Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT). After spending 25+ years as an executive in the corporate world at Accenture and IBM, she is now following her true passion – helping people to create the life they desire. Kandice is a graduate of Life Coaching school, Coach for Life. She also is a certified Heal Your Life Workshop Leader (Louise Hay’s work). She has her 200hr CYT from Moksha Yoga in Chicago and is currently obtaining her 500hr CYT through ParaYoga (Rod Stryker). She has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Illinois.
Elisa has been at Alive for 5 years as Manager of the Operations Department. Throughout her
long career, she has found herself wearing many hats, and expanding and honing her skills in
operations, human resources and accounting. She is a founding member of a local not-for-
profit that serves families, and was on their board of directors and an officer for many years.
She has found her passion being involved in an organization that works with teens and allows
them to grow and reach their potential. Elisa is married and enjoys traveling and spending time
with her family.
Community Engagement and Development Representative
Kacie Chitwood serves as our Development Manager. Kacie has a background in technology, sales, and online education. Throughout her 30 year career, she has continued to find herself in roles where education and technology intersect with community relations. She loves connecting with people and helping them reach their potential! Kacie is drawn to the development of our youth as she believes they are our future. She has worn several hats throughout her career. Her primary goal has always been to create a balance between work and family as she has no extended family in this area. Kacie’s current role is a natural blend of her sales, development, and community relations experience. She is so grateful to be using all of these at Alive!
Hanover Park Drop-in Supervisor
Alex has spent the past 17 years as a mental health professional helping serve at-risk youth, working with inner-city adolescents and DCFS wards of the state in Chicago and the western suburbs. He graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelors in Psychology, specializing in adolescents with mental illness and behavior disorders. Alex has worn many hats over the years in the social work field, starting as an Recreational Therapist, to a Unit Supervisor for a Residential Group Home, to Treatment Team Coordinator and Milieu Treatment Manager. Alex enjoys being active and works in many different capacities in order to help foster resiliency in youth. He uses his musical skills, humor, passion for life, and listening/understanding for connecting with youth.
Alive Teen Initiate Lead
Melissa has spent the last 20 years in various roles in education. She obtained her Masters in Leadership & Administration from North Central and a Bachelors in History & English Education at Illinois State University. She has a passion for providing a loving and supportive environment for all teenagers so they can reach their full potential. While she has taught all grade levels, her primary focus has been teaching both History and English to teenagers. She has also volunteered to help kids at Hesed House, a local homeless shelter in Aurora, while leading many after school activities for teens as well. When not working or volunteering, she can be found with her family or enjoying one of her many hobbies.
Marketing & Events Lead
Becca joined the Alive Center in December of 2021 as the Marketing and Event Planning Lead. Becca is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree, with an anticipated completion in December of 2022. With a Bachelors degree and background in music and creative arts management, she uses her ability of expression and keen attention to detail within her current role at Alive. Outside of Alive, you can find Becca teaching music lessons, working on homework, reading non-fiction books or exploring local restaurants with her husband Hunter.
Amy has a Master’s Degree in Teaching and a Bachelor’s in Speech Pathology. She has worked the past 10 years writing inspirational children’s books and traveling to schools across the U.S. empowering kids and adults to focus on the power of their everyday kindnesses. Prior to that, she was an Area Leader for a Direct Sales Company inspiring her team of over 100 consultants. She has worked in the schools teaching and mentoring students, and currently runs The Kindness Gala Foundation with her husband and Kindness Ambassadors. She loves being around kids and making sure they know how much they matter.
Administrative Assistant & Training Developer
Andrew has spent the past 10 years in a variety of education roles. Whether it’s working with students in tutoring programs, spending 6 years overseas teaching English, to now working with teens at Alive, he has a passion to help those he’s working with grow into their true potential. He holds a Master’s Degree of Education from Huntington University, along with having extensive experience in the business world, having spent a number of years in retail management. Andrew loves reading and spending time with his wife, four boys and fur-daughter.
Alive Aurora Manager
A long-time resident of Aurora, Ady Rubio is a young Latina woman who has a passion for working with youth. In 2016 she received her undergraduate degree in Psychology, 2019 a Master’s in Social work from Aurora University, and in 2020 became a licensed social worker. Ady was one of the first university students to intern at the Alive Center for teens in 2017. A non-profit that serves teens 5-12th grade and helps them find a sense of belonging, resiliency, discovery, and leadership. Alive was the internship she was hoping for, and it solidified her love of making meaningful connections with today’s youth. Seeing the impact a teen center such as Alive had on teens launched her dream of having an Alive Center in her city of Aurora one day. Today, Ady is continuing her journey with Alive, and she has joined the team as the drop-in Manager for Alive’s new downtown Aurora location. She inspires teens to take on leadership roles, be creative, and find a place of belonging.
Jayna is a recent college graduate from DePaul University, with a Bachelors in Business, specializing in Digital Marketing. She started here in 2021 as a Marketing Intern and was later hired on as Digital Coordinator. Jayna enjoys using her creative skills through content creation and has grown our social media engagement throughout her time here. Before starting her career in Digital Marketing, she was a swim instructor and kids activities team member, where she enjoyed being a mentor for children and providing positive influence. She enjoys working for Alive where she can use her creative side while also shining a light on the amazing opportunities and resources provided by Alive. A fun fact is that Jayna attended Alive when she was a teen!
Community Engagement and Development Representative – Hanover Park
Beth Stremel joined the Alive Center in December of 2021 as the Development Manager for the Hanover Park location. Beth brings over 25 years of nonprofit development and volunteer management experience from organizations such as CASA of DuPage, DuPage PADS, the American Liver Foundation, and Community Health Charities. She is dedicated to improving the community through her work in this field and uses her strong relationship and interpersonal skills to forward the important missions of these groups. In her spare time, she volunteers in various capacities at the First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton and as an Advisory Board Member of 100+ Women Who Care DuPage County. She has a BS in Sociology from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and currently resides in Winfield with her husband Matt.