Shawnash Board

Ellen Gorney – President

Ellen is a River Forest resident.  She is a social worker and former Director of Programs at Catholic Charities of Chicago. She is also the  founder and current volunteer of the Visions Program ( a photography project and exhibition by guests of Catholic Charities Tuesday Night Suppers.

 John Owens – Treasurer

John is a founding member of Ascension Parish Community Garden and served two years as Assistant manager at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market. Active in Environmental and Social Justice causes, John works as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst, mapping data over urban and rural terrain.

 James Babcock – Board Member

James is a board member of Green Community Connections, a grassroots environmental organization in OP/RF, member of Environmental Stewardship Team at First United Church of Oak Park, co-leader of Interfaith Green Network OP/RF, and long-time Sierra Club member. He sees a need for environmental issues to be merged with the other important social issues of poverty, hunger, racism, education, and eroding democracy.

Maria Delis – Board Member

Maria has been a community dietitian with Beyond Hunger (formerly the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry) since 2010 and has worked as a dietitian for 26 years.  She leads a nutrition education program for clients of the food pantry and is also a preceptor to dietetic interns completing their community nutrition rotation. Maria holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Medical Dietetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also completed her dietetic internship.  In her free time, Maria loves hosting dinner parties for her family and friends and enjoys attending international culinary tours with the Food and Culinary Professionals of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  In recent years, she has traveled to Bologna, Parma, Rome and Sardinia, Italy as well as London and Paris. Maria believes learning how to cook empowers families to eat better and cook together!

 Amy Dean – Board Member

Amy is an independent public relations consultant who has worked for a variety of businesses and nonprofit organizations. She brings to the board an understanding of how to raise awareness of important causes and how to use communication to change behavior.

Ann Roach – Board Member

Ann Roach is a nurse who is very passionate about nutritious eating and positive health outcomes. Ann plans to establish partnerships with third-parties to extend the reach of Shawnash.  Her hope is to make a real-world connection between nutritious eating and improved health.

Jessica Rinks –  Secretary

For four years Jessica was Manager of the Oak Park Farmers Market where she was an enthusiastic promoter of the Double Value Coupon (now the Matching Value Coupon).   Jessica was also co-Founder of Forest Park Community Garden, a 501c3 organization dedicated to providing garden space to the community

Warren Bakker – Board Member 

Warren has lived in Oak Park since 1984 (with a brief stint in Minnesota).  He is retired from a long career in IT.  He is also a former commissioner with the Oak Park Farmers’ Market.