Meet the Team

Laura Fry Executive Director 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x803

Laura Fry (she/they) is the Executive Director, overseeing the implementation of Live4Lali’s services and outreach team. In long-term recovery from mental health, substance use, and trauma, Laura brings a unique and informed lens. She also has a son in long-term recovery from an opioid use disorder. With more than two decades in the health field and a specialization in emergency medicine, Laura has been responding to overdoses and working with people impacted by addiction for years. Laura’s professional and personal experiences helped develop the comprehensive and compassionate approach Live4Lali embodies to serve people with substance use disorders and their loved ones.

Jody Daitchman Angel Moms Coordinator & Grief Group Facilitator Direct: 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x801

Jody Daitchman is the co-founder of Live4Lali, established with her family in early 2009 after the accidental overdose death of her son, Alex Laliberte, in December of 2008.

Four years ago, Jody started the “Angel Moms” group which began with 5 or 6 moms and now has over 100 moms in the Chicago area – all who have lost their children to a substance-related passing. Some of these women have lost more than one child or have others that are in recovery or actively struggling with substance use disorder or addiction. She organizes social gatherings or has one-on-one meetings with them to try to support them on the very difficult journey of grief. She also leads the Live4Lali grief group that meets twice a month.

In her spare time, Jody loves to travel, spend time with her family, dog and lifelong friends, meet new people, give back, attend spiritual events and work out.

Chelsea Laliberte Barnes, MSSA, LSW Co-Founder and Advocacy Strategist 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x802

Helping individuals and families with mental health and substance use challenges and guiding communities in addressing these issues is Chelsea’s passion. Chelsea graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a B.A. in Integrated Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. Since graduating, she has developed digital and print marketing campaigns in real estate and healthcare industries with her core skill set in the digital advertising world. She is now a Master of Science in Social Administration through Case Western Reserve University’s online graduate program. Chelsea practices as a mental health counselor with Cherry Hill Counseling in Lake Zurich, IL. Chelsea lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Matt, and their son, and dogs, Sam and Mickey. She loves spending time with family and friends, is a music and film lover, creative writer, culturally-obsessed travel nerd and shameless foodie. 

Alex Mathiesen Associate Director of Programs 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x806

Alex Mathiesen (he/him) is Live4Lali’s McHenry County Program Manager and oversees programming funded by the McHenry County Mental Health Board. He was a volunteer at Live4Lali before being appointed to serve the county of McHenry. Alex has been in recovery from an opioid use disorder for the past several years. His experiences from the disease of addiction help give personal insight on the best ways to assist those with a substance use disorder or experiencing active use, their loved ones, and the community at large.

Michelle Kavouras McHenry County Program Manager 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x807

My passion to help others comes from my own recovery. About five years ago, finally feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired, I searched for help. It took me over a year to finally get the help that I needed, but that was not without the efforts of others that had tried to help me. Those people that gave me a word of encouragement, drove me to meetings, called me just to check on me, referred me to support, listened when I cried, joined me in my successes, and wanted to see me thrive are the most important people in my recovery. I was ready to give up so many times, but when I saw that I was no longer alone, I got the courage to fight. I want to be that to those who don’t have it! So many people are just left to “hit rock bottom.” Why wait for that? Rock bottom for some means death. You can’t help someone if they are not here to be helped.
I am currently pursuing my CADC at College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL, and am to receive certification as a National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist.  I am blessed to be a part of this team of compassionate, unconditional, empathetic, determined, graceful people.
My self-care consists of listening to music, live and recorded, fellowshipping, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying nature.

Bella Crum Programs Administrator & Health Educator (844)LV4-LALI (584-5254) x804

Bella (she/her) is the programs administrator and health educator on the Live4Lali team and is passionate about the power of authentic connection and education. She graduated from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in Poetry, where she spent her time focusing on pairing language to emotions, developing a people-first servant leadership style, and traveling at any and every opportunity she got. She has trained with MAPS’ Zendo Project as a psychedelic peer support specialist, and serves as the COVID-19 Chicago Mutual Aid Co-Point for her neighborhood, ensuring her neighbors remain well-resourced during this uncertain time. When she is not at Live4Lali, you can catch her cooking gluten-free food, grooving to live music with friends, practicing yoga, reading a book, and every once in a blue moon, surfing!

Chris Seerden 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x805

Chris (he/him) is the McHenry County Outreach Coordinator with Live4Lali. He believes his unique experience growing up in foster homes, in families with substance use disorders, his journey reaching undetectable HIV status, and lived experience in the McHenry Country Mental Health Specialty Courts will allow him to understand and engage with the community on their journey to find themselves. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his two daughters and fiancé, motorcycle racing, delving into history, and cheering on his favorite sports teams (Go 49ers!).

Luis Aponte Outreach Coordinator

Luis (he/him) comes from Waukegan, IL, and is a person in long term recovery who battled substance use disorder, incarceration, gang involvement, and continues to live with health complications as a result of his substance use. He comes from a Hispanic heritage and is fluent in both Spanish and English. He has a passion for helping people who are struggling with substance use and finds fulfillment in service-based work. His prior experience includes outreach work with Cease Fire, a Chicago-based violence prevention program and at PADS working with individuals who are chronically homeless.  Luis enjoys spending time with his family and exercising in his free time.

Laurie Klapman Volunteer Coordinator 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x808

Laurie (she/her) joined Live4Lali in 2016 after meeting Chelsea (Co-Founder & Executive Director) through mutual friends. Her vision was infectious, one that mirrored Laurie’s. Around the same time, Laurie became a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CADC). Wanting to learn everything she could, she started volunteering with Live4Lali and became a SMART Recovery facilitator. Currently, Laurie runs two meetings per week and serves as an Overdose Education & Naloxone Distribution (OEND) trainer to equip community members with naloxone. Laurie is passionate about teaching harm reduction and bringing awareness to others about how to reduce the stigma of addiction. She is now the Volunteer Coordinator, helping to make sure all our bases are covered.

 

Laurie has brought her son and nephew onto the Live4Lali Board of Directors, now it’s a family thing! Laurie is grateful to be part of such a wonderful organization. To be able to work with such purposeful, sympathetic, and amazing people is a dream come true. In her free time, Laurie likes to spend time with her family, cook for friends and family, workout, and is especially looking forward to playing with her new grandchild!

Nadine Henderson Communications Coordinator

Nadine (she/her) is the communications coordinator. She is a rising senior at Indiana University Bloomington. She is studying Media Management, Industry, and Policy with a specialization in creative industry management. She found Live4Lali after her brother passed away from an accidental overdose. Now her ambition is to help those impacted by substance use. In her free time, she enjoys being with family and friends, binging Netflix series, and listening to music.

Michelle Meno Bookkeeper 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x809

Michelle joined the team in August 2018 to assist leadership and program management with all financial and bookkeeping needs. Michelle also works with the Liberty Prairie Foundation and is a member of the Warren Township Girl’s Softball organization’s board. She resides in Gurnee with her husband and their four children.

Marissa Maldonado Communications Intern

Marissa is a communications intern at Live4Lali this summer. She is set to begin completing her Masters in Business Design and Innovation this coming fall at Carthage College, where she just received her B.A majoring in Marketing, Management, and minoring in Communications. Through her choice of studies, she has found a way to express her outgoing and expressive nature and her drive to do meaningful work. Her goal is to always leave people and places better than she found them. 

She lives in Chicago, Illinois. During her free time, she loves meeting new people, exploring different places, and going to baseball games. She is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.

Nick Fonarev Clinical Social Work Intern

Nick (he/him) is a Master of Social Work student at Rutgers University and is doing his field placement at Live4Lali.  He is passionate about Harm Reduction, having been involved with the Zendo Project for the past five years and recently receiving his training in Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy at the Center for Optimal Living in NYC.  His previous professional background covers the fields of finance, operations strategy, music business, and tech.  In his free time, you can catch him producing music in his studio.

Hector Cervantes Communications Intern

 Hector (he/him) is a communications intern at Live4Lali. He is a senior at DePaul University and is working to get his B.A. in communication studies and M.A. in journalism. Hector finds passion in anything that has to do with reading, writing, public speaking, social media, and research. Hector wants to use these skills to help those in need, because to him mental health is more important now than ever before — especially with how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. Hector lives on campus at DePaul for his position as a facilities assistant where he helps residents in times of emergency and makes sure that students are living in a safe environment. In his free time, he loves to explore different parts of Chicago, run, lift weights, watch Netflix and spend time with friends and family.