Center for Enriched Living Announces New Board Members

Updated 7/28/2021 8:40 AM

RIVERWOODS, Ill. -- The Center for Enriched Living (CEL), a privately-funded nonprofit organization headquartered in north suburban Riverwoods that serves men and women with disabilities, proudly announced that Dr. Odette Christie, Mary Greanias, Kristin Malek and Akash Pathak have joined its board of directors. Their terms started in July 2021 and will last through 2024.

At CEL, teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are part of a vibrant community with opportunities for life enrichment through social, recreational, educational, employment, and virtual programs.


"Our board of directors has inspired us to bounce forward after a challenging year," said CEO Harriet Levy. "I am grateful for their dedication and support as we continued connecting people with disabilities to friends, learning and enrichment throughout the pandemic. These dynamic new board members bring valuable ideas and skills that will allow us to welcome even more members to our CEL community of friends."

Dr. Odette Christie of Houston, Texas, is Chief Executive Officer of OEC2 Solutions, LLC. She is an innovative organizational development practitioner with twenty-five years of experience and an integrated blend of consulting, coaching, and training, that leverages positive psychology to create sustainable transformational change. As the mother of a son with IDD, Dr. Christie also brings her personal experience and dedication to the mission of CEL.

Kristin Malek of Libertyville is Director of Business Diversity for CDW, a company with a long history of supporting CEL. She is an experienced development leader who is passionate about empowering others to help make differences in the world. She has a daughter with IDD and was drawn to CEL because of her passion for serving people with disabilities who may not have access to meaningful jobs, social inclusion, or capital.

Akash Pathak of Highland Park is the Associate Vice President of Marketing for Humana. His extensive experience in implementing business growth strategies and marketing will enhance the outreach efforts of CEL. His desire to serve on the board stems from a desire to see all people with developmental disabilities succeed, including his own family members.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Mary Greanias of Lemont is Associate Director of Ophthalmology Training for Horizon Therapeutics. She is an accomplished public speaker, writer, and strategic planner who is eager to use her skills to support the work of CEL.

"I have a son with developmental disabilities and have long seen the need for organizations of this type, especially after age 22 when resources for development and even social connections evaporate. There is so much talent in this population and the opportunity to help develop and focus that through CEL is very important," Greanias said.

CEL's Executive Committee includes:

• President Joan Cannon of Highland Park, Executive Director of Scientific Communication & External Research at TerSera Therapeutics, Deerfield

• Vice President Howard Diamond of Highland Park, Chief Strategy Officer at Rise Interactive, Chicago

• Secretary Kim Cysewski of Lincolnshire, retired Vice President, Human Resources, at Grainger, Lake Forest


• Treasurer Ira Singer of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, Owner of Mosaic Construction, Northbrook

CEL board members have a passion for the mission, excellent leadership skills, willingness and ability to give generously and be philanthropic advocates, and they also share their professional expertise to ensure that CEL continues to grow and thrive.

"People with disabilities are important members of our community who should be given opportunities to work, make friends, have fun, and feel included. That's what we strive to provide at CEL. Some of our board members have someone close to them with a disability and some do not; but they all share the belief in and support of CEL's mission," said Levy

See our complete list of board of directors and staff at:

For more than 50 years, the Center for Enriched Living has provided life-changing opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through social, recreational, educational, virtual programs and community-based employment. CEL is accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership.

More information is available at

Article Comments
Attention: We are experiencing technical difficulties with our Facebook Comments module at this time. Comments will remain disabled until we are able to resolve the problem. We apologize for the interruption. We invite you to engage with our content and talk with other commenters on our Daily Herald Facebook page at Thank you.