Meet the Team:
Natalie Jablonski, President & CEO
Natalie Jablonski joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois’ team in July 2016 as the President and CEO. Natalie has her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication from McKendree University and her Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. Her role as President and CEO is to provide strategic and operational leadership for the organization by working with the Board and staff to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies while maintaining fiscal responsibility by fostering partnerships with agency volunteers and donors. When Natalie isn’t working, you can find her on the golf course (usually struggling to find her ball in the woods) or at a community event with her family in the warmer months. In the colder months, she is most likely to be curled up by the fireplace with a good book, television show, or movie!
To get to know Natalie a little better, she answered the following questions:
1. What is your favorite line from a movie?
“I think the important thing is not to make it look like we’re panicking.” (Robin/Ann Deavere Smith)
“See, and I think the important thing is to actually not BE panicking.” (President Shepherd/ Michael Douglas)
The American President, 1995
2. Favorite Restaurant? “I was born and raised on a farm, so finding a restaurant that can make a great steak is crucial! I’ll be happy to try any restaurant with a great steak!”
3. Favorite Holiday? “I love Christmas; not for the presents that we give but the gifts we receive that are not under the tree. I love the gift of music with Christmas carols, the gift of joy when gathering with friends and family, and the gift of hope in the eyes of little ones…. It’s the spirt of Christmas that I love the most."
4. Favorite Quote: “You don’t know what you don’t know, but once you know, you can no longer not know.”
Anna Grimm, Marketing and Development Director
Anna Grimm joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois’ team in November 2014 as the Marketing and Development Director. Anna received her Associate Degrees in both Arts and Science from Southwestern Illinois College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Illinois-Chicago. In her role at BBBS, she organizes all the Special Events- Bowl for Kids’ Sake, golf tournaments, House Raffle, and The Big Impact Bash, runs the agency website and agency social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, creates marketing and informational materials for the agency, and represents the agency at community events. When Anna is not working at BBBS, she is coaching JV girls’ basketball at Belleville East High School and 7thand 8th grade girls’ basketball at St. Teresa grade school. So when she is not working or coaching, you can find her hanging out with her family, friends, day dreaming about baby elephants, running when she can, cheering on the Phillies and Packers, or catching up on some much needed sleep!
To get to know Anna a little better, she answered the following questions:
1. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would you go? “Without a doubt, Thailand. I have, what some might consider an unhealthy obsession with elephants (mostly baby elephants), and there are so many elephant sanctuaries in Thailand that you can volunteer to work at! And Thailand has beautiful beaches that I would love to sit and relax on!”
2. Favorite sports team? ”I am a die-hard Philadelphia Phillies’ fan and I bleed green and gold for the Green Bay Packers!! (Don’t believe me? Just come visit my office!)”
3. Favorite Holiday? “4thof July… there is just something about fireworks, summertime, and the Red, White, and Blue that gets me every time. ‘Merica”
4. Favorite Quote? “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”-Pablo Picasso
Nancy Rivera, Director of Administration
Nancy Rivera joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois’ team in March 2011 as the Director of Administration. Nancy brought many years of office management and accounting experience to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Her role at BBBS is wide spread! She is the lady who makes the office go daily. She is our Office Manager, Accounting/Financial Department, Special Events Assistant, Leader of our Adopt of Family Program and so much more! She is always willing to help whenever is needed at any time. When Nancy isn’t working, she likes to spend time with her family and she loves to go fishing!
To get to know Nancy a little better, she answered the following questions:
1. Favorite Sports team? “Cardinals’ baseball, of course!”
2. Favorite Restaurant? “I love a good steak and salad. Tucker’s has it all!
3. Favorite Holiday? “Christmas. The meaning of Christmas and this being the time of year for giving, has always been special to me.”
4. Favorite Quote: “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing the best you can today.”
Tina Charron, Program Director
Tina Charron joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois’ team in July 2008 as a School Mentoring Coordinator. Tina has her Associates Degree from Rend Lake College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville. Her roles now at BBBS are Program Director and School Mentoring Coordinator for Monroe County. As Program Director, Tina oversees both our Community Based and School Based Programs. She offers support to our Case Managers and School Mentoring Coordinators. Her responsibility as the School Mentoring Coordinator for Monroe County is to support the site based matches in the elementary, middle, and high schools in Monroe County. Tina also recruits and enrolls volunteers and children into the site base program. When Tina isn’t working, you can find her spending time with her family, watching her kids’ activities, boating, and shopping!
To get to know Tina a little better, she answered the following questions:
1. What is your favorite line from a movie? “Smiling’s my favorite!”- Elf
2. Favorite sports team? “Any team that I can watch my kids play on and see them have fun!”
3. If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be? And why? “My grandpa (dad’s dad). He passed away before I was born and I would like to meet him.
4. Favorite Quote: “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
Jenny Vogel, Case Manager
Jenny Vogel joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois’ team in February 2017 as a Case Manager in our Community Base Program. Jenny has her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and her Master’s Degree in Education in Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her role as a Community Base Case Manager is to work with the Littles, their families, and volunteers in order to make lasting and meaningful matches and follow them through the match process. When Jenny isn’t working she loves coking and trying new recipes- Pinterest is one of her favorite places to be! She likes to hang out with her kids and family, watch movies, and be with friends.
To get to know Jenny a little better, she answered the following questions:
1. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would you go? “Definitely Bora Bora! I want to stay in an overwater bungalow far away from everything.”
2. Favorite Holiday? “Halloween- I love that we can dress up and have fun with it!”
3. If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be? And why? “It would be Ben Franklin. I’d love to learn more about what it was like being a part of making decisions that were the foundation of our county. What an interesting character in history he was!”
4. Favorite Quote? “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Melissa Richter, Counselor LPC
Melissa Richter joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois’ team in August 2017 as our agency Counselor, LPC. Melissa has her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and Interior Design from Webster University and her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University- Belleville. Her role as the Counselor at BBBS is to work with adolescents, ages 6-17, with emotional behavioral issues, developing short term coping skills. Melissa also incorporates art into her work with children during their time together. When Melissa isn’t working you can find her painting, biking, hiking, gardening, and spending time with her children and other family members.
To get to know Melissa a little better, she answered the following questions:
1. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would you go? “Machu Pichu, Denmark, New Zealand, Thailand. I would love to spend one year on the northeast coast painting the coastline at each of the different seasons.”
2. Favorite sports team? “Chicago Cubs”
3. Favorite restaurant? “I love going into the city and trying all the different ethnic restaurants.”
4. Favorite quote: “Every artist dips his brush into his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”–Henry Ward Beecher