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Our Management Staff
Julie Tye President
Julie has been president of The Cradle since December, 1992. Prior to joining The Cradle, Julie worked at Lutheran General Health Care System (now Advocate Health System), in a variety of areas including the addiction treatment division, group practice management and hospital administration.
Julie received her Bachelor of Science from Pace University in New York City in 1976, and her MBA from the Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1978 with a concentration in Hospital and Health Services Management.
Julie is a member of the Board of Directors of the Joint Council on International Adoption; a former member of the Boards of Directors of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and RESOLVE; and a current member of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network. She is also a member of the Development Committee of The Actors Gymnasium, a Circus and Performing Arts School. Julie lives in Glenview, IL with her husband and their two children. Contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-733-3202
Follow Julie on Twitter @CradleCEO
Brooke Voss President, The Cradle Foundation
Brooke has worked in fund development on behalf of not-for-profit organizations for 28 years. She served as The Cradle’s chief development officer beginning in 1994, building a comprehensive program of support for the organization. Brooke has been President of The Cradle Foundation since its creation in 2003.
Prior to her affiliation with The Cradle, Brooke held leadership positions at Lutheran General Foundation (now Advocate Charitable Foundation), Tulane University Medical Center, New Orleans, and the American Cancer Society in Los Angeles, always with a focus on building relationships with individuals. In her seven years at Tulane, Brooke developed the Medical Center’s first major gifts program.
Brooke received her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles.
Merrilee Hepler Chief Operating Officer
Merrilee has been with The Cradle since May of 2000. Initially Director of HR, then the Vice President of HR and Administration, she is now the Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Merrilee is responsible for providing leadership and management necessary to ensure that The Cradle has the proper controls, procedures and systems in place to effectively grow the organization, and meet annual operational goals and objectives.
Prior to joining The Cradle, Merrilee was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for MMI Companies, Inc. for twelve years. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and a certified DiSC facilitator.
Merrilee received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and her MBA from the University of Illinois in Chicago, IL. She has two daughters and currently lives in Evanston.
Linda Hageman Executive Director of Adoption Services and Vice President of Professional Services
Linda has been with The Cradle since 1989 and has directed The Cradle’s placement programs for over 18 years, advocating locally and nationally for best practices in the field of adoption.
As Executive Director of Adoption Services and Vice President of Professional Services, Linda is responsible for overseeing the quality and integrity of the services provided to all members of the adoption circle. She is responsible for new program development and modification of current programs to meet client needs and maintain an ethical and contemporary approach to adoption. She manages several departments at The Cradle including: adoptive parent services, birth parent services, post adoption services and The Cradle Nursery. She also serves as a member of The Cradle's senior management team.
Prior to joining The Cradle, Linda worked in public and private child welfare agencies providing direct service to birth parents, adoptive parents and children.
Linda received her MSW from the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL. She has four children and currently lives in Evanston.
Ellen Giudice Vice President of Finance
Ellen has been with The Cradle since 2001 and is the Vice President of Finance. In addition to managing the financial and treasury functions of The Cradle, she is responsible for the annual audit and tax return preparation process.
Prior to joining The Cradle, Ellen spent 17 years working in the Association industry at the College of American Pathologists as a financial analyst and at the American Medical Association as a director of subsidiary and investment accounting. She began her career in public accounting at Arthur Young.
Ellen received her B.S. in Accounting at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a Certified Public Accountant. She resides in Glenview, Illinois with her husband and two children.
Joan Jaeger Vice President of Outreach and Communications
Joan joined The Cradle in 2002 as Vice President of Marketing. She is responsible for communications and outreach efforts for The Cradle and Adoption Learning Partners.
Prior to joining The Cradle, Joan spent ten years with Johnson & Johnson's consumer division. Among her responsibilities during her tenure with J&J, she helped to launch world renown brands such as Johnson's baby (TM) into new markets of Eastern Europe. She also lead the marketing team for the o.b. (TM) tampon brand across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Joan did her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, earning a B.A. in Russian and B.S. in International Relations. She went on to complete two graduate degrees at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor --- a Masters in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in East European Studies.
Marianne Woodward Vice President of Social Enterprise for The Cradle, Vice President of Adoption Learning Partners
In these roles, Marianne is responsible for helping the organization maximize its potential and impact, utilizing strategies and techniques developed in the corporate arena.
Marianne has a unique background with extensive experience in the corporate sector (banking and venture capital) as well as the not for profit sector. Prior to working for The Cradle, Marianne was the Vice President of Business Development for Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois, and founded her own consulting company, Mission Possible. In her work at Mission Possible, she consulted for a variety of not-for-profit organizations to help them evaluate, and create, social enterprises. Additionally, for seven years, she taught a course on Social Entrepreneurship at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
Marianne is a Chartered Financial Analyst with an MBA from the University of Chicago. She lives in Evanston with her two daughters.
CONNECT WITH THE CRADLE
Call our 24-hour toll-free number
Or text us at 224-489-1369
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
one-on-one with a Cradle counselor. It is completely private and confidential.