Joelle is a retired Special Education Assistant from Community Consolidated School District 54 in Schaumburg, IL. She is a member of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance of Greater Chicago, the Canine Companions for Independence Greater Chicagoland Chapter and is President of Project ALEX Communities, Inc.
The mother of a 30-year-old son, Alex, who has Tuberous Sclerosis and a 26-year-old son, Jason and daughter-in-law Hannah, she keeps very busy. Joelle has been married to her husband Tony for 32 years. Together they own a Hallmark Store in Rolling Meadows. In her spare time, she runs a dinner club for young adults with special needs, she volunteers with her dog, Dorothy, as a Therapy Dog team in schools and day programs for people with disabilities and enjoys puzzles and reading.
“As Alex gets older, we are reminded that we do not know what the future holds as far as housing for young adults with special needs. I got the idea for Project ALEX while visiting my parents at Friendship Village in Schaumburg, IL. I just imagined the same type of environment for our older children and their friends.”
Hi, my name is Tony Brescia, and I am the treasurer of Project ALEX. I am the father of a young adult with a genetic disorder called Tuberous Sclerosis. Over the years I have been involved with Special Olympics both as a spectator and a coach. Currently I am a coach and Vice President of the Ten Pin Bowlers Special Olympics Bowling team. I own a Hallmark Store in Rolling Meadows; and have seen first hand my customers who come in with their aging special needs children. Most of these children still live with their parents who are well into their 80’s. Because of this, my wife and I have seen the need for a special type of living environment where families can stay close. I’m passionate about making Project ALEX a reality.
Diane joined the board after retiring from Township High School District 211 in 2018. Her background is in special education – as a teacher, vocational coordinator, department chair, and transition specialist. She has a family member with a disability which led her to choose special education as a career.
As the D211 transition specialist, she had the opportunity to observe first-hand the challenges faced by young men and women transitioning to their chosen post-high school experience. She shared in their parents’ frustration over the shortage of quality residential opportunities available to their young adults. She is thrilled to have a role on the board of Project ALEX so that she can be a part of developing an exciting new concept for housing adults with disabilities!
Senior Business Analyst, Commonwealth Edison
Prior to coming to ComEd, Kim worked for Chicago Public Schools as a Teacher and Reading Coach. Kim is also the former State Coordinator for the Ms. Wheelchair Illinois Program as well as Ms. Wheelchair Illinois 2012. Kim currently is the Employee Liaison of the Exelon Resource Group ENABLED which educates employees about disability awareness. Kim is also a member of the ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Program. In 2020 Kim will be an Ambassador for the Abilities Expo in Schaumburg. Kim has earned a BA (Elementary Education) and MA (Reading Education) at Saint Xavier University and another MA (Educational Leadership) from Concordia University.
After a career in technology leadership, I have devoted my time to helping non-profit organizations navigate the startup phase and thrive. It has been particularly rewarding to successfully guide this board of passionate and committed individuals through the startup maze and well beyond.
My name is Beth Faillo. I am proud to be the mother of three adult children. Our daughter is 30 years old with Down Syndrome. Over the years, I’ve volunteered for various charity organizations. When I attended the forum for Project ALEX, I was enlightened. There is an overwhelming need to develop communities for the adults with special needs. It’s been a privilege to serve on the board.
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision” - Helen Keller
My name is Dan Faillo. I am proud to be the father of three adult children. We have a daughter that was born with Down Syndrome.
For 28 years I served on the board for a Chicago Chapter for the City of Hope. I have been involved with CIF (Center for Independent Futures-Schaumburg), and have volunteered for various charities. When we attended the forum for Project ALEX I was intrigued by the unique approach for housing for young adults with special needs. The concept was different from anything offered in this area and by all means needed.
“Where there is no vision, there is no Hope” - George Washington Carver
My name is Kay Pittelko. My experience with young adults with disabilities includes working for 3 School Districts as a Transition Services Job Coach. Also, I am the mom of a 31 year daughter with Down syndrome. For much of my adult life, I have worked tirelessly as an advocate for people with all types of disabilities!
There is such a strong need for a semi-independent living community in our area. I hope you will join us in making this vision a reality!