Board of Directors

The people who formed Let it Be Us have a lot in common.

They are talented experts in foster care, guardianship, adoption, recruiting, marketing, media, public relations, education, and fundraising.  They are parents, foster parents, and adoptive parents.  They are an advocacy group for the adoption of foster children because they believe that every child deserves to have permanent, committed parents who will love them throughout their lives.

While Let it Be Us works in Illinois, their work is a scalable model to follow.


Susan Stoga

Vice Chair

Susan Stoga serves as the Vice Chair on the Let It Be Us board of directors. She brings more than 25 years of experience in brand marketing and communications to the organization as the principal and co-founder of Carson Stoga Communications. She is an award-winning communication and media relations strategist, a frequent speaker, and a resource on crisis communication.

The adoptive mother of two, Stoga has spent two decades as a child welfare and open adoption advocate. Stoga is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s school of journalism.


Kerry Miller


Kerry Miller serves as Treasurer for the Let It Be Us board of directors. She provides detailed expertise in 501(c)(3) financial reporting and communications.

Before retiring, Miller was the bulletin editor for Saint Anne Church for many years.  She and her family were actively involved in Safe Families for Children. She was also involved with FISH (For I Shall Help) and other various programs through Saint Anne. Miller previously worked as Treasurer of the Athletic Board and Home & School Association at Saint Anne School. She is a graduate of Marquette University.


Elizabeth Felice


Elizabeth Felice serves as the Secretary of the Let It Be Us board of directors. She brings a wide variety of educational skills to Let It Be Us through her work as a high school English teacher, reading specialist, tutor, and coach. 

As an educator, Felice works closely with students who have a variety of learning challenges. She is dedicated to providing the unconditional acceptance and support all children need to learn and succeed. She is also a credentialed special services staff and has extensive experience with Individualized Education Plans. Felice received her bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and her master’s degree from Concordia University.

Larry Butz

Board Member

Larry Butz brings over 35 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience to his position on the Let It Be Us board of directors. Butz is co-owner and founder of OEO Energy Solutions, a national leader in the LED industry. He also serves as the firm’s general manager.

Butz’s prior work includes co-founding Daybreak Special Situations Fund and serving as a Portfolio Manager at Nite Capital. Butz is a graduate of Purdue University’s Industrial Management program. Butz and his wife Mary Jo, are the founders of the Megan Patricia Butz Memorial Fund which supports the work of Let It Be Us. 

Debra Dyer-Webster

Board Member

Debra Dyer-Webster brings 30 years of child welfare experience to the Let It Be Us board. She has served in a variety of positions within the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, led the Illinois Family First Prevention Service Act implementation and served as the Manage Care Implementation lead for the Illinois Child Welfare system. Additionally, she collaborated on drafting and editing portions of the “Guide to Education for Children and Youth in DCFS”. 

Previously, Dyer-Webster was the chair of the Institutional Review Board of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services from 2014 to 2017. She was also the Co-Chair of the State of Illinois’ Child Welfare Employee Licensure Board from 2015 to 2017. Dyer-Webster was appointed by State representative Annazette Collins, to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Administration/Organization Transition Team in 2007. 

Dyer-Webster holds a juris doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law, a master’s in social work from the University of Chicago, a master’s in education and a bachelor’s in social science, both from Jackson State University.

Mark Haye

Board Member

Mark Haye brings 20 years of employee benefits consulting to the Let It Be Us board. Haye also serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships at Remedy Analytics, a medical prescription consulting firm. 

Haye’s career experience includes employee benefits consulting and business development for a variety of leading firms. Haye graduated from New York University Stern School of Business with a bachelor’s degree.

Douglas Locke

Board Member

Douglas Locke has been a part of the Let It Be Us board since 2015. As a board member, he works with at-risk youth who are aging out of the foster care system.

Prior to joining the Let It Be Us board, Locke worked with behaviorally challenged special education students as a principal at an alternative high school for severely emotionally and behaviorally disabled students. Additionally, Locke served as a member and President of the Milton Township Committee on Youth, as a member of the DuPage County Gang Taskforce and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in McHenry County.

Tina Peterson

Board Member

Tina Peterson has decades of experience within the adoption and foster care communities. In addition to serving on the Let It Be Us board, she is the lead administrator for the Illinois Foster Parent Support Group on Facebook, which serves families throughout the state. There, she moderates posts, hosts forums and answers questions from new foster parents.

Peterson has been a foster parent for over 10 years and is also an adoptive parent. Peterson works for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Peter Schwarzbach

Board Member

Peter Schwarzbach joined the Let It Be Us board with more than 20 years of business operations, management and marketing experience as the owner of Vin Chicago, a chain of wine stores in the Chicago area. Schwarzbach currently leads the organization’s strategy committee, tasked with developing plans to support the organization’s mission of permanency for all children in Illinois foster care.

Schwarzbach holds a masters of business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Rick Smith

Rick Smith

Board Member

Rick Smith is chair of the Let It Be Us finance committee, a position which reflects his experience in finance, operations, and product development. Professionally, he is recently retired from his role as a vice president at Allstate, where he spent more than 30 years.

Smith is a graduate of the University of Dallas, where he received a master’s degree in corporate finance and a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University.

Eileen Turkot

Board Member

Eileen Turkot is currently the Latin America Regional Leader for RSM International, driving the execution of a unified global strategy across 20 countries within the Latin American region. She is also a licensed foster parent with a passion for raising awareness of foster care and the needs of families with children in care. She is specifically interested in assisting the Hispanic and Latino communities. Fluent in Spanish, her mission is to increase the number of licensed Spanish-speaking foster homes.

Turkot holds a degree in International Studies and Spanish from Butler University and a postgraduate diploma in International Management from the University of Liverpool.

Brandon Verwijst

Board Member

Brandon Verwijst brings his 10 years of experience in biomedical engineering to the Let It Be Us Board and as a mentor since 2015. He is currently the Director of Engineering at Quadrant Technologies where he oversees the development and manufacture of medical devices. 

Verwijst also has experience as a teacher and mentor to children and young adults. He has worked with children as an ACT tutor, teaching guitar at Craven Academy of Performing Arts and coaching at Chess2Children. Verwijst’s mission is to teach children lessons that are not bound by classroom walls. 

Verwijst holds a degree in biomedical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Advisory Board

Peter Yankala
Philips Menswear

Elizabeth Sherman, PsyD

Nadiya Ali

Bob Lee
Barrington Area Development Council

Connie Going
Adoption Advocacy Center

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