Simone Wilson-Pace, Program Coordinator
Ms. Pace has more than 20 years of experience in the field of Social Work as a practitioner, educator, speaker and panelist. She has created processes, assessment techniques and curriculum utilizing her training to promote the well being of teens, their families and other individuals within under-served and underprivileged communities. Pace has worked within the Chicago Public School system and the Cook County jail system, and her experience in culturally diverse and multidisciplinary environments has allowed her to witness the negative impact that a lack of mental health and social services has on inner city urban communities. As Program Coordinator at LifeHouse Group, Pace is responsible for the overall design of the program and implementation of services for residents. Pace holds an undergraduate degree and master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Governors State University, and she is currently completing her Doctorate in Higher Education specialization Educator Trauma at Aurora University.
Reeci Brunson, Case Manager
In her role as Case Manager, Ms. Brunson participates in the intake process for each resident, assisting with the initial assessment of risk and needs that makes the LifeHouse Group program unique. She helps LifeHouse residents collect key documents, pursue appropriate educational and job training programs, schedule necessary medical appointments and treatment programs, and she works closely with family contacts. Brunson, a native of Illinois, attended Homewood Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, IL, Paul Quinn College in Dallas, TX, and spent more than 25 years working in the travel industry. Brunson earned a certificate in Theology from Mirror of Life in 2017, and she uses her experience to counsel residents on spirituality and other aspects of their re-entry to their communities.
Cynthia Merritt, Executive Administrator
Serving as Executive Administrator for LifeHouse Group, Ms. Merritt has more than 10 years of experience working with a number of not-for-profit organizations, and her ability to perform her administrative duties with a strong emphasis on honesty, emotional support and empathy makes her an invaluable asset to the company. In her role at LifeHouse Group, Merritt is responsible for the company’s managerial and organizational activities, including staffing and payroll, resident and employee contracts, and purchasing. Cynthia has spent many hours volunteering and assisting those in need, targeting the communities in which she lives. In her most recent position before joining LifeHouse Group, Cynthia worked as an Executive Assistant for Pro Players Inc., focusing on a collaboration between the company, Shaback Ministries and the Stephen Pierce Foundation to provide housing and other basic necessities to lower income and homeless populations in California. In 2020, Merritt moved back to Illinois to bring her talents to LifeHouse Group. Merritt is a U.S. Navy veteran, a graduate of the University of Phoenix with a BS in Business Management, and she is working on her M.A.T. in Special Education at Liberty University.
Michael Piontek, Shift Captain Supervisor
In his role as Shift Captain Supervisor, Piontek manages the company’s shift captains daily tasks, security, transportation as they ensure that the day-to-day operations of LifeHouse Group run smoothly and in accordance with the facility’s rules and regulations. Mike Piontek and his team act as a liaison between the residents and senior management in instances where issues need to be resolved. Mike Piontek joined LifeHouse Group after a successful 14-year career in business management and franchise ownership, and he enjoys using his skills in human relations and problem solving in his role at the company.