Chicago Chapter
Board of Directors


Charles Goetze President
Charles Goetze is the President of the Board of Joyful Again. He has been affiliated with the organization for the past 6 years originally as a weekend participant and then as a weekend Facilitor, Steering Committee Member and finally as a Board Member.

Mr. Goetze’s primary occupation during his career was in the Commercial Real Estate Industry as a Real Estate Lending Officer with various lending institutions including Freddie Mac, Bank of America, Harris Bank and HAS Capital. He was a senior level executive with broad based nationwide experience in the primary and secondary markets for residential, multifamily and commercial mortgage origination, purchases, marketing, sales, operations and risk management.

Mr. Goetze’s previous experience has been advantageous to Joyful Again for development of policies and procedures along with the development of job descriptions and fund raising for the organization.

Vice President (open)

Charlotte Hrubes Board Member Retired Director
I came to Joyful Again! in 1984 at its inception. When my dad died suddenly, my mom was already terminally ill. After she died, I was drawn to minister to others as I worked through my own grief.At the time I was working with the Beginning Experience program for separated/divorced and widowed. As an Associate Member of the CSJ's of LaGrange (Sisters of St. Joseph), I chose ministry to the widowed. I find it very rewarding spiritually to be of service to others.In 1984 several of the widowed volunteers decided that they needed a program for only widowed persons. They asked me if I would join them and Fr. Laz in designing such a program. I became involved in editing Fr. Laz’s script (compiled from material, written by approximately 30 widowed people he had been working with). I was also involved in directing and producing the first set of videos.

Recently I also directed and produced the most recent videos. I have also been involved in updating the antiquated website. We now have an attractive format that is easy for viewers to use.

For relaxation I garden, play Scrabble and am an avid reader. Being a part of Joyful Again! keeps me in touch with others and keeps me active. Around here the catch phrase among the volunteers is: "Watch out for Charlotte's web!"

JA! Positions held:

  • Director Emeritus
  • Director for 34 yrs.
  • Director of Finance
  • Office Manager
  • Volunteer Director


  • Married 57 years to Tony Hrubes, Sr.
  • Son, Tony Hrubes Jr, Karen Hrubes Flom
  • De Paul University, MBA
  • St. Francis Xavier, La Grange Parishoner 44 years

Chester Kiernicki Board Member IT Administrator
A lifelong Chicago area native, I have worked in Information Technology business almost 50 years. Problem solving, solution finding and working with people is second nature to me. I started my own consulting firm with my wife and still run it today.  I enjoy metal detecting and lapidary as hobbies. When my wife of 31 years passed away suddenly, I was devastated and the joy of life was reduced greatly. I struggled with the loss and grief. Friends persuaded me to seek help and through God's grace, I was able to find joy in life again.

As a board member of Joyful Again, I have found a way of helping other widows and widowers through a unique caring ministry that helps show that it's ok to be joyful again in life. I am passionate about helping others struggling with grief, donating my time and experience in growing a unique and caring ministry.

Sheila Madiar Board Member
Married for 41 years to Bruce, a Mom of three sons and four grandchildren, my husband died unexpectedly, September, 2011. I was devastated, we were making plans to move to Michigan after his retirement and traveling. I retired from Bank of America Securities in 2008 after a career as a VP and a Debt Technology Business manager.

When Bruce died so suddenly, I was lost, my world came crashing down around me and I needed help! I wanted to hide away from everyone, I didn't understand why this had happened to me and my family. I asked myself, what is the point of even trying to move forward, I really didn't care but I pushed myself and attended a weekly Grief Support group for one year.

After a year of group counseling, I decided I needed more help to move forward. On the events table was a flyer for Joyful Again! I attended a Joyful Again! weekend and there I learned to forgive myself and others. It gave permission to let go of my bitterness and anger.  I learned with time that I could be happy again and build a new life for myself. My Joyful Again! weekend, made such an impact on my life that I volunteered and  trained to be a JA! Facilitator in 2012. At present, I volunteer to be a Facilitator, a member of the Steering Committee and a Board member.

Being a Joyful Again Volunteer for the past six years has helped me move forward and shape my new life. I have new friends and acquaintances through my work at Joyful Again!  I sold the family home last year and moved to a 55 and over community. My life now is as good as it can get without Bruce. I spend my time with my family, friends. volunteering and traveling.

Rose Wilkes Board Secretary
Born a twin to my brother, and raised on farms in Wisconsin’s Madison area, I “immigrated” to Illinois a bit over 40 years ago. During my college years, my history professor told me she thought I’d have a future in Communications. Sure enough, after teaching in Catholic schools for several years, I moved up the ladder in a telecommunications conferencing company. I was blessed to have my husband’s loving friendship for 15 years, until he had to leave me for eternal life 21 years ago. One of my dear friends, Millie Hartney, gave encouragement to my sad heart by giving me a Joyful Again! brochure, and suggested I participate in the near future. Before that, missing Gerald so much, I found not only grief assistance, but lasting friends in the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital grief support group. My Joyful Again! weekend really helped to set some goals for my future life without my husband, as well as gave me some tools to help me rebuild my life. Shortly after, I began volunteering for Joyful Again! first as a facilitator, and later as a coordinator. It’s exciting to see people and how they often change from Saturday morning sadness to Sunday afternoon joy. My gardening passion has sprung into a little business helping others with various garden chores. I’m truly joyful again, enjoying some travel and living my mission in life, which is to help bring groups of people together to enjoy good food and each other’s company. Being an “official” secretary for JA helps keep the skills I learned in the business world in sharp focus.

Jo Ellen Taylor Board Member

Mary Mctigue Board Member

Angelica Pantoja Board Member