Board of Directors

President – Bob Harig

Bob Harig

Bob is a practicing attorney with over 20 years of experience. Growing up on the Northwest Side of Chicago he is no stranger to Catholic education–he graduated from Immaculate Conception Grade School, Saint Patrick High School and the University of Notre Dame. He is married to Lelia Harig and together they are the parents of five children, the youngest of whom has cerebral palsy. They founded Fire Foundation of Greater Chicago so that children with special needs can have the opportunity to attend Catholic schools, be educated in their faith, and receive the spiritual, academic and social benefits that only a Catholic education can provide.






Vice President – Lelia Harig

Lelia Harig

Lelia and her husband, Bob have five children, and their youngest has special needs. For many years, Lelia was a stay-at-home mom and home schooled their daughter for lack of a better solution for her education. Lelia currently works in the business office of a Catholic elementary school. She and Bob struggled to find a Catholic school for their daughter and that experience inspired the family to found FIRE Foundation of Greater Chicago.






Vice President – Darlene Duggan

Darlene Duggan

Darlene attended The University of Chicago and holds a Masters of Public Health degree in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. She is currently working in leadership for an animal welfare organization in Chicago. After researching education options for her family, Darlene found the FIRE Foundation and was eagerly ready to be a part of the team, hoping that one day, her youngest daughter could be included in a Catholic school. She is married to Ryan, and together they are parents to three delightful daughters and a much loved dog and cat.






Treasurer – Tom Petros

Tom Petros

Tom grew up on the north side of Chicago where he still lives today. He worked in the brokerage industry for over 30 years while he and his wife raised five children all who received a Catholic education. Tom believes Catholic education sets a solid foundation for life and all children should have access to this opportunity and that is why he joined the board of the Fire Foundation of Greater Chicago.








Secretary – Sharon Kestler

Sharon Kestler









Board Members
Ryan Duggan

Ryan Duggan

Ryan is a graduate of The university of Chicago and is an Immuno-Oncology Research Scientist working for a large pharmaceutical company. Ryan and Darlene’s youngest daughter was unable to attend the same Catholic school as her older sisters, and as a result, he began looking for other educational options for her. In doing so, Ryan found the FIRE Foundation and believes this organization will encourage the inclusion of a variety of learners into our Catholic schools.






Kate McConnell

Kate McConnell

Kate is currently serving as the Director of Inclusive Education with the Archdiocese of Chicago. She is eager to use her experience to be a liaison between families looking for Catholic school opportunities and the FIRE Foundation support of Catholic schools.







Advisory Board
Dr. Michael J. Boyle,
Director, Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education

Rev. Francis J. Hoffman
Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio

John Kestler
Headmaster Emeritus of Northridge Prep

Marines Hesslau

Martha Jonkhans

Craig Martin