Current Board Members and Bios

Andrew Chemers, President:  I moved into the neighborhood the summer of 2013; first to a house in the 300 block of North Raynor Avenue and then to the 500 block of Cornelia Street. Originally from Frankfort, I moved to the Cathedral Area knowing only I wanted a unique, historical home in a walkable neighborhood. I became involved in CAPA because I wanted to contribute to my neighborhood. I have worked as an operator/arborist for Homer Tree Care since 2015. Of note, one thing I appreciate about this neighborhood is the tree diversity. Seriously, I didn’t notice it at first either. Take a look next time you’re out and about. I am an avid skier and car enthusiast. On nice weekends you can find me on my motorcycle or letting kids know to stay off my grass.

Quinn Adamowski, Past President

Ben Fox, Vice President:  Ben Fox has been on the CAPA Board for the past 3 years and has served as the scholarship and grants chairperson since the beginning of 2020. He has also been a member of the CAPA Beerwalk committee since its inception in 2017. Ben has lived in the Cathedral Area since 2016 and is a lifelong resident of Joliet. Professionally Ben is a civil engineer. He enjoys spending time his wife, kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats.

JoAnn Potenziani, Secretary

Catherine Y. Adamowski, Treasurer

Barb Leiber, At-Large for Membership:  Barb Leiber has lived most of her life in the Plainfield/Joliet area. She grew up in Plainfield, attended the College of St. Francis and George Williams College in Downers Grove. Except for 20 years in the Downers Grove/Lisle area, Joliet has been her home as an adult. She and her husband moved back into the cathedral area in 2007. She is retired from a career in the mental health field having served as a professional counselor, administrator, and graduate school Instructor. She has been a member of the CAPA Board since 2017.

Barry McCue, At-Large for Zoning:   Barry McCue, moved into the Joliet area in 2007.  He grew up in Hawaii, attended Marquette University and graduated as an Engineer.  After graduation he moved to Illinois and worked for Commonwealth Edison/Exelon.  After retiring, he worked as a consulting engineer with Sargent and Lundy Engineers in the Nuclear Power Divisions.  He has been on the CAPA board since 2017 and is currently the point person for Zoning.

Joy Alwan, At-Large:   BS Chem 75 (IU)   MBA 87 (GSU)   JD 91 (IIT Chicago Kent)  I’ve spent most of my life getting an education. I supported myself by working in a steel mill while getting an undergraduate degree in chemistry. Using that degree, I was able to get a position in IITRI’s analytical research group. From there I moved to an EPA contractor as Chief Organic Chemist for the American sector of the International Water Monitoring Project. It wasn’t as impressive as it sounds. I spent my time analyzing fish fat and mud for pesticides and other organic toxins.  When my employer lost the EPA contract, I was forced to decide whether to get a PhD to prove I could do the work I had been doing or go in a new direction. I took an engineering position with an electrical utility and went to work on an MBA. Lucky for me, GSU was offering a MBA program loaded with accounting, finance, and economic classes as I’m more comfortable with numbers than people.  By now I was in my early 40s, midlife crisis time. I decided to go to law school. When I was in grade school, I wanted to be a lawyer, live in Chicago with a Great Dane. I have managed to live the dream, just not all at the same time. After law school, I went to work for the USDOE at ANL. Not wanting a commute on I-55 as it was undergoing construction, I moved to Joliet. I found the Cathedral neighborhood and fell in love. Here I am.

Don Ciesielski, At-Large: I had my first experience with an older home in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  At that time, I wandered into an unknown world for sure. How do I take care of a home from the 1870’s?  You learn, I learned.  A couple of decades later, now,  when we thought we would move out of Chicago to the “burbs”, we happened upon a vacant home on Western Ave that looked like a dream house.  It just felt right. Not right.  Perfect. Shortly after, when the opportunity came up to join the CAPA board, I felt I had to.  Being a part of a similar board back in Allentown(OAPA) was a great experience.  I only hope to contribute to this great group of people. I love this neighborhood and the people I have met thus far. The community of this neighborhood is hard to dismiss.

Penny Curran, At-Large: Teacher. Bookkeeper. Environmental Coordinator. Speaks French. Past President, Vice President, Treasurer And recording Secretary of several homeowners associations and PTAS.

Ann Duval, At-Large

Diane Harris, At-Large:  My name is Diane M. Harris and I’ve lived in the CAPA neighborhood for 21 years. I have enjoyed being on the CAPA Board from the time I made the very first changes on our CAPA website, to heading the garage sales, acting as a Zone and Block Captain, heading the Streetscape Grant, serving as Vice President, planning our Annual Spring Meetings and now, again, being an at-large Board Member. I attended Joliet Public Schools and Joliet Township High School Central Campus. I am a graduate of JJC, AA in Liberal Arts and BA of Science in Management from the University of Phoenix. I worked in Accounting at City Hall for 5 years and retired from ComEd as a Liability Representative after 32 years. Currently, I am a Licensed Insurance Agent and the owner of It is Amazing Boutique Downtown Joliet. As a Joliet Public Library Trustee, I enjoy having information at my fingertips just as I enjoy meeting people and problem solving with others on the many boards and member organizations in which I serve. However, there’s nothing more satisfying than coming home to my family and two dogs. Nothing beats the tree-lined streets, waking up to tranquil moments in the early summer mornings and the site of beautiful older homes throughout the neighborhood of the CAPA District. That’s who I am.

John Kella, At-Large

Elaine Bottomley, At-Large:  Elaine is a lifelong Joliet resident and grew up in the Cathedral Area on the 800 block of Buell. In 2017 she bought her first home on Cornelia less than a mile away from her childhood home. Elaine studied urban planning at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois Chicago. She now works primarily in transportation planning. Elaine can regularly be seen running or biking throughout the Cathedral Area.

Doug Hren, At-Large:  I moved to Joliet after graduating college in 2001, and ultimately fell in love with the area and ended up buying a small bungalow in Cunningham neighborhood.  In 2016, I relocated down to the Springfield, MO area for work, but held on to my house in Joliet.  It was a good thing, because a “change in management direction” sent me back to IL.  At that time, I was just married, and I took my wife around the area to show her around.  She fell in love with the homes in the Upper Bluff District.  About a year and half later we purchased a house in the 400 block of Western Ave.  We hope to restore the house to its former glory and raise our family there.  In my paid time, I am a Controller for a manufacturer in South Suburbs.  In my free time, I serve on the Board of Directors for Joliet Area Historical Museum (JAHM), I help lead and coordinate the volunteers who are helping to preserve the Old Joliet Prison, go on walks with our Standard Poodle, Bella, throughout the neighborhood, and I love cycling!  Joliet, in my opinion, has the best cycling trails in the Chicago area.  I am excited to join the CAPA Board and look forward to adding my point of view and contribute to maintaining historical charm of the neighborhood.


Robert McMorris, At-Large