Meet The Team
Quentin Mables – Co-Executive Director
Quentin Mables grew up in the Englewood community and graduated from Harper High School. In 2013, Quentin met I Grow Chicago founder Robbin Carroll when she was passing out Subway sandwiches on the street corner and sharing her ideas for a Peace House in West Englewood. Quentin was one of the first people to stand up and commit to taking back his community, and he immediately began cleaning up trash from the street. Quentin has continued to demonstrate his dedication to positively transforming the lives of his friends and neighbors ever since.Certified in Yoga for Youth, Quentin has worked with IGC for the past three years as Assistant Executive Director and children’s yoga teacher. Quentin now serves as IGC’s Co-Executive Director since August 2016. His leadership in the Englewood community through IGC has been covered in news outlets including CNN and the Chicago Tribune. In 2017, Quentin was featured in Crain’s Magazine “20 in their 20s.”
Erin Vogel – Co-Executive Director
Erin Vogel graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 with degrees in Criminology, Law, and Justice and Sociology. Before joining the I Grow Chicago team in April 2016, Erin worked in the real estate industry, where she developed her administrative skills and passion for community-centered urban development. As Co-Executive Director, Erin is now leading I Grow Chicago in its next phase of growth, purchasing and transforming more abandoned homes and empty lots into positive community spaces. In April 2017, Erin will be completing her 200-hour teaching certification in yoga and mindfulness, better enabling her to serve the Englewood community through all pillars of I Grow Chicago’s holistic engagement model. With a commitment to social justice and desire to make her city a more peaceful, equitable place, Erin is dedicated to nurturing relationships with the Englewood community to create long-lasting social change.
Zelda Mayer – Director of Development
Zelda Mayer received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a specialization in urban development and social work from the University of Chicago. Zelda is also a yoga teacher with trainings from Street Yoga and Yoga for Recovery, and she is currently receiving her 1,000-hour certification in yoga therapy accredited through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). In October 2016, she became the Director of Development for I Grow Chicago. Combining her knowledge of mindfulness and trauma with her background in research and nonprofit management, Zelda works to foster community prosperity and organizational sustainability.
Karen Clark – Family and Child Wellness Coordinator
A native of Chicago and an Englewood resident, Karen is currently pursuing an Associate degree in Social Work at Kennedy King College. With 6 children, 18 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, and 24 years of marriage, Karen has a passion for spreading family wellness and helping children fulfill their potential. She has volunteered at Parker Community Academy for the past 14 years as a parent advocate on the Parent Advisory Council and recently became a Local School Council member. For the past 12 years, she has facilitated parent workshops and support groups, including with the Black Parenting with Respect, Order, Understanding, and Discipline (BE-PROUD) curriculum. At I Grow Chicago’s Peace House, Karen oversees case management for children and families.
Kenneth Holmes – Master Gardener
Kenneth Holmes has pioneered the expansion of I Grow Chicago’s Peace Garden, building hoop houses and creating our Medicine Wheel. Ken received his high school diploma from Harper High School and his urban farming training from Growing Home, a USDA-certified organic farm. He has also worked as an herb packer for Goodness Greeness, where he prepared organic herbs for distribution. With more than four years of experience in warehouse operations, farming, and food distribution, Ken is helping I Grow feed and nurture our community.
Joseph Williams – Life After School and Summer of Hope Manager
Joseph Williams is an active community advocate and dedicated husband and father to five children. Growing up in an underprivileged family without positive male role models, he was pulled into street life and eventually incarcerated as a young man. These life experiences motivated Joseph to examine his life purpose, and he now dedicates his time to ensuring children have more positive role models and opportunities to succeed than he did. Joseph earned an associate’s degree in Political Science from Chicago State University and continues his education at Eastern Illinois University towards a Bachelor’s degree in political science. Before joining I Grow Chicago, Joseph volunteered for the Kim Foxx State Attorney campaign, participated in grassroots organizing in multiple states for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, and founded the nonprofit organization Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club to promote young men’s engagement in their families and communities. As the current vice chair of the local school council at Beasley Academic Center, Joseph volunteers his time to improve his neighborhood and the educational system. Joseph now serves as a Community Organizer for I Grow Chicago, promoting the positive messages of the Peace House and providing on-the-ground mentorship to children and adults alike.
Board of Directors
Robbin Carroll, Founder and President
With a degree in biochemistry from UCLA, Robbin Carroll aims to combine her knowledge of the body’s response mechanisms to stress with collaborative community engagement in order to foster hope and healing in Chicago. Before starting I Grow Chicago, Robbin ran her own business for 35 years. After completing her yoga teacher certification, Robbin became interested in how the body moves to heal trauma. She has trained with Street Yoga in Seattle, YogaKids in Connecticut, Radiant Child Yoga in New York, Brain Gym in California, and the Justice Center in Boston, MA. In 2012, Robbin began her work in Englewood as a volunteer yoga teacher for children at the Montessori School of Englewood. Through yoga and mindfulness practice, her intention was to provide children with some relief from the stress and trauma caused by continued exposure to violence. It became evident, however, that much of the stress and challenges experienced by the children occurred outside the school’s walls. In 2013, Carroll expanded her efforts by purchasing an abandoned home in Englewood and officially incorporated I Grow Chicago to address the root causes of trauma in Englewood. Through I Grow Chicago’s Peace House, Robbin works to integrate the practices of restorative justice, artistic expression, mindful movement, and economic development to create a new model of social change.
Jim Bolin – Senior Vice President, Merrill Lynch
Karampal Kaur – Director, Sat Nam Yoga Chicago
Robert Cooper – President and COO, White Eagle Corporation
Vanessa Mussatto – Riverview Veterinary Clinic, Plainfield, Illinois
Shiva Singh Khalsa – Director, Spirit Rising Yoga
Dr. Eugene Lipov – Illinois Masonic Medical Center and Medical Director, Advanced Pain Centers