Senior Leadership Team
Interim President & Chief Executive Officer
Karma Israelsen became Howard Brown Health Center's (HBHC) interim president and CEO on August 31, 2012. A strong HBHC supporter and leader, she served on the organization's Leadership Council in November 2009, became a board member in August 2010, and elected board chair in January 2011. As board chair, Karma worked closely with the senior leadership team to ensure the on-going success and viability of the organization. Passionate about the mission of the organization, Karma is committed to ensuring that HBHC's patients and clients receive the most compassionate and competent care possible.
Most recently, Karma was the Vice President of Regulatory Operations and Compliance for Career Education Corporation (CEC). In her role at CEC, she was responsible for the management of a national team of regulatory specialists, and provided direct oversight of regulatory operations for the Culinary and Art and Design business units. She was a trusted business partner and provided sound guidance and operational support to business leaders.
Prior to joining Career Education Corporation in January 2003, Karma spent several years in the hospitality industry, she was responsible for coordinating operations for the International Olympic Committee and NBC during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also coordinated and managed operations support for the Sundance Film Festival, National Basketball Association, and for the Office of the President of the United States.
Karma is passionate about social responsibility, and continues to volunteer at several organizations including, but not limited to, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where she serves as a committee member for the Grand Chef's Gala. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Harrington College of Design.
Magda Houlberg, MD
Senior Vice President, Health Center Operations
Magda joined Howard Brown in 2008 as its Director of Geriatric Medicine and became Chief Clinical Officer in 2011. Her medical practice focus includes LGBT aging, HIV medicine, health promotion and interdisciplinary medical care for populations at risk. Magda has been the driving force behind the expansion of Howard Brown’s medical and social services for older LGBT adults, especially those aging with HIV. In particular, Magda has served as a medical provider and core staff member for the Chicago Elder Services Community Initiative, a collaborative project between Howard Brown, Rush University Medical Center, CJE-Senior Life, Heartland Alliance and Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center. As part of an interdisciplinary team, Magda provides medical care to LGBT older adults, training to local healthcare and social service providers to improve their competencies in working with LGBT seniors, and where appropriate, in-home care. An Internal Medicine Physician and Geriatrician, Magda graduated from Antioch College with a major in Biology. In 2004, she graduated from Rush University Medical College and went on to complete a residency there in Internal medicine. She has completed a Fellowship in geriatric medicine and served as an assistant Professor in the geriatric medicine section at Rush University Medical Center.
Michael McFadden, LCSW
Vice President, Clincial Services
Michael McFadden, a licensed clinical social worker, has extensive direct service and management experience within the HIV/AIDS and health care sectors. He began at Howard Brown Health Center in 2005, providing care to individuals impacted with HIV. Later, as Director of Social Services, Michael provided clinical supervision, program development, and grant management for the case management and direct care programs throughout the agency. In his current role as Vice President of Clinical Services, Michael works to integrate our medical, behavioral health and social services to provide holistic and patient-centered care to our diverse community.
Michael obtained his master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago where he focused on Mental Health and the LGBTQ community. He has completed a 40-hour Certification in Domestic Violence Training and earned a certificate in Public Health through AFC/DePaul University’s School of Public Health. Additionally, Michael completed a 56-hour certificate in Advanced Training in Clinical and Organizational Approaches to LGBTQ Mental Health through Live Oak Chicago.
Michael serves as co-chair of the Governance Committee to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s Service Provider Council. He is a long-time volunteer crisis worker with the Anti-Violence Project's 24-Hour Crisis Line for GLBTQ victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, discrimination, hate crimes and police misconduct. Michael co-facilitated both Newly Diagnosed HIV+ Support Groups as well as Gay Men’s Therapy Groups for survivors of Intimate Partner Violence. He serves as a bilingual HRT Advocate through HBHC’s THInC Protocol, providing information and advocacy for individuals looking to access gender-affirming hormones. In 2007, Michael was a recipient of a Windy City Times “30 Under 30” Award.
Lowell B. Raven, C.P.A.
Controller and Senior Director, Accounting and Finance
Lowell B. Raven has been a Certified Public Accountant for more than 23 years. His professional experience spans six years in public accounting—2 ½ of which were spent as a manager overseeing not-for-profit audit engagements—and nineteen years in private industry. For 16 years, Lowell served as a Controller of a very large not-for-profit social service agency and as a Controller within the United Way system. He subsequently served 3 ½ years as the Vice-President of Finance and Administration and C.F.O. for a social service agency. With nearly 22 years serving not-for-profits, Lowell has developed expertise in this industry to resolve both common and unique issues. He is very experienced in internal financial reporting, including the preparation of financial statements and Form 990, budgeting/trend analysis, consolidations, expense allocations and agency reorganization to increase operational efficiencies, improving internal processes and reducing excess costs. He is also experienced with OMB Circular A-133 requirements, consolidated financial reports and other grant reporting requirements. Lowell earned a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Iowa and is a member of the American Institute of C.P.A.’s. He is also a member of the Illinois C.P.A. Society and has served on the Society’s Not-For-Profit (NFP) Committee for nearly six years including their NFP Conference Task Force.
Vice President, Shared Services
Chandler Howell first joined Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) as a consultant helping with Information Technology (IT) transition in August, 2012. Chandler's background in IT spans the field, including Operations, Architecture & Strategy, Security, Compliance and Risk Management. Prior to joining HBHC, he led the Information Security and Compliance team at WMS Gaming and the IT Risk Management team at Baxter Healthcare. Chandler's first non-profit role was as IT Manager for the Austin Lyric Opera in 1993-1994. Since then, he has been a long-time supporter of both local non-profits like Boundless Readers and HBHC as well as national organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Senior Director, Development
Barbara Tieder joined Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) in March 2013 as the Senior Director of Development. In her role as Director, Barb is responsible for the management of all aspects of a comprehensive development program including individual giving, community, foundation and governmental support.
Prior to joining HBHC, Barb served as the Director of Development and Communications for Amandla Charter School, a middle/high school serving the Englewood Community. In her role as Director, Barb was responsible for all internal and external communications, donor relations, grants managements, special events management and community relations. Barb as also served as the Director of Communications and External Affairs for Chicago Family Health Center. The federally funded FQHC, located in the South Chicago, Pullman, Roseland, East Side, and Chicago Lawn communities, provides access to primary healthcare for underinsured and uninsured patients. In the past, Barb served as Director of Development with a domestic violence agency in the south suburbs as well as the Executive Director for Special Children’s Charities. Barb started her non-profit career in various departments including government relations, marketing and logistics at Feeding America.
Barb is also currently serving as the Senior Vice President for the Membership Counsel of the Board of Directors of Chicago’s Chapter of AFP. During her tenure as a board member for AFP Chicago, Barb has co-chaired the Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon and has served as an instructor for the “First Course in Fundraising”. Barb has also served as board chair for the South Chicago YMCA and as a board member for several non-profit organizations.
Major Gifts Officer
Willard Dumas, III grew up in New Orleans, in a home where community service and philanthropy was a way of life. Early in his career, Mr. Dumas decided to follow that path, nurturing his own passion and talent for fundraising and development. He is currently Senior Director of Development Howard Brown Health Center. Prior to joining Howard Brown Health Center, Mr. Dumas served as National Major Gift Officer at Lambda Legal where he successfully managed individual and corporate fundraising in the Midwest region, Southern California, and Dallas, Texas. Prior to Lambda Legal, he had served as Major Gift Officer, then Interim Director of Development at Howard Brown Health Center. Before that, Mr. Dumas was recruited as the first Development Director for the About Face Theater. In that role, Mr. Dumas increased the donor base, donations, and corporate sponsorships, and managed the theater's major annual fundraising event. He also created a giving society as a vehicle to recognize and strengthen relationships with major donors. Mr. Dumas began his professional career in fundraising as Intake Director with the Roger Baldwin Foundation of Illinois. In addition to professional roles in development, Mr. Dumas serves in volunteer positions on the Board of Directors of Health and Disability Advocates, and on the Board of Directors of the National Public Housing Museum. He is also an active member of the Audience Development and Diversity Committee for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.Mr. Dumas earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Boston College Law School, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Washington and Lee University. He attended the University of Chicago's PhD program in Colonial Portuguese History. During that time, he also moved to Lisbon, Portugal to study the Portuguese language.
Senior Director, Retail Operations
Bill Joure became Senior Director of Retail Operations in April of 2012, overseeing the efforts of Howard Brown Health Center’s Brown Elephant stores. Bill has over 20 years of retail management experience, working in a department store environment, as well as managing large volume, flagship retail locations for Eddie Bauer and Pottery Barn in Chicago. At Eddie Bauer, Bill also served as the market recruiter for the Chicago. His experience in managing furniture, accessories and apparel reflects well on managing the complexity of large format resale stores. Prior to coming to HBHC, Bill served as a Showroom Manager for Kohler Company’s Baker, Knapp & Tubbs furniture division. Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University.
Michelle Wetzel currently serves as the General Counsel of Howard Brown Health Center.
Prior to joining HBHC, Michelle was the Chief Executive Officer of Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministries (ABAM) (aka Bonaventure House, The Harbor, Bettendorf Place). During her tenure at ABAM the annual budget doubled, they expanded their scattered site housing program, and they opened a new construction supportive housing facility in Chicago’s South Chicago neighborhood.
Michelle went to law school specifically to advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS. After graduating from DePaul University College of Law, Michelle worked for two years at Prairies State Legal Services and then at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF) in LAF’s HIV/AIDS Project for almost a decade. Although her specialty was housing law, she worked on every manner of civil litigation for clients living with HIV/AIDS.
Before moving back to Chicago for law school, Michelle co-founded and led the AIDS Pastoral Care Network of West Michigan based in Holland, Michigan. This was an outgrowth of Michelle’s HIV/AIDS volunteer work with people living with AIDS in Chicago.
Michelle also has extensive business experience prior to her AIDS work including managing both small businesses and as part of a large corporate team. Among her work with small businesses, Michelle managed a small resort in West Michigan for five years. Michelle also was the Director of Marketing and Administration for McKids – a joint venture between Sears Roebuck and Co. and McDonalds. Her experience as an attorney combined with her varied business background gives Michelle a unique perspective that is a valuable asset to HBHC.