Board of Directors
Daniel L. Herzog
Dan Herzog’s market place career has been in the food business with almost 30 years at Gonnella Baking Company and has served in various leadership capacities of manufacturing. Dan, who is currently the Vice President of Corporate Compliance-Food Safety at Gonnella, says he has been fortunate to have so many food industry contacts show huge interest and support for Food For Friends. “Everyone likes to get involved. We are a Christian ministry providing hands on opportunities to feed the less fortunate who are hungry in Chicago” says Herzog. “ In that process we are not only feeding empty stomachs, but sometimes even filling empty souls of those we serve or volunteers”.
Dan was inspired by a message he heard at his church in 1994 about serving others to get off the bench and into the game. Dan’s passion to serve the poor and less fortunate motivated his heart to lead the cause and provided the vision to start the ministry. In the process of serving others, Food For Friends ministry provides the opportunity to open the eyes of those who serve with them, and to change and grow the hearts of the volunteers. Dan has been married for more that 30 years to Connie and they have two adult children. Dan and family actively call Willow Creek Community Church of South Barrington, Illinois their home church.
Christina Chacon is a global Intellectual Property professional, managing licensing agreements for 15 years at Revell, Inc.
A founding member of Food For Friends, Christina began as a volunteer with Circle K (Kiwanis) Students at the Harold Washington College, serving Thanksgiving meals to the homeless.
Today, Christina plans and organizes serving opportunities to low-income communities for holidays, such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas meals. Additionally, she serves as the Lead Organizer for our Shopping program, which provides grocery assistance to needy families. She enjoys building relationships pairing volunteers with single mothers and their families to shop for groceries.
Remembering hunger is preventable drives her passion to serve the less fortunate and motivates her to provide hands-on opportunities for volunteers.
She is happily married with two children who are also actively involved in the ministry. Christina and her family belong to St. Dominic Church in Bolingbrook, IL.
John Opsahl graduated in 1983 from DePaul University in Chicago with a BA in Accounting. He received his CPA certificate in 1986. John has held various accounting positions over the past 35+ years, including audit, tax and controllership. He currently has his own accounting and tax practice, as well as audits retirement plans for JMM CPA.
Back in the early 2000’s, John was asked by Dan Herzog to join forces and utilize his accounting skills to help establish Food For Friends as a not-for-profit organization. It was an opportunity for John to challenge himself to be more directly aware of those who require food assistance within our own communities as well as the broader Chicagoland area.
John was blessed to marry his soul mate, Ginny, in 1986 on the day after Christmas. It was the 2nd best Christmas gift he has ever received, falling closely behind the birth of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. John has two adult children (Ben and Kristen) who are both connected to the Food For Friends ministry as well.
Ken Rasbid joined the board in 2015 and has spent the past 24 years working in various sales and leadership positions across the ever changing world of healthcare. His current role as Vice President of Strategic Accounts for Cardinal Health allows him to manage and coordinate business development opportunities across multiple groups in the company’s partnership with Henry Schein.
Ken is deeply committed to eliminating hunger and advancing God’s work through strengthen relationships in his community. He leads the domestic mission team at The Chapel Lake Zurich, which currently includes coordination of 6 mobile food pantries each year. The Chapel Lake Zurich has held 16 successful Mobile Food Pantries over the past 3 years, which provided a week’s worth of groceries to 3,618 families or 101,304 meals!
“While food is critical for survival, our events have also facilitated adjacent missions to bring winter coats for kids, provide wellness checks and flu shots, and most importantly provide a light of hope in lives filled with dark places. We are more than food!”, Ken adds.
Ken believes that a small group of people can make a difference when they are aligned behind a common goal. “I am fortunate to use tools I’ve learned in my professional career to help lead and coach people whose hearts are on fire for making a positive change. I also feel very humbled to do-life with such amazing leaders as both their passion and drive for serving the Lord motivate me to be a better person.”
Ken is blessed in his marriage with Denise for the past 18 years. They raise and parent three amazing children (Collin, Bryan & Caitlin) who are each actively involved in sports, school activities and church efforts across the Lake Zurich school district. Ken and family call The Chapel of Lake Zurich their home church.
Karen Vargas is a 5th grade Dual Language teacher in Elgin, Illinois. She completed her undergraduate studies at Illinois State University and her graduate studies in Northern Illinois State University and Roosevelt University. She has a passion for her career and aspires to get her PhD within the next few years to become an advocate for biliteracy all across the United States. In addition, Karen facilitates training in her school district that engages parents in conversations about the development of social and emotional skills kids need in order to be positive global citizens.
Four years back, she was looking to become more involved in local nonprofits with a mission and vision that aligned with her faith and that is where her path aligned with Food For Friends. Thanks to FFF, her church, Cristo es la roca in Wauconda, was able to distribute food to their community through a mobile food pantry. After a short conversation with the president of FFF, Dan Herzog, she knew this organization was what she was looking for. Within the next few weeks, you could spot Karen at all our events ready to volunteer and connect with the guests we served.
Karen is our newest board member. She is looking forward to meeting you at an upcoming event and showing you pictures of her three fur babies.