Meet Our Team
Director, Sunrise Day Camp-Chicago
Emily started her JCC Chicago camp journey as a parent in 2007, joined the camp’s staff as Art Director shortly after, and then became the Specialist Director. She’s had many years of camping experience at day camp and overnight camp as a camper and staff in many roles throughout her life.
Camp is Emily’s favorite thing about summer! She loves watching all the campers and staff have fun and connecting. Emily feels camp is a safe place where people can be their true self and let go of pressures, be outside, be creative, and active.
Emily holds a BA in Elementary Education with a specialization in Art from University of Iowa. She has been working as an early childhood teacher, and at camp in the summers, before becoming the Director of Sunrise Day Camp Chicago. Her background in art and education led her to appreciate watching children learn about themselves by being curious and working through the process to discover something new. Emily met her husband in college and they have two daughters who have grown up as campers and are now staff at JCC Chicago’s Apachi Day Camp. Emily enjoys taking road trips, baking, watching movies, doing art/home projects, and hanging out with her family and dog, Penny.
Manager of Operations, Sunrise Day Camp-Chicago
Camp has always held a special place in Leslee’s heart. She grew up going to camp at JCC Chicago and later became staff, working as a counselor and then Assistant Unit Head in the late 90’s.
Before joining Sunrise Day Camp-Chicago, Leslee served as a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) and worked at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for 6 years. She holds a B.S. in Human Development & Family Science, specializing in Child and Family Studies from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in Family & Consumer Sciences, specializing in Child Life Studies from Illinois State University. Leslee is beyond thrilled to continue pursuing her passion for camp and can’t wait to get to know all the Sunrise Day Camp-Chicago families and campers.
Director of Operations, JCC Chicago
Jennifer has over twenty-five years of experience in JCC Chicago’s early childhood and day camp programs. She was a counselor and unit head and later became an Assistant Director. During her tenure she was the Director of Camping and Children/Family Services at Bernard Horwich JCC, Assistant Director of “Z” Frank Apachi Day Camp and established Elaine Frank Apachi Day Camp at Lake County JCC in Lake Zurich, where she served as its’ Director for ten years. Jennifer returned to JCC Chicago to focus on Sunrise Day Camp-Chicago’s hospital affiliations, Sunrise on Wheels and SunriseWALKS Chicago, among other responsibilities, after a hiatus as Vice President of Berkson and Sons Ltd., where she focused on residential property management and commercial brokerage.