New Star is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit community organization dedicated to challenging the limits and changing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We serve more than 650 children and adults each year throughout the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana.

We are a restless organization – driven by our passion to create new and innovative vocational, educational, therapeutic, and social opportunities for the amazing people we serve. From launching our new e-recycling facility, to creating a nationally-known advocacy program, to leading the way in innovative models of residential care, we continue to break down barriers and blaze new trails through our life-changing programs and services.


New Star is accredited by the Department for Human Services (DHS), Indiana Family and Social Services Association (IFSSA), the US Department of Labor, the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), and the Commission of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Our Mission

To provide choices and opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families through a culture of innovation and caring to enrich their lives and maximize their independence

Our Vision

We envision a community where New Star will be the leading services solution provider to minimize discrimination and waiting lists while maximizing access to the services and supports that empower individuals to pursue community employment and living if they so choose, in order to assume their rightful roles in society as productive, valued citizens.

Our Executive Team

New Star is led by a dynamic team of forward-thinking professionals who combine their years of experience within the for-profit and non-profit sectors to shape an organizational culture that is both results-driven and consumer-centered.

President/CEO, Dan Strick 

Vice President,  Program Services Kelly Berardelli

Vice President, Community Housing Erica Woodley

Chief Operating Officer, Greg O’Brien

Director of Employment & Indiana Services, Kara Pierce

Director of Development/Community Relations, Patricia Trebe

Quality Improvement Director, Kristen Salkas

Director of Recreation Services, Mike McNicholas

Our Board of Directors

New Star’s Board of Directors includes a diverse mix of New Star family members and professionals from throughout the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana. Their staunch commitment to keeping New Star true to its mission is balanced by their visionary leadership when pursuing new growth areas for the organization as well as the consumers whom we serve.


Rick Thiernau, Chairpeson
Ned Horney, Vice Chairperson – Planning & Resources
Denice Rhodes, Vice Chairperson – Assessment
Judy Petrungaro, Treasurer
Joyce Michael, Secretary


  • Dr. Michael Anthony
  • Kelly Christie
  • Marchelle Goens
  • Jay Hiland
  • Tom Kallai
  • Diane Kelley-Thompson
  • Mary Mayer
  • Rebecca Nagle
  • Renee Valfre
  • Nick Yerkes
  • Kara Zilis