Susan Tripi DeLano - Executive Director
Motivated by a deep commitment to Biblical justice and care for others, Susan worked with a variety of non-profits over the past two decades, each with a focus on improving the quality of life for members of society who are often overlooked: immigrants, refugees, working-class families, and victims of human trafficking. Susan is moved by the selfless motivation of the many dedicated volunteers who advance the mission of Re:new, and inspired by the strength, resilience, and compassion of the Artisans employed in Re:new's Artisan Development Programs.
When not at Re:new, Susan can be found with her nose in a good book, sampling the many ethnic restaurants in Chicago, entertaining friends, or enjoying time with her husband in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago where they live. Susan holds a BA in Sociology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, an MA in Christian Ministry from Northern Seminary, and earned a certificate in Nonprofit Management from North Park University's Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management.
Sue Roman - Finance Director
Having returned to the States in 2012 from the Dominican Republic, Sue desires to use her gifts and talents to help those in need. While in the DR, Sue alongside her husband and four children, worked at an after school care center to provide educational, physical, emotional and spiritual encouragement for at risk kids. Her heart grew during those two years as she watched barriers of ethnicity, class, and culture erode realizing that we all have the same longings and desires to be loved and cared for. Sue loved the relationships she built in the DR and now has that opportunity to build meaningful relationships at Re:new as she works alongside refugees from many different countries.
Sue, her husband and their four children reside in Wheaton, IL. Sue enjoys the outdoors, a short run or a long bike ride, a good book and time with her family. Sue holds a degree in Business from the University of Michigan.
Ruthie Fuller - Production Director
Fatma - Studio Manager
With a spirit that brings peace and unity to the Re:new team, it is hard to fathom the challenges Fatma overcame in her journey to the United States.
Originally from Somalia, Fatma left amidst the country’s political instability. “It’s no longer safe for women and children to be here,” a village elder informed her. “You must leave immediately.” During their journey from the village, soldiers robbed, attacked, and abused the women on the bus; stealing most of Fatma’s possessions. Unfortunately, this was only the first of many hardships during her experience as a refugee. The family spent 12 years waiting for resettlement opportunities in Yemen’s dangerous refugee camp and housing projects. By the time Human Rights was able to process her refugee status paperwork, her family had grown to five children. She was eventually approved, but her husband was not.
Fatma was eventually resettled in the United States as a single mom with five children in a community barren of family or friends. She found Re:new in 2009 and enrolled in the first sewing class. At Re:new, Fatma is known for her maternal instincts, gentle character, and caring nature. In addition to developing new handbag concepts (such as the Ahlam foldover clutch and the Samara bag, Fatma is an excellent mentor in personal care and professional development.
Despite the pain of her past, Fatma looks to the future with hope and anticipation. She’s incredibly dedicated to providing for her children, and it’s her mission to put all five through college so they can achieve their dreams. Her two oldest daughters are graduating from undergraduate schools this year with plans to pursue higher education this fall. Her oldest son is studying to become a realtor. Fatma has dreams to someday open her own business. An accomplished culinarian in her own right, she wants to open a bakery or catering business once her children complete their education.
Karen Poulos - Online Collections Manager
After practicing law and raising three children, Karen joined Re:new. We cannot remember a time without her soft presence and powerhouse ideas. As our store manager, Karen turns chaos into beauty and infuses Re:new with a hearty welcome. Karen adores her family and spends weekends catching up with her three college-age children and traveling with her husband.
Beth Johnson - Public Relations Manager
After traveling to Ghana, West Africa with her daughter and the Touch A Life Foundation in 2008, Beth learned about the plight of trafficked children. The children she met in Ghana had so much joy & hope despite enduring so much pain & suffering. They truly inspired her in many ways. When Beth returned to the United States, she knew she wanted to do something meaningful in her own community. She volunteered to be an ESL tutor & classroom aide for adult refugees at World Relief. The students taught her so much about strength, courage, and perseverance.
Beth's passion for the refugee community continues to grow as she seeks to use her skills to serve the beautiful women at Re:new. Married with two adult children, Beth adores her family and loves travel, adventure, reading, fitness and friendships. Beth holds a BS in Advertising from the University of Illinois.
Holly Setran - Sewing Manager, New Student Class
As she is affectionately referred to, "Sweet Holly" taught herself to sew as a young girl and spent countless hours sewing for her family and others. At Re:new she found a perfect marriage of her love of sewing and her love of ministering to women from other cultures. Holly is a master at cross-cultural relationship building. She's also a brilliant multi-tasker. She can teach a mean seam allowance lesson while learning the politics of Bhutan. Holly always has a smile on her face and a baked good in her hand. In her non-existent spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, entertaining, and walking her dog.
Martha Bunch - Volunteer Coordinator
Our in-house doodler is the sage of our team. Martha always provides a peaceful presence while also being witty and hilarious. A teacher by trade, Martha brings her skills to the classroom setting at Re:new. Her patience and determination have helped many Re:new artisans succeed. Her passion is mentoring and helping women. Not only does she attend to women's emotional needs, but also many tangible needs such as providing transportation, healthy snacks, and special treats. When not at Re:new, Martha travels extensively with her husband and enjoys stand-up paddleboarding.