If you have an interest in furthering the advancement of the status of persons with disabilities in Iroquois and Kankakee Counties and believe in the independent living philosophy, you may be a candidate for our Board. Options CIL’s Board has openings from time to time so please contact us if you want to find out more about Board opportunities or if you want a Board application form.
Options’ Board meets monthly on the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:00 p.m.
Amber Cahue, President
Amanda Martinez, Vice President
Kay Jurica, Secretary
Ashley Prairie, Treasurer
Amber Cahue – President
Amber joined Options CIL in 2019. She has been a community advocate in the Kankakee area since 2009. She began her service in the local community through Iroquois County Animal Rescue fostering abused animals. Amber began leadership with the Kankakee Area Jaycees in 2017, she was voted to the board in 2018 and raised to President for the years of 2019 and 2020. Amber was also part of the beginning board for the Kankakee Area Sleep in Heavenly Peace. She has also volunteered for KVTA, Christmas Inc., Camp Shaw, Kankakee, and Iroquois disaster relief, Beautiful-I-Am, and Humble Design.
Amber resides in Danforth, IL with her boyfriend, Ryan Walters, and her son, Barrett Walters and her two dogs. Amber graduated with her bachelor’s in psychology in 2013 and then master’s in occupational therapy in 2017. She is passionate about her service to her community and can be found venturing into many different venues and organizations. Currently, she works for State Farm Corporate.
Amber enjoys traveling near and far and has been to 44 states and 8 other countries. She enjoys learning about other cultures and enjoys experiences that explore and educate.
Kathryn (Kay) Fox Jurica
Kay joined Options CIL in 2016 and is owner of Home Helpers of Bourbonnais which provides care to seniors. Home Helpers has received numerous awards recognizing outstanding growth, client satisfaction, and employer of choice by the national Home Helpers organization.
She completed her education as a certified respiratory therapist at Kankakee Community College. She worked at Christ Hospital, Presence St. Mary’s Hospital and Riverside Medical Center.
She previously served on the boards of the Kankakee County Medical Society Alliance, the Women in Network organization, the Kankakee County Alzheimer’s Association and St. Joseph’s Church in Manteno. She now serves on the board of Options, Inc.
She and her husband have five grown children. She enjoys crocheting, traveling, and gardening.
Ashley joined Options CIL in 2022. She has been in banking for over 20 years starting with HomeStar Bank and Financial Services and she is currently at Peoples Bank of Kankakee County where she is a Loan Underwriter. She has been involved with the Friends of Library for the Kankakee Public Library and the Merchant Street Music Festival.
Ashley resides in Kankakee with her husband, Brian Prairie, and their cat Pete. When she isn’t hanging out in her hammock reading and drinking coffee she is out hiking with husband or listening to their growing vinyl record collection.
Amber has been involved with Options in one way or another for more than 20+ years. Her mother, Carol Gocken, was an influential Options Board Member until her death in 2012 and got her started by asking her to design a flyer for the Options Wheel-A-Thon. She has been hooked ever since.
She joined the Kankakee Advisory Board first and enjoyed giving her time and talents in that position. She has put together the baskets for the Wheelchair Basketball events and the Facebook Raffles since their creation. She enjoys the challenge of putting all the items together and, of course, the shopping!
Amber currently teaches art full time for both junior high and high school at Bishop McNamara Catholic School. She also teaches graphic design in the evenings at Kankakee Community College.
She is a Deacon on the Church Council in her church, St. Peter’s Lutheran in Crescent City. She also works with great organizations like Prairieview Lutheran Home and Salvation Army.
Amber lives in Bourbonnais with her two furry children, Sulley and Artie. They are frequent visitors to the Options office and are considered unofficial board members. She also lives with her aunt, Jean Green, who is a big help with the basket raffles, among other things, Jean is also on the Options Iroquois Advisory Board. It is a family affair in this household!
Amber was able to finally join the Board of Directors in 2023. She looks forward to continuing her current activities, as well as new endeavors to come.
Romero joined our Board in July 2015 after retiring as a pilot from Fedex and the US Air Force. He moved to Kankakee in 2014 where he is now a project manager for CSL Behring.
He brings with him valuable experience working with and supporting charitable organizations in many localities, including United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties, Ladies Day Golf, Air Force Academy Assoc., and Chicago Night Kitchen. He has also actively supported our advocacy and fundraising community events.
Originally from Virginia, Romero now lives in St Anne with his partner Shane, and has a son, Kyle, who is finishing up his degree work at the University of Iowa. In his spare time, you may see him on stage in local productions or leading various activities at his parish of Maternity BVM.
Advisory Members to the Board
Debra Ann Caise RN, BSN