NDFA Leadership

Per our bylaws Northside DFA is led by a steering committee of up to ten members. That committee must include a Chair and Treasurer. Due to a change in the By-Laws in 2011, the steering committee, including the chair and treasurer, are now elected by the voting members in the spring of even-numbered years.

Northisde DFA Steering Committee 2014-2016

Melissa Lindberg (Co-Chair, Chair of the Retreat Committee) attended the very first meeting of what was then Edgewater DFA, joined the Steering Committee when it began, and has been elected several times since. She has been active through the name changes to Edgewater/Rogers Park DFA and Northside DFA as NDFA grew and changed. She served as chair of the By-Laws Committee (twice), Candidates Committee, Retreat Committee, and the Membership Committee. She has served as chair since 2011. Her son Kenneth was the first person to take advantage of the voting age rule: he became a voting at age 15, as per the by-laws. In her former life, she was in theater, primarily working with Stage Left Theatre. Also, she was an original ensemble member of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. She works at University of Chicago, lives with Carl Nyberg, and travels to Vermont regularly. Change comes slowly, but it is worth working towards, and it is worth fighting for things to get better.

Carl Nyberg (C-Chair, Chair, Candidates Committee) has been on Northside DFA's steering committee since 2011. Much of his activism grew from his experiences as active duty Navy officer. He was UN peacekeeper in Cambodia in 1993 and whistleblower about corruption in Navy Recruiting Command in 1996. In 1997 he worked for the US Campaign to Ban Landmines (the year the International Campaign to Ban Landmines was awarded Nobel Peace Prize). He has been active in local politics & local media. He was a columnist for three different newspapers in West Cook. He created an online political talk radio show. And he created a popular local media outlet, Proviso Probe. He has also worked in Washington, DC for Campaign for UN Reform and was on CUNR's PAC for three election cycles, chair of CUNRPAC in 2002. Carl Nyberg is active in local politics because groups like Northside DFA affect politics in noticeable ways. NDFA has made Chicago's politics more progressive on North Side. He and Melissa Lindberg are a couple. They live in Albany Park in Ward 33. He is a graduate of Oak Park & River Forest High School & US Naval Academy (BS, ocean engineering).

Mary Stich Marcus (Treasurer) Mary is an enthusiastic new (ish) member of Northside DFA, and has been a member of the Steering Committee since November, 2010. Mary was a long time resident of the western and northern suburbs, but feels she really "came home" when she moved to Chicago in August of 2009. Being a part of this active, dynamic group has been a great blessing in my life - it lets me actually participate in the process and do things that matter, and not just sit on the couch and yell at the TV.


Kevin Allen has been an active member of NDFA for many years, despite living in the 8th Congressional District. He has been involved in many, many campaigns, including Tammy Duckworth for Congress, Greg Hose for Village Trustee, and his own race for state senate.


Irma Cornier was raised in Chicago and she grew up in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood. She attended Columbia College Chicago and earned her B.A. in Media. She continued her aspirations to further her studies and earned her M.A. in Social Justice and Community Development from Loyola University Chicago. For over twenty years she has coordinated back to school rallies, health fairs, free music events, was involved in feeding the homeless programs, collected clothing and donations for both orphanages in Colombia and Mexico, and collected medical supplies for Lydia Home. She is the founder of Chicago Borinqueneers, Department of Illinois Parliamentarian and Historian of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW, and a member of the Chicago Veterans.


Joe Fedorko (Co-Chair, Fundraising Committee) has been a voting member of NDFA since 2006. He is proud to serve on the DFA Steering Committee. He works to bring his experience as President of the Roosevelt University Adjunct Faculty Organization (RAFO), a proud member of the Illinois Education Association, as well as helping bring NDFA expertise to the IEA, as evidenced by his advocacy for NDFA adopted and endorsed candidates Chuy Garcia, Theresa Mah and Omar Aquino. (He also writes political sketch comedy, which helps with the mood.)


Nicole McIntyre (Chair, Social Committee) has been a member of NDFA since she came to one of the last meetings held at the Lincoln in 2013. Since becoming a member Nicole has volunteered on the campaigns of numerous endorsed candidates, such as; current Steering member Tom Greenhaw, Committeeman Robert Murphy, Alderman John Arena and on. Since becoming a member of NDFA Nicole has volunteered to become Chair of the Social Committee as well as the newly formed Plans Committee. Nicole is very excited at the prospect of joining Steering so she can better implement the ideas coming from the Plans Committee and grow the organization. Nicole is one of the youngest people to join Steering and believes she will bring new perspectives and inventive ideas to the organization’s leadership.


Matt McWhinney has been active in NDFA for the past five years and served NDFA on the Steering committee for the past two years. He has coordinated the past two NDFA fundraisers with the help of others. He is involved in his local community as an advocate for fair housing, leads and participates in neighborhood clean up days, and is an enthusiast of our local public schools. Matt became involved in Chicago politics when his wife Anne Shaw, decided to run for 1st Ward Committeeman and also 1st Ward Alderman in our recent past. Matt is an Electrical Engineer, has lived in Chicago since 1994 and in his free time likes to cook, kayak, and bicycle around the Chicago area.


Mary Claire Peceny: I am retired after 37 years of federal service and have been an active member of NDFA for over 10 years. I have stuffed and addressed envelopes, canvassed, phone banked, gone door to door for petition signatures. I have been on the steering committee for a little over a year and have been impressed with how much work goes in to planning each meeting and fundraiser. I'd like to continue this important work.

Steve Spagnolo has been a member of one local DFA chapter or another since 2006 while he was away for college in New Jersey. He has been involved in various Democratic campaigns both as a volunteer and as paid staff for over a decade now, working for such officials as; Alderman John Arena, Chuy Garcia, Karen Lewis, Congressman Bill Foster and Congresswoman Robin Kelly, etc… Steve joined steering in early 2014 as an appointed member and was elected to his first 2 year term in April 2014. In his time as a steering member, he has been a member of the planning committee, social committee, candidates committee, campaign committee, and fundraising committee. Steve lives in Albany Park with his girlfriend Nicole and their 2 cats. He sees the Northwest Side of the city as a powder keg of progressive power and hopes with another term on Steering that he can help further expand NDFA’s membership and impact throughout the city

Northside DFA Steering Committee 2014-2016
Melissa Lindberg, Chair
Mary Stich Marcus, Treasurer
Kevin Allen
Joe Fedorko
Tom Greenhaw
Nate LeFebvre
Jon-Robert McDowell
Matt McWhinney
Carl Nyberg
Mary Claire Peceny
Steve Spagnolo

Northside DFA Steering Committee 2011-2014
Melissa Lindberg, Chair
Mary Koczorowski, Treasurer
Barry Aldridge
Joe Fedorko
Pete Kalenik
Toscha Ladd
Nate Lefebvre
Theresa Mah
Carl Nyberg
Anne Shaw
Steve Spagnolo

Northside DFA Steering Committee 2009-2011
Sandra Verthein, Chair
Ed Mullen, Chair
Melissa Lindberg, Interim Chair
Barry Aldridge, Treasurer
Mary Koczorowski, Treasurer
Owen Brugh
Cynthia Fox
Lisa Ginsburg
Frank Palmer
Jeff Waldhoff
Mike Wood

Northisde DFA Steering Committee 2007-2009
Sandra Verthein, Chair
Barry Aldridge, Treasurer
Owen Brugh
Shannon Fisk
Cynthia Fox
Jim Ginsburg
Lisa Ginsburg
Melissa Lindberg
Frank Palmer
Jim Schmidt
Jeff Waldhoff

Northisde DFA Steering Committee 2005-2007
Sandra Verthein
Shannon Fisk
Barry Aldridge
Owen Brugh
Cynthia Fox
Jim Ginsburg
Carol Levy
Melissa Lindberg
Michi Schulenberg