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F. Scott Manke

Executive Director

Scott is the founder, President and Executive Director of Family Empowerment Centers.  He and his wife function as the Chicago Site Coordinator of Envision Chicago and Scott is known to wear a number of additional hats that capture his visionary and entrepreneurial heart. Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Psychology from Nyack College, as well as a Master’s degree from Wheaton Graduate School in Mission and Intercultural Studies. Scotts work experience (general manager of a delivery service in Manhattan, realtor, founder and director of a boat donation program) over the years has given him many skills that come to bear in his role as Executive Director. Scott believes in a simple theology that should operate as a rule of life and that is to love God and love one’s neighbor and put God first in everything. This has proved valuable over 20 plus years in work, life, relationships, and most importantly family as a filter for discerning life and making decisions.

Carlos Perez

Pastor & Chief Operations Officer

Carlos and his family joined FEC in July of 2015 to lead the Spiritual Formation within the faith community of Latino families and through the S.A.Y. YES after school program. In 2017, Carlos was invited to bring his leadership experience to an executive role within the team as a Chief Operations Officer and Executive Pastor. He is passionate of equipping others and designing opportunities that lead families into gospel-centered communities. He holds a clergy worker’s license with the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA). Carlos was born and raised in New Jersey, and his most recent home was Indianapolis, Indiana. Carlos and his wife reside in the Rogers Park community with their five children.

Carlos graduated from LeTourneau University (Texas) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology. He has over 10 years of experience with process improvement and project management within the life sciences pharmaceutical industry. Carlos and his family are self-supported by fundraising partners within the C&MA as Envision-Associates.

Phil Palmer

Director of Albany Park Center

Phil Palmer, a Chicago area native, joined Family Empowerment Centers in January 2019 and currently oversees the launch of our second center in Albany Park. Phil holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Church Ministries from Northland International University’s School of Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Exegesis from Wheaton College Graduate School, and he expects to complete his Master of Business Administration degree from Butler University’s Lacy School of Business in 2024. In addition to using his leadership gifts at the Center, he is excited about helping the members of our community find wholeness and healing through the life-giving work of Jesus as they invest themselves into deeper connection together. As a pastor at Redemption Church, Phil loves hearing people’s stories, helping them to find rest in Jesus, and encouraging them to pursue friendship with God.

Prior to relocating to the Albany Park community, Phil served in a variety of roles in our Rogers Park center, where he continues to serve on the leadership team. In his downtime, Phil enjoys exploring the city with his beloved Kristen, watching his son learn new things, laughing at the antics of sitcom characters, and unwinding with a good book and a warm pastry. Phil is a very proud Uncle, a loyal Cubs fan, and a lover of pop music.

Natalie Manke

Crisis Outreach Coordinator

In 2003, Natalie began her ministry journey with Scott and their now four adult children in the Rogers Park community of Chicago. Through the years she has had the privilege to serve this missional community through children’s and women’s ministries involvement, mentoring and crisis outreach. As of May 2023, she has taken on the role of Crisis Outreach Coordinator helping to assist new neighbors in acclimating to the community while helping create a place of hospitality and belonging in the body of Christ.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Nyack College and Master’s in Counseling from Concordia University. In her free time, she enjoys trips to the Botanical Gardens and spending time with family and friends.

Danielle Castro

Migrant Care Liaison & After School Program Director

Danielle was born in New York but raised in Chicago. She is bilingual and of Ecuadorean background. Her family has been part of Redemption Church for over 10 years. She and her husband Cesar are parents to a beautiful girl who is also a part of the After School Program. Danielle loves working with children and building relationships with families in the community. During her free time, she enjoys family outings, exercising, and reading.

Shayla Manke

Executive Administrative Assistant & Social Media Coordinator

Shayla graduated from Trinity International University with a double major in Business Management and Graphic Design in May of 2021. She was the Resident Designer for the Henry Center for Theological Understanding for about 2 years before she began helping with administration, design, and communications at the Family Empowerment Centers. She enjoys finding creative ways to share about the work being done at FEC through fun social media posts and newsletter designs. She loves traveling and doing DIY home projects with her husband, Chase, and expressing herself through fashion and art.

Jay Calvin

Food Pantry Coordinator & Greenhouse Resident

Jay grew up in the Chicagoland area and has entered into our Greenhouse initiative where he has committed 2 years to focus on his wholistic growth and preparation for possible future ministry opportunities. Jay is also one of the Food Pantry Coordinators where he has a role in the operations of the food pantry, the solicitation of food supplies, and the management of volunteers. He also is involved in the food related service of the migrant care activities of the Center. Jay is currently attending school at Liberty University and he is studying to get his bachelors in Bible. When Jay is not in the office, he is either spending time with his son, finding a pick up game of basketball or volleyball, or drinking coffee with friends.

Daniel Wright

Food Pantry Coordinator & Greenhouse Resident

Daniel was born in Evanston Illinois, but his family moved and settled in Omaha Nebraska where he grew up. He went to Crown College in Minnesota where he earned a B.A. in Pastoral Leadership. Shortly after graduation Daniel moved to one of the western suburbs of Chicago where he was a Youth Director at a church for four years. He felt God leading him to come to Chicago so he started the Greenhouse program to learn what it means and looks like to do ministry in an urban environment. He began working at Family Empowerment Centers in July 2023. Since then, Daniel has started working alongside Jay in overseeing the Food Pantry, helping out with Envision Teams, finished coaching his first football season at Sullivan High School, rappelled down a 27 story hotel (twice!), and got engaged to Hope Manke! 

Hannah McMahan

ESL Director

Hannah grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago and lived outside the U.S. when her parents began serving as missionaries. She is now finishing her BA in TESOL at Moody Bible Institute. Hannah is committed to being actively involved in the local church and values building deep and meaningful relationships. She embraces the challenge of planning ESL courses, creating lesson plans and responding in class to the needs of students. When she’s not teaching you can find her drinking tea, going on a walk, or sitting under a tree journaling.

Matt Schrotenboer

Director of Student Ministries – Albany Park

Matt serves as Director of Student Ministries in Albany Park and formerly served as a Greenhouse Resident. He desires to see youth in Chicago encounter Christ, journey with them, and answer their questions as they grow into who they are in Christ. Apart from serving with youth, he also serves with homeless outreach, he prayer walks all over the city, and he is studying to become a chemistry teacher. Originally from Holland, MI, Chicago has been his home since he moved to Chicago in 2017 to study at Moody Bible Institute. Outside the Center, Matt enjoys to search for Bigfoot, drink kombucha, and learn about the theatrical world of Shakespeare.

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