MEET THE TEAM
Dr. Tom Nelson – President and Co-Founder
Dr. Tom has been happily married to his wife Anne for 34 years, and they’ve been blessed with 2 children. They are active parishioners at Our Lady of Peace Church in Darien.
After graduating from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1987, Dr. Tom completed his Family Practice Residency at LaGrange Memorial Hospital. He has been practicing medicine in Westchester for over 28 years, currently with AMITA Health Medical Group.
He has a special interest in Sports Medicine, as he serves as Team Physician and football coach at Nazareth Academy H.S. It was there he was introduced to Fr. Ted Schmitt (FTS), by his close friend, Bob Lyman. Tom developed a close spiritual bond with Fr. Ted, working together in a faith based sports leadership program. The companionship with this dynamic Catholic priest on and off the football field was unique and impactful, which led to the development of Game Changers FTS.
Tom’s spiritual journey continued to evolve though his involvement with the Fishers of Men Ministry since 2008.
A major transformation of his faith occurred through the ministry of the John Paul II Healing Center at a retreat in 2017. This experience inspired him to be more courageous in doing the work we are called to do as Christians. By bringing his faith and the healing power of prayer into his medical practice, he is now treating persons and families in their wholeness.
Bob Lyman – Co-Founder
Bob is a Managing Partner of Windy City Financial Partners, and he has more than 30 years of experience in financial planning, insurance and wealth management. Bob founded Windy City Financial Partners.
He is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and served as President for the Chicago Region in 2002-2003. In 2011, Bob was the recipient of the NAIFA Leadership Life Award, an award based on dedicated service to the NAIFA membership and the industry. He is also a member of the Financial Services Institute.
Bob is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.
He lives with his wife Jill and their four children in Mundelein, IL. He is active in his children’s schools and the community, serving on the board of Carmel High School and the Chicago Sports Leader. Bob is a Pastoral Council Member for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He enjoys coaching and watching a broad range sports, and is an avid reader with a preference for works on history and leadership.
Fr. Burke Masters
Fr. Burke was born and raised in Joliet, IL. He converted to Catholicism at the age of 18 just before going to Mississippi State University on a baseball scholarship.
His major league dream did not materialize, so after working as an actuary, he then worked in minor league baseball for four years. He felt the call to the priesthood and attended Mundelein Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Joliet on June 1, 2002. He served as the parochial vicar at St. Mary’s Parish in West Chicago from 2002 – 2006.
From 2006 to 2018 he served as the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Joliet. In August 2018, he became the Secretary for Christian Formation and the Director of the Office of Adult Formation for the Diocese of Joliet. In this new position, Fr. Masters’ goal is to form missionary disciples from cradle to grave.
He has served as the Catholic chaplain for the Chicago Cubs since 2013, including being a part of the momentous 2016 World Series Championship.
Fr. Dennis Spies
Fr. Dennis Spies is the Associate Dean of Formation and the Director of Pre-Theology at The University of Saint Mary of the Lake. He received his M.Div., S.T.L. in the topic of Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest from the University of St Mary of the Lake. Fr. Dennis was ordained to the priesthood in 2002 for the Diocese of Joliet. He’s served the Diocese of Joliet as a pastor for eight years and an associate pastor for six years. He is also an adjunct faculty member with the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha.
Fr. Steven Borello
Fr. Steven Borello currently serves as the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Joliet. He has previously served on the Formation and Spiritual Direction Staff at St. John Vianney College Seminary and as Parochial Vicar at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville and at Notre Dame Parish in Clarendon Hills. He received his Master of Arts in Philosophical Studies from Mount Saint Mary’s College in 2013, his Master of Divinity in Theology from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, and bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Susan has been involved in various ministries in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for 20 years. She has served in prayer ministry for 10 years. Her experience also includes organizing retreats, events, Catholic study groups, and ministries to support their local seminaries.
She loves to share her love of truth, beauty and goodness with others through her inspirational liturgical art and iconography.
Susan lives in Minnesota with her husband of 31 years and is mother of four beautiful daughters.
Rick Erwin is a life long member of the Diocese of Joliet. He attended Diocese of Joliet Grade Schools, Joliet Catholic High School, and graduated with a B. A. In Business Management from Aurora University. Rick has been married to Leslee Erwin for 42 years, and they’ve been blessed with two sons, one daughter, and six grandchildren ranging from 1 to 11 years old.
The Catholic faith has always been an important part of his life and was reinforced by his parents and grandparents. Even with many secular blessings as an adult, there was a lack of fulfillment. Rick is a parishioner and volunteer at St. Mary’s in Minooka, IL.
In May of 2018, he attended the Men on Fire Retreat led by the John Paul II Healing Center. “The Holy Spirit made a visit to me during the retreat that has stirred my faith journey to an awesome level. It changed every aspect of my life.”
In September 2018, Leslee and Rick decided that he would leave the business world and dedicate his time to supporting the priests and the Diocese of Joliet.
Rick has spent 20 years as a Human Resources Executive in the Nuclear Power, Telecommunications, and Manufacturing industries. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Joliet Junior College Foundation and the Joliet Chamber of Commerce.
Mike is the Founder of Fishers of Men — a men’s ministry in the Diocese of Joliet — and he currently serves as the Vice President of Outreach. He is a sales associate at Darcy Motors and for Agency Services, which provides health and life insurance products. Mike got the vision for creating the FOM ministry after attending a Walk the Talk men’s conference in 1998. Since that time, he’s developed a growing passion for helping bring men into a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. He travels throughout the Joliet Diocese helping to form parish men’s groups. Mike, his wife Joy, and their five children are active parishioners of Holy Family Church in Shorewood.
Game Changers FTS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to serving the Catholic Diocese of Joliet, Illinois.