Leading with Experience

The work of INGAGE Unlimited is guided by an advisory board who believe that through education we can change the world.

“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." ~Marianne Williamson 


Carolyn Muir founder of Ingage

Every since I spent the first few years of my marriage teaching aboard a ship that sailed to over fifty countries, I have been intensely interested in other cultures. What I learned then and have continued to experience in each country and culture I have engaged with since, is that we truly are all the same. Moms and dads everywhere want their children educated, healthy, and to have hope for the future. We all have passions and dreams, though not everyone has the resources or opportunity to realize them. I launched Ingage hoping to build connections to help each other learn and grow, to make the world a better place for EVERYONE.

Like Brene Brown, “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

I believe in working alongside others to cultivate global awareness so that we can learn from one another. We all have talents and gifts we can share - we just need the opportunity! I started Ingage to make those opportunities possible.

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Michele Giovannelli Educator, District 220 Barrington, IL

I am a teacher, and I love working with other teachers - exchanging ideas and sharing stories of times when we witness the glow of understanding on the faces of the children we teach. I am inspired by working with teachers around the globe to share best-practice skills and strategies in order to meet the needs of children and the whole community. As an Ingage volunteer, I love the opportunities I have had to learn from local leaders and educators in the communities in which I have served. As an Advisory Board member, I value the vision and commitment to making the world a better place through education. I have been a part of Ingage Unlimited since its inception and . can’t wait to see what comes next!


Georgia Nelson Educator, District 220, Barrington,IL

I am passionate about the importance of education in building a sustainable life for all people on our planet.  Pope Paul VI said, “If you want peace, work for justice.” I believe that without an education, access to information about health, or the presence of leaders in the community; justice will be elusive, and peace just a distant dream. Ingage Unlimited makes these essentials a reality in places that yearn for them. I’ve been a teacher for most of my life and believe in the power of education. I am excited to be part of an organization that brings my passion to life in such a practical way. Ever since I was a young teenager, and making my wish while blowing out the candles on my cake; when I closed my eyes, I pleaded, “Peace on earth.”  I’m working with Ingage Unlimited to make my wish come true.


mark Ditthardt Administrator, Cove School, Northbrook, IL

From summer camp counselor to school social worker and special education director I’ve always had a heart for children.  It’s been said that  “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children”.  The “heart” of INGAGE is to make a difference in the lives of others. The teacher training, leadership development and health education provided by INGAGE volunteers is life changing for all involved.  I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with children and their parents in various educational settings for over 30 years and I’m equally as thrilled to serve in an organization like INGAGE that endeavors to so deeply address the needs of children and those that care for them.  


david jobes President and Owner, Motivation Excellence, Schaumburg, IL

As a business leader, my primary focus is on setting a clear direction for our team as well as fostering a nurturing and empathetic environment where people can grow to their full potential. In 2016 my wife Denise came to me and said she met the most amazing person who was developing an organization who has the same beliefs, but was applying her passion to develop training workshops for the less fortunate throughout the world. While I have participated with many different charitable endeavors, this was the first where I have been able to be part of a board that is adding a whole new life fulfillment for me. I am very excited for the organization’s future and how we bring others onboard to help spread the word of Ingage.


cameron muir Education Administration, District 225, Glenview, IL

Sometimes as a student, and other times as a teacher, I personally witness the power of education, collaboration, and  growth. For the past couple of decades I have witnessed the power that opportunity and access have to light up the eyes of both teachers and students.   Being a part of INGAGE, I get to see the effects of this power expressed in communities.  INGAGE builds meaningful partnerships through listening and collaboration, and it is in this way we can discover our strengths and learn together.  I am delighted to be a part of Ingage’s vision of working with teachers, leaders, and healthcare professionals to collaborate with people in communities across the globe to develop strengths, build resilience, and pursue passions.  


chris pappas Business Consultant, Lake Zurich, IL

One trip was all it took, and I was hooked. I was drawn to Ingage Unlimited because it is centered on empowering individuals and building relationships by focusing on education and personal development. What resonates most with me is that the focus in NOT on doing something for someone, but rather a focus on helping others to grow and develop themselves. By growing their expertise, building their confidence, and expanding their abilities, the individuals we touch are more equipped to help in their own communities. Education and an openness to continue to learn and grow has been central to my success in life and in my business career. Both have opened many doors over the years. I see many common parallels central to the vision of Ingage. My trips have taught me that we are more similar than we are different around the globe. The philosophy of empowering through education, partnered with compassion and kindness, can help make this world a better place.  Ingage has offered me an inspiring and pragmatic way to make a small difference while continuing to stretch myself. Never underestimate the difference YOU can make, and keep in mind the wisdom Mahatma Gandhi shared, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”


nancy Kontney Retired Educator, District 220, Barrington, IL

Being an educator and lifelong learner has been my passion since the age of nine as when I passed through the threshold of my third grade classroom.  Upon entering, I instantly felt a series of emotions that have served to guide my teaching. My mantra throughout my 37 years of teaching is making strong connections and building sincere relationships makes a difference to those around me. Ingage has “engaged” me and allowed me to walk alongside individuals around the world who share that same passion. When teaching, coaching and building relationships, my heart simply swells and the work is my privilege. I am fully aware that the impact those I encounter make on me, far surpasses the one I make on them! For this reason, I am most fortunate to be a part of the Ingage team as we continue to grow and develop as an organization that is devoted to teaching and serving others. “Be the change you want to see in the world”-Gandhi  


mary Gibson Regional Director, Hewlett-Packard

I was introduced to Ingage by a close friend.  She is an amazing and selfless mother, teacher and friend. She has committed her life to serving others, both in and out of the classroom and has been an inspiration to me!   

I believe that an education expands your thinking and provides choices that you would not have otherwise! I’ve spent the last 30 years in various business management positions at a Fortune 100 company and I attribute my success to my upbringing and education. I am a first generation American and was the first in my family to get a college degree.  I am thankful that my 2 boys have the same opportunity but keenly aware that not everyone does.  However I believe that education comes in many forms. We all have something to learn and something to teach. I feel blessed to be part of an organization that is expanding the possibilities for people across the world through the power of education.