Meet the committed members of our working board.

  Debra Vines-Founder CEO

Debra Vines-Founder CEO

Debra is Founder and Executive Director of The Answer, Inc, has been married to husband James Harlan for 33 years; has 2 children Mark and Jason.

Jason who is now 28 years old was diagnosed with Autism when he was 18 months, thus beginning her journey. As the mother of a son with Autism, she understands the joy, pain, and frustration that can mount with having a child that has special needs. So in response to her own questions and need for support, she founded The Answer, Inc., in 2007.

Mrs. Vines has is a Certified Advocate and has served within various communities and with several organizations, including: 4th District Asst. Majority Leader Senator Kimberly Lightford’s Women Committee, Member of AAABNA, Peer Reviewer for the Department of Defense (Autism) and the host of The Answer Inc Show.

Her greatest accomplishment has been to watch the families that she has aided reach milestones that were once told to them as unobtainable.

 Jeffrey Mitchell

Jeffrey Mitchell

Jeffrey Mitchell holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Human Resource Management from North Central College and a Masters from the Keller Graduate School of Management with specialties in Entrepreneurship and Finance.  He is committed to a life of service and supports several local nonprofit organizations as well as his home church Parkview.  He is a Financial Associate with Thriven and focuses on insurance, retirement income strategy and estate planning with clients throughout Chicagoland.

Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist with a diverse background in serving children with communication disorders.  Her clinical interests lie in the area of social/pragmatic language intervention approaches for children on the Autism Spectrum.  Suzanne earned a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, andMaster’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology   from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Syracuse University.  She has two children aged 17 and 20.

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Christopher J. Parker - President

Mr. Christopher J. Parker is known throughout the western Chicagoland area as one of the leading African-American male bankers working in low to moderate income communities. Currently he is the Vice-President and CRA Commercial Lender for Proviso Community Bank (Wintrust Financial Corp.) He has had a successful tenure of leadership within Community Banking for the past 16 years. Community banking has lead him to realize his passion for people and their financial success. Civically, Mr. Christopher J. Parker serves as Chairman of the board for the Proviso-Township Regional Chamber of Commerce, Bellwood Chamber and The Answer Inc. For over a decade, he has served his local church, Redeem Church of God in Christ Ministries, as deacon and financial administrator. He also serves as a member of the Maywood-Proviso Rotary Club.

Christopher J. Parker has set out on a mission to help the local community in areas of economic and community development with an emphasis on financial responsibility. He is a very proud supporter of The Answer Inc. Agency and look forward to leading it towards becoming a million dollar non-profit in order to help more families impacted by Autism.

  Rose Johnson- Vice President

Rose Johnson- Vice President

Rose M. Johnson is a Registered Professional Nurse with a vast background in Critical Care and Emergency Room services for over 30 years. She has provided services in Chicago’s top Trauma Centers. Over years she has merged from bedside care to Leadership in the hospital setting.

She currently works for Illinicare Health in the corporate sector as a Quality Specialists. Responsible for educating and training staff companywide on Quality Metrics the meet and exceed the National Committee for Quality Assurance standards.

  Andrea Byas - Treasurer

Andrea Byas - Treasurer

AndreaWilliams-Byas R.N. Earned a Nursing Degree from Malcolm X College and a Bachelor's degree from National Louis University in Healthcare Administration. .Andrea is a wife and a mother of a Adult son with Autism diagnosed 38 years ago. Since that time Andrea has been a strong advocate for Persons with Disabilities. Andrea joined the Answer Inc. Organization in 2007and became one of the original Board Members

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Latrice Johnson

Latrice’s younger brother (Nick) has autism and it’s because of him that she was first introduced to The Answer, Inc.  Latrice M. Johnson comes to The Answer, Inc. because of her passion for volunteerism.  She will use her professional expertise and personal perspectives to make decisions that provide growth and leadership to the organization.  Latrice holds a BA in Liberal Arts from DePaul University, an MBA from Dominican University and is a certified HR Professional (PHR).

Latrice enjoys volunteering for causes which are close to her heart, autism is such a cause.  She understands the need for advocacy for people of color in all facets of society and individuals with intellectual disabilities (IDD) is definitely one of the causes worth championing!


If you are simply looking for some "good works" to support in your community, you have come to the right place. Contributions from thoughtful committed citizens like yourselves allow us to fund our programming efforts and continue to provide much needed activities and outlets for Children and Parents of Children with Autism and other Special Needs.  

Click the donate button below and we will be sure to send you a special thank you gift as a small gesture of how much your donation means to The Answer Inc and each and every mother and child that is a part of the community that we serve.

Forever Hopeful,

Debra Vines, Founder/Executive Director