Meet Our FaithBridge Board

Dr. Norval Brown’s education includes a BA from The University of Chicago, Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary. He holds a certificate in spiritual direction from The Claret Center in Chicago and has been involved in The Academy for Spiritual Formation (a two-year program of The Upper Room) as a participant, faculty presenter and member of the leadership team.  Norval is an oblate at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Peoria, IL and he serves on various board and agencies of the church and community. He brings gifts in spiritual formation to the Church as he is called to lead retreats, revivals, and individual spiritual direction.

 Norval’s pastoral experience is as extensive as it is varied. He has served large parishes and small parishes; African-American, predominantly Anglo and multi-racial; urban and suburban. He has served as a campus minister and an adjunct faculty member at Chicago Theological Seminary. He currently is the lead pastor of Cary Methodist Church.

Mike Chakoian is the representative from the First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake, where he is a leader of their Stephen Ministry program. He has attended FaithBridge events since its beginning, and completed the first presentation of the two year Faith-to-Faith/Face-to-Face series as well as serving as videographer the second time it was presented. As a board member of the former Common Ground organization, he has had an interest in interfaith issues for thirty years. He currently serves as Secretary of the FaithBridge board. Mike is a retired Vice President of the Northern Trust Company, lives in Crystal Lake with his wife Shari, and has two sons and two granddaughters. He is an avid bridge player and a terrible golfer.

Paul Kalmes represents the St. Anne Catholic Community of Barrington. He is Co-chair of the FaithJustice Committee and a committed community volunteer. Paul has been married to his wife Adrienne for forty year. They have 4 children and 4 grandchildren and 2 great grand children. They enjoy cooking and entertaining as well as traveling to visit their children who live across the country.

Suzanne Martinez is Congregational Outreach for Advocate Aurora’s Illinois, Northern Region, encompassing Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.    Throughout her life Suzanne has also continually served in a range of civic and charitable organizations:  Chair of FaithBridge, an interfaith coalition of clergy,  Co‐ President of NAMI, (National Alliance for Mental Health),  Board Member of the Samaritan Counseling Center, Barrington,  Secretary for Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force and the Lake County Opioid Initiative, Secretary of the Diaper Bank Partnership of Lake County,  the Lake Zurich Rotary member and serves as District 6440 Service Advisor.    Suzanne finds great satisfaction in her empowering outreach projects within the faith community, for example, initiating and coordinating health events with local churches.  She is most gratified by the outreach work of bringing Health and Wellness programs that encompass Body, Mind and Spirit. 

Mahmood Mohiuddin is a first generation immigrant from India. Mahmood has been associated with Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs, since its inception. After retirement, he spends time by volunteering at Good Shepherd Hospital and helps non-profit organizations with grant writing. He believes gratitude and generosity go hand in hand. Mahmood and his wife Rizwana are married for 48 years, have four children and 8 grandchildren.

Created in 2007, FaithBridge encourages interfaith communication, understanding, cooperation, spiritual practice and action. Through a variety of programs, gatherings, and educational opportunities, we bring people of differing traditions together to learn about each other’s faiths, find common ground, and create something beautiful and unique that ties us all together as believing human beings. The organization was formed in Crystal Lake, Illinois and has grown to include many of the suburbs in McHenry, Lake and Kane Counties, as well as metropolitan Chicago.

Over the years, FaithBridge has sponsored a variety of activities, including an annual Prayer Breakfast on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, an I Have A Dream essay contest for local schools, an annual Community Thanksgiving Service, interfaith concerts, dialogue groups, prayer services after tragedies, and a class on interfaith understanding called Faith to Faith, Face to Face. New programming is always in process, including a new series of informal conversation gatherings in the “salon” style.


Why do we care about Interfaith work? What excites you about the bridges being built between people? Listen in as some Faithbridge members share their passion–and then share yours!