Katie has been involved in rape and violence prevention since 2002 when she began volunteering at Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault as a crisis counselor. She came to IMPACT in 2007 when she took the Core Program, and soon thereafter she became the volunteer coordinator. Her passion for IMPACT led her to class assist and participate in several advanced classes. In 2010 she became the IMPACT Board Treasurer. She has been teaching workshops since 2013 and became an IMPACT instructor in 2016.
Katie received her master of business administration from DePaul University and is a certified public account. She currently works as the Superintendent of Business at the Des Plaines Park District.
“Every woman has a right to feel safe within her own body; and I look forward to helping women and girls learn to use their physical and spiritual power to defend themselves successfully.” – Katie
Margaret has been an IMPACT instructor since 1992, teaching all programs, and is also an Instructor Trainer. She holds a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and created and instructs in a Tae Kwon Do program for youth and adults, particularly aimed at youth at risk.
She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been at the Jewish Children’s Bureau since 1990, where she is now Chief Operating Officer. Her social work career has focused on the treatment of emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children and youth. She co-developed the full IMPACT course for teen girls. “To me IMPACT courses have always been about freedom to live in the world in a more complete and visible way. Providing this experience to women is a revolutionary act – revolution of old restrictive attitudes and beliefs in favor of greater freedom.” – Margaret
Martha has been teaching IMPACT since 1988. She is also an Instructor Trainer, Director Emeritus, and Instructor and Curriculum Coordinator. She is the IMPACT Chicago representative to the international IMPACT community.
Martha received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Iowa and is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Northeastern Illinois University. She holds a fourth-degree black belt in Seido karate. She has published several articles on self-defense, including the “Empowering Self-Defense," "The Power of NO” and “Kicking Down the Barriers: Self-Defense and Social Change.”
"My belief that ordinary women can do extraordinary things is continually affirmed in teaching IMPACT. We create an opportunity for women to recognize the power, fighting spirit, and love of life they already have." – Martha
Molly has been an IMPACT Instructor since 2012. She teaches the Core Program, IMPACT for Girls, and workshops. She is currently a doctoral student in audiology with years of experience as an acoustics consultant.
"My involvement with IMPACT has been deeply inspiring, especially with regard to the power and strength I have seen emerge from women who previously believed they were incapable of defending themselves." – Molly
Want to join the ranks? Find out how to become our newest Lead Instructor!
Ben got his start in security bouncing for 9 years at bars and clubs in Madison, WI then Chicago. He was a wrestler for 12 years in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco Roman. He also studied Jiu-Jitsu and other martial arts. He started with IMPACT Chicago in 2004. After talking with women in his family, he decided IMPACT was the thing to do. Ben is also a tattoo artist.
"I like IMPACT because we teach women how to defend themselves. What we teach is not frilly – the idea isn't to look good, the idea is for them to walk away safely." – Ben
Nat has been actively practicing self-defense since 1994. He holds a second degree blackbelt in Maikido and taught boxing at DePaul University for four years. He has also studied a number of other martial arts to supplement his core training and to focus on particular skills, including Judo, Capoeira Angola, Escrima, and Jujitsu. He is the Digital Archivist at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, has an M.A. in history and a teaching certificate for secondary education both from DePaul University. Nat was drawn to IMPACT because of its focus on practical training that students can learn quickly, scenarios that are based on how attacks actually occur, and its curriculum that emphasizes women's strengths in their hips and legs.
“I am personally inspired by the positive, transformative effect IMPACT classes have on many students' lives.” –Nat
Bruce is a certified personal trainer, has served in the U.S. Air Force as a Munitions Specialist, and has a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, 1st degree in Kenpo Karate and 1st degree in Hapkido. He also has extensive training in defensive knife, defenseive handgun, and advanced empty hand combat training. He has worked as a licensed officer in security and protective services and currently holds titles as a NRA Firearms Range Safety Officer, NRA Instructor of Personal Protection Inside the Home, Personal Protection Outside the Home and Basic Pistol Shooting.
“When I witnessed an encounter between a large man and a small woman, I realized that even with all my formal training I did not know how to teach a woman to defend herself. I was drawn to IMPACT because it is a system that encourages women to use their natural attributes and is not a system based on men’s attributes.
Rob has been an IMPACT instructor since January 1999 and is also an Instructor Trainer. After moving to Chicago in 1995, he became involved in rape-prevention training as well as awareness, outreach, and education, working with Rape Victim Advocates and student groups on college campuses. He really enjoys working with and teaching women's self-defense, particularly in the areas of violence demystification and boundary setting. These two areas are often the more misunderstood and least publicized part of self-defense, as well as being more transferrable to other life situations.
"I want to be part of the process where men and women partner together to prevent both violence against women as well as breaking down the emotional and spiritual barriers society thrusts upon females.” – Rob
Mark has been an IMPACT instructor since 1992 and is an Instructor Trainer. Mark developed and taught self-defense and martial arts for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Kinesiology Department from 1990 to 1998. He now works for the Division of Information Technology doing project management. He holds black belts in Jiu-jitsu and Tae Kwon Do.
Mark first came to IMPACT when one of his martial arts students brought him to a graduation.
“I didn’t believe a 24-hour program could produce such results. I’d been doing self- defense work for years and had never seen anything like it. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to be involved in. I believe we’re putting an end to violence against women, ten to fifteen women at a time, by helping women to remove themselves as potential targets for violence.” – Mark
Ready to join the team? Here's how to become our newest Suited Instructor!
Naomi has been involved with IMPACT Chicago since Fall 2005 when she took the Core Program. For her, the experience was life changing, and she decided that she wanted to stay involved with IMPACT. After completing the Core Program, she began assisting in classes. She is currently a workshop instructor with the organization, as well as a licensed clinical social worker.
She fully believes in and supports IMPACT Chicago's mission to end violence and build a non-violent world in which all people can live safely and with dignity.
“IMPACT continually inspires and invigorates me. Every time that I participate or assist in a class or workshop or talk about IMPACT with someone, I feel fully alive. IMPACT gave me a sense of freedom to exist in the world with a confidence that I didn't have before completing the Core Program. It has been amazing to see other women develop self-defense skills, connect with their own power and strength, and understand their right to be safe." – Naomi
Debborah has been involved with IMPACT Chicago since September 1998. During the past two decades, she has volunteered as a class assistant and public speaker. With many years of tutoring, coaching, and teaching experience, she says her work with IMPACT has been the most fulfilling. Debborah currently serves on the Board of Directors and is a speaker for the organization.
"During class, and especially on the last day of class, I've listened to women tell their stories of transformation. How they fought through their fears, why they kept going no matter how tired they were, and when they realized they had an inner strength greater than anything they could have imagined. It is incredibly rewarding to hear the women use their voices with newly found confidence, to see them walk with assurance, and to witness their realization that they are truly powerful. It is a gift to play a part in that transformation.” – Debborah