Staff

Pastor Jose Gonzalez, Pastor
IMG_0928 Jose first grasped his call to ministry while completing his Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Maintenance Management at Lewis University. Realizing he was more of people person than a machine person, he worked in retail management for 7 and a half years, after which he attended North Park Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity with hopes to pastor full-time. Over the years he has served in a variety of ministry contexts, including as a worship musician, InterVarsity student leader, small group leader, athletic chaplain, and pastoral care leader. He and his amazing wife Kristin have a wonderful son Joshua, and together they enjoy following Chicago and University of Illinois sports, but they yell the loudest for the Bears and Fighting Illini basketball.
Thomas Cellilli, Director of Youth Ministries
Desi2 Thomas has worked with students in a youth group setting since he was a sophomore in high school when he received his calling into ministry. Since then, he has served as a camp counselor and the Leadership Development Coordinator at a camp in Nebraska and interned at a church in Omaha for their youth program. Currently, Thomas is in the last semester of his senior year at North Park University. He is majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies and plans to go to seminary after he graduates from North Park. Thomas has been married to his beautiful and wonderful wife, Shelby, since June.
Shelby Cellilli, Director of Music Ministries
Desi2 Shelby has been involved in worship ministry since she was in high school. She was heavily involved in music in general, but had a specific love for worship. She continued on to lead worship in college, and she is currently a pre-counseling student at Moody Bible Institute, in her final year there. She is happily married to Thomas, a wonderful man of God.
Melissa O’Hara, Director of Children and Family Ministries
Melissa grew up right here at Northbrook Covenant Church since the young age of 5. It has been an honor for her to serve our children and families since June of 2016. In addition to serving on staff, she also works in the financial industry in Northfield. Melissa resides in Morton Grove with her husband Mike (who can also be found faithfully serving at NBCC), along with her two children, Jack and Molly. Melissa and her family love the Lord dearly and consider Northbrook Covenant their second home.
Shinna Alava, Office Manager
Shinna joined Northbrook Covenant staff as the Office Manager in February 2017. In addition to many years in the marketing industry, she has served on staff and as a volunteer in many ministries over the course of her life, from music, small groups, children’s and youth ministries, speaking at MOPS, to marketing and strategic management. She holds a B.S.Econ. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a 4-year Bible School degree. She and her husband Don are blessed to have three beautiful children who also love to worship and serve God.