Board of Directors | Syrian Community Network


Board of Directors

Suzanne Akhras Sahloul

President and Executive Director

Suzanne Akhras Sahloul is the founder & president of the Syrian Community Network. She is also the founder of Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) Midwest Foundation, having served as its president from 2004- 2006. She has a bachelors degree in history and education from the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC), a Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) from Lewis University, and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership at the Kellogg School of Management Suzanne currently resides with her husband and three children in the West suburbs of Chicago and in her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling.

Hadia Zarzour

Vice President

Hadia Zarzour is a Licensed Professional Counselor who came to the US in 2009 on a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her Masters in Counseling Psychology. Since receiving her Masters in 2011 from Loyola University Chicago, Hadia has been working at Asian Human Services, a community mental health agency for refugees, immigrants and the underserved from different parts of the globe. Hadia has a Bachelor degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Education from Damascus University, Syria. She enjoyed her eight year teaching experience in her home country where she taught English as a second language to school students and Introduction to Psychology to university students. Hadia is also a co-founder of Insan, a non-profit organization which was founded in 2012 and is dedicated to providing psychological support to Syrian children and adults.

Suehaila Nabulsi


Suehaila Nabulsi is a native Chicagoan descending from strong Syrian and Palestinian roots.  She currently works in the field of Software Engineering focusing in the areas of Business Analysis and Project Management.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and a Master’s in Business Administration from DePaul University—Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago.  A loving wife and mother of two, Suehaila’s love for people among all other things is what drives her special interests in career coaching, leadership development, teambuilding, and organization development.

Feras Nabulsi


Feras Nabulsi, a proud Syrian-American, was raised in Kuwait and Syria. He immigrated to the United States in 1995 to achieve a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems. Within his career, Feras brings value to his clients every day through his expertise in human-centered design and user experience for the development of innovative web and mobile applications. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction at DePaul University of Chicago.

Manal Mashal

Community Outreach Coordinator

Manal Mashal is the owner and CEO of Noor Travel. She has an associate degree in travel with over 20 years of experience in the travel industry between the Middle East and the United States. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and 3 children.

Dr. Lena Shahbandar

Member at Large

Dr. Lena Shahbandar grew up in Northeast Wisconsin and moved to the Chicagoland area for her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University. She also received her medical degree at Northwestern University, and she is currently the chairperson of the physiatry department at DuPage Medical Group.  Lena and her husband have settled into life in the western suburbs of Chicago with their three children. 

Dr. Bana Mashnouk Ahdab

Member at Large

Dr. Bana Mashnouk Ahdab was born and raised in Hama, Syria.  Having received her DDS degree from Al Ba'ath University in Homs, Syria, she immigrated to the United States in 1994 to further expand her dental education. She later graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Dentistry.  After completing 1 year of residency at Illinois Masonic Hospital, she founded her own dental practice in 2006 in Westmont, Illinois.  Still managing that office today, she continues to practice what she loves most—treating her patients.  Dr. Ahdab is a member of the Chicago Dental Society, Chicago Muslims Dental Society, and the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).  Bana calls Burr Ridge home, where she is a very busy and proud mother of two beautiful daughters.  She enjoys traveling, gardening, and reading.