About Us


In 2017, a group of bright, determined and like-minded individuals set out to establish Spes Novum. Their courage to start a new premier lodge speaks volumes about who they were, and we’re honored to follow in their footsteps.


Our Fraternity represents a group of diverse people who always strive for the highest level of excellence, as our founders intended. Shared goals and interests in areas of philosophy, spiritual experiences and building solid relationships hold our lodge together and define who we are. 

Spes Novum No. 1183 officially received it's charter under the auspices of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Illinois on October 5th, 2019. It also received the Grand Master's Award of Excellence this same year, but not only this award, they also received 3rd place in state overall, a tremendous accomplishment for any lodge, let alone one that was U.D.


The founders of Spes Novum have experienced all Masonry has to offer in Northern Illinois and believe it can be much more. Our members are accountable and focused with united vision and value, and we dare to build a fresh experience heretofore not seen in the jurisdiction before. Enlightenment is the multi-faceted approach to expanding the minds and consciences of the membership, which includes spiritual development and educational presentations not limited solely to Masonic-related topics. A new era is emerging, and it is our duty, not only as members of SN, but as Masons, to enlighten our fellow brethren and assist them on their educational and spiritual journeys. 

Our Philosophy



The Officers

Robert L. Wingader

Rob is a financial markets entrepreneur, and is obsessed with developing ideas and opportunities to optimize the value of goods and services. He has a Master's in Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude, from Babson College where he focused on Entrepreneurial Finance and Operations Management, earning a full-tuition research fellowship for his two years at the school, working as a five-subject teachers' assistant, and ultimately being recognized as the Outstanding Graduate in Finance. Rob subsequently earned Master's in Finance - Risk Management from Loyola University Chicago, where he graduated with Dean's Honors. At Loyola, he conducted original research on the viability of trading strategies based on synthetic bond positions and developed an appreciation for the value of "the space between."

Worshipful Master


Bobbie Mitchell

Bobbie Mitchell is an occupational health and safety professional that specializes in organizational development and culture change initiatives. Bringing diverse executive experience to the table, Bobbie excels in facilitating “member value propositions” for fraternal, corporate, or community groups. A Freemason for over 18 years and a Delta Sigma Phi man, his love of fraternalism is always apparent. With eyes to the future and believing the social ties of brotherhood to be as crucial to the Craft as spiritual and philosophical development, Bobbie initiated the first American chapter of the Blue Lounge Social Club and currently serves as its president. When he’s not looking out for the safety of the workers in Chicagoland, or the future and membership of Freemasonry, Bobbie can be found spending time with his family--his amazing wife Abby and their three fantastic daughters, discussing the role of American government or cheering on his beloved Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  

Senior Warden

SN Head shot.jpg

Adam P. Hassel

Adam grew up on a small farm in rural IL.  He spent his youth in the Boy Scouts, eventually attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. To pursue a career in music, he enrolled as a music student at Elmhurst College. He graduated with a BA in Music Business and began working as an Audio Engineer. He currently works as a Producer and Audio Engineer at a Chicago-based Audiobook publisher. Adam is a long time practitioner of Buddhist meditation and an eager learner of comparative religions. Adam is hoping to earn a commission as a Certified Lodge Instructor in the ensuing year, and help facilitate a marriage between the Illinois ritual and contemplative practice in the Craft. Adam was raised at Sequoit Lodge #827 in May of 2017, where he has served as the Lodge Education Officer since 2018. 

Junior Warden


Lee Braden

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Lee Braden’s most recent adventure brought him to Lake County, Illinois.  Lee soon found his way to Libertyville Lodge No. 492, where the brotherhood made him a Mason in 2017.  Lee enthusiastically promotes the craft to those who may be in need of both a fraternity and a “moral science” with which to improve their lives.  Professionally, he has over 16 years of business consulting and internal audit experience, most recently in the global agriculture and consumer products manufacturing industries.  Lee enjoys working with non-profit organizations, and currently serves on the boards of directors of a local organic farm and a statewide lineage society.  He is also pursuing the degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, as a member of the Valley of Chicago Scottish Rite, NMJ.



Robert H. Johnson

Philosophy is at the core of what Robert is after. Having grown up in Italy and being exposed to the culture and much of the renaissance art and literature, Freemasonry became a natural place for him to gravitate toward. He is an avid musician and writer. He’s written for several print magazines and blogs on subjects ranging from Firearms and Medical Ethics to Theology and Comparative Religions. Robert's primary studies are in philosophy and mathematics. He also holds an honorary Doctorate Degree in Philosophy in Religion. Currently, Robert works as an executive in the medical industry. He received his degrees from Waukegan Lodge No. 78, becoming Worshipful Master in 2014. He’s since served as both a District Education Officer and a District Deputy Grand Master. He currently serves on the Grand Lodge if Illinois Education Committee. 



James E. Frey

​James is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and holds his bachelors in Clinical Psychology. He's an avid artist and musician. He is a Past Master of Crete Lodge No. 763, Past Sovereign Prince Valley of Danville AASR, and the District Education Officer for the 12th NE District of Illinois. 

Senior Deacon


Bert Robledo

Bert Robledo is a public service employee for the government. His interests have long been in history, geology, spiritual and religious studies including occult, esoteric, initiatic orders, and shamanism. He is a member of various initiatic orders over the past 20 years, such as the Rosicrucian Order. Beyond his studies, Bert has been to several meditation retreats at the Monroe Institute and participated in ayahuasca ceremonies in Peru.

Bert’s core spiritual value is absolute reverence for the temple. When in a temple one is transported and transmuted during the time of ritual - one is taken back to the time of the past masters. This is to be held high in the heart and mind of a Mason. Rituals conducted within the temple are the greatest aspect of Masonry and all initiatic orders. Spes Novum has fulfilled a key aspect of his spiritual path. 

Junior Deacon

Alex Gholson

Bio and Photo Coming Soon

Senior Steward



Bio and Photo Coming Soon

Junior Steward


Ed Garrison

Ed Garrison simultaneously received B.A. and M.A. degrees in literature and philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. He went on to be awarded a Fulbright scholarship to continue his studies at the University of Münster in Germany. Despite his liberal arts background, he soon pivoted to accounting, financial analysis, and systems analysis, and today owns a small IT consulting firm specializing in customized business intelligence software development. 

After years of passive interest in Masonry, Ed finally “took the plunge” and applied for membership in Libertyville Lodge #492, where he was Initiated in December of 2017, and Raised in June of the following year. He quickly became fascinated by the profound philosophical content, both exoteric and esoteric, of Masonry and its rituals. This led him to Spes Novum. He is now an enthusiastic member of both lodges, serving the former as Junior Warden and the latter as Marshall. Ed enjoys spending time with his wife, his (grown) kids and stepkids, and his step-grandkids -- and with his goldendoodles, who, despite his best attempts to be in charge, consistently manage to outwit him. 



Spencer A. Hamann

Spencer Hamann has a vast and varied set of skills and interests, and boundless curiosity.  Drawing inspiration from his love of music and engineering at an early age, Spencer began apprenticing to learn the luthier’s art as a high school freshman in 2003.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Musicology, focused on Organology. He now works professionally as a luthier, managing workshops in Illinois and Wisconsin, completing repairs and restorations of fine string instruments, and providing education on instrument history and maintenance.  Spencer also enjoys performing music on a variety of instruments, is an avid collector of fine tools, frequently takes commissions for custom work within woodworking, and restores typewriters and bicycles among other antiques. Curatorship and adding value are core to his personal philosophies. Spencer was Raised in 2013, served Libertyville Lodge No. 492 as Worshipful Master from 2017-2018, and currently serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois as their Grand Representative to Wisconsin, District Education officer for the 1st NE District, and is a Certified Lodge Instructor (CLI).



Scott S. Dueball

Education has been a lifelong experience for Scott. Both of Scott’s parents earned higher degrees in science and math so it was natural that he would pursue a similar path. Scott received his Masters of Science in Biomechanics from Ball State University after successfully defending his thesis on computational models of bone strain. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, Engineering, and Math from Valparaiso University. He has two patents and his research has been published and presented in numerous outlets. He enjoys time with his family, smoking meat, and woodworking in his free time. Scott received his Craft degrees from Muncie Lodge #433 while a student at Ball State in 2009. Since returning to Illinois, Scott has become active in Masonry serving as the Master of D.C. Cregier Lodge No. 81 twice, District Education Officer, the first State Education Officer in Illinois, Chairman of the Committee on Masonic Education, and President of the Midwest Conference on Masonic Education. However, Scott's proudest moment was serving as Worshipful Master for Spes Novum when we earned our Charter.