MEET OUR BOARD
clf’s board of directors is a group of multidisciplinary leaders who are responsible for helping set the direction of clf and ensure the foundation is fulfilling its mission. Board members meet regularly, raise funds and awareness, and contribute their many and varied strengths to help make clf a success.
HOWARD M. ROSSMAN, Ph. D
Mesirow Financial Strategies, Inc.
Dr. Howard Rossman is the Founder and President of the Civic Leadership Foundation. With a background in psychology and deep experience in organizational leadership and entrepreneurship, he has provided guidance to several non-profit organizations. He developed and founded the Civic Leadership Foundation to promote the principles and practices of positive youth development through well-researched, project-based programs.
Dr. Rossman is the Vice Chairman of Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. and the founder of Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc., one of the largest fund of hedge funds in the world. In those roles he has been a member of the investment, executive and management committees and responsible for all aspects of organizational management, including due diligence, strategic analysis and planning and market development. As the author of many articles on alternative strategies, Dr. Rossman has spoken at numerous conferences on non-traditional investing and asset allocation and has been a recognized leader in the hedge fund of funds business for over 25 years.
In addition, Dr. Rossman has chaired the boards of several not-for-profit organizations and currently serves as a Board Member of the Third Way, Roosevelt University, Luster Learning Institute and consults to many other educational organizations.
He received an A.B. in sociology from Princeton University, an M.A. in educational psychology from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies.
Greg Fedorinchik, cfa
Legal & General Investment Management America
Greg Fedorinchik recently joined Legal & General Investment Management America. Previously, he was a senior managing director for Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc., head of the Global Client Relationship Team, and a member of the executive committee. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the firm’s client service, business development and product management functions and works closely with all areas of the firm to develop customized portfolios for clients.
Prior to joining Mesirow Advanced Strategies in 2008, Mr. Fedorinchik spent 13 years with Brinson Partners and its successor organization (UBS Global Asset Management), where he was an executive director in its Global Investment Solutions group and a member of its asset allocation and currency investment committee and alpha allocation committee. Before that Mr. Fedorinchik spent two years at the Northern Trust Company as a team leader in its large corporate trust division.
Mr. Fedorinchik received a B.A. in Economics and English from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University. In addition, he is a CFA charterholder and co-author of the book Investment Leadership and Portfolio Management (published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., October 2009).
Prep Baseball Report, LLC
Adam B. Brass has worked in the entertainment, agriculture, construction and financial industries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America. Adam is currently Chief Executive Officer of BRI Partners LLC, a venture capital company specializing in hedge funds, which he co-founded in 2000. As a member of BRI’s Management and Investment Committees, he is involved in each component of the business with duties ranging from structuring, negotiating relationships with portfolio companies, marketing, asset raising, client servicing and making investment and divestment decisions. He also runs an amateur baseball company, Prep Baseball Report LLC, headquartered in Illinois, which has produced numerous championship teams and several major league players.
Adam previously served as Director of British Fairwell (Asia) Limited, Executive Vice President of Oppenheimer Managed Derivatives, Inc., Principal and Executive Vice President of SF Investments Inc, and Partner at Lotsoff Capital Management Group.
HOLLY SIDER SMITH
Holly Sider is a licensed clinical social worker and mitigation specialist. As a mitigation specialist, she prepares mitigation for capital and non-capital criminal cases in state and federal venues. She brings with her over 38 years of social-service experience, working extensively with low-income adults, ex-offenders and individuals with substance-abuse problems. She is a certified domestic-violence counselor where her experience includes training, individual and group counseling. In addition, Ms. Sider has a private practice where she provides psychotherapy to individuals and families with a primary focus on adolescents and young adults. She received her Bachelor and Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois.
MAGGIE BINN DINOVI
Maggie Blinn DiNovi is an education leadership consultant, working with organizations to enhance and improve the training and support of school leaders. She has worked with districts, foundations, and nonprofits over the past 15 years to ensure that all schools are led by a team of highly trained, effective school leaders. For seven years, she served as the Executive Director of New Leaders for New Schools, recruiting, training and supporting a premier pipeline of principal talent for Chicago Public Schools. Maggie also served as the Deputy Chief Officer of the Office of Principal Preparation and Development for CPS, and as the principal investment portfolio manager at The Chicago Public Education Fund. Prior to entering the field of education, Maggie was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and a corporate attorney at Sidley & Austin. Maggie has a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.
HEATHER GARDNER, CIMA, AIF
WILLIAM BLAIR INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Heather Gardner is responsible for institutional business development at William Blair Investment Management, focusing on product placement for insurance firms, defined-contribution investment-only platforms, and sub-advisory relationships. Before joining William Blair in 2001, Heather was an institutional equity research sales executive with Stephens Inc. She is a member of the Investments & Wealth Institute (IWI) and Money Management Institute (MMI). She serves on the board of the Civic Leadership Foundation, the board of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Company, and the Sustaining Fellows program committee of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Chicago, and is a former board member of Women Investment Professionals (WIP) of Chicago. Education: Hendrix College, B.A. in business/economics. Designations: Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA); Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF); certificate of completion from the University of Chicago, Booth Management School of Business for the Chicago Management Institute program; certificate of completion from Northwestern Kellogg School of Business, Corporate Governance program; and certificate of completion from CFA Society, Investment Foundations.
ERNST & YOUNG
As a Partner in EY's Transaction Advisory (TAS) Valuation & Business Modeling business, Paul has over 20 years of software and consulting experience across many industries. His focus is on helping organizations leverage data and analytics to manage their current and future capital, especially during mergers, acquisitions, carve-outs, divestitures and other large capital decisions. Whether engaged during due diligence, pre-close or post-close/integration, during a transaction he helps his clients better understand their working capital, supply chain, IT, finance, HR, customers and product/SKU profitability. Through better decision-making, for corporate and private equity clients Paul and his Team help create social and economic value by helping them make more informed decisions about strategically managing capital and transactions.
Paul states he is "committed to the mission of CLF and helping young people succeed by taking responsibility for their futures, their neighborhoods and their relationships with others. Through engagement, leadership and empowerment, CLF is driving real change our region and I am excited about helping the organization be as effective as it can possibly be."
BILL KERR, JD
SIDLEY & AUSTIN
Bill is a partner in Sidley Austin LLP’s Chicago office where he leads the firm’s global investment funds practice and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Bill advises clients in a wide range of securities and derivatives matters, including the organization, operation and regulation of private investment funds and investment managers. Bill is a frequent speaker at firm and industry conferences on investment fund related topics. Bill received his BA from Yale University in 1980 and his JD from Harvard Law School in 1983. Bill states, “I am pleased to join the CLF board and look forward to working with the other directors and CLF’s staff to improve the lives of Chicago’s youth.”
Brock LaMarca is a Senior Manager Director at Mesirow Financial, where he co-leads a team of investment advisory professionals. At Mesirow, Brock seeks to guide his clients through the many phases of their financial lives by advising on all aspects of their wealth, with a holistic approach to wealth management that focuses on long-term goals rather than short-term market cycles. Adhering to a stated list of governing principles, Brock and his team work as fee based advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. Clients include individuals, businesses and not-for-profit entities.
Brock has long sought to balance his commitments to raising his two daughters and building his practice, with a desire to participate in and give back to the local community. Brock has recently sought to focus this interest in giving back with an attention to early childhood education; he currently serves as an active board member and is on the fund raising committee to build a community family center in Highland Park, IL. He has previously served as a board member for the Highland Park/Highwood United Way and for Asian Youth Services in Chicago.
Brock began his career at Merrill Lynch in the mid ‘80s and joined Mesirow Financial in 1989. He graduated from Michigan State University and attended DePaul University’s MBA program prior to joining Merrill Lynch.
JEFFREY PROECH, JD
Jeffrey Proeh grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago. After graduating Glenbrook North High School, Jeff attended The University of Texas at Austin where he received a B.A. in Psychology. Upon his return back to Chicago, Jeff studied and graduated from The John Marshall Law School and was ultimately admitted to the Illinois State Bar in 1990. After a few years of practicing corporate law, Jeff entered the commodities business where he became a trusted advisor to a multitude of clients as well as an investor himself using futures and derivatives to hedge his and his client's portfolios. Since 2013, when Jeff decided to retire from trading, he has pursued many entrepreneurial endeavors including selling insurance, starting a tree care business and becoming a real estate investor and broker.
Jeff has always had a passion for giving back, he has been intimately involved with the Rory David Deutsch Foundation since it's inception. He has also worked with a local foundation which was established to help educate young adults and adolescents of the risks and dangers associated with drug use and drug abuse. He has also spent countless hours helping organize and spearhead programs to feed the needy. Jeff's biggest reason for joining the Board of CLF was to be able to help provide a platform for young adults to gain the resources and tools to become productive, responsible and contributing members of society.
ALLISON SILVER, JD
Allison Silver was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After earning a degree in Business Administration from Babson College and a Law Degree from Tulane University she returned to Chicago to work as a management consultant. Her diverse business background has led to a decade of experience collaborating with legal departments and executive leadership to solve big challenges and shape innovative business strategies. Allison recently earned her Master's of Science in Strategic Design and Management from Parsons School of Design. Ms. Silver is passionate about creative problem solving and developing innovative design solutions to the most complex problems facing communities and organizations today.
She is thrilled to be part of an organization like CLF that is committed to empowering youth to make a difference in the world and their communities.
LEE RUBENSTEIN, JD
Former Director of Outreach for CLF, Lee Rubenstein is an attorney whose practice has focused primarily on the representation of international and Fortune 500 institutions in the areas of commercial real estate lending, acquisition, development and leasing. Prior to founding his own law firm in 1998, Mr. Rubenstein was affiliated with prominent Chicago Loop law firms, most recently Winston & Strawn.
Mr. Rubenstein is an active civic, philanthropic and community member. He has served as a caucus-nominating member for the major governing boards of the Village of Glencoe and for the School Board of New Trier High School. An avid fundraiser on behalf of the American Diabetes Association, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he has also served on the boards of the Chicago Father’s Day Council, the Bernard Weinger Jewish Community Center of Northbrook, Birthright Israel-Shorashim as well as the Oak Street Council of Chicago. Along with his family, Mr. Rubenstein dedicated the Harry Rubenstein Memorial Chapel in memory of his father in 1979 in the Regional Medical Hospital Center located in his hometown of Virginia, Minnesota. In 2008, he was honored as “Father of the Year” by the Chicago Father’s Day Council of the American Diabetes Association, for raising over $150,000 to help support advocacy, research, and education initiatives of the organization.
Mr. Rubenstein earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, Texas and Illinois.
Bill is CEO and owner of AFX Lighting, an 80-year-old family business located in Waukegan, IL. Bill has been involved in a number of boards including and currently as Chairman of the MRA, a non-profit employer association based in Milwaukee.
Bill states, “I have been aware of CLF since its inception and believe in the vision to helping young adults in the Chicago area. I look forward in contributing to the growth and awareness of CLF as a board member”.
Meet our Advisory Board
Jennifer Axelrod, Ph.D.
University of Chicago
Jennifer Axelrod is a Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall. Dr. Axelrod has extensive experience partnering with policymakers, researchers, clinicians, school leaders, and community based organizations. At Chapin Hall, Dr. Axelrod is leveraging her experience in large public systems to work with federal, state, and local agency leadership to best leverage partnerships with private agencies. Dr. Axelrod is also working to support private agencies, both individually and collectively, in the use of data to support continuous quality improvement processes with a focus on improving outcomes for families and children at each developmental stage.
Prior to joining Chapin Hall in the summer of 2014, Dr. Axelrod was most recently the Deputy Commissioner of Youth Services at the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) where she designed and supervised the implementation of the City’s youth services and related funding strategies. Before joining the DFSS, Dr. Axelrod worked for Chicago Public Schools, where she oversaw the implementation of centrally-funded afterschool programming, and helped lead implementation of evidence-based behavioral health strategies and practices and other school improvement initiatives
Dr. Axelrod has a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Georgia, a Master’s of Education in School Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.A. from Williams College.
The Basofin Group
Richard Basofin is the founder and principal of The Basofin Group established to provide advice and assistance to nonprofit organizations. Prior to forming The Basofin Group, Rich worked for Hewitt Associates, one of the largest global providers of human resources consulting services. He also served as CFO of Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center. Mr. Basofin currently serves as a board member of the City Lit Theater Company, Victories of the Heart, the Cancer Wellness Center, and the Highland Park Public Library. He is a member of the Corporate Advisory Board of Family Service of Lake County.
Mr. Basofin holds a BA from the University of Illinois, an MAS from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He holds a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame.
Illinois State Senator
State Senator Daniel Biss is a full-time legislator representing Illinois's 9th District. Senator Biss is a former University of Chicago math professor who holds a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University.
Senator Biss served one term in the House before his election to the Senate. He resides in Evanston with his wife, Karin, and their children, Elliot and Theodore.
Attucks Asset Management
Mr. Bond is Chief Executive Officer of Attucks Asset Management, LLC, an independent Manager-of-Emerging Managers that concentrates on creating multi-manager portfolios in U.S. equity, international equity, fixed income and hedge fund-of-funds space. Mr. Bond is responsible for the overall management of Attucks, new product and new business development. Mr. Bond has 29 years of investment management experience and has 20 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur.
Mr. Bond received an AB degree from Princeton University as a Woodrow Wilson School Scholar in 1979. He received an MBA in Finance and Marketing and a JD from Northwestern University. Mr. Bond is the immediate past Chair of the National Association of Securities Professionals and is a current member of the Board and the Executive Committee. Mr. Bond is currently serving as a member of the Chicago City Plan Commission.
CBI Fulfillment Services
Cliff Bregstone is chairman of CBI Fulfillment Services with offices in Lincolnshire and Houston. He and his wife of 50 years have mentored underserved kids during their entire time together. Some of these relationships are for over 25 years. Presently he mentors 10 young people. Mr. Bregstone started College Bound Opportunities 10 years ago are now there are over over 230 CBO scholars. CBO provides low income high school students from Lake Forest, Highland Park Deerfield and Cristo Rey in Waukegan financial aid and Mentoring. 95% of CBO scholars graduate four year colleges.
He has served on the board of Teen Living that provides housing and help for homeless teen agers. He has served on the advisory board of the Lake County Community service and is starting a new non-profit called Community to Career to service Epic Academy on the south side of Chicago.
Steve Fiffer is a journalist who has written over a dozen books including, “50 Ways to Help Your Community: A Handbook for Change.” He collaborated with former Secretary of State James A. Baker III on the bestselling, “Work Hard, Study… and Keep out of Politics” and on two award-winning books with civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Steve’s feature articles, essays, op-ed pieces, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, New York Times magazine, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, and many other newspapers and magazines, as well as on Slate.com.
Steve has served as Chairman of the Evanston (Illinois) Arts Council and as a member of the Evanston Human Relations Commission, and previously sat on the board of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) in Chicago. He and his wife co-founded the Books and Breakfast program in the Evanston Public School system and have taught writing to middle school students in the I Have a Dream program.
Steve earned his B.A. cum laude from Yale and holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. In 2001, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship for writing.
Howard Area Community Center
Charles Hardwick has been a voice for the prison reentry and workforce development community since 2002. Hardwick gained a city-wide reputation of offering employment-related services to ex-offenders when he started out in the nonprofit industry as a Placement Specialist, progressing to Case Manager and eventually Manager of Howard Area Community Center’s Employment Resource Center. At the same time, he was named Director of Community Support Advisory Council North. During his seven years as Director of CSAC North, Charles Hardwick built a coalition of community stakeholders to support the reentry community on Chicago’s North Side, including state senators and representatives, congressman, and the 49th Ward Alderman. As Manager of HACC’s Employment Resource Center, Charles Hardwick has spent the past eight years strengthening HACC’s relationships with Illinois Department of Corrections, Cook County Jail, the City of Chicago Department of Family Support Services, the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership, and Chicago Jobs Council. Hardwick has dedicated his life to changing mainstream society’s perception of low-income and disenfranchised individuals, and continues to engage with the community at every level. He serves as Board member for Counseling First, a drug rehabilitative service and facilitates his proprietary job-readiness workshop, Fresh Start. In his free time, Charles Hardwick enjoys watching documentaries, traveling, and spending quality time with good friends, his four grown children, and his grandchildren.
Nancy Hoyt, MA
Organizational and Counseling Psychologist
Nancy Hoyt has worked in the field of education in a number of capacities. She has worked directly with students as Vice Principal of Our Lady of Tepeyac High School, and as a high school Psychology teacher, advisor, and counselling psychologist. She works with inner-city, high school students in public, parochial, and charter schools in Chicago.
Nancy has been a member of many educational institutions’ strategic planning committees, including Our Lady of Tepeyac High School in Chicago, Trevor Day School, Sarah Lawrence College, and the School of the Visual Arts in New York. When she moved from New York City to Chicago, she joined the Curriculum Committee of the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago during the charter award process. She also joined the Board of Trustees of High Jump, an enrichment program for underserved middle school students.
Nancy received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.A. in Counseling and Organizational Psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
John May is an analyst and a member of the Research Team for Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc. He is responsible for both internal and external communications, including information flow between the Investment Team and the Global Client Relationship Team as well as creating customized client solutions. He also assists in the coordination of the Research process. Preceding this role, he was a member of the Marketing & Communications Team, primarily responsible for responding to request for proposals, routine consultant updates and maintaining consultant databases. Prior to joining Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc. in 2013, John was a banking and brokerage consultant at FactSet Research Systems. He received a B.B.A. in finance and marketing from the University of Iowa.
Karen Monkman, Ph.D.
Karen Monkman is a professor in Educational Policy Studies at DePaul University, where she directs the master’s program in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education. She has been a visiting scholar at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and recently conducted research related to girls’ education in Cambodia. She is co-editor of Globalization and Education: Integration and Contestation across Cultures (2nd edition, 2014).
Dr. Monkman earned a BA from Goddard College, an MA in International Education from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and an MA in Sociology and a PhD in International/Intercultural Education from the University of Southern California.
Hubert Morgan is the founder of Stanhope Consulting Corporation. He has 36 years of experience in regional and long-range planning, working for 30 years with the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). As a consultant, he concentrates on civic democracy, with a focus on public participation. Mr. Morgan specializes in reaching out to all demographics, especially those that have been historically underrepresented or disenfranchised in traditional planning processes. He is recognized throughout the Chicago and Northwest Indiana region for his work on managing the NIPC 2040 Regional Framework Plan, the CMAP GoTo2040 and the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission’s 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan’s public engagement processes, all three receiving the American Planning Association National Plan Awards.
Beverly Rossman, Ph.D.
Rush University Medical Center
Beverly Rossman, Ph.D. is an adjunct faculty member and Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing and a Research Associate, Department of Women, Children, and Family Nursing, at Rush University Medical Center College of Nursing.
Her research has focused on qualitative assessment of educational, intervention, and support programs related to breastfeeding particularly with low birth-weight babies from underserved communities.
Bev received her PhD in Nursing from the University of Illinois at Chicago, in 2010, where she also was awarded her Master’s Degree in Nursing. Bev completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at DePaul University in Chicago.
After School Matters
Adrienne Scherenzel-Curry has 12 years of experience in education administration. She is currently the Chief Program Officer at After School Matters in Chicago. She is responsible for the oversight of the Program Department and implementing 24,000 after school opportunities for Chicago Public School teens across the city. Previous to After School Matters, she worked for the Chicago Public Schools and the School District of Philadelphia. She graduated from Syracuse University, earning her BS in Psychology. She earned her Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine from Rosalind Franklin University where she was also an Albert Schweitzer Public Health Fellow.
Onnie Scheyer is a Grant Development Consultant, providing counsel and expertise to non-profit organizations across the metropolitan Chicago area. With a focus on education, social services and the arts, Ms. Scheyer has been assisting organizations expand their funding bases through effective donor research and grant proposal construction since 2008. Ms. Scheyer's earlier professional work was in arts management, but her two-term position on the New Trier High School Board of Education awakened her to the great need for quality grant management and her ability to contribute to the field through research and writing for organizations that do not have sufficient infrastructure or resources to maintain full-time grant professionals on their staffs. In the last eight years, she has worked with a number of non-profit organizations, many of whom continue to retain her services on an as-needed basis, as well as one long-term client. Most recently, Ms. Scheyer has entered into a partnership with an independent consultant who specializes in capital campaigns. Through this partnership, she will continue to hone her writing skills as well as assist organizations in conducting needs assessments, feasibility studies, and other tasks associated with developing and facilitating capital campaigns. She and her husband Steven live in Glencoe, where they raised three children. They enjoy travel, cooking, the arts, and exercise.
Eric Siegel, CPA, CFA
Eric Siegel is a senior managing director for Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc., and a member of the investment and executive committees. He is responsible for the operational due diligence reviews of managers and participates in portfolio analysis and ongoing manager monitoring. Prior to joining Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc. in 2001, he was the chief financial officer of two Chicago-based hedge funds. Mr. Siegel also worked in the audit department of Ernst & Young LLP focusing on hedge funds, mutual funds and derivative trading companies. He received a B.S. cum laude in accounting from Syracuse University. In addition, Mr. Siegel is a CFA charterholder and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Hon. Brad Schneider
Representative Illinois 10th Congressional District
Brad Schneider represents the 10th District of Illinois in the 113th Congress. Before serving in Congress, he had a career in business that spanned more than two decades. He primarily worked as a management consultant helping family owned businesses with strategic planning and succession management.
Mr. Schneider has deep roots and a long record of dedicated service in and for the community. Among his many commitments, he has been very active with the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, as well as serving on the board of American Jewish Committee. For four years, Brad served as the chair of the Chicago Alliance of Latinos and Jews.
Mr. Schneider earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University in 1983 and his MBA from Northwestern in 1988.
Robert R. Worobow
Robert Worobow has spent over 30 years in the human resource function focusing on the achievement of financial and operational objectives as part of the senior management team. He is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer at CHP International. Prior to starting his own HR consulting business in 2006, Mr. Worobow was the Corporate Vice President, Human Resources for Trustmark Insurance Company in Lake Forest and before that was the Corporate Vice President, Human Resources for Quill Corporation in Lincolnshire. He currently serves on the Corporate Advisory Boards of Family Service in Highland Park and Triton College Business Department in River Grove.
Mr. Worobow grew up on the south side of Chicago is married and has two children. He has a MBA in marketing from Northern Illinois University and BS in personnel management from Drake University.