Anna LauBach, Robert R. McCormick Foundation

TITLE: Senior Program Officer

FUNDING AREAS: Veterans' issues, including mental health and workforce development

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: This country invests considerable resources in preparing people to wage wars—there's recruitment, physical training, linguistic and technical training, housing, medical costs. . . The list goes on. But after you serve your time as a warfighter, then what? How do you transition from having most of your basic needs met (in exchange for adherence to the grueling military lifestyle) to living a civilian life of little guidance and limited safety nets? Especially if, like many veterans, you're facing the heavy mental toll of having just been through a war? The shift from the military to the civilian world can be a cultural and emotional challenge. And that shift is precisely what Anna LauBach works to help veterans make in the healthiest manner possible.

LauBach is the Director of Veterans Initiatives at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, a non-profit committed to "fostering communities of educated, informed, and engaged citizens." Established in 1955 by Col. Robert R. McCormick, wealthy founder of the Chicago Tribune and a military man himself, the foundation is one of the country's largest. It holds more than $1 billion in assets and awards upwards of $50 million in charitable grants annually. The foundation's primary areas of focus (intended to honor the legacy of the newspaper man/Colonel for which the organization was named): civic education and engagement, community welfare, Illinois education (birth through third grade), journalism, and veterans' issues.

LauBach comes to McCormick with a background in social welfare, and previous experience working for McCormick earlier in her career. She obtained her master's in social work, worked for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation as a program officer in the area of community welfare, subsequently worked as a senior program officer at the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation, and finally returned to McCormick in 2008 to head up the foundation's veterans programs. Her goal: "developing and implementing a strategic grantmaking program... that address the unique needs of post 9-11 veterans." Among LauBach's priorities in her veterans work: workforce development and mental health services.

Benna B. Wilde, Prince Charitable Trusts

TITLE: Program Director, Arts and Culture

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, culture, health, social services, and environment

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Although Benna B. Wilde was once managing director for all of Prince Charitable Trusts, she has recently stepped into the more focused role of program director for Arts and Culture. (Former Senior Program Officer Charles Twichell took over the managing director role at Prince at the beginning of 2013, and he also serves as codirector of the Rhode Island program.)

Prince Charitable Trusts devotes its grantmaking to three regions: Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Rhode Island, because of the founders' affiliations. At a Family Philanthropy Conference, Wilde provided the following reasons for supporting the arts in local communities:

  • Tens of millions of Americans participate in arts activities every year.
  • There are 109,000 non-profit and 550,000 for-profit arts businesses and 2.2 million artists in the workforce.
  • The arts generate billions of dollars in consumer spending.
  • The arts are supported by a mosaic of sources. Earned income represents only half the total, while local, state, and federal government support is around 9 percent and shrinking. Private-sector support represents about one-third of the total.

Wilde believes that for the arts to thrive, steps must be taken to increase both public and private funding. Before joining Prince, she served as chair of the Donors' Forum and cofounder of its Arts and Culture Group. She also served on the board of Grantmakers in the Arts and on the Council on Foundations Public Policy Committee. Wilde earned a bachelor's degree from Vassar College, a master's degree from New York University, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


Matt Blakely, Motorola Solutions Foundation

TITLE: Executive Director 

FUNDING AREAS: Science education, public safety, and disaster relief

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Matt Blakely is Executive Director of the corporate foundation for Motorola Solutions, which gives to programs that include science education, public safety, and disaster relief. A lifelong Chicagoan, Blakely has nearly 20 years of experience working in philanthropy in the region, with particular expertise in corporate giving and support for education. He's also quite plugged in to the city's philanthropic and nonprofit community, serving on a number of boards and advisory committees.

His foundation bio shares: 

Matt Blakely has more than 20 years of experience working with private and corporate foundations. Since 2005, Matt has coordinated the foundation and corporate giving programs of Motorola and Motorola Solutions Foundation, a company recognized by Points of Light as one of the fifty most community-minded companies in the United States.  He develops philanthropic strategies and directs grants, corporate contributions and volunteer programs focused on science education, public safety training, and disaster response. Motorola Solutions Foundation and Motorola Solutions employees make contributions totaling more than 70,000 volunteer hours and $12 million in over 35 countries annually. 
Before joining the Motorola Solutions, Matt was Senior Program Officer in the Communities Program at the McCormick Tribune Foundation where he helped guide the philanthropic giving of 11 different companies across the United States.  He currently serves on the board of the Chicago History Museum including the museum's OUT committee and the National Police Foundations Network.  He is also active in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Funders Network, and serves on the CASE committee of the Museum of Science and Industry.  Matt also serves on the LGBTA advisory committee of Motorola Solutions.

Carrie Haslett, Terra Foundation for American Art

TITLE: Program Director of Exhibition & Academic Grants

FUNDING AREAS: Arts education, visual arts, museums

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Carrie Haslett shared the following bio:

Carrie Haslett is the Program Director for Exhibition and Academic Grants at the Terra Foundation for American Art. She also directs the foundation’s work in China and several special initiatives. Prior to joining the foundation in 2006, Dr. Haslett was the Joan Whitney Payson Curator of Modern Art at the Portland Museum of Art and the Martin Z. Kruse Research Associate in American Art at The Huntington Library. She has also held positions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Studio in a School Association, and two auction houses. She received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from Bryn Mawr College.

Rosemary Keefe-Matzl, Illinois Tool Works Foundation

TITLE: Director of Community Relations, Illinois Tool Works

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and youth programs

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Rosemary Keefe-Matzl serves as director of community relations for the Illinois Tool Works Foundation. She also serves on the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, which shares the following bio:

Rosemary holds the position of Director of Community Relations for Illinois Tool Works. Illinois Tool Works is a Fortune 200 company with over 5,000 products lines operating from 875 business units across 54 countries and employees approximately 59,000 employees. Rosemary’s responsibilities consist of corporate funding, ITW Foundation funding, volunteer programs, in-kind gifts, pro-bono and thought leadership placement. Prior to ITW, Rosemary was the Global Leader of Corporate Social Responsibility for Hewitt where she spent 15 years, and prior to that she was a VP of HR for American Express where she spent 8 years.

In addition, Rosemary serves as a board member to the following: American Cancer Society, America Scores, Ruby Bridges Foundation, Illinois Tool Works Foundation, and The College of Lake County.

On a personal level, Rosemary is the Mother of 4 children and is a trained chef who owned and operated her own restaurant from 1993 to 2008.


R. Matthew Simon, Helen V. Brach Foundation

TITLE: President

FUNDING AREAS: Animal welfare, arts, youth services, environment, homelessness, secondary education, higher education, and human services

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: R. Matthew Simon serves as president of the Helen V. Brach Foundation. He also serves on the board of the Red Cloud Indian School, where his offcial bio shares:

Mr. Simon is President of The Helen Brach Foundation. He practiced law for more than 25 years with Chicago law firm of Simon & Griseta. He also served as a member and as the chairman of the Civil Service Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for a period of 13 years. He also served as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Character and Fitness Committee for a period of 10 years. The Committee certifies candidates seeking admission to practice law in the State of Illinois. He is the immediate past president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago and has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Dominican University. He and his wife, Jacqueline, have four children and live in Chicago. He is a member of the Finance Committee.

Nancy Fishman, Grand Victoria Foundation

TITLE: Executive Director

FUNDING AREAS: Education, economic development, land conservation

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Nancy Fishman serves as the executive director of the Grand Victoria Foundation, where her bio shares:

Nancy is the founding executive director of Grand Victoria Foundation. Nancy drew upon her extensive experience in program and organizational development, community-based collaborations, and marketing to develop the framework for the Foundation. The result is a philanthropic organization that is entrepreneurial, relationship oriented, and user-centered.
Nancy has introduced several statewide and community-based initiatives that center on strong networks and cooperative action. In 2009, the Foundation’s work to build the leadership and philanthropic capabilities of community foundations through Communityworks was recognized with a Critical Impact Award given by the Council on Foundations. In 2010, the Foundation received the Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications, also from the Council on Foundations.
Nancy has served on the boards of The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, Alliance for the Great Lakes and Hyde Park Art Center.

Patrick G. Ryan, Jr., Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation

TITLE: Director

FUNDING AREAS: Education, arts, Roman Catholic concerns, youth services

CONTACT: Education, arts, Roman Catholic concerns, youth services

PROFILE: Patrick G. Ryan, Jr.  serves as the director of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation. He's also the founder, chairman and CEO of the Ryan Specialty Group, where his official bio shares:

A widely respected entrepreneur and global insurance leader, Patrick G. Ryan formed Ryan Specialty Group, LLC (RSG) in 2010. RSG is an international holding company specializing in wholesale brokerage, insurance underwriting managers and other specialty services to brokers, agents and insurers. The company has a number of offices in the United States and Europe. Prior to launching RSG, Mr. Ryan founded Aon Corporation and served as its Chairman and CEO for 41 years. At Mr. Ryan’s retirement, Aon had more than 500 offices in 120 countries, generating revenues then in excess of $7 billion.

Mr. Ryan has received a number of accolades throughout his career. In 1987, Mr. Ryan received the esteemed Horatio Alger Award which honors those who are dedicated to the principles of integrity, hard work, perseverance and compassion for others. In 2008 Mr. Ryan was inducted in to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent research centers, founded in 1780. Also in 2008, he was elected to the International Insurance Society Hall of Fame and received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award. He was named by Brigham Young University International Executive of the Year for Corporate Integrity. Other career tributes include Insurance Leader of the Year, College of Insurance, and the Insurance Federation of New York’s Free Enterprise Award.

Mr. Ryan has been a member of the Northwestern University’s Board of Trustees for 37 years, 14 years of which he served as Chairman. In 2009, Northwestern awarded Mr. Ryan a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Also that year, Mr. Ryan was inducted that year into the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame. Four years later in 2013, Mr. Ryan received the Northwestern Alumni Association Medal of Honor. This award is the highest award granted by the Northwestern Alumni Association to an alumnus/a who combines superior professional distinction and/or exemplary volunteer service to society, with an outstanding record of service to Northwestern.

Mr. Ryan has received numerous Insurance and Community awards and also served as Chairman of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid Committee.