Tom founded Dreams for Kids in 1989 at the request of his mother, Patricia Tuohy, a single parent of four children. Abandoned by his father at eight years old, Tom was deeply influenced by mentors who introduced him to a level of suffering in other children far worse than his own difficult challenges and presented him with a vastly different worldview.
Tom is an attorney, author and public speaker and is convinced social entrepreneurship will solve our local and global social issues. Learn more about Tom
Jeff is a Financial Consultant with LPL Financial. Having worked in the corporate finance and management consulting fields for more than ten years, Jeff has gained the skills necessary to provide competent, reliable advice to help investors work towards their financial goals. He has been actively participating in Dreams for Kids through the Associate Board since 2011 & Executive Board since 2015. Currently, Jeff resides in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago with and his wife, Katie and two kids where they enjoy frequenting local businesses and taking part in community activities.
Jeff is active as an alumni of Fairfield University, Loyola University, and Loyola Academy. Jeff received his BA in International Studies from Fairfield University and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago Quinlan Graduate School of Business in finance and international business.
Shery is the Chief Marketing Office for Advantaged Futures, a premier futures brokerage firm. Shery is responsible for the day-to-day marketing operations and oversees marketing strategy for the firm. Shery is active in civic and philanthropic organizations including Open Heart Magic (2009) and Dreams for Kids (2009). She holds an Associates degree from South Suburban College and also attended DePaul University
Michael Burke is a digital media entrepreneur and executive. He was an early employee at HotJobs.com (IPO/acquired by Yahoo!), Director at Webs.com (acquired by Vistaprint) and Co-Founder of native advertising pioneer, appssavvy. Michael currently leads Strategy and Partnerships at Curiosity. Burke is a mentor at Techsters and advisor to L Street Collaborative and Wide Open Media. He is a graduate of Boston College and lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and 3 daughters.
With over 11 years working in startup technology, Beth’s passion is working with youth to create tech products that make a positive impact in the world. Her organization Community Startups pairs Chicago Public School students with industry professionals and entrepreneurs each summer to launch their products at market, generating revenue for scholarships. Coming from a military family, she believes that through collaboration and service in the community, we can find solutions to life toughest problems.
Therese Rowley, Ph.D., has a passion for strategically connecting and supporting conscious business and social enterprise leaders through personal and organizational transformation so they operate in full power, high energy and clear focus.
As CEO of Accelerated Alignment, she uses groundbreaking approaches and intuitive intelligence to bring profound insight and to reveal the impact of hidden data and uncontrollable variables. She partners with leaders to innovate, activate and engage their organizational constituents, resulting in mutually beneficial strategic partnerships, social impact and revenue generation. She is an author, speaker, skilled intuitive, business consultant and innovative educator who accelerates client transformation. Her methods align purpose with action, and include individual and organizational systems assessment, energetic realignment and healing that support rich outcomes.
Dr. Rowley’s book Mapping a New Reality: Discovering Intuitive Intelligence and videos on Intuition as an Intelligence offer a conceptual landscape for furthering consciousness and intuitive development.
Her work in facilitating large scale change with both Fortune 500 and smaller businesses spans three decades. She founded The Conscious Business Network™ in 2008 to engage thought leaders and conscious business colleagues in heartfelt dialogue to make meaning out of new models and emerging paradigms that shape a more conscious global marketplace. Dr. Rowley has been adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco, the University of Chicago Graham School and Booth School’s LEAD Institute, as well as Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies where she teaches on topics of leadership, strategy, intuition and transformation.
During her 35 year career in the employee benefits and insurance industry, Nancy has served as a mentor, leader and business owner. She has directed and managed highly successful, multi-million dollar benefit programs, and planned and carried out the startup of new operations. Nancy holds an active Life and Health broker’s license, and studied business administration at Michigan Technological University.
Nancy’s expertise includes: Business strategy and planning, program management and Implementation, regulatory compliance, management and operations. She has managed end to end projects involving new product development, communications, systems architecture, and program management.
Nancy has worked with corporate leaders across a wide spectrum from fortune 100 companies to startup organizations. Partnering with her customers, she helped develop enterprise level solutions; optimized business processes; and achieved operational objectives. She is enthusiastic, innovative and passionate about making a positive difference, and excels and thrives doing work that improves the lives of those less fortunate. Nancy served on the Finance board of her church, coached girls softball, was a Girl Scout leader for nine years, and is a therapy dog handler.
Today, Nancy Schmit resides with her husband of 32 years in Hawthorn Woods, IL and has two grown daughters.
Ryan F. Evans is a managing partner with Blueprint Wealth Advisors, LLC. Since 2004, Ryan has been helping families create, preserve, and protect wealth by developing and implementing their personalized financial ‘Blueprint.’ He co-founded Blueprint Wealth Advisors based on the principal that every recommendation made is dependent solely on the client’s individual needs and not those of the typical Wall Street business model where a firm sells its products to meet its sales goals.
Ryan has also developed a specialty working with retirement plans—defined benefit, defined contribution (401(k)/403(b), and nonqualified plans—for a variety of institutional clients, including corporations and not-for-profits. His main focus is on helping participants achieve retirement security while simultaneously helping his plan sponsor clients meet their fiduciary responsibility and minimize both personal and organizational risk.
Ryan is a CHARTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT (ChFC®) professional, an ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY (AIF®), holds the FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations, and received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Illinois Champaign Urbana. Ryan is proud to have been recognized as a Financial Times Top 400 Advisor for 20151 and Chicago Magazine’s Five Star Wealth Manager Award since 2013.
Prior to joining Blueprint Wealth Advisors, Ryan was an options trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange for five years. He lives in Elmhurst with his wife, Andria, and his two daughters, Abigail and Delaney. Ryan enjoys anything outdoors, music, spending time with his family and friends, and in his free time he attempts to play golf.
Nate Gabriel Blackburn is a strong proponent of community service and development and has a passion of pushing people and organizations to the highest level of excellence. Mr. Blackburn was a founding partner in an investment group that targeted small business opportunities within urban communities. This entity successfully bought and sold a chain of retail cellular communication locations that provided local area jobs.
Currently, Mr. Blackburn provides personal development, executive coaching, and mentorship to young professionals and small business. In addition to Dreams for Kids, Nate’s board work includes a current board role with Connections for the Homeless, an Evanston based, affordable housing and Homelessness alleviation non-profit, as well as reoccurring work with The Chicago International Social Change Film Festival.
Nate’s professional experience includes positions at Merrill Lynch, Houlihan Capital and Food for Thought. He currently works as the Vice President of Sales, Client On-boarding for Acquirent, the leading Sales Outsourcing firm, where he is responsible for executing new client engagements and leading diverse client sales teams. Mr. Blackburn holds a Bachelors of Science in Finance and Economics from DePaul University, and an MBA in Finance from Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business. Nate and his wife are Chicagoans who love to experience life through travel, the arts, and athletic adventures.
Peter is a former hedge fund manager and presently a wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley. He is deeply passionate about giving back along with paying it forward. Being an entrepreneur himself at a young age he realizes the importance of social entrepreneurship and many of the vital learning mechanism that come with running your own business.
Peter holds a BA from Northwestern University and is born and raised in Chicago.
Zach is an accomplished young professional. He is currently a project Manager for Bankers Life, a insurance company. His previous positions in luxury hotels include, front office operations and back of house management. Before joining Bankers Life, Zach spent 3 years at the Ritz-Carlton Naples, where he served in various management positions, with his most recent position serving as front office operations. He was previously a front office Manager, where he served as the key architect for its VIP programs. Zach earned her BS in Hospitality Management from Purdue University.