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(Left to Right) Seated: Franco La Marca, Morgan Stogsdill, Madeleine Donovan and Britt Szepsy. Back row: Marty Vernon, Matt Unertl, Steve Smith, De Smith, Will Stogsdill, Chris Galbreath, Mark Bell, Chris Gallagher and Sara Epstein. Not pictured committee members: Kerry Bowler, Don Hyun Kiolbassa, Andrew Simmon, Jesse Baker, Sarah Tyler, Kim Palmisano and Christopher Dovalina.
Learn more about the A4V's Aviators Night for Sight.
Franco S. La Marca, Chair
Franco S. La Marca is a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch in downtown Chicago. A former attorney, La Marca received his law degree from John Marshall Law School, and he studied international law at the University of Sydney, in Australia. He also spent two years studying international relations at Waseda University, in Tokyo, Japan. During his time in Asia, La Marca worked as a television personality, filming segments for MTV Japan, NHK and Television Studio Alta. In 1997, he attended the official Hand-Over Ceremonies in Hong Kong, and was present at the premiere of Yo-Yo Ma’s Symphony 97. He is passionate about world travel and fitness. In addition to founding the Associate Board of the Illinois Eye-Bank, Franco is a devoted supporter of other charitable causes, such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He also sits on the alumni board for Lake Forest College, his Alma Mater.
Morgan Stogsdill, Co-chair
Morgan Stogsdill is a Family Law attorney at the law firm of Beermann Swerdlove. She has been named a Rising Star in the area of Family Law by SuperLawyers Magazines for the past two years, and prior to joining Beermann Swerdlove, had the 3rd most jury verdicts in Cook County. She is a member and an instrumental part of Beermann Swerdlove’s Sports and Entertainment Family Law Division. Beermann Swerdlove has represented various high profile clients, such as Michael Jordan, R.Kelly and Bill Murray, as well as business owners, doctors, lawyers, professionals, municipal employees and individuals from all walks of life. In addition to being an attorney, Stogsdill sits on the Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She was recently invited onto the Legal Forum Radio Show, which is broadcast in four states, where she discussed legal issues surrounding Family Law.
Jessa Baker is the Managing Director of Kelly Law Registry. Prior to starting her legal career, she developed life-skills programs at two underserved Chicago public schools and worked with children facing terminal illness in the United States and Ireland. As a lawyer, Baker has worked with a research firm in Minnesota, a District Attorney’s office in Tennessee, a labor and employment firm in Washington, D.C. and a boutique securities law firm in Chicago. She is currently enrolled in the part-time MBA program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She went to law school at the University of Wisconsin and Georgetown University. Her undergraduate degree is from Vanderbilt University, and she spent her junior year abroad at Cambridge University. In addition to her involvement with the Eye-Bank, Baker serves on the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Board. She and her husband, CBS 2 Chicago Sports Director Ryan Baker, reside in the West Loop.
Mark Bell is part of the industrial advisory group at Colliers International Chicago, where he focuses on representing corporations and institutions in the acquisition, disposition, leasing and development of industrial real estate, concentrating primarily on the Chicago suburban marketplace.Bell received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also played football. His MBA is from DePaul University. In addition to the Illinois Eye-Bank, Bell is actively involved with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Alumni Association, the W Club (an organization for former letter winners at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) and the Cabrini Green Tutoring Program in Chicago.
David Donnersberger, M.D., J.D.
Dr. Donnersberger is an internal medicine physician in Winnetka, Illinois. He is a Co-Director at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare and a Moderator of the Internal Medicine Residency Ethics Program. Dr. Donnersberger is on staff at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University, Masters from DePaul University and his medical and law degrees from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and School of Law. Dr. Donnersberger was an Intern at Yale University and a Resident of Internal Medicine at Northwestern University. He is a member of the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians. He is an active supporter of the Illinois Eye-Bank and has co-chaired its annual Gift of Sight Gala.
Donald Hyun Kiolbassa
Donald “Don” Hyun Kiolbassa is an attorney with the law firm of Ginsparg, Bolton & Associates Ltd., and specializes in tax law, corporate law and estate planning. He has a background in public accounting, and has studied extensively throughout Asia and Latin America. Kiolbassa was also a gold medalist for the United States Chinese Martial Arts Team at the 2008 World Games. The Shaolin Monks recognized Kiolbassa’s martial arts abilities, and invited him to live and train as a monk in seclusion at the Shaolin Temple in China’s Henan Province. His talents also caught the attention of Hollywood, and he has done work for Walt Disney. Recently, he was signed to Warner Brothers to perform the motion capture movements for an upcoming Mortal Combat video game. Kiolbassa is active in several charitable organizations, including the Eye-Bank and Hip-Hop Chess Federation, which he co-sponsors with RZA of Wu Tang Clan.
Kimberly A. Palmisano, of the law firm Palmisano & Moltz, primarily practices in the areas of commercial transactions, international corporate formation and structuring and real estate, as well as entertainment law. Her clients range from large, privately-held companies to entrepreneurial start-up enterprises; she counsels them through each stage of their growth during times of economic prosperity and economic downturn. Palmisano advises on a broad array of issues, such as the ideal forms of organization, business plans, business expansion opportunities, marketing, distribution and licensing, as well as exit strategies. She assists international companies and entrepreneurs in the business and legal aspects of negotiating transactions and enhancing business value.
Her real estate practice encompasses commercial, industrial and residential transactions, with a focus on representing developers, owners, property managers and individuals in all phases of the development process, from the acquisition, financing and construction of buildings and projects through their ultimate leasing or disposition. Palmisano also represents clients in the entertainment and media fields, including recording artists, producers, entertainment companies, modeling agencies, fashion designers and marketing and advertising agencies.
De Borah Wells Smith
Sarah Tyler is the Brand Manager for the Americas Products Group-Legal Division, with the Fortune 500 company Kelly Services, Inc. She went to law school at Loyola University Chicago, and earned her undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She also completed LLM coursework in commercial real estate. Tyler supports several charities in addition to the Eye-Bank, including the American Cancer Society, Mayo Clinic Foundation, University of Notre Dame, P.A.W.S., Animal Welfare League, the ASPCA and various private rehabilitation programs benefitting the welfare of animals. She has lived in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood for more than a decade and, as a former real estate attorney, has served as an elected board member for such organizations as the 180 East Pearson Condominium Association.
Aviators Night for Sight
Aviators Night for Sight, hosted by the Illinois Eye-Bank's Ambassadors for Vision (A4V) Council, was held on October 15 at the Schaumburg Regional Airport. It was a beautiful night in support of the restoration of sight. To those who attended, we appreciate your support!
Thank you to our sponsors:
AVIATORS – Northwest Flyers, Blue Star Jets, Beermann Swerdlove, Continental Autosports and Continental Audi
PILOTS - PURE Risk Management and Law Offices of William Stogsdill
CREW - Corporate Benefit Consultants, Schwartz Brothers Insurance, Harold & Mary Smith , Technymon Technology and EDUCO WEB Design
Restaurant and Spirits sponsors - RL, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion, Le Colonial, Pilot Pete’s, Thalia Spice, Mid-America Club, GREY GOOSE Vodka, Corona and Victoria.
Media Sponsor – Michigan Avenue Magazine
View photos by event photographer Steve Starr.
Learn more about cornea recipient Anthony Diaz in a video by CTV.
View CTV's event video and the Aviators Night for Sight 2011 Fashion Installation video.
View Aviators Night for Sight media coverage:
Michigan Avenue Magazine Online
Akira's Vimeo and http://www.akirachicago.com
Eureka Magazine and Eureka Online (Issue 12: pages 14 - 15. Photo spread: pages 24 -25)
Now You Know
Chicago 3 Media
Candid Candace (scroll down to the third article in the November 1 posting)
Pioneer Press North Shore editions
View Akira Social's Facebook photos and video from Aviators Night for Sight.
View photos from the Aviators Night for Sight Pre-Party.
View the video from Aviators Night for Sight 2010.