Partner, Practice Group Leader, Private Clients, Trusts & Estates, Schiff Hardin, LLP
Tom Abendroth is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Schiff Hardin LLP and practice group leader of the firm's Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Group. He concentrates his practice in the fields of estate planning, federal taxation, and business succession planning. Tom is a 1984 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, and received his undergraduate degree from Ripon College, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees.
Tom has co-authored a two-volume treatise entitled Illinois Estate Planning, Will Drafting and Estate Administration, and a chapter on sophisticated value-shifting techniques in the book, Estate and Personal Financial Planning. He is co-editor of Estate Planning Strategies After Estate Tax Reform: Insights and Analysis (CCH 2001). Tom has contributed numerous articles to industry publications, and previously served on the Editorial Advisory Board for ABA Trusts & Investments Magazine. He is a member of the Duke University Estate Planning Council.
Tom is a frequent speaker on tax and estate planning topics at banks and professional organizations. In addition, he is a co-presenter of a monthly teleconference series on estate planning issues presented by the American Bankers Association. He has taught at the American Bankers Association National Graduate Trust School since 1990. Tom is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Mark J. Blumenthal, CPA
Partner & Practice Leader, Family Office Services, Plante Moran
Mark is a Partner and Leader of the Family Office Service Group at the accounting and business advisory firm Plante Moran in Chicago. He is also the Co-Leader of the Private Equity Venture Capital Fund group in Chicago and one of the senior real estate tax partners of the firm.
Mark serves as a strategic advisor to ultra-affluent families, family offices, private equity/venture capital funds and mature private businesses. He advises clients on buying, selling and investing in private businesses and real estate; the formation of family and investment limited partnerships, family offices and private foundations; and income tax and transaction planning.
Mark has written articles for numerous publications, including The Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, The Tax Advisor, Taxation for Accountants, The Journal of Property Management, The Real Estate Securities Journal, The Journal of Real Estate Development, Taxation for Lawyers, Real Estate Forum and The New York State Bar Association Partnership Handbook.
Mark’s most recent article entitled “Extreme Makeover” appeared in Worth discussing the need for family offices to embrace best-in-class management and organizational standards.
Mark has been on the speaker faculty for the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), the Family Office Exchange, The Family Office Forum, Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA), the Family Succession Planning Institute, the Family Office Management Conference, Family Office Symposium, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, The Chicago Bar Association, IIR’s Mastering Tax & Estate Planning Conference, the Center for Professional Education, and others. He has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Arizona Republic, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington City Paper, Accounting Today, Crain’s Chicago, and the Family Wealth Report.
Mark received both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Illinois. He is a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, the Thought Leaders Council of the Family Office Exchange, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois CPA Society, Legacy Partners at Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the JUF Professional Advisory Committee having served as chairman.
Strategic Wealth Coach, Ascent Private Capital Management
Emily earned her B.A. in child development from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and M.S. in social work, with an emphasis on marital and family therapy, from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is also a certified money coach, facilitating over 150 family meetings in the U.S. and internationally. In addition, Emily is an instructor on the complexities of family business transitions for the Exit Planning Institute’s Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) training and a member of the Purposeful Planning Institute (PPI).
The coauthor of Estate Planning for the Blended Family, Beginner’s Guide to Purposeful Prenups and other publications, Emily hosts a website for blended families, providing resources and strategies to help families overcome their challenges. In her role as an expert in this field, she has appeared on CNN and The Today Show, in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, as well as in other media outlets.
Human Resources Director, Johnson Keland Management, Inc.
Bonnie Gauger is Human Resources Director at Johnson Keland Management, Inc., the Racine, Wisconsin-based Family Office for the individual members of the Samuel C. Johnson and Karen Johnson Boyd families. In addition to 13 years of HR leadership experience in the Family Office industry, she has nearly 20 years of experience in the human resources field, including roles as Vice President of Human Resources and Learning and Development at BNY Clearing, a securities clearing subsidiary of the Bank of New York, and previously held HR and Corporate Training positions at Milwaukee-based Assurant Health.
Bonnie is an active member of the local and national chapters of the Society of Human Resources Management. She is also a dedicated volunteer and advisory committee member for the Wisconsin Humane Society as well as Crossroads Career Network, a program that assists those in job transition. Bonnie holds an MBA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Wallace L. Head
Vice Chairman, Gresham Partners, LLC
Wally leads Gresham’s strategic initiatives to grow the business and raise the firm’s national visibility, and serves as a senior advisor to families and their related entities. Wally draws on over 30 years of experience serving as a senior executive in trust, investment, wealth management and family office advisory firms, and as a personal fiduciary advisor to wealthy individuals and families. As the founder of Personal Fiduciary Advisors, LLC (“PFA”), now a subsidiary of Gresham, Wally provided unconflicted consulting services to banks, family offices, RIAs and wealthy families.
Prior to establishing PFA, Wally was chief executive officer of wealth management at The PrivateBank and Trust Company, where he also served as a member of the Bank’s executive committee, a member of its board of directors, and chairman of its trust committee. Previously, Wally was president of Family Office Exchange, LLC, a managing director of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., and a tax partner and national director with Arthur Andersen & Co.
Wally received his BA from Westminster College and his MBA and JD from the University of Missouri.
Principal, Technology & Business Transformation Services, BDO USA, LLP
Douglas Herman is a Principal in BDO’s Technology & Business Transformation Services practice with extensive knowledge and experience in litigation preparedness, information management & governance, eDiscovery, digital forensics, data analytics, technology assisted & advanced review mechanisms, dispute resolution, expert testimony, proactive cyber security assessment & incident response, global data privacy regulations & compliance, data center design & implementation, cloud infrastructure design & migration, and business continuity & disaster recovery.
Doug has provided guidance to clients in numerous industries, including: Healthcare, where he has focused on hospitals, physician groups, health plans, clinics, drug and equipment development, and manufacturing; banking & finance; manufacturing & distribution; insurance; education, including public and private school systems, universities, and the Department of Education; and hi-tech, including crypto-currency, web hosting, order fulfillment, advertising, and credit card transactions.
Prior to joining BDO, Douglas was a Partner for UHY Advisors FLVS, Inc. where he led the Discovery Services Practice and also managed the Operations, Project Management and Business Development teams. He has testified on numerous occasions, been designated as an expert for discovery-related matters, and published on various topics related to eDiscovery.
Principal and Chief Wealth Strategist, Gresham Partners, LLC
Kim Kamin is a Principal at Gresham Partners, LLC where she serves as Chief Wealth Strategist and a Client Advisor. She leads Gresham’s development and implementation of estate, wealth transfer, philanthropic, educational and fiduciary planning activities, and advises clients. Previously she was a partner in the Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Group at Schiff Hardin LLP where for many years her legal practice involved all aspects of trust and estate planning, administration and dispute resolution; advising families and closely held businesses on a wide array of wealth preservation, asset protection and succession planning issues; representing fiduciaries, custodians, and beneficiaries in estate administration and contested trust and estate matters; and serving as counsel for the formation and operation of not-for-profit entities.
Kim is an adjunct professor at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law where she has been awarded the William M. Trumbull Lectureship, and has taught Advanced Trusts and Estates, the Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates, and Estate Planning. She is also on faculty for the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certification program through the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive Education.
Kim is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Trusts and Estates Magazine. She has published on a wide variety of topics and is also a frequent lecturer in a variety of venues (including Family Office Exchange, ALI-CLE, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Chicago Estate Planning Council, Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Annual Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute, Tulane Tax Institute, and CLE International’s Visual Arts and the Law Conference). She is also an "Xpert" for Trust & Estates' IdeaXchange.
Kim received her B.A., with distinction and departmental honors, from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Jason Lipschultz, CPA
Managing Director, Third Party Assurance, BDO USA, LLP
Jason is a Managing Director in BDO’s Third Party Attestation and IT Audit practice. He has nearly 15 years of IT and business assurance and advisory process, risk, and controls experience. Jason specializes in third party risk assurance (SOC reporting) and external financial and IT audit.
Jason’s passion is to help clients achieve their potential by developing practical solutions to business challenges. His biggest strength is in communication, advising clients through the often complex world of risk and controls to simplify what it means to them and help protect and grow their business.
Managing Director of Governance and Education, GenSpring Family Offices
Daisy Medici joined GenSpring Family Offices in 2006 and is the Managing Director of Governance and Education. In addition to her primary role, Daisy oversees GenSpring’s Women & Wealth Initiative and is a member of GenSpring’s Leadership Team. For two consecutive years, Daisy has been named as one of The 50 Most Influential Women in Private Wealth by Private Asset Management (PAM) magazine (2015, 2016).
Daisy focuses much of her time developing and administering GenSpring’s proprietary tools and processes specifically designed to help families increase their chances of sustaining wealth over generations. Daisy leads a team of GenSpring professionals skilled in the non-investment components of these processes, who work alongside GenSpring’s advisors as they help client families identify wealth objectives and develop appropriate methods for governing their shared assets.
Daisy is a frequent speaker on the topic of family governance and all that effective governance involves. Among the many topics Daisy addresses are Family Communication, Family Conflict and Recovering Trust, Non-investment Risk Management, as well as the Emotional Impacts of Wealth and the importance of Family Governance & Family Policies in Sustaining Wealth across Generations. Daisy has been a contributing author for Families in Business magazine and was recently published in Family Business magazine.
Daisy brings to GenSpring Family Offices extensive experience in the family business space. Prior to joining the firm, Daisy was a partner at The Roseview Group, an investment banking and family business advisory firm where she worked with client families and focused on new business development and marketing. Prior to Roseview, she was Managing Director of Genus Resources, LLC, a business consultancy catering exclusively to the needs of family enterprises.
Daisy earned her graduate degree in Communications Management at Simmons College in Boston, MA, and is a certified administrator of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). She has been an active member of The Family Firm Institute for many years and served twice as co-chair of their annual conference. Daisy currently co-chairs the Program Committee for the Family Firm Institute’s New England Chapter. In addition to her career, Daisy’s main passion is her large, loving, gregarious family who span the country from coast to coast. Daisy hails from a family who proudly spent five generations in the newspaper business.
Domingo P. Such, III
Partner, Firmwide Chair, Family Office Services, Perkins Coie LLP
Domingo Such is based in the Chicago office, focusing his practice on excellence in the delivery of legal advice that is results oriented. He serves as the Chair of the Family Office Services group, a multi-disciplinary practice representing operating companies, boards of directors, fiduciaries, beneficiaries, family offices including trust companies and quasi-family office arrangements. Domingo has been cited in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Worth, Bloomberg and Crain’s Business Magazine, and is a frequent author with multiple published articles on tax planning matters.
Domingo lectures nationally on trust and business planning involving complex estates and trusts which are at times contested in court. He received his undergraduate and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, and his law degree from the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. He also earned his Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), which reflects his experience, integrity and overall recognized professional excellence.
President, Home Care Assistance of Greater Chicago LLC
Margalit is an owner and President of Home Care Assistance of Greater Chicago LLC. She first became interested in homecare when her grandmother wished to continue to live at home but needed assistance to do so. By owning and leading Home Care Assistance, Margalit had a deeper role as care provider and client as her grandmother aged at home.
Margalit has more than 30 years of business leadership, including 15 years in healthcare related companies. Prior to joining Home Care Assistance, Margalit held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Haemoscope Corporation, a family-owned hemostasis medical device company serving markets around the world. Earlier in her career, Margalit led eCommerce efforts for Kinko’s (now FedEx Office). Margalit is the first recipient of the North Shore Women in Business award in the healthcare category. She holds a BA from UCLA and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Loyola Marymount. She is also on the Board of Directors of Coramed Technologies, LLC, a leader in the field of hemostasis monitoring.
Danielle Valkner, CPA
US Family Office Leader, PwC
Danielle Valkner has over 25 years of industry experience in financial services and is focused on providing management and operational consulting services to hedge, private equity, family offices and asset servicing clients.
Danielle has worked on multiple engagements focusing on process improvement and target operating model design, finance effectiveness, due diligence, risk management, vendor selection and middle and back office system development and implementation. Prior to joining PwC, Danielle worked directly for two large global asset managers, gaining extensive industry experience in Chief Financial and Chief Administrative Officer roles, responsible for all aspects of middle and back office operations, infrastructure, finance and accounting.
She also spent over 10 years as an auditor in the financial services sector specializing in banking, asset management and brokerage gaining valuable experience with global banking operations, broker dealers, hedge funds, private equity, commercial real estate and complex financial instruments.
Danielle graduated summa cum laude from Augustana College where she majored in Accounting and Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics. She is a CPA and received state and national honors related to the certification exam.
Nicholas Van Brunt
Partner, Sheppard Mullin
Nicholas Van Brunt is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group, based primarily in the firm’s Century City office and is the Co-Team Leader of the firm's Private Wealth Services Team.
Nicholas focuses his practice on resolving disputes over trusts, estates, conservatorships, and other fiduciary matters. A respected member of the Los Angeles legal community, he is known as a pragmatic and effective advocate who seeks to achieve favorable results for his clients through a combination of skillful negotiation, strategic counsel and deft trial work. As such, Nicholas has developed an impressive roster of clients who value his discretion, experience and accessible approach to client relations. Whether in the courtroom or at mediation, it is his ability both to advocate passionately and effectively for his clients and to counsel clients compassionately but credibly that has helped him consistently achieve favorable outcomes on their behalves.
As an experienced trusts and estates litigator with a strong background in general business litigation, Nicholas has represented corporations, non-profit organizations and individuals in matters large and small, through mediation, settlement negotiation and, when necessary, trial preparation and execution. His typical client matters include will and trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty cases, trustee accounting matters, conservatorship proceedings, and cases involving the intersection between probate law and other legal issues. Nicholas also has substantial general business litigation experience, including disputes arising in labor and employment, intellectual property, securities, real estate, professional responsibility matters, judgment collection, bankruptcy matters, and general breach of contract and tort actions.
Nicholas is actively engaged in pro bono matters on behalf of both individuals and non-profit organizations and also serves as a Probate Settlement Officer with the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program, offered through the San Fernando Valley Bar Association.
Mindy Kalinowski Earley, CMP, CFBA
Chief Learning Officer
Mindy Earley is Chief Learning Officer for Family Office Exchange. In her role, she works to foster integrated learning programs for enterprise families and is responsible for developing the family learning community. She provides support to the Family Learning and Experience Council and FOX Family Learning Network. Mindy believes that empowerment and knowledge are key to living a purpose-driven and self-actualized life. She is inspired by helping people learn, grow and discover the way that they will make personal and productive contributions, using their strengths and talents.
Mindy has held various roles in small and large family offices and has been responsible for creating and stewarding professional learning networks in support of human and intellectual capital. She has designed learning experiences that increase the knowledge base and enhance the life path of individuals while providing personalized support and coaching to help them meet their goals. After spending over a decade working in higher education, Mindy is skilled in program creation for the student and young adult population. Her work included developing pioneering programs for learners to engage and thrive in college and through life after college.
Combining her M.A. in Education, with a focus on learning development and educational theory, and her undergraduate degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, with a focus on programming and event planning, Mindy is uniquely trained to create exceptional experiences rooted in sound learning practices. As a Certified Meeting Professional with a certificate in Family Business Advising she enjoys helping families and rising generation members navigate the unique world of family enterprise and family relationships by understanding that responsibility and intention pave a path to personal achievement and satisfaction.
Managing Director, Member Services
Ruth Easterling is Managing Director of Member Services for Family Office Exchange (FOX). In her role, she works with family and advisor members to understand their objectives and provides guidance to help address their unique needs through the resources available at FOX. Ruth also moderates the Private Trust Company Network and works with the team at FOX to develop programming and insights for the Network. Ruth has held multiple roles at FOX including leading FOX member services, supervising the delivery of learning programs, and overseeing marketing to drive the redesign and brand initiatives that differentiate FOX today.
Prior to joining FOX, Ruth worked with the professional services firm Smith, Bucklin & Associates, which provides management and consulting services to more than 180 associations. She served as executive director to professional associations ranging in size from 300 to 4,000 members, re-engineering membership structures and planning processes to better enable organizations to maximize their potential through efficient governance structures and member participation. In addition, Ruth often consulted with international and national organizations on strategic planning and governance design.
Ruth holds a B.A. degree in Management and Leadership from Judson College.
Glen W. Johnson
Market Leader, Business Owners and Family Office Executives
In his role as Market Leader, Glen Johnson works closely with business owners and family office executives to help them address their goals and challenges. Glen is part of the leadership team at FOX and leads all aspects of the member experience for family and family office Councils. FOX Councils meet twice a year and provide members with opportunities to learn from and share ideas with highly accomplished and hard-to-find peers in a confidential environment.
Glen has over 30 years of experience working with business owners and executives, first as an attorney and then as a wealth advisor, eventually founding Mirador Family Wealth Advisors – the multi-family office for Fifth Third Bank. He has worked with business owners and executives across all stages of their business life cycle including business succession. Glen writes and speaks nationally focusing on family and business governance and the unique challenges faced during the sale and transition of closely held businesses.
Glen earned a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI and a Juris Doctorate degree from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, MI.
Glen is a passionate supporter of cultural organizations and groups seeking to enhance the lives of youth. He has served as a board member and advisor of various local and regional boards including The Michigan Theatre, Meijer Gardens Sculpture Park, The Boys and Girls Club of Detroit, and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
Robin L. Letchinger, JD
Family Enterprise Market Leader
Robin Letchinger is the Family Enterprise Market Leader for FOX. In her role, she develops and grows the Family Enterprise Center—a unique network of 100+ multi-generational families who strive to build and retain an enduring family enterprise. These families believe in the benefits of co-ownership of family capital and collaboration in family endeavors. Robin will advise families on identifying opportunities and risks, allocating family capital, optimizing and trusting their governance structures, and educating the rising generations about life-long learning and leadership.
Robin brings over 25 years of strategic problem solving to FOX honed through her experiences as a General Counsel, Board Member of a 4th generation family-owned business, law firm Partner serving family-owned businesses, and a Director on various non-profit boards. Robin has handled a diversity of matters impacting family enterprises, including: acting as primary liaison between the Family Council and the family business’s executive team, developing and obtaining consensus from the board and family shareholders on issues such as shareholder agreement and bylaw amendments to reflect current governance practices and special redemptions, spearheading the search process for the first non-family CEO, revamping the executive compensation plan to align with shareholder distributions, handling a joint venture between one of a family’s multiple operating businesses and a private equity fund, and creating a task force to develop a tax efficient structure for an S-Corp family business.
Robin received her J.D. from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and her B.S. in Finance, with highest honors, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She also attended the Northwestern Kellogg Executive Education program on Governing Family Enterprises. She currently serves on the boards of the Chicago Foundation for Women and Open Communities.
Alexandre Monnier is President of Family Office Exchange (FOX), a global organization that helps wealthy families and their advisors master the unique challenges inherent to wealth ownership. FOX’s support includes networking opportunities, knowledge, advice and education on key topics such as managing wealth, family governance, legacy, succession and best practices for running family offices.
Alexandre oversees FOX globally and has extensive experience in creating, marketing, and delivering premium services to families of wealth in the wealth management, private aviation and healthcare industries—both in the US and internationally.
He joined FOX from PinnacleCare, a leader in private health advisory services, where he led the development of the business in the U.S. and in Europe. Earlier Alexandre ran Skyjet, Bombardier Aerospace’s private jet charter business, transforming the business from an emerging player to a leading private jet travel provider.
Previously, Alexandre spent 10 years as a management consultant serving some of the most widely recognized firms in the U.S. and Europe on issues ranging from strategy to operational and organizational effectiveness. He started his career in finance with Societe Generale.
Alexandre is a graduate of ESCP Europe, one of Europe’s leading business schools. He has been a member of Young Presidents’ Organization since 2005.
Managing Director, Membership
Karen Rush is Managing Director of the Family Office and Wealth Advisor Markets for Family Office Exchange (FOX). Karen works with family and advisor members to understand their objectives, providing guidance to help address their needs through the resources available at FOX. She also co-chairs FOX Advisor Councils and assists in the development of new and enhanced service offerings for members. Formerly the events manager, she was responsible for planning all external FOX events, including forums, workshops and regional events.
Prior to joining FOX in 2005, Karen spent 10 years at a large, multi-generational family office as the Communications Coordinator. She worked directly with the family office and family members to develop a family meeting process and an education program for the younger generation.
Karen received a B.A. in political science from Southern Illinois University.