Executive Team


Ryan Evans – President and Director of Test Prep

Ryan began his tenure with Minds Matter as a test prep instructor in 2014. He graduated from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in business and earned his J.D. from DePaul University. When not helping Minds Matter students maximize their standardized testing potential, Ryan is a trial attorney in Chicago specializing in medical malpractice and health care defense.


Tim Blasius – Director of Senior Program

Tim joined the Chicago chapter of Minds Matter in 2015 with a belief in education as a means to overcome inequalities, and transitioned to the management team in the role of Director of Senior Program in 2018.  He holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  As a Chicago native, Tim is an avid local sports fan and enjoys staying active through a variety of athletics.  He currently works for ITW Magnaflux as a Product Manager.


Bo Won Koo – Director of Junior Program

Bo joined the Chicago chapter of Minds Matter in 2018 with a passion for education and mentorship. He is now serving the Minds Matter organization as a Director of the Junior program. Bo obtained his Bachelor’s and Master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently works for KPMG's consulting practice, specializing in financial transformation.

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Uma Blanchard – Director of Junior Program

Uma recently joined the MMC team and is excited to be supporting the junior class. She has worked with youth in a variety of settings— ranging most recently from leading a 6-week backcountry sea kayak trip in Alaska, to working in a high school as an Educational Counselor for the Schuler Scholar Program. Uma graduated from Bowdoin College and is a current PhD student at the University of Chicago in the Department of Comparative Human Development.


Erin Lansky – Director of Sophomore Program

Erin joined Minds Matter Chicago as a mentor in 2014 and has also served as a Team Lead, interviewer, and member of the 15th Anniversary Committee. In her seventh year with Minds Matter, Erin is excited to partner with Nick Goralka as Directors of the Sophomore Program to foster a strong sense of community for our newest students. Erin received her AB, magna cum laude, with Highest Honors from Dartmouth College, where she majored in Economics and Spanish/Hispanic Studies and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. As a healthcare private equity investor, Erin has partnered with numerous mission-driven founders to achieve sustainable growth and maximize their impact.


Michael Bongiovanni – Director of Summer Programs

Mike joined Minds Matter in 2017 as a mentor and expanded his contribution in 2018 by joining the Associate Board. In 2019, he became the Director of Summer Programs, and helps oversee the chapter’s strategy for students continuing education through a unique summer experience. Mike has always had a passion for giving back in the local community. He graduated from Metropolitan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a minor in Economics. Mike currently works in Corporate Finance at Conagra Brands. Mike enjoys the outdoors, traveling and running.

Mike Gredlics – Director of Summer Programs

Mike first joined the Minds Matter organization as a mentor and now serves as the co-director of summer programs. Mike received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois and also has two Masters Degrees from DePaul University in Chicago. He was drawn by the mission of Minds Matter to help students achieve that same dream of a college education.  Mike currently works as a credit risk analyst in Chicago.

In his spare time, Mike enjoys distance running and loves to share the sights and sounds of Chicago with tourists as a part-time running tour guide.
Marshall, John

John Marshall – Director of Test Prep

John joined Minds Matter in 2016 as a math tutor before taking over as co-director of test prep in 2019. John graduated from the University of Chicago where he studied economics and statistics and currently works on the trading floor of the CBOE.

Brendan Griffin – Director of Data & Analytics

Brendan joined Minds Matter in 2016 as a member of the Associate Board where he worked with the events team for two school years.  In 2018, he joined the Data & Analytics committee and is excited to harness the power of data to drive the Minds Matter mission.  Brendan graduated from the University of Illinois with a BA in Industrial Engineering and currently works at Accenture as a Technology Consultant.

Ignaczak, Kristen

Kristen Ignaczak – Director of Data & Analytics

Kristen joined Minds Matter in 2017 as a mentor in the sophomore class. In 2019, she joined the Data & Analytics committee as the Chairperson, and has been excited about getting data at the fingertips of the entire Associate Board and Mentors and Tutors. Kristen graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Professional Writing and currently works at Kraft Heniz as the Global Lead for Data & Analytics for Supply Chain.

Eric Mintzer – Director of Corporate Fundraising

Eric has been a mentor for Minds Matter Chicago since 2014.  He joined the management team in 2017 after his first mentee went off to college.  Eric studied Economics at Williams College and is now a trader at Gelber Group.

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Cory Hawkins –  Chief Technology Officer

Being a first-generation college graduate, Cory was drawn to the Minds Matter mission. He believes in the value of making education accessible for all. From managing a global identity and access management team to enterprise architecture, Cory has an extensive background in various IT disciplines. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Information System Security and various certifications across the IT landscape.


Sylvia Yu – Director of Finance

Sylvia initially learned about Minds Matter through a college friend who volunteered with organization's San Francisco chapter. She was impressed with her friend's dedication to helping his mentee succeed and wanted to make the same impact. After moving from California to Chicago in summer 2016, she joined Minds Matter Chicago as a mentor and served on the Associate Board from 2016-2018. Sylvia earned her B.S. from the University of California, Davis. She currently works with British Petroleum's renewable energy trading business. Outside of work, she enjoys longboarding, snowboarding, and golfing.


Zach Ozog – Director of Associate Board

Zach joined Minds Matter in 2019 as a mentor and a member of the Associate Board. He is passionate about learning and education and was originally drawn to Minds Matter by their mission to help make college more accessible to students in the Chicagoland area. Zach currently serves as Co-Head of the Associate Board and is responsible for several fundraising and organizational initiatives. Zach graduated from Indiana University with bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Accounting and currently works for an investment firm in Chicago.

Associate Board

The Associate Board oversees the fundraising efforts of Minds Matter of Chicago.

Associate Board Members
Ted Kang
Brendan Griffin
Mel Quigley
Tracy Kwan
Zach Ozog
Spencer Oh
Kevin Phelan
Allison Davies
Eric Mintzer - Head of Corporate Committee
Adam Lawal
Andrew He
Andrew Herrick
Andrew Thammavongsa
Bryan Lippert - Head of Engagement Committee
Cami Goldstein
Caroline Chen
Elliott Hall
Emilio Cabrera
Michael Almisry - Head of Events Committee
Daniel D'Hondt
Amelia Knight
Claire West