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.

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Lisa Shrosbree – Director of Senior Program

Passionate about equal access to education, Lisa joined Minds Matter Chicago in 2019 as a sophomore mentor. She recently started as a Senior Class co-director in 2022. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a B.S.E in Chemical Engineering and now works in the data and analytics field. Outside of work and Minds Matter, she enjoys biking the Lakefront Trail and taking Spanish classes.

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Volter Bagriy – Director of Senior Program

Volter joined Minds Matter Chicago as a mentor in 2019 to support students in realizing their college dreams and gaining admission to top universities around the country. Minds Matter's mission holds special meaning to him as he is a first-generation college student. Since 2020, Volter has been an interviewer for the Volunteer Recruitment Committee and, in 2021, he stepped into the role of Director of the Senior Program to further support Minds Matter Chicago and the mentees. Volter received his Bachelor's degree from Georgetown University, where he majored in Finance and Management. He holds several professional designations in finance and currently works at Northern Trust as a Quantitative Equity Portfolio Manager. In his spare time, Volter enjoys biking, cooking new cuisines, and competing on trivia nights.


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.


Cami Goldstein – Co-Director of Junior Program

Cami Goldstein began her involvement with Minds Matter Chicago in 2018 as a mentor and joined the Associate Board during her mentee's senior year. In addition to the fun experience of weekly mentoring sessions, a highlight of her involvement so far was planning the organization's first Steps for the Students 5K/10K virtual race, which supported MMC's fundraising efforts during the 2020-2021 school year while the organization went online during the pandemic. Now, Cami serves as the Class Director for the impressive Junior class. Cami graduated with a degree in Mathematics from Northwestern University and works on the Revenue Management team at Kraft Heinz. 

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Uma Blanchard – Director of Summer Program

Uma began supporting Minds Matter summer programs in 2021. 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 where she does research on youth, institutions and mental health.


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.


Nick Goralka – Director of Sophomore Program

Nick joined Minds Matter Chicago as a mentor in 2017 and has been a Director of the Sophomore program since 2020. In his sixth year with Minds Matter, Nick is excited to partner with Chloe Chen to foster a strong sense of community for MMC's newest students. Nick received his BS, magna cum laude, from Northeastern University, where he majored in Economics and Math, and currently works as a quant analyst at Morningstar.

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Chloe Chen – Co-Director of the Sophomore Program

Chloe joined the Chicago chapter of Minds Matter in 2019 as a student mentor and now serves as a Director of the Sophomore Program. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in accounting. As a first-generation college student, she believes in the power of education as well as mentorship. In her spare time, Chloe enjoys going on hiking trips and taking care of her plants.


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.
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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.


Adam Sun –Data & Analytics Co-Chair

Adam joined Minds Matter in 2021 with the Data & Analytics team and has immersed himself in navigating and utilizing the data collected by the organization. Coming from a family that places a high value on the importance of higher education and its ability to open new doors, Adam resonates deeply with Minds Matters' mission. He hopes to further its cause through more effective data management. He hopes to utilize his expertise with data -- both academically and professionally -- to deliver deeper insights into various programs and offerings. Adam earned his MS in Statistics from the University of Chicago in 2020 and currently works as a senior data scientist at the National Futures Association.

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.

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Idan Epstein – Director of Associate Board

Idan joined the Chicago chapter of Minds Matter in 2021 and currently serves as the Director of the Associate Board. Through his role, he is responsible for corporate fundraising and event planning initiatives. Outside of his involvement with Minds Matter, Idan works at GTCR, a private equity firm in Chicago. Idan graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. 

Associate Board

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

Associate Board Members
Stephanie Avalos
Jordan Buranskas
Maiya Cooke
Idan Epstein
Brendan Griffin
Andrew He
Michael Heisner
Manoj Immadi
Darsh Jalan
Tram Kantor
Starletta Keene
Adam Landau
Jordan McDonald
Joe Moore
Claire West
Tina Zhang