Chicago Management Team
Greg Voutsos – President
Greg has been a part of Minds Matter Chicago for the past three years, serving as a Mentor, Program Director, and now as our President. He's passionate about the program and seeing our students develop while exploring opportunities for our chapter to continue to grow and expand in our Chicago community. Greg graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor's degree in Economics, and he currently works as a management consultant at Point B.
Rupa Ramadurai – Vice President
Rupa has been part of the Chicago Minds Matter family for four years. She is an attorney practicing in the area of education law, currently, working at the Illinois State Board of Education. Prior to law school, Rupa was a 2009 Teach for America corps member and taught high school students in Miami. She has a Masters in Education & Social Change from the University of Miami School of Education and a Bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Victoria Stroz - Program Coordinator
Victoria is thrilled to be a part of the Chicago chapter of Minds Matter! Prior to her move to Chicago in 2012, Victoria volunteered with Minds Matter New York for three years. As a mentor, she worked with one student through his high school graduation. Victoria currently works at IMC Financial Markets in Human Resources. Victoria earned her Bachelor degree in Finance from Villanova University. In her spare time Victoria enjoys exploring the Chicago food scene and skiing wherever she can find mountains and snow!
Caitlin Gillis – Director of Senior Program
Caitlin joined Minds Matter in 2014 as a mentor and transitioned to the role of Director of Senior Program in 2016. As a graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, she’s an avid Tar Heels fan and lover of all things from the South. Outside of Minds Matter, Caitlin works in marketing at a startup and is also an Affiliate Board Member of the Ounce of Prevention Fund.
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 has 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 Mars Wrigley Confectionery as a Global Program Manager.
Charles Barkley - Director of Junior Program
Charlie has been volunteering with Minds Matter since 2017 and is thrilled to join the management team as Director of the Junior Program in 2018. A higher education admissions professional, Charlie is the Assistant Director of Enrollment Management at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. Charlie earned a master's degree in English from Oregon State University and attended the University of Kansas for his bachelor's degrees in English and Art History.
Christine Tran-Gillespie - Director of Junior Program
Christine has volunteered with Minds Matter since 2017 and is delighted by the opportunity to serve as Director of the Junior Program. As a first generation American, Christine understands the value Minds Matter brings to students’ lives and how pivotal mentorship can be in transforming a life trajectory. Christine double majored in Finance and Accounting at Baylor University and currently works as a data specialist in the Financial Services industry.
Isaac Stern - Director of Sophomore Program
Isaac joined minds matter last year as a mentor after he had heard about the program from friends in his office. He was lucky enough to have coaches and mentors as a student in high school, and he hopes to give back by helping students overcome obstacles and achieve new heights. Isaac double majored in physics and economics at the University of Chicago, and he currently works as a trader at Peak6 Investments.
Matt Padberg – Director of Sophomore Program
Matt began volunteering for Minds Matter as a mentor in 2015. He now serves as a Director of the Sophomore Program in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Geosciences and currently works in sales effectiveness consulting. Matt is passionate about helping students succeed & achieve their goals by giving them the right education & tools. He enjoys running, travel, and live music.
Meredith Crawley – Director of Summer Programs
Leo Bekerman – Director of Summer Programs
Leo Bekerman is a consultant at ZS Associates, where he's helped clients in a wide variety of industries realize profitable sales growth. He holds Bachelor's Degrees in Finance and Business Administration from the University of Illinois.
Zak VerSchure – Director of Data & Analytics
Zak joined Minds Matter Chicago in 2018 as a Director for the Data & Analytics Committee. He is excited to apply his skills to better utilize available data and help advance the Minds Matter program. Zak has a bachelor's degree in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan and works as a Senior Consultant at FTI Consulting.
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.
Austin Nafziger – Director of Data & Analytics
Austin joined Minds Matter in 2018 as a Co-Director of Data & Metrics for the Chicago Chapter. He earned his Bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan and after starting his career in Management Consulting moved into the start-up world, following a passion for data management and analytics. Austin hopes to bring this experience building an analytics practice to bear, advancing Minds Matter’s work and mission.
Brett Beattie – Director of Data & Analytics
Brett joined Minds Matter Chicago in January 2018 as a Math Test Prep Instructor and joined the Data and Analytics Committee in mid-2018. He has been involved in teaching and tutoring in various capacities since high school and believes in the power of mentoring through organizations like Minds Matter Chicago. Brett has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics. He is currently a Senior Consultant at Clarity Insights, where he specializes in data science.
Janessa Zhang – Director of Data & Analytics
Jannesa joined Minds Matter in 2017 as an English test prep instructor and has recently joined the Data and Analytics Team. She studied Accountancy and Finance at University of Illinois and currently works as a consultant, specializing in finance performance and analytics.
Eric Mintzer – Director of Volunteers
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.
Victoria De Metz – Director of Volunteers
Victoria joined Minds Matter as a mentor in 2017 and transitioned to the management team in 2018. She strongly believes in the value of mentorship and positive reinforcement during the college application process. Victoria graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Economics, and she currently works at United Airlines in the Commercial Strategy group.
Ryan Evans – 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.
Erica Whelan – Director of PR
Erica joined the management team in 2016 after hearing about Minds Matter from colleagues that had been involved in the program across the span of several years. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame where she studied Biochemistry. Erica currently works at APCO Worldwide where she is a healthcare communications specialist.
Mariah Cowan – Director of Social Media
Mariah joined Minds Matter as a mentor in 2015 and has been a part of one student's academic journey for 3 years. After obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Illinois State University, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in Digital Communication & Media Arts from DePaul University. She currently works as a Digital Marketing Analyst at Pangea Properties where she manages social media, public relations, and internal communications.
Jonathan Weiss – Director of Technology
Jonathan joined Minds Matter as a math tutor before joining the management team. Jonathan has a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering and specializes in process optimization within healthcare information systems.
Hollie Swidarski – Brand Ambassador & Graphic Designer
Hollie joined Minds Matter Chicago in 2018 serving on the Mar-Com committee. She got her undergraduate degree in Business and Visual Communications from Loyola University Chicago. She works as a graphic designer at a FinTech start up and is excited to be a part of the Minds Matter community.
Clara Tse – Director of Alumni
Clara joined Minds Matter after learning about this organization from a friend who mentored at the New York chapter. In her six years with the organization, she has served as a mentor, Director of Senior Program, and Director of Alumni. She graduated from Northwestern University and received her Master in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She currently works at a healthcare consulting firm, specializing in revenue cycle improvement.
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.
Stew Kerr – Director of Corporate Fundraising
Stew Kerr joined Minds Matter in 2014 as a Director of Fundraising, and helps oversee the chapter’s fundraising strategy for corporate, charitable foundation, and individual donors. Stew worked previously in fundraising capacities for several other local organizations, but was sold on Minds Matter’s mission and unique approach to serving its students—he is constantly impressed with the intelligence and poise of mentees in the program in addition to the dedication of volunteers. Stew currently works in Axiom Law’s Healthcare practice, and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont. In addition to Minds Matter, Stew enjoys playing lacrosse, listening to live music and seeing new movies.
Thomas Paras – Director of Corporate Fundraising
Thomas joined Minds Matter in 2014 and served on the Associate Board during the 2014-2015 school year. He is continuously impressed with the success of our students and with the passion of the organization’s volunteers. Thomas earned his BA from the University of Michigan and his Master of Accounting from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He currently works in the Deal Advisory practice at KPMG.
Eliza Wood – Director of Events
Eliza joined Minds Matters in 2015, serving on the Associate Board from 2015-2017. She is continually inspired by the passion and dedication of all those involved in the organization – from the students to the volunteers. Eliza currently works in experiential marketing at Legacy Marketing and earned a BA in Communications and Psychology from the University of Michigan. In her spare time, Eliza enjoys travel, cheering on the Wolverines, and trying out new restaurants around Chicago.
Becky Sulentic – Director of Events
Becky joined Minds Matter in 2016 after attending the Spring for the Students Event the previous year and seeing how much good the organization does for its students. Minds Matter never fails to inspire her as she continues to see how the time volunteered, financial commitment, and dedication of those a part of the organization does for the students who are enrolled in the program. Becky served on the Associate Board from 2016-2017 and was the Vendor Management Committee Lead from 2017-2018. She earned her degree in Marketing as well as Poverty Studies from The University of Notre Dame in 2014 and currently works for an analytics & data consulting firm in Chicago.
The Associate Board oversees the fundraising efforts of Minds Matter of Chicago and is comprised of two committees: Corporate Fundraising and Event Planning.
Corporate Fundraising Committee
Stew Kerr - Co-Director of Fundraising
Thomas Paras - Co-Director of Fundraising
Max Needle - Subcommittee Head
Eliza Wood - Director of Events
Derek Siadak - Subcommittee Head
Brendan Griffin - Subcommittee Head
Becky Sulentic - Subcommittee Head