Speakers: Michael Sitrick, JD; Julianne Buck; Barbara Szczepaniak; and Alice Wood, JDTopic: What Can Community Foundations Do for You?
Community foundations are powerful catalysts for philanthropy. Working in concert with charitably-minded people and organizations, professional advisors, not-for-profits, and other partners, few entities are better poised to effect lasting, positive impact for the communities they serve. Join us for an interactive panel discussion with local community foundation leaders and those who work closely with them to discover how you, your clients and constituents, and the causes you love and support can benefit most from leveraging the value of community foundations.
Specific Topics to Be Covered:
- The breadth of community foundation programs and services for not-for-profits
- Community foundations as a partner and resource for local donors and professional advisors
- Opportunities for community collaboration
About Our Speakers:
Michael Sitrick, JD, is vice president for advancement of the DuPage Foundation. There he works closely with people, organizations, and their advisors to help them accomplish their charitable goals. He concentrates on facilitating outright and deferred gifts of appreciated property and demonstrating the impact of philanthropy and endowed funds to the community. Michael graduated magna cum laude from Millikin University in Decatur, IL, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and earned his Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. After completing his studies, he worked at two Chicago area law firms where he concentrated in civil litigation before returning to the DuPage Foundation in 2013. Michael is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association (DCBA) where he serves on its Judiciary Committee and Public Interest and Education (PIE) Commission. He is also the immediate past president of Suburban Chicago Planned Giving Council, a member of the DuPage County Estate Planning Council, and a past board member of the West Suburban Philanthropic Network (WSPN). Michael is a two-time recipient of the DCBA Board of Directors’ Award, a past recipient of WSPN's Distinguished Service Award, and one of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Inaugural “Four Under 40” recipients. In his spare time, he enjoys performing as an actor and tenor soloist with area theatrical and musical groups. He lives in Lombard with his wife, Elizabeth.
Julianne Buck has spent her adult career in the nonprofit and government arenas. For the past 16 years she has been the first and only executive director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County. She has taken the Foundation’s assets from $0 to $10 million and has ingrained the Foundation as a partner throughout the region. In April 2019 the Foundation accepted its first gift of farmland that it will retain and not sell. The proceeds will be used for grantmaking in Seneca, IL, per the donor’s wishes. The Community Foundation of Grundy County improves the quality of life in Grundy County through leadership and philanthropy. Julianne works with donors to achieve their charitable goals and leads the charge to convene a number of networks to assure others are collaborating around issues of concern. She also serves on the Grundy County Drug Court team. Prior to the Foundation, Julianne was deeply involved in the disability rights community for a number of years, especially as an enforcer of the Illinois Accessibility Code while working in the Office of Illinois Attorney General. Julianne’s greatest strength is “Servant Leadership” – helping other nonprofits realize their full capacity. Outside of work she puts these skills to work by being a Scout leader, band booster mom, musician, and amateur thespian. Julianne is married to Ken Buck, Superintendent of the Grundy County Veterans Assistance Commission. Their sons are Ken and Landon, both of whom were involved in Scouts and band and are now college students.
Barbara Szczepaniak is vice president for programs of the DuPage Foundation. In this role, she is responsible for providing oversight for all of the Foundation’s grant programs. She works with its Board of Trustees, Grant Committee, and staff to develop and implement initiatives aimed at raising the quality of life for DuPage residents. She is also responsible for building and maintaining effective partnerships with the community's not-for-profits and works closely with Foundation fund advisors in an effort to connect them to organizations and programs that align with their philanthropic interests. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2008, Barb served as executive director of the Elmhurst School District 205 Foundation for Educational Excellence for 11 years. There she managed the Foundation's grants program and worked collaboratively with its Program Committee, Board and others to accomplish the Foundation's development and grantmaking activities, increase its visibility throughout Elmhurst, foster strategic partnerships and ensure its overall success. In addition to her not-for-profit background, Barb possesses several years of experience in the human resources field. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Communications and a minor in Public Relations from Illinois State University. Barb is a life-long resident of DuPage County, and currently lives in Elmhurst with her husband, George. Barb serves on several county-wide boards including the DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform, DuPage Homeless Continuum of Care as a member of the Leadership and Grants Funding committees, DuPage Workforce Investment Board, and Impact DuPage as a member of the Steering Committee. Barb is the recipient of the 2012 West Suburban Philanthropic Network Grantmaker of the Year Award; Suburban Life Magazine’s 2016 Woman of Distinction Award; and is a 2018 Erikson Institute Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellow.
Alice Wood, JD, is an author, attorney, and entrepreneur. She founded Wealth Watchers® International in 2005 and later created The Wealth Watchers Foundation, a business with a simple goal; to help people spend less money than they make. According to Alice, “The measurement of her success is to see consumer debt rates decline, bankruptcy rates decline, foreclosure rates decline, and the national personal savings rate reach 10%.” Alice is the author of three books; “Saving is Sexy!” published in 2015; “Wealth Watchers – A Simple Program To Spend Less and Save More” published in 2010; and “Wealth Watchers - The Savings of a Nation” published in 2006. During her career as an advocate for financial education, Alice was asked to work with the United States Treasury Department to develop the National Strategy for Financial Literacy. She was also recruited to work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to shape national priorities in the field of financial education. Among her many adventures in her professional life, Alice created America’s largest financial literacy initiative in the workplace along with Visa and McDonald’s USA. She has been a contributing expert on several networks on matters relating to personal finances. Before jumping into the financial literacy world, Alice founded The Law Offices of Alice Wood, now known as Kabbe Law Group. Her estate planning practice has represented more than 1,000 families in Naperville and the surrounding area. She now serves as the director of business development for NorthStar Wealth Group/Ameriprise. Alice is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana and DePaul College of Law. She currently serves as a volunteer member of the DuPage Foundation’s Professional Advisor Committee.