Board of Directors
F.J. Phillips, Chair
F.J. Phillips is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch, where he has worked since 1997 assisting families and individuals with strategies to preserve their assets and income throughout their lifetimes, while building a legacy of purpose and impact for future generations. He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor degree in Finance and obtained his Financial Planning Certification from DePaul University. F.J. has been a team leader for the Food for Friends program since 2012 and a board member of Care for Friends since 2014. He has also been an active youth leader and is currently Jr. Warden on the Vestry at The Church of the Holy Comforter. F.J. and his wife Carrie, reside in Wilmette with their sons Everett and George.
Maya Menon O'Connor, Vice-Chair
Maya Menon O'Connor is the Senior Manager, Consumer Marketing at Snappy. Previously, she was the Director of Marketing at Swap.com and managed brand strategy at Lincoln Park Zoo. She also served on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Chicago. Maya and her husband Kevin reside in Brookfield with her husband and two little dogs.
John VanStee, Treasurer
John Van Stee, CPA, CFE is an audit partner with CohnReznick LLP. There he works with for-profit and not-for-profit affordable housing developers, management companies, and syndicators. John graduated from Calvin College with a bachelor degree in accountancy. He obtained his CPA certification in 2000 and his CFE certification in 2011. He also volunteers through his office’s initiative, CohnReznick CARES. John resides with his wife Amy, and son Will, in Chicago.
John Gavin, Secretary
For many years John Gavin practiced corporate/ transactional work, primarily in the health/ health insurance area, at first for two Chicago law firms and concluding as Vice President - Transaction Counsel for Health Care Service Corporation ( Blue Cross). He has also had leadership roles in several non-profit activities , ranging from parish organizations to entities addressing homelessness and STEM education for minority students.
Felicia Balmaseda, Board Member
Felicia Balmaseda is an IT professional with over 20 years in Data Management. A Chicagoan at heart, Felicia has volunteered for many organizations benefiting Chicago neighborhoods since 2006. She has been a volunteer with Care for Friends since 2016, primarily focused on the successful execution of its food service programs. After a short absence, Felicia has returned to the Care For Friends in Dec 2020.
Felicia continues to support Care For Friends with the strategic planning and execution of its food programs. Faced with the increasing homelessness and hunger cases in Chicago, Felicia is motivated to reduce food insecurities one “friend” at a time. With this ongoing quest to give, Felicia is dedicated to promote significant and positive change for communities through advocacy and compassion.
Mark Bean, Board Member
Mark Bean is a full time active Real Estate Broker, Investor and Developer who works with motivated sellers and buyers to achieve their real estate goals.
Prior to moving into Real Estate, Mark was the youngest Senior Vice President at Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon and Eckhard -- a Fortune 500 Advertising Agency. While at Bozell, Mark was the team leader who led the Jewel/Osco Account and supervised a staff of 38 fantastic team members who built that account from $12.5 million to $27 million in 2 years.
Mark holds both a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Master’s in Journalism from the Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He lives on Chicago’s north side with his partner Nancy Paradiso.
Mark has served as the Senior Warden and Jr. Warden and on the Vestry at COS. Mark was also the recipient of the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award for CFF and has been involved with the program for the last thirty years.
David Berkley, Board Member
David Berkley is a Senior Compliance Officer at PPM America, Inc. At PPM, David oversees the Compliance program for 3 three major asset classes: Fixed Income, Private Equity and Commercial Real Estate. Prior to working at PPM, he was a Financial Regulator with the National Futures Association (NFA). He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics and received a master’s degree in Business Information Technology from DePaul University. David lives in Chicago’s Roscoe Village neighborhood with his wife Erica and two sons.
Morag Fullilove, Board Member
Morag Fullilove is the founder and principal of her own government affairs firm,
The Fullilove Consulting Group. The firm's clients include trade associations,
Fortune 500 companies, and national coalitions. In 2003, the firm opened an
office in Brussels, Belgium, to focus on international and European
developments. Morag holds a Master of Management degree from Northwestern
University’s Kellogg School of Management and is a Certified Association
Executive. Morag is a former senior warden of the Episcopal Church of Our
Saviour in Chicago and has worked with the Food for Friends program for 40
Will King, Board Member
Will is a Vice President with Svoboda Capital Partners (“SC”), where he has worked since April 2018. He is responsible for investment evaluation, transaction execution, and portfolio management. Prior to joining SC, Will spent two years as an analyst in the Investment Banking Division of BMO Capital Markets (“BMO”) in Chicago. During his tenure at BMO, Will advised clients in the consumer sector on a variety of transactions including mergers & acquisitions, as well as debt and equity financings.
Will is actively involved in his community and volunteers with Big Shoulders Fund. Will holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
Ibe Mbanu, MD, Board Member
Dr. Mbanu is a physician leader with over a decade and half in clinical practice and executive leadership. He currently serves as a Senior Medical Director with Advocate Aurora Health. His areas of responsibility include both the system’s Performance Advisory Office and the Medical Group.
Clinical operations and change management have been key areas of focus during his career. He is a certified Lean-Six Sigma Green Belt and has subsequently served as Project Manager (PM) for large engagements. Ibe has served on various boards including the Virginia Center for Health Innovation, and recently completed his term as President of Virginia Health Information.
Dr. Mbanu completed his fellowship training at Harvard University’s School of Public Health. He received an MBA from Yale University, an MPH from the University of Michigan, his MD from Wayne State University, and two BS degrees in Chemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.
Emily Sachs Wong, Board Member
Emily Sachs Wong is one of the most sought-after advisors to homebuyers and sellers in Chicago’s high-end real estate market. Years of catering and cooking lead Emily to the field of real estate. Emily began her real estate career in 1998 and quickly established herself among the city’s top Realtors, where she remains today.
Chicago has been good to Emily, and giving back has been an important part of daily life. Emily’s commitment to her community is demonstrated through her support of a number of charities and civic organizations such as Common Threads and H.O.M.E, where she served on the boards, CURE, The Lincoln Park Zoo, and Family Resource Center. YIMBY is Emily’s personal charity, formed to assist low income and homeless students at Lincoln Park High School, and was a natural entrée into working with Care For Friends. Emily loves cooking, reading, yoga, and traveling with her family. She resides in Lincoln Park with her husband, four children and two Goldendoodles, Moxie and Indiana.
“I am so happy to be working with Care For Friends. It is a wonderful group of people working together and getting a lot accomplished for those we serve.”
Michael Steinberg, Board Chair Emeritus
Michael Steinberg is the former Executive Vice President for Academic Programs at IES Abroad, the leading U.S. provider of overseas study for undergraduates. An acknowledged leader in the study abroad field, he has been honored by NAFSA with its Education Abroad Leadership Award in 2012 and by the Forum for Education Abroad with the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award in 2015. His local volunteer activities have included Mostly Music of Chicago where he served as Board President. His continued involvement in the arts keeps him busy as a Board member of Ensemble Español and of the SACI College of Art and Design in Florence Italy and as a member of the Premiere Society Council at the Goodman Theater. He earned his doctorate in history from the Johns Hopkins University. As a recent retiree, Michael is spending his new free time with his wife, Salme, who is the President Emeritus of Northeastern Illinois University, and volunteering with Care For Friends.
JD Miller, Board Chair Emeritus
JD Miller, PhD is the Chief Revenue Officer of Kantata. Previously, he was VP of the Americas for Worforce Software where he advised the US Congress and White House on issues related to low-wage workers. He began his career at web content management company Vignette, and has held a series of progressive sales and management roles at LexisNexis, West Monroe Partners, IBM, and Runzheimer International.
Dr. Miller earned his PhD from the University of Illinois, where his research explored ways that organizations use social networking and web technologies to advance corporate goals. He frequently speaks on sales, marketing, and PR approaches for the 21st century, and the impact that technology has on the professional workforce. JD is also a founding board member of Care For Friends.
The Reverend Brian J. Hastings, Board Member
Brian Hastings is the Rector of Church of Our Saviour, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, where he has served as Rector since 2008. Born in a small city just west of Toronto, Canada, Brian was raised up for the priesthood and ordained in his home diocese. Immediately after his ordination to the diaconate, Brian emigrated to the United States to join a community of Episcopalian Benedictine monks in Three Rivers, Michigan. He left the monastery on Ash Wednesday 1985 and moved to Chicago. He has served in several parishes on Chicago’s north side and throughout the Diocese of Chicago. At the same time that his parish ministry began, he started a small practice in spiritual direction. From the time he arrived, Brian was involved in a variety of community commitments, including the Aids Pastoral Care Network and Demico Youth Services in Cabrini Green. He is also a founding board member of Care For Friends.