Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Ph.D.’16
Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, Ph.D.’16, is a national managing partner at KPMG LLP, focusing on governance issues in their Board Leadership Center. She serves as the global lead partner for Caterpillar and Boeing. She is also the national president and chairman of the board of Girls Scouts of the USA.
Hannan began her career at KPMG in 1985. She became an international tax partner in 1994 and has held many leadership positions at the firm including vice-chairman of Human Resources, Chicago, Midwest Area Tax managing partner, and national managing partner as the firm’s chief diversity and corporate responsibility officer.
Hannan has been a passionate trailblazer and advocate for women in the workplace. She founded the KPMG Women’s Advisory Board and the KPMG Network of Women, which became the model for all other such networks. Hannan served as the chair of both the Women’s Advisory and Diversity Advisory boards. She also served as a member of the board of trustees of The KPMG Foundation.
A frequent speaker, Hannan has also been recognized for her work by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2000 as a “40 under 40” executive and as the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants’ 2003 Woman CPA of the Year. She also received the 2006 Athena International Award, the Anti-Defamation League Women of Achievement Award, the 2011 Illinois Diversity Council’s Most Powerful and Influential Women Award, the 2012 YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s Outstanding Business Leader Award, and Diversity Woman magazine’s annual Mosaic Woman Leadership Award.
Hannan is very engaged in philanthropic and community work and currently serves on several other not-for-profit boards including the Women Corporate Directors Foundation’s Advisory Board and Catalyst. She serves on the boards of the Adler Planetarium, the Metropolitan Planning Council and the Committee for Economic Development.
As a Native American and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation Tribe, Hannan served on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Employment Rights Office Commission, and the board and advisory council of the American Indian Center Chicago.
N. David O’Malley, American Institute of Architects (AIA) member
N. David O’Malley and his wife, Deborah, live in St. Helena, Calif. He is a practicing architect who with his wife, a restoration architect, continues a planning and design practice.
O’Malley began his professional career as a designer in the office of Charles and Ray Eames before ascending to the position of managing director of the East Coast office of Gruen Associates. He then formed a partnership with Frank O. Gehry, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), before serving as president and CEO of Welton Becket and Associates, Architects and Engineers. Later, he was hired by the estate of Howard Hughes to manage the planning and annexation of its California real estate, including the largest privately owned undeveloped property in a major U.S. city, the 1,200-acre Playa Vista.
Since 1990, he has led his own design and consulting practice, focusing on urban design, community planning and large-scale development in the United States, India, Haiti and Lebanon.
His involvement in education includes his appointment as a Harvard University Loeb Fellow of Advanced Environmental Studies, and as a lecturer at the University of Maryland, the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., Pepperdine University and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
O’Malley is also deeply involved in community service, serving as chairman of the board of directors of the Braille Institute of America; and serving on the board of trustees of St. John’s Medical Center, Jackson, Wyo.; the board of trustees of the UCLA Foundation; the board of directors of the Fraternity of Friends, the Music Center in Los Angeles; and as chairman of the board of directors of the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation. He has also served as the chairman of the Deans Council, UCLA graduate school of Architecture and Urban Design; as a member of the board of directors of Pacific Public Radio; and on the executive committee, and the ArtCenter College of Design. He is past president of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Institute of Architects; past president and founder of the Neighborhood Design Center, Baltimore (a non-profit advocacy planning group); and a former member of the board of directors of the Maryland Society of Architects.
O’Malley graduated from St. Procopius Academy in 1956.
Karl J. Grobl
Karl Grobl is one of the world’s most respected and experienced humanitarian photographers. Specializing in the photographic documentation of relief efforts and development work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide, Grobl has shot for more than 80 different NGOs in more than 50 countries. He has photographed post-conflict peace building efforts in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and East Timor; HIV/AIDS issues in Africa and Asia; community development programs in Cuba and Latin America; as well as sensitive social issues including human trafficking in Cambodia and the Philippines. Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Grobl spent more than a month embedded with five different NGOs, documenting tsunami relief efforts in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Grobl’s images have appeared in publications such as National Geographic, Newsweek, CNN, Geo, Town and Country magazine and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, though the majority of his photos appear in the annual reports, newsletters and communications materials of his humanitarian organization clients. Zuma Press, which represents Grobl’s work, is the world’s largest independent press agency and wire service. Grobl’s 2005 Haiti photostory, “City of God,” was nominated for a World Press Photo Award. Revealing the human side of issues faced by people across the globe, Grobl’s photographs offer viewers intimate glimpses into the lives of ordinary people in places few will ever visit.
As a member of the Advisory Counsel of Focus for Humanity, Grobl assists the organization in providing financial support, resources and training for professional and amateur photographers wanting to work with NGOs.
A 1983 graduate of Illinois Benedictine College, Grobl moved to California to study Kinesiology and Biomechanics at San Diego State University and spent the next 15 years in medical sales and sales management before switching to a career in photojournalism. In 2013, he relocated from San Diego, Calif., to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where he now lives full time.
Greg J. Meluch
Greg J. Meluch earned an associate’s degree in Business Management at the College of DuPage in 1979 before enrolling at Illinois Benedictine College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics in December 1981.
After graduation and nearly six years of working at McDonald’s while attending school, Meluch accepted a sales position with the IBM Corporation in February 1982. Over the better part of the next two decades, his career at IBM would provide countless high-profile opportunities for growth and advancement including being a part of the initial IBM PC sales revolution, serving as sales manager of IBM Direct’s new telesales operations, and leading IBM’s Aptiva Home PC sales and marketing venture. In 1996, Meluch received an Outstanding Innovation Leadership Award from IBM chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner.
Other career opportunities followed. He served as chief marketing officer for a North Carolina-based new media start-up, worked on Lenovo’s worldwide desktop marketing team, and was hired as AMD’s Business Development Executive for the IBM and Lenovo account teams.
Throughout his life, Meluch has been blessed to be able to share his time, talent and treasure with many deserving causes including the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox River Valley Region, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County, St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School and Church, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School, Johnny Oates’ Palliative Care Unit at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, and the Carolina Hurricanes Youth and Amateur Hockey Association.
Meluch and his wife, Karen, have been married for 34 years and have two grown children. They have lived in Cary, N.C., since 1992.
David F. Reynolds
The second of six children born and raised in the Beverly neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, David Reynolds attended St. Ignatius College Prep before entering Illinois Benedictine College. After graduating with a degree in history in 1982, Reynolds made the obvious choice (to him at least) to study improvisation at Second City. There he met and performed with many of today’s leading comedic actors including Robert Smigel and Naperville’s favorite son, Bob Odenkirk. In 1988, Reynolds performed in a sketch show in Chicago with Smigel, Odenkirk and Conan O’Brien called, “Happy, Happy Good Show.” That show introduced the world to “The Superfans” and the catchphrase, “Da Bears.”
In 1993, Reynolds was hired as one of the original writers on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” After more than 400 shows, he and his wife moved to Los Angeles where he was hired by Walt Disney Feature Animation to work on the movie “Tarzan.” It was during this time that Disney also asked him to work with a little-known animation studio called Pixar (which later that year would release its first movie, “Toy Story”). Pixar hired him to work on its second feature, “A Bug’s Life.” For the next six years, Reynolds worked on almost every animated movie in production for both Disney and Pixar. During this run, he wrote the screenplay for “The Emperor’s New Groove” and co-wrote “Finding Nemo.” He was nominated for an Oscar and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for Best Original Screenplay for “Finding Nemo” as well as a BAFTA award for “The Emperor’s New Groove.”
Reynolds lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two teenage daughters. He is currently working on both film and television projects, some he can talk about and others he’d rather forget.
Mahnaz Shahidi, Ph.D.
Mahnaz Shahidi, Ph.D., earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics at Illinois Benedictine College in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Atomic and Molecular Physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1988. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in retinal imaging, joined the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at UIC and became the director of the Applied Physics Laboratory. She was promoted to the rank of professor of Physics in Ophthalmology with tenure and joint appointments in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Bioengineering. Shahidi was named Morton F. Goldberg, M.D., FACS Professor of Ophthalmology and served as the vice chair and research director.
In 2016, Shahidi joined the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Southern California, where she is a professor of Ophthalmology, Riffenburgh professor in Glaucoma and vice chair for Translational Research. Her research program is focused on the development of optical imaging technologies for quantitative assessment of eye diseases. The novel imaging techniques developed in her research laboratory have provided valuable tools to study pathophysiology and improve diagnostic evaluation of ocular and systemic diseases. Shahidi has received funding support for her research program from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Shahidi has published more than 100 original articles in peer-reviewed journals and has given more than 150 presentations of her work at scientific conferences. She has received research awards from a number of private foundations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Whitaker Foundation and the OneSight Foundation. Shahidi was the recipient of the prestigious Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness Inc., the nation’s largest private sponsor of vision research. She was also named 2012 Inventor of the Year and 2013 Faculty of the Year in the College of Medicine at UIC.
Joseph S. Brunzelle, Ph.D.
Joseph S. Brunzelle, Ph.D., graduated from Illinois Benedictine College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. In 1999, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry with distinction from Loyola University Chicago under the guidance of Kenneth W. Olsen, Ph.D. While working toward a doctorate, Brunzelle was awarded a GAANN Fellowship (1995-1997), a Teaching Scholars Fellowship (1997-1998) for a newly designed Biochemistry Laboratory course, and the Henry J. Dumbach, S.J. Award for Excellence in Chemistry (1998). In 1998, Brunzelle was also awarded the Arthur J. Schmitt Dissertation Fellowship in Leadership and Service. After graduating from Loyola University Chicago, he joined the laboratory of Wayne F. Anderson, Ph.D., at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine as a post-doctorate fellow. In 2000, he was awarded an American Cancer Society Fellowship for the structural studies of DNA Polymerase III.
Brunzelle is currently a research assistant professor at Northwestern University, and works at the Advance Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratories where he is involved with the three-dimension determination of macromolecular structures and methods development. He has authored more than 90 peer-reviewed articles that have been published in journals such as Nature and Science, given more than 20 invited talks and published abstracts at international science meeting proceedings. In 2004, Brunzelle founded Nastrx Inc., a contract research organization that provides macromolecular X-ray crystallography services to drug discovery and development companies.
Brunzelle and his wife, MaryAnhthu Do, D.O., also an Illinois Benedictine alumna, live in Oak Brook with their three daughters.
Jason A. Ferguson
Jason Ferguson is an interdisciplinary emergency management professional with more than 15 years of experience across the higher education, public health, emergency management and veteran service sectors. Throughout his career, he has fostered safe, healthy and vibrant communities on university campuses; increased access to affordable medications and housing for individuals living with HIV/AIDS; conducted prostate cancer research and promoted prostate health among at-risk men; and assisted communities in the cycle of preparing for, responding to, recovering from and mitigating against disasters of all types.
Since August 2013, Ferguson has been busy helping expand the mission, reach and impact of Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon is a disaster response nonprofit organization that unites the skills of military veterans and first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. The organization was founded by two Marines in the wake of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, and has since helped thousands of our nation’s veterans regain purpose and reintegrate into civilian life through continued service in disaster response.
As deputy director of Training and Exercise, Ferguson leads Team Rubicon’s national training department. His team establishes standards for safe and effective disaster response operations, designs curricula for in-person and web-based courses, and trains and empowers new instructors to deliver national-standard courses to the organization’s members across the country.
Ferguson is also a husband, a father of five, a songwriter and a proud Chicagoan. He currently lives outside Dallas, Texas, with his family, where he is helping launch Team Rubicon’s newly opened National Operations Center.
Ferguson earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Science in 2000 and a Master of Public Health in 2003 at Benedictine University.
Joseph A. Hodal, J.D.
Joseph A. Hodal is an assistant state’s attorney working in the Felony Trial Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, in Chicago, Ill. He practices criminal law, criminal prosecutions and related litigation. He has extensive litigation experience with exceptional talent for trial advocacy, oral advocacy and negotiations. He has litigated more than 65 jury trials to verdict, and argued hundreds of bench trials, motions and hearings on a variety of legal and criminal law issues.
Hodal has previously taught undergraduate courses in topics relating primarily to criminal justice, law, evidence, domestic violence, and fraud examination and investigations. His “Leveling the Playing Field of High School Athletics, Communities for Equity v. Michigan High School Athletic Association” was published in the DePaul Journal of Sports Law. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association and the West Suburban Bar Association.
He earned a Juris Doctor degree in 2004 at DePaul University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2001 at Benedictine University. He was admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association in 2004.
Michael A. Isaacson
Michael Isaacson is a two-time graduate of Benedictine University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition in 1999 and a Master of Public Health in 2000. He currently serves as the assistant director of Community Health at the Kane County Health Department. He started at the health department immediately after graduating from Benedictine University and has been there for 16 years. During that time, he has had the opportunity to manage multiple health programs that address a variety of topics including behavioral health, chronic disease prevention, early childhood issues and emergency preparedness. He has served on the executive leadership team of the health department for the past 10 years, playing a key role in conducting community assessments, establishing annual budgets, participating in strategic planning and implementing new programs.
Isaacson has served on the executive council of the Illinois Public Health Association, and currently co-chairs the Nutrition in Community and Institutional Settings work group for the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity and the Chronic Disease and Health Committee of the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium. He has been appointed to serve on both the Illinois Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Task Force and the Illinois Enhanced Physical Education Task Force. He has been a grant reviewer for the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office, and helped to direct health department activities in the Chicago area that lead to the region becoming among the first to be recognized as Project Public Health Ready by the National Association of County and City Health Officials. In 2015, his team was recognized with a National Model Practice Award for its work to implement quality improvement projects with medical providers that would increase smoking cessation among low-income patients.
Isaacson stays engaged with Benedictine University through participation in the Nutrition Program Advisory Board and the Master of Public Health Professional Advisory Panel. He likes to spend his time away from work with his wife, Margaret; his three children, Graham, Emily and Ethan; his daughter-in-law, Jessica; and his granddaughter, Kate.
Yvonne E. McNair
Yvonne McNair is a highly creative, certified and Emmy-nominated event producer and entertainment marketing professional. She is the president of Events and Entertainment and partner of Captivate Marketing Group. McNair has a proven track record of conceptualizing and orchestrating small and large production events, marketing campaigns and programs to effectively create business development opportunities that increase revenue and growth.
McNair has a wealth of brand management expertise with entertainment, corporate and nonprofit clients. Her career includes creating innovative marketing campaigns and event management for top brands and numerous media and entertainment companies including BET, ESSENCE, VH1, NBC and MTV.
McNair spent several years working with Prince and his protégé, Liv Warfield. She was responsible for the Prince residency secret shows at City Winery in New York. In 2013, the shows were named as the 39th reason to love New York in New York magazine. She was also responsible for Prince’s record-breaking performance at the ESSENCE Festival in 2014, along with turning the Super Dome purple to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain. Most recently, McNair produced a star-studded tribute to Prince at the ESSENCE Music Festival.
In 2010, Black Enterprise/WVON recognized her as one of the elite “40 Game Changers.” McNair was also recognized by BizBash as a 2011 finalist for Social Event Planner of the Year and in 2012 as Event Producer of the Year. In 2013, McNair was nominated for an Emmy as a producer for a historical documentary she created.
McNair currently resides in New York City and is a member of International Special Events Society, Women in Music and The Recording Academy. A certified special events producer, she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and a Master of Business Administration at Benedictine University.
Brian R. Poustinchian, D.O.
Brian R. Poustinchian, D.O., is a native of Carol Stream and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Benedictine University in 2006. He earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree at Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he currently serves as course director and clinical assistant professor of Internal Medicine. Poustinchian completed a residency program at Rush University Medical Center and John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County’s Primary Care Internal Medicine Program. He currently practices in the western suburbs as the medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospitalist Program.
Poustinchian was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Physician Award for outstanding service to Delnor Hospital. He has been published in The Journal of Heart Valve Disease and The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, and has provided continuing medical education presentations in several states.
Poustinchian and his wife have given back as benefactors of the Northwestern Memorial Foundation, Midwestern University and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. He has also supported the Tri City Health Partnership and Fox Valley Marine Corps through charity golf outings. Poustinchian has volunteered at Benedictine University by speaking to the American Medical Student Association, and hopes to do more at the University in the future to inspire pre-medical students. Poustinchian currently resides in Geneva, Ill., with his wife and two daughters.
Kelly J. Zachary, M.B.A.'04, C02, International Business & Economics
Kelly J. Zachary earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and Economics in 2002 and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Management of Innovation and Technology in 2004 at Benedictine University. She was honored with the Benedictine Valedictorian Award Scholarship due to her top class rank at Marquette High School in Ottawa, Ill. During her time at Benedictine, Zachary took the field for the softball team and was a member of the Distinguished Delegation award-winning Model United Nations team. An active alumna, she mentors a BenU student through Benedictine’s Mentorship Program.
Zachary works for BP on their world-class trading floor in the Global Oil Americas-Integrated Supply and Trading Business Unit in downtown Chicago. She has been with BP for 12 years fulfilling roles in accounting, sales, fuel supply, trading operations and commercial development. She is an active member of BP Toastmasters and the Chicago chapter of Women in Listed Derivatives (WILD), and is the leader of the BP Front Office Trading Women’s Network.
A country girl at heart, Zachary grew up on a farm outside of Ottawa, Ill., near Starved Rock State Park. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, playing sports and helping with the family farm and business. She is an active volunteer with “Girls in the Game,” supporting the leadership development of Chicago’s youth, in addition to her fundraising efforts for the local volunteer fire department. She and her family boast one of the most unique CASE tractor collections in the state, including a one of a kind 1945 CASE VAC painted pink especially for Zachary.