If you have any questions or would like to get involved with BDAI, please contact us to learn more.

210 S. DesPlaines Street,
Chicago, IL 60661
P: 312-427-1495
F: 312-427-1602
info@bdai.org

Staff

 

Bob Robinson

Executive Director 
brobinson@bdai.org 

I was introduced to the bleeding disorders community back in the early 90’s when I was developing a camp for families impacted by HIV.  I was shocked to learn about how many people with hemophilia were infected by this horrible virus.  I vowed to do what I could to help.  I stay committed to this wonderful community offering my nearly 40 year background in not-for-profit management and fundraising to move our programs and services forward.         

 

Lily Schwartz

Associate Director
lschwartz@bdai.org

I joined this organization in 1991 - when it was known as the Hemophilia Foundation for Illinois.  A life time later - I am still personally vested in this strong, amazing community.  As Associate Director, I am proud to be involved in nearly every aspect of BDAI - including Camp Director of Camp Warren Jyrch.  One of my greatest joys is being able to watch this community, both adults and children, grow and thrive with each new advancement in care and treatment.  Can't wait for what comes next.

 

Bea Carr

Financial Director
bcarr@bdai.org 

I became aware of BDAI when my first grandson was born 15 years ago and was diagnosed with Hemophilia A.  Although the family was well aware of this disorder, BDAI was, and continues to be, a huge resource and comfort for us as we learn more and advocate for those with bleeding disorders.  Today we have an informed and very active teen in our midst that manages the challenges that go along with hemophilia and lives a very productive and normal life.

I assumed my role as Financial Director when I sold my small business (Doc Prep, Inc.) several years ago.  As sole proprietor of that company, I gained the business experience necessary to serve BDAI well with fiscal responsibility while also championing the important mission of our organization.

 

Kara Knaus

Development Coordinator

kknaus@bdai.org

Hi! I am so excited to be the new Development Coordinator at BDAI. Born and raised in the Chicago area, I received my BA in history from Kalamazoo College in Michigan where I spent 5 months studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and a master’s in written communication from National Louis University in Chicago. Before joining BDAI, I interned in marketing and development at the Lyric Opera and at Marwen, a nonprofit art school.  I have also worked as a massage therapist, bartender, legal clerk, and as a Walt Disney World attraction’s hostess, and look forward to bringing my eclectic experience to the BDAI team. In my spare time, I enjoy creative writing, acting, live theater, the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago White Sox, Fantasy Football, traveling, and spending time with my new husband—I’m a newlywed. I am so excited to join the BDAI team and look forward to getting to know the community.

 

Adam Hii

Program Coordinator

Board of Directors

 

 

Michael Towner

Board President
Technical Resource, PPTG | Honeywell LLC - Chicago, IL

I have two boys, Patrick and Matthew, who have been members of the BDAI community for over 17 years. Matthew is studying nursing at Lewis University and Patrick currently works at Walgreens. I have worked 35+ years at UOP/Honeywell as a petro-chemical research technical resource and have experience working with a variety of people from operation personnel to the VP of Research. Through this work, I have been a team leader for production and safety teams. I also have eight years of experience as a village trustee, and as a trustee, I have been the board liaison for the Department of Public Works, Finance, Playground and Recreation, Planning, Zoning Board of Appeals, Special Events, and Administration.

 

As a BDAI community member, I have been an active participant in our education programs. I enjoy advocating for the Bleeding Disorders Alliance Illinois community and am honored to serve the community as President of the Board of Directors.

 

Nick Adams

Vice-President

As an individual with severe Hemophilia A, I am honored and excited to serve as the Vice-President of the BDAI Board of Directors. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, my family knew little about Hemophilia and had little access to a support network. That experience underlies my motivation to ensure that every family impacted by bleeding disorders is aware of, and can easily access, our community and all of the resources available to them.

I am passionate about empowering individuals with disabilities, including bleeding disorders, to become their own advocates, reframe the conversation with a focus on our shared value and achievement, and find support in this remarkable community.

Outside of BDAI, I am an Operations Manager at McMaster-Carr; an MBA Candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; and a Board Member of Lime Connect, a global nonprofit that's rebranding disability through achievement. Please feel free to contact me at nicholas.adams@chicagobooth.edu. I would love to hear your feedback and ideas on how we can better serve all members of our community! 

 

Shanna Garcia

Board Treasurer

Our family was introduced to the incredible bleeding disorders community in 2004, when our 8-month-old son Charlie was diagnosed with severe Hemophilia A. The HTC team that delivered the news set the stage for our journey by saying, “This is the best diagnosis of all the possibilities. We know you don’t know anything about this, but we will help you. You will be fine.” And they were right! The education and support we have received from all segments of the community has been astounding and the experience has given us the skills and confidence to be better able to handle all the other challenges life brings. I want to do my part to make sure other families have the same opportunities.

My professional experience covers the fields of banking and finance, public education and non-profits. I was lucky to serve on the board of the Texas Central Hemophilia Association from 2005 – 2010 and worked for the chapter thru 2012. I have also been very involved in an international organization supporting educational opportunities for women

 

Nyzera Fleming

Board Secretary

Project Manager -CCDOC

MSW Candidate

A colleague, Marianne Kelly, introduced me to the bleeding disorders community over a year ago. She along with her family has been a part of the BDAI community for years and have also served time on the board. Initially, I knew little about Hemophilia and the issues of concern in this area. As I am currently finishing my MSW program at Loyola University, I have gained interest in serving marginalized and smaller communities that work to address issues that highlight the importance that they are not interpersonal but rather social issues. Understanding that the underpinned concerns calls to find positive and constructive solutions. As part of my Social Work mission, I serve to always advocate for all and their rights. I look forward continuing my knowledge in the BDAI community and giving insight to aid the board in the best way fit.

 

Dan Ciolini

Daniel A. Ciolino

Board Member

Vice President, Wintrust Bank – Chicago

Serving my community and bringing awareness to groups like BDAI are very important ideals to me. I am proud to be a current member of the Board of Directors for the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce, Norwood Park Chamber of Commerce and was previously a Director for the Edgebrook Chamber of Commerce. I also have volunteered for and support the YWCA Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate, the Paint Edgebrook Pink campaign, Misericordia Candy Days, Chicago’s Christmas Ship, and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

Now, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Treasurer for BDAI, where I hope to help educate others and broaden awareness for our very special community and cause, and to secure and establish new support for our organization. I can be reached via e-mail to dciolino@wintrust.com.

 

Daniel Contreras

Board Member

Even though my wife Martha and I were raising two boys with hemophilia, we were not aware that BDAI existed to support families with bleeding disorders, like ours.  Thankfully, this all changed in 2013!  Having now experienced the summer camps, the galas, the advocacy trips, golf and walk events (and more!), I feel privileged to have seen firsthand the commitment and passion from the staff, the board, our partners and the entire BDAI community to support individuals and families. I am very excited about the opportunity to help build on decades of outstanding support to those impacted by bleeding disorders in Illinois.

 

 

Taylor Mills

Board Member

Loyola University Medical Center

Being part of the board is my way to give back to a special community close to my heart. I was welcomed to this community almost 14 years ago with my family. Seeing new families and continuing support for the current families the same way my family has been impacted has truly brought me happiness. I started really getting involved with Camp Warren Jyrch as a camper. I've recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago with my masters in social work and a specialization in health. I am now a medical social worker/case manager at Loyola University Medical Center. I am thrilled to say that I am continuing to go to camp but now as one of the Camp Co-Directors. Since I joined this community years ago—thanks to my brother—I would like to advocate and empower the women in our community impacted by bleeding disorders. Having worked with the BDAI office over the years, my social work experiences, and my personal experiences with my family can bring a unique personal perspective to the board. I hope to be a voice for the community, especially the young adults, men and women, impacted by bleeding disorders. My focus within the board will be with advocacy and education in the outreach committee to strive for empowerment and independence.

 

Brent Page

Board Member

I believe our bleeding disorders bring certain blessings and strengths along with its struggles. One of those gifts is the supportive bleeding disorder community and our chapters, through which I learned at an early age the importance of education and advocating for oneself. When I moved to Chicago for law school, I was immediately embraced by the Illinois bleeding disorder community and I am excited to give back as a Board Member of BDAI.

In addition to being previously involved with the National Hemophilia Foundation and the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan, I have dedicated my career to public interest law. I have sought to serve the legal needs of the underrepresented, first at the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic and currently at the Public Interest Law Initiative. In my professional life, I am privileged to work to inspire young adults to engage in public service. As a Board Member for BDAI, I am committed to helping ensure BDAI continues to be a resource for individuals and families through advocacy, education, and emotional and financial support.

 

 

Margo Schwartz-Newton:

Board Member

I am honored to be on the board of BDAI, and I look forward to serving the bleeding disorders community, families and individuals who have generously helped my family learn how to navigate life with a bleeding disorder.  My goal is to reach families not currently in the BDAI community and help them learn about the plethora of resources available.

After completing a degree in sociology, I pursued studies in piano performance and earned a master’s degree in collaborative piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Currently, I am the pianist for Kol Zimrah Jewish Community Singers and Congregation BJBE as well as a freelance pianist and coach. Former artistic administrator with The Chicago Chamber Musicians, a wide variety of day jobs supports my musical habits.  

I thoroughly enjoy the company of my extraordinarily supportive husband, Joel, and killing zombies with my incredibly imaginative son, Oliver."

 

Nichelle Stigger

Board Member

I am a Language Arts Teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park and currently reside in Oak Park with my husband Aaron and son Parker who has severe Hemophilia A. As a survivor of Lung Cancer, I am advocate for bleeding disorders, education and social justice.  As a daughter to a father with Severe Hemophilia A and now a son, I have always known that I would be a part of the bleeding disorders community.  My goal is to be sure that new and existing families have current information regarding bleeding disorders and to be an advocate for new families during their bleeding disorders journey.  I am honored to be able to support the community and use my skills where they are most needed.


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