SupportCon Speakers

‚ÄčSupportCon - Downers Grove

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SupportCon presenters are professional practitioners in education. These individuals are instrumental in the success of changing how innovation is implemented into the learning experience. They come from a multitude of backgrounds. 

Kristin Arnold, MBA, CPF, CSP, Professional Facilitator & Award-Winning Author

Kristin has been facilitating conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve substantive results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven
Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action. She is also the past president of the US National Speakers Association and on the Executive Development Faculty in the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.

Tecya Anderson,  Field Representative, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)

Tecya Anderson is the East Central Field Representative with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. She has worked for IMRF since 1988 and has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Illinois University.

David Bein, Asst. Supt./Business, CSBO, Downers Grove SD 58

David is an active member of Illinois ASBO and ASBO International, and a frequent speaker and presenter on various topics. Prior to working in education, David worked in the private sector as a corporate finance manager and in the areas of business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and manufacturing engineering.

John N. Benedetti, Dir./Finance & Operations, North Chicago CUSD 187

Jordi Camps, CPA, Executive Dir./Business Services, East Maine SD 53

Mr. Camps joined District 63 in July of 2016 as the District’s new Executive Director of Business Services. Camps, a certified public accountant, previously held several positions at Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions, beginning his tenure as a credit and financial analyst for the Latin American Region and ultimately serving as Operations Controller – Product Development, successfully administering a $400 million budget. He holds a BS in accounting and finance from Florida International University and an MBA from DePaul University.

Sean P. Carney, Dir./Business Services, Adlai E. Stevenson HSD 125

Craig T. Collins, Statewide PD Coordinator, Illinois ASBO

Craig Collins recently retired after completing over 30 years as a public school administrator in Illinois. For the past 15 years, Craig held the position of Assistant Superintendent-Human Resources in Geneva Community Unit School District 304.  Craig currently serves as a Statewide Professional Development Coordinator for the Illinois Association of School Business Officials.

Ryan Doyle, Area Assistant Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Whitney F. Draegert, Dir./Business Services, CSBO, Niles Twp. HSD 219

Whitney Draegert is the Director of Business Services/CSBO at Niles Township High School District 219. Prior to that she was the Staff Accountant at Northern Suburban Special Education District. She also has 8 years of school district auditing experience.

Julie-Ann C. Fuchs, Ed.D., Associate Superintendent, Kaneland CUSD 302

Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs is the Associate Superintendent for Kaneland School District where she oversees the finance and operations for the district. Julie-Ann currently teaches graduate level classes in school finance as an adjunct instructor for Northern Illinois University and Aurora University and is an Illinois ASBO Board Member.  She has a bachelor’s degree in international business, two master’s degrees in education and a doctorate in curriculum leadership.

Elizabeth Gasparini, CPA, Miller, Cooper & Co. Ltd.

Kathy M. Gavin, Dir./Fiscal Services, Niles Twp. Dept. of Special Ed.
Kathy graduated from Northwestern University with an undergraduate degree in Communications and holds a Masters in Educational Administration and a Chief School Business Official endorsement after completing the Illinois ASBO-NIU program in August, 2010.

Byron Given, Account Executive, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

R.J. Gravel, Asst. Supt./Business Services, Glenbrook HSD 225
Prior to Johnsburg, he was a Technology Coordinator and Liturgical Music Educator and Director with the Arch Diocese of Chicago.  R.J. is an active presenter and researcher in the field of PreK-12 technology integration, and is currently completing his dissertation at Northern Illinois University.  In addition to his full time position, R.J. teaches graduate and undergraduate coursework at Aurora University, Northern Illinois University and Waubonsee Community College.

Elizabeth Janowiak, Consultant/Owner, EZ Tech Connect, LLC
Elizabeth Janowiak retired recently, having taught for 12 years and then serving in a variety of administrative positions for the next 13 years. Elizabeth’s most recent administrative experience was with Geneva Community Unit School District 304 as the Director of Technology. Elizabeth is currently working as an independent consultant and owner of EZ Tech Connect, LLC.

Julie Jilek, Assistant Superintendent, CSBO, Northwest Suburban Spec. Ed. Org.
Julie Jilek is currently the Assistant Superintendent/Chief School Business Official for the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO). Julie has worked in the field of education for over 30 years, with her entire career focusing on the education of students with special needs. Since completing the CSBO program at Northern Illinois University in 2001, Julie has worked as a Chief School Business Official for Special Education Cooperatives for the past 15 years.

Ron Johnson, Dir./Support Services, Indian Prairie SD 204

Ron has a strong financial background with an education consisting of a Bachelors of Science in Accounting, a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters in Secondary Education.

Jay Kahn, Dir./Finance & Operations, CSBO, Lake Bluff SD 65
Jay has been working in school business management for four years. Prior to working in education, Jay worked in the private sector as a corporate finance manager and in the areas of strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, as well as product development engineering.

Clare R. Keating, Program Director, School Food and Wellness Group

Gavin T. McGinn, Accounting Coordinator, Mt. Prospect SD 57

Gavin McGinn is the Accounting Coordinator at Mount Prospect School District 57.  He has served in this role for 2.5 years and was previously the Payroll Coordinator at Lincolnwood School District 74.

Howard A. Metz, Partner, Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton & Taylor, Ltd.

Howard is a partner at Robbins Schwartz, counsels and represents school districts, community colleges, park districts and municipalities with respect to real estate, commercial transactions, construction law and land use and zoning matters.

Linda R. Mont, Sr. Benefit Consultant, Key Benefit Concepts, LLC

Linda is the Senior Benefit Consultant and Managing Member of Key Benefit Concepts, LLC. She has over 30 years of experience providing employee benefit consulting services to employers in both the public and private sectors. She has a B.A. in Management & Communications from Concordia University, Mequon, Wisconsin.  She maintains designations as a Certified school Risk Manager (CSRM) and a Registered Health Underwriter (RHU). Linda Mont is an experienced speaker for several organizations providing pertinent information on employee benefit and post-employment topics.

Karen S. Sanchez, CPA, QPA, Partner in Charge/Employee Benefit Services, Sikich, LLP

Karen Sanchez is partner-in-charge of Sikich's employee benefits services team. She leads a team of experienced professionals and oversees a full range of retirement and welfare plan services, including guidance on plan issues, legislation updates and the application of the Affordable Care Act. Karen has provided retirement and welfare plan compliance and related benefits services to clients for more than 25 years. She is a certified public accountant (CPA) and qualified pension administrator (QPA), and regularly contributes to a variety of professional and trade publications.

Kate Setchell, Field Representative, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)

Elizabeth R. Shields, Assistant Director of Finance, Aurora East SD 131

Myron Spiwak, Dir./Business Services, New Trier Twp. HSD 203

Myron Spiwak has been the Director of Business Services at New Trier High School District 203 for the past two years. Prior to that he spent five and a half years as Assistant Director of Business for Warren Township High School District 121. He is a Certified Public Accountant with 18 years of corporate accounting experience before entering the field of Education. He obtained his Masters degree and CSBO designation in 2014.


Suzanne Surovy, Group Practice Leader, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America

Suzanne is a Group Practice Leader in Guardian’s Bethlehem Claim office and has over 25 years of claims experience.  In her Practice Leader role, Suzanne demonstrates Guardian’s claim capabilities and return to work services designed to help drive positive outcomes.   Suzanne provides consultation to help deliver the most effective Disability and Absence Management solutions employers need in today’s complex work environment.

Kathy Zalewski, Business Manager, CSBO, Evanston-Skokie CCSD 65 

Kathy Zalewski has been working as a Business Manager for Evanston Skokie School District 65 since 2001. She has over 16 years of governmental finance experience.  Kathy is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and had worked as an auditor for a public accounting firm before becoming Chief School Business Official.  Kathy is member of several professional organizations including Illinois Association of School Business Officials, Illinois CPA Society and American Institute of CPAs.


Maureen L. Zyburt, Comptroller/Treasurer, Comm. Unit Sch. Dist. 200

Maureen oversees the daily operations of the business office including accounts payable, payroll and benefits at Community Unit School District 200 in Wheaton.