For over a decade, Holly Koontz has participated in the Peoria area Walk to End Alzheimer’s in honor of the family members she has lost to Alzheimer’s disease. She sits on the Marketing Committee and provides day-of event support year after year. Participating in Walk is her way of maintaining hope for a future without the disease.
Holly has witnessed family members face Alzheimer’s disease and dementia since she was in her teens. “I was a caregiver for my grandpa when I was in high school to give my grandma a break on Sundays. It was my first encounter with Alzheimer’s…My grandma did so much to keep him home instead of a care facility.” Tragically, Holly’s exposure to the disease didn’t end there.
Holly saw multiple aunts and uncles succumb to the disease, and one of her uncles is currently living with the disease. She knows her experience is not unique. “This impacts most every family I know at some point in time.”
“I’ve lost two grandparents on opposite sides of my family [to the disease],” shares Holly. “I fear that one or both of my parents will get it as there is so much family history.”
“This disease is so very sad,” Holly says. “The person with it may not know what is happening but the loved ones see every day how that person is lost within themselves.”
Participating in the 2023 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Peoria Metro is Holly’s way to “memorialize my family members who have been lost to the disease and honor those who currently are battling it.” This will be her fourteenth year involved in the event.
“It gives me hope that treatments will be created and ultimately a cure,” shares Holly. “Someone once said to me that it’s so easy for people to donate to childhood charities or animals but we often forget about the issues that impact the elderly.” She acknowledges that all of these causes are extremely worthwhile, but Alzheimer’s has special meaning to her. It’s where she focuses most of her energy. For Holly, it’s a way “to thank my grandparents and aunts and uncles for all they did for me.”
Honor your loved one by registering for the 2023 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in your community. Get started at alz.org/walk
The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter is thrilled to welcome four new members of our Board of Directors for fiscal year 2024 along with a new Board Chair. Our new board members commit their talents, passion, time and connections to strengthen the fight against Alzheimer’s. We thank them for their commitment to our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, and we look forward to accomplishing incredible things together in the year ahead.
Sandy Prabhakar is a Managing Director – Midwest Leader the Armory Group. He works in investment banking and restructuring advisory services and specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions and Capital Advisory where he advises C-Suite management teams and Middle Market business owners as they navigate complex financial transactions.
Sandy and his wife Lynn have been event sponsors and connected with the Mission of Alzheimer’s for several years. He continues to serve as a Planning Committee Member for the annual Memory Rock Chicago event with the Associations’ Illinois Chapter, which will be hosting its 17th annual event in 2023.
His late Father-in-law (Paul Lemire) passed away in 2007 after a 12-year fight with Frontal Temporal Dementia, which drives his and his family’s passion for helping and serving the Alzheimer’s Association, Illinois Chapter.
Sandy joined the Alzheimer’s Association, Illinois Chapter Board of Directors on July 1, 2017, and was recently appointed Chair for the Illinois Chapter Board.
Kari-Ann Ryan is a marketing executive with 30 years of experience in marketing for multi-brand and multi-location companies, the service industry, and retail management, as well as working in non-profit marketing, event planning, and fundraising. Kari-Ann is the Director of Marketing & Development for Mid-West Moving & Storage and Chicago Office Movers. As the master of visibility, she is responsible for all things Branding and Marketing related both internal and external. She also owns her own marketing consulting business and is a certified business partner for Constant Contact.
At the end of 2022, she started her own non-profit organization called LMJ’s Lost Souls- Alzheimer’s Fund, focused on fundraising events, awareness, education, resources and support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia related Diseases. She is the president of the board for this organization. Prior to starting the non-profit, her team donated over $400K to the Alzheimer’s Association over the past 9 years.
Kari-Ann is also on the Board for the Schaumburg Business Association, the Elk Grove Village Chamber, and is a past long time chair and top fundraiser for the Northwest Suburban Walk To End Alzheimer’s. She serves on the Fund the Mission Committee for the Alzheimer’s Association.
All the work she does as an advocate for Alzheimer’s Disease is fueled by her personal connection as her grandmother passed of the disease. She is passionate about this cause and finds purpose in all the ways she and her organization can make an impact. She is inspired by all the people who support her on this journey and she lives to always give back.
Rev. Frank C. Walton is a licensed and ordained minister, and affectionally, called Pastor Frank throughout the Chicagoland area and the West Coast.
He is married to Pam Morris-Walton, the renowned Gospelsister of Chicago and together they have collaborated on various events including weekly radio and television broadcasts, Bud Billiken Gospel Fest in Chicago, Black Marriage Chicago, and Weekly Senior Services and have served as Ambassador for the Bernie Mac Foundationalong with hosting numerous Gospel events.
While on the West Coast, Frank had several business roles in both King & Pierce County of Washington State with his professional activities – The Salvation Army, Urban Ministries, Inc., Tacoma Ministerial Alliance, Tacoma Black Collective, Tacoma Sunrise Rotary and Tacoma / Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.
His role in Corporate America advanced a well-rounded background in the areas of sales, customer relationships, employee morale and finance. While the positions held in the nonprofit organizations enhanced his expertise of boards with strategic planning and fund raising.
Frank is humbled and honored to be a 2017 joint recipient along with his wife Pam of an Honorary Doctorate Degree from GMOR Theological Institute of America Midwest Region.He is also recognized as one of the 2017 Most Distinguished Men of Illinois. Frank is an inductee of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio and was the GMWA/GAG 2009 Gospel Announcer of the Year. Several other notable awards include the National Jitsuo Morikawa Evangelism Award, from the American Baptist Churches of USA, numerous awards in broadcasting in honor of renowned broadcasters who exemplified commitment to the communityand other acknowledgments for his effective leadership.
Many know Pastor Frank as a strong, confident, and articulate leader with a passion for serving others. In addition, to having served congregations in Wheaton, LaGrange and his current intentional interim pastoral duties at Community Baptist Church of Warrenville, IL, he serves as President, of the American Baptist Churches – MetroChicago and on several boards including the LGSSF and most recently the Alzheimer’s Association of Illinois.
Bruce Hopple joined Avison Young in 2018 as a Senior Vice President on the tenant representation team. Bruce focuses on new business development and transaction advisory services for professional service firms, not-for-profits and local and national corporations. With more than 25 years of commercial real estate experience, Hopple is an expert in financial and market analysis, negotiation and commercial real estate trends. Hopple was most recently a senior director with Cushman & Wakefield in Chicago.
During his career, Hopple has completed transactions for his clients valued at more than $2 billion, ranging in size from 1,000 square feet (sf) to 150,000-sf headquarters locations. A consistent top producer, his clients include American Board of Medical Specialties, Chicago Stock Exchange, CPG International; Gibbs & Soell; Landrum and Brown; Leadership Greater Chicago; March of Dimes; The Posse Foundation; SKF USA; Wonderlic, Inc.; Woolpert, Inc.; and Zurich Insurance.
Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Hopple was a senior vice president at Colliers International and The Staubach Company. Before his career in commercial real estate, Hopple served as in-house counsel for Chase Bank in Ohio and was a senior administrator at the University of Cincinnati.
Hopple’s community service has included board positions with USO of Illinois, March of Dimes, Leadership Greater Chicago Fellows Association, the Pilsen/Rauner Family YMCA and Chicago Office Leasing Brokers Association (COLBA). He holds his juris doctorate and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Cincinnati. Hopple is a licensed real estate managing broker in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois.
Barry Masek, former Senior Partner and now Retired Partner (Partner Emeritus) at Baker Tilly, 2006 to present. Executive VP, CFO and Treasurer at Temperature Equipment Corp, 2000 – 2005. Audit Partner at Arthur Andersen, starting as staff, 1979 – 1999.
Over 40 years of experience serving middle-market and large manufacturing and distribution companies, including public and private equity owned. Held several leadership roles at Baker Tilly and served on the Baker Tilly’s Board of Partners. Prior to joining Baker Tilly, Barry was the chief financial officer for a distribution company. Prior to that, he was a partner with Arthur Andersen.
Has led large engagement teams serving middle-market and large companies, including public and private equity-owned companies. Assists companies with merger, acquisition and due diligence transactions. Specializes in assisting companies with multiple entities, multiple locations and international operations. Lead advisory relationship partner on large public company projects, including restatements, internal audit and SOX service – working closely with management and audit committees.
EVP and CFO, changed Banking relationship and healthcare service provider for better service and lower cost Led implementation of first-time, fully integrated ERP system. Industry specialization in manufacturing and distribution.
Industry and civic involvement:
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Illinois CPA Society, Association for Corporate Growth, Illinois Venture Capital Association, Clearbrook, Chair of the Board of Directors, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation, Board of Directors member, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Medical Center, Finance Committee, formerly on Audit Committee, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, School of Accountancy, Advisory Board