Don Blandin

CEO, Investor Protection Trust

Don Blandin is president and CEO of the Investor Protection Trust (IPT), a non-profit organization devoted to investor education, and the Investor Protection Institute (IPI), a non-profit organization that advances investor protection by conducting and supporting unbiased research and groundbreaking education programs. He works frequently with State Securities Regulators on programs to help Americans of all ages become wise and safe investors. He has been building educational coalitions and partnerships for more than four decades and has worked in and with a wide variety of sectors, including business and industry; nonprofit; academia and philanthropic foundations; and federal, state and local government, both in the U.S. and globally. Mr. Blandin’s accomplishments include sponsorship of the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation (EIFFE) Prevention Program; the When I’m 65 public television documentary and engagement program; The Basics of Saving and Investing: Investor Education 2020 teaching guide; the Financial Field Manual for Military Families: The Personal Finance Guide for Military Families  in partnership with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine; the multi-State DASH for the STASH investor education and protection program and contest; the national Investor Education in Your Community® program; the national MoneyTrack public television series; and The Campaign for Wise and Safe Investing® in partnership with the AARP Foundation. Mr. Blandin serves on the Board of Directors for Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) and on the Corporate Advisory Board for Consumer Action. He previously served multiple terms as the President for the Alliance for Investor Education (AIE). Recent awards bestowed on him include the BBB International Torch Award for Consumer Leadership from the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the Heart of Financial Planning Award from the Financial Planning Association and one of Next Avenue’s Top 50 Influencers in Aging. He was appointed a delegate to both the 1998 and 2002 White House/Congressional National Summits on Retirement Savings, hosted by the President and Congressional leaders.  He is a founding member and the first national director of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honorary society for public administration. Mr. Blandin holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from California State University, East Bay, and a Master of Public Administration degree from The American University in Washington, DC. He and his wife, Nanette, reside in Washington, DC. They have a son, Devon, and daughter, Sara.

Celiza (Lisa) Bragança

Investor Protection Attorney, Bragança Law, LLC

Lisa Bragança recovers investor losses, protects whistleblowers, and defends individuals and businesses in regulatory investigations. She has recovered millions of dollars in losses for investors and insurance policyholders. Lisa served as a Branch Chief in the Division of Enforcement of the Chicago Office of the Securities & Exchange Commission, where she handled investigations of financial misconduct by brokers, investment advisers, and public companies. Lisa also served as Legal Director for Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, serving as class counsel for several statewide class action consent decrees requiring the State of Illinois to serve thousands of low income people with disabilities in community-based settings with appropriate supports and services rather than forcing them to live in institutions. Lisa continues to advocate for affordable and accessible housing and serves on the board of an affordable housing multi-unit building in Wilmette. Lisa was selected as a 2018 Leading Lawyer by her peers. She has been a NITA trial advocacy and deposition skills instructor and a guest lecturer on trial advocacy at St. John's Law School's Securities Arbitration Clinic. She recently conducted a demonstration on how to get bitcoin transactions into evidence under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Lisa is Vice Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Securities Law Committee and a member of the Women's White Collar Defense Association. She has spoken and written articles about elder financial abuse as well as securities regulation for the Illinois Chapter of NAELA, Wilmette Rotary, American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, and Public Investor Arbitration Bar Association. She blogs regularly about investor protection and elder financial abuse as well as the regulation of digital currencies. Lisa has a B.A. (with honors) and J.D./M.B.A. (Order of the Coif, honors) from the University of Chicago.

Wendy Shparago Cappelletto

Supervising attorney, Cook County Public Guardian’s Office; NAELA member

Wendy Shparago Cappelletto is an Assistant Public Guardian with the Office of the Public Guardian of Cook County, in the Adult Guardianship Division. She is the supervising attorney for the Intake and Public Benefits departments. Prior to joining the Public Guardian’s Office in 1998, Ms. Cappelletto was a staff attorney at Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. Ms. Cappelletto is an active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She is the Vice-President of NAELA and is the past chair of the Guardianship/Capacity Section of NAELA. She currently serves as a NAELA representative to the National Guardianship Network. She recently served as an observer on the Uniform Law Commission’s drafting committee for the Guardianship, Conservatorship and Other Protective Arrangements Act. She is a member of NAELA’s Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP). She is a two-time past president of the Illinois Chapter of NAELA and currently serves on the Illinois Chapter Board of Directors. She is currently a member of the Illinois Financial Abuse Specialist Team (IFAST) and the Age Options Elder Abuse Fatality Review Team. She served as an appointed member of the statewide steering committee on self neglect and assisted with drafting administrative rules. She also was a member of the Suburban Cook County Coalition on Elder Abuse. She was one of the contributing authors to the Illinois Jurisprudence volume on Elder Law published in 2006. In addition, she was a delegate at the Third National Guardianship Summit in 2011. She has presented at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys conference, the World Guardianship Congress, the Governor’s Conference on Aging, the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the Chicago Bar Association, as well as other organizations. In addition, she has guest lectured at DePaul, Loyola and John Marshall Law Schools in Chicago, Illinois. She received both her B.A. and her J.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kathryn Casey

Certified Elder Law Attorney, Dutton, Casey and Mesoloras, PC; NAELA member

Kathryn Casey is one of only a few Certified Elder Law Attorneys in Illinois. She has practiced exclusively in elder law since 2004. Her practice includes probate and trust administration, estate planning, special needs planning, long term care planning, Medicaid applications, and nursing home issues. She devotes a substantial portion of her time to helping families plan for the care of a loved one with a chronic care need. Katie represents her clients with a continuity of care that extends from the creation of a long term care plan through the execution, implementation, and administration of that plan. Katie has been licensed to practice law since 2001. Prior to joining the firm in 2005, she practiced with the Cook County Public Guardian where she represented the Public Guardian in disabled adult guardianship estates and where she served as the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for abused and neglected minors in child protection proceedings. With the Public Guardian, Katie gained a wealth of experience representing clients with sensitive legal problems, administering complex estates, navigating challenging care issues, and litigating difficult cases of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Katie holds professional memberships in National Elder Law Foundation, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National and Illinois Chapter; Illinois State Bar Association's Elder Law Section and Chicago Bar Association’s Probate and Elder Law Committees.

Chris Genzler

CFP/Financial Advisor, Forum Financial Management

Christopher Genzler, CFP® joined Forum Financial Management, LP in 2012 as a Financial Advisor. Prior to joining Forum, Chris served in advisory roles for Genworth Financial Investment Services, Citicorp and Terra Securities. With more than 30 years of financial services experience, Chris has developed many personal relationships with his clients to help them to accomplish their financial goals as well as acting as a mentor to new financial advisors just starting their practice. Chris assists families with long-term care planning, college planning and retirement planning. His objective is to implement solutions that will benefit family members across generations. Recently, Chris has focused on the growing need for assistance with eldercare transitions for baby boomers and their parents. Chris also has experience helping business owners protect their assets, sell their businesses and develop a lifetime income stream. He serves as a board member for BodyInsight, a medical career exploration program for students age 15–20. Chris volunteers with the Alzheimer Association and the Mentoring Program at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois. Chris is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. He earned an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from University of South Florida in Tampa.

Jon Hofacker

Coordinator, Aging and Disability Rights, AgeOptions

Jon currently serves as the Aging & Disability Rights Coordinator at AgeOptions working with the Adult Protective Services (APS) and Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (LTCOP) in Suburban Cook County. He also oversees the coordination of the inter-disciplinary Suburban Cook County Fatality Review Team and works with banks on issues related to financial exploitation. Jon has extensive experience serving persons with disabilities and older adults in non-profit organizations and long-term care facilities. In 2015, he contributed to the City of Chicago Age-Friendly Evaluation and continues to be passionate on key issues of aging in place, Alzheimer’s disease, population health, and family caregiving. Jon earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. John Holton

Director, Center for Gerontology and Visiting Associate Professor of Gerontology, Concordia University Chicago

John K. Holton, PhD is currently the Director of the Center for Gerontology and Visiting Associate Professor of Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago. Previously he served in the cabinets of two governors as the Director of the Illinois Department on Aging (DOA) from 2011-2015. During his tenure IDOA Director, he promoted the significance of preventing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of older adults. In 2013, the Illinois General Assembly voted to expand the IDOA Elder Abuse and Neglect Program (now Adult Protective Services Program) to prevent abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of people with disabilities between the ages of 18-59 living in the community. Presently, the Adult Protective Services Program is locally coordinated through 45 provider agencies​ which conduct investigations and work with adults in resolving the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation situation. He is recognized for his leadership in gerontology and scholarship in child welfare and behavioral health. His publications on neighborhoods nuances and parent-to-child maltreatments were cited as most outstanding research studies in 2003 and 2017.  He has held leadership positions in not-for-profit organizations and presently chairs the board for Equip for Equality.

Karen Jones

Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor, U.S. Trust

Karen Jones takes a consultative approach to advising clients and managing relationships in all areas of wealth preservation and planning, including investment strategies, trust services, custom credit solutions, philanthropy and private banking. To ensure proper coordination of her clients’ personal and professional needs, Karen helps to deliver and provide vast resources through a team approach while building effective relationships with your personal attorney and accountant. Prior to joining the firm, Karen worked in Fortune 100 firms and held various management positions in Financial Management, Business Acquisitions & Divestitures, Sales Management and Business Development. She founded and developed two profitable business start-up companies. Karen serves on the following boards: North Shore Healthcare Foundation Advisory Council as Chairman, Professional Women’s Club of Chicago (PWCC) as past president, Chicago Artists Coalition, Director, St. Ignatius Estate and Tax Planning Council. She is a President’s Club member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Karen received her B.S. in Accounting from DePaul University and her M.B.A. in marketing from Keller Graduate School of Business. Karen holds Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Dr. Robert Roush

Professor of Medicine-Geriatrics, Baylor College of Medicine; Director, Texas Consortium Geriatrics Education Center; Director, Huffington Center on Aging, Houston, Texas; Board Member, Investor Protection Institute

Robert E. “Bob” Roush, a native of Baytown, Texas, earned his B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas and his Ed.D. degree in higher education administration from the University of Houston. He took two post-doctoral fellowships – one in higher education at the former U.S. Office of Education in Washington, D.C., the other in research in medical education from the University of Southern California School of Medicine in Los Angeles. He then earned an M.P.H. degree from the UT School of Public Health in Houston. In 1971, Dr. Roush was recruited to Baylor College of Medicine to be the founding director of the Center for Allied Health Professions. In 1985, he became the founding director of the Texas Consortium for Geriatrics Education and Care, a position he still holds. He is Professor of Geriatrics in the Baylor Department of Medicine working with the geriatrics fellows and coordinating Grand Rounds. In 2002, he concluded a two-year term as President of the National Association of Geriatrics Education Centers. NAGEC appointed him chair of the Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness in Aging Coalition to develop the nation’s first curriculum to train first responders and receivers on what to do for frail elders involved in acts of human-caused bioterrorism. In 2009, with support from the Investor Protection Trust, Dr. Roush led a pilot project for health care professionals to screen their older patients for conditions that place them at risk for being financially exploited. The EIFFE Prevention Program teaches doctors a simple, short method to screen their patients for Mild Cognitive Impairment and other red flags suggesting vulnerability. The IPT coalition of state securities offices and medical schools has offered over 100 CME courses in 32 states, reaching over 15,000 doctors. In addition to being instructor of record for HLTH 2383, Multicultural Health Issues, Dr. Roush has taught research methods and a practicum on current health at Sam Houston State University. In 2017, Dr. Roush and three other colleagues founded the Institute for Advanced Thought on Aging: see www.goodoldage.org. The IATA will hold its inaugural institute in the fall of 2019.

Deanna Salo

CPA, Principal, Cray, Kaiser Ltd.

If you ask Deanna Salo about her 30-plus-year career with Cray, Kaiser, she will eventually share stories of the mergers and acquisitions she has overseen. In due time, she will tell you about the succession plans, audits and internal control reviews. But first, Deanna will reflect on the lives that she and her firm have touched. In her mind, every financial report is linked to a person or family. So while it is true that Deanna grew up professionally at Cray, Kaiser—joining in 1986, fresh from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s in Accountancy—Cray, Kaiser has also grown with her. Deanna, a recipient of the prestigious Annual Awards of Business Excellence award, has instilled a people-centric approach in every corner of the firm. A CK Principal since 2001, Deanna executes assurance, strategic and tax planning services across the client portfolio. For closely held and family-owned businesses, she focuses on the value she can bring to the family and owners. For nonprofit clients, she manages internal control procedures, budgeting, governance issues and audit compliance procedures. Deanna has also handled special M&A engagements on the buy and sell sides. Leading Cray, Kaiser’s relationship with the Chicago Family Business Council at DePaul University, Deanna is a past chair to the Strategic Partner Committee and presently serves on its Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee. Given her investment in the success of family-owned businesses, it should come as no surprise that members of the organization practically have Deanna on speed dial. Deanna serves the wider community through her participation in numerous committees: Executive Board Member, DuPage Area Education to Careers/Technical Preparation; Chairperson, DuPage Student Leadership Academy; Executive Board Member, Empowering Women Network; past Director, Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

Dr. John Schwarm

Associate Dean and Chair of Graduate Programs, College of Business, Concordia University Chicago 

Dr. John G. Schwarm is an experienced lecturer, presenter, and facilitator of learning, and has been an adjunct faculty member of Concordia University Chicago since 2005.  In 2018, John joined the full time faculty at Concordia University Chicago College of Business as Associate Dean & Chair of Graduate Programs. Previous to his role here at the Concordia University Chicago College of Business John was the Director of Sales for Navient.  Prior to Navient, John held senior management positions with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). John has a substantial background in management, consumer lending, debt collection, marketing, sales and educational finance. For the past 30 years, he has been active with 15 different financial aid, bursar, and banking organizations. John facilitates doctoral and masters courses in management, organizational behavior, marketing, and business communication. John holds a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University - Chicago, a Master of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Argosy University - Chicago.

Tanya Solov

Director, Illinois Securities Department

Tanya Solov has served as the Director of the Illinois Securities Department since 1999, after serving as the Department’s Senior Attorney for Enforcement for five years. Prior to joining the Department, Tanya was an Illinois Assistant Attorney General handling trial and appellate cases in state and federal courts. Before entering the government sector, Tanya worked as a management consultant at Arthur Andersen. Tanya is a member of the Board of Directors of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and also serves as the Chairperson of NASAA’s Legal Services Group. She is also active on the Illinois State Bar Association’s Business and Securities Committee.  

John Wasik

As an award-winning author/journalist who’s written 17 books, John Wasik has spoken across North America, from the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street to Seattle investment clubs. As a journalist, John has written more than 1,000 pieces spanning three decades, focusing on business, investing, retirement and investor protection. His Forbes.com “Bamboozlement” blog tries to protect investors from financial scams. John has also contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Morningstar.com and has been a columnist with Bloomberg and Reuters. John’s latest book is Lightning Strikes: Timeless Lessons in Creativity from the Life and Work of Nikola Tesla, which explores the intersection between disruptive technology and what it means to be human. John has also been a magazine editor, newspaper reporter, publisher, poet, theatrical producer, non-profit organizer and musician. As a multimedia commentator, he has appeared on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, NPR and PBS and radio stations from Australia to Israel. As an investor advocate, John goes deep on issues such as behavioral finance. John’s Keynes’s Way to Wealth: Timeless Investment Lessons from the Great Economist has been translated into Chinese, German and Japanese. John’s CBS Moneywatch column explores college financing, which is based on his book The Debt-Free Degree.

Eleonore Weber

CLTC and Principal, Your Life Security, LLC

Life is full of surprises. We love the good ones and loathe the bad ones because we know that if we had taken the right steps early on, we could have had a handle on what is now an uncertain future. As a result, Eleonore Weber, CLTC, Licensed Broker decided to establish Your Life Security, LLC in 2013. As an independent Health, Life & Long-Term Care broker with an extra certification (CLTC) as a Long-Term Care Insurance consultant, she is passionate and is an advocate in assisting her clients as they seek and navigate financial tools that are designed to secure their future savings, income and their family’s life-style from the negative impact of life-changing events. Eleonore prefers to Plan for certainty! Asset-Based Care Funding Solutions, Medicare, Life Insurance for Income and Debt Protection, as well as Long-Term Care Insurance that protects future income as we age. Eleonore Weber works along with individuals, families as well as with Wealth Advisors, attorneys, CPAs and senior healthcare community professionals’ because, of the vested interest in creating a collaborative environment in viewing clients’ broad financial needs beyond the individual advisors focus, but for the best interest and practice for the client’s future financial stability and security. Eleonore Weber, CLTC, is a Certified Long-Term Care Advisor. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Barat College of DePaul University. Eleonore volunteers with the Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce, Celebrating Seniors Coalition (CSC) and supervises the care for an elderly parent and a special-needs sibling.

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