Robert Zmudka – GATX Corporation, Vice President and Group Executive – North American Sales and Marketing
North American Sales Senior executive with 27 years experience in large ticket rail equipment leasing and marketing. Responsible for sales and marketing team that watches over nearly one billion dollars of annual lease revenue on 130,000 + diverse North American railcar portfolio. Extensive large scale, sales leadership experience and compensation plan development. Broad experience in contemporary marketing practices and strategy. Interested in positive culture creation and developing and energizing high performing sales and marketing teams to creatively drive and capture demand. Senior relationships with many Fortune 100 and 500 companies and extensive experience with Canadian and Mexican client base. Zmudka is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Advisory Board. The purpose of the Hall of Fame Advisory Board is to expand the outreach by increasing the locations and frequency of the Pro Football Hall of Fame special events, private events, and in certain situations traveling exhibits delineating the history of the sport around the country.
Dionne Miller – ABC 7 Eyewitness News Sports Team, Anchor & Reporter
Dionne Miller joined the ABC 7 Eyewitness News Sports team as weekend sports anchor and reporter in October, 2014.
Vice President and News Director Jennifer Graves commented about Miller’s expertise in the sport arena, “During her time here in Chicago, Dionne Miller has built a stellar reputation as an aggressive reporter who tells great stories and connects with viewers. She has a passion for sports and it shows. We are thrilled she’s joining us and know she’ll be a terrific addition to the ABC 7 sports team.”
When Miller first started reporting sports in Chicago, she hit the ground running. She was assigned to cover opening day at Wrigley Field and simultaneously fell in love with the city and its fans. She’s since covered it all, from the Bears, to the Bulls, the Hawks to high school sports.
Most recently, Miller was at Fox Chicago where she worked as a sports anchor and reporter since 2012.
Prior to that, she served as host for Fox Sports Ohio, primarily covering pre and post- game shows for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2010-12. In addition, she served as college football sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network.
She was the main anchor of the “Columbus Sports Network” (WCSN, Columbus, OH), after reporting sports in Sarasota, Florida; San Diego, California and the New England area.
Miller began her career at KSVI/KHMT in Billings, Montana, serving as sports reporter before moving on to WPTZ in Burlington, Vermont as weekend sports anchor.
Miller is a true sports fan. She jokes, “When not working, I enjoy watching sports, I know, shocking!” She also loves family, friends and good food.
Miller is an Ohio native. She and her husband have two young children and enjoy calling Chicago home.
As a mother and youth advocate, Laury Scheyer has dedicated the past 30 years to helping young people navigate life’s challenges and achieve their dreams.
Through her experiences with her three children (Jenifer, University of Michigan, ‘04; Brooke, University of Texas, ‘06; and Jonathan, Duke University, ‘10), as well as their friends and teammates, she has an in-depth understanding of the college application process, having advised numerous students on their career paths and tackling all the academic, athletic, and social challenges that arise along the way.
Her insight into high school, collegiate, and professional athletics comes from personal experience, as her son Jon played basketball at Glenbrook North High School, Duke University, and on several professional teams in the United States and abroad before becoming an assistant coach at Duke University. A crucial part of his basketball journey, Scheyer knows the many challenges facing student athletes and their families first hand. She has an acute understanding for the recruitment process, the pressures to perform, the challenge of balancing academics and athletics, and more.
She serves on the board for the Glenbrook North Feeder Basketball program and, following her son’s career-ending eye injury, advocates for eye health and safety as a advisory board member for the Duke Eye Center.
A lifelong athlete, Scheyer enjoys tennis, hiking, and playing with her grandchildren.
Joyce Anderson – Evanston Township High School, College Bound Student Athlete Advisor
As the College Bound Student Athlete Advisor at Evanston Township High School (“ETHS”), Anderson guides student-athletes through the eligibility and recruiting process. At ETHS, she is also the AP Recruitment & Retention Coordinator and the Girls Tennis Head Coach. In 2016, she was awarded IHSTCA Regional Coach of the Year. Anderson serves on the Board of Directors for Girls Play Sports, a non-profit dedicated to fostering leadership and confidence in girls through their participation in a wide variety of sports. Anderson was a 4 year NCAA DI starter for the Columbia University Women’s Tennis. She was a two time Captain, two time All-Ivy Honoree and team MVP. Anderson earned her J.D. at University of Wisconsin – Madison and went on to practice litigation at Sidley Austin in Chicago. At Sidley Austin, Anderson took on a number of pro bono cases including fair housing, asylum and death penalty appeal. Her experiences as a DI athlete and working with pro bono clients at Sidley inspired her to switch gears and help high school student-athletes reach their athletic and academic goals. Anderson and her husband reside in Evanston with their three sons.
Gary Scheier – CEO at Social Qnect and Co-Founder of QuietAgent
Scheier is the co-founder of QuietAgent. Scheier was responsible for raising the equity and debt capital for the company as well as managing the company’s government programs and strategic partnerships. On October 1, 2012, QuietAgent merged its two operating subsidiaries with three divisions of First Advantage Corp. to form Findly Talent, LLC. Findly is majority owned by the Symphony Technology Group, a private equity group based in Palo Alto, CA. QuietAgent formed a new subsidiary, Social Qnect, in November 2012 and is focusing on building social mobile applications. Its application, SmartMom, launched in the Apple Store in February, 2014.
Scheier founded Social Qnect (SQ) in November 2012 to provide native mobile Q&A applications to affinity groups. In 2013 Founder Equity Fund, an early stage technology fund headquartered in Chicago, purchased 60% of SQ. After successfully launching SmartMom into the market in 2014, SQ is focusing on providing to the market native mobile white-label engagement solutions for Affinity Groups. In December 2016, SQ launched VetQnect for Illinois Joining Forces to provide a Q&A platform for the 720,000 veterans in IL. St.RitaQnect and CampChiQnect will be launched in early 2017.
Cascarano has held senior leadership roles in finance, administration, operations, pricing, purchasing, and planning over a career spent in both Fortune 500 Companies, including RR Donnelley and Hewitt Associates, as well as small entrepreneurial companies, including VISANOW, Mark Shale, and American Jebco Corporation.
Her greatest joy and passion however, has been the time invested in her children’s academic and athletic pursuits. She migrated from being a room mother in her sons’ classrooms to the team Mom for her sons’ sports teams. All three sons (Patrick, Yale University, ’11; Sean, University of Virginia, BA ’13, MA ’16 and Brennan, Dartmouth College, ’18) played multiple sports, football being the constant. Two of her sons, Sean and Brennan, went on to be recruited athletes and played D1 football. Through this process and learning came a yearning to help other athletes and their families navigate through this process.
Her past and present affiliations and Board positions include: Glenview Youth Services, the J Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation, Glenbrook South Parents Association, Glenbrook South Booster Club Board, American Cancer Society Relay for Life Executive Committee, OLPH Women’s Club, University of Illinois Alumnae Association, and Delta Gamma Fraternity.
Cascarano resides in Glenview, with her husband Brian. She’s a native of the northern suburbs of Chicago where she graduated from Lake Forest High School and the University of Illinois with a BA in Economics and Finance.
John Suffern – Telarus Solutions, Senior Level Executive
Senior Management Executive with significant transferable skills that generates revenue, grows the customer base, and develop winning teams. Suffern utilizes leadership skills and experience to enable the organization to grow and prosper according to its mission, vision, and values through innovation, strategic thinking, team development, fiscal responsibility, and operational effectiveness.
Suffern earned a BA in Business Administration from Beloit College and have continued his professional development completing Professional Selling Skills, Miller Heiman Strategic Sales Courses, and became a Board Examiner for the Illinois Foundation for Performance Excellence. He is active in my community earning a U.S. Department of Justice Distinguished Service Award, Homeowner’s Association President, and Chicagoland Green Collar member.
Suffern specializes in: Technology, Human Services, Non-Profit, For Profit, Social Media Recruiting, Staffing, Operations, Sales, and Business Development.