Lakeview Pantry Board of Directors
Dan Laytin – Vice President
Kara Hamstra – Secretary
Betsy Jenkins – Treasurer
Geoffrey A. Koss
I work for SRAM Corporation, a global manufacturing company supplying component parts to the bicycle industry. As an avid cyclist, SRAM’s products are a great fit for my personal passion and interests. Business travel regularly takes me around the country, as well as to Europe and Asia.
I have lived in the Lakeview neighborhood since 1995 and started volunteering at the Pantry in 2002. Over the years I have worked in the backroom of the Pantry to sort and stock food and clothing contributions, worked at the Pantry counter to distribute food to our clients, done Saturday home deliveries, been the Chairman of the Finance Committee, and Vice President of the Board.
In my free time, I am usually outdoors, riding my bike or running along the lakefront; traveling to go skiing or backpacking somewhere where there are mountains, or to explore a new foreign country; or spending time with niece and nephew in Chicago or my ten other nieces and nephews scattered across other cities.
I am a partner at the Chicago-based law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, focusing on class action, antitrust, and commercial litigation. In addition, I am a board member of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.
I live with my wife Kerrie and our two boys, in Roscoe Village. Having lived in Lakeview for 6 years, I got involved with Lakeview Pantry because I wanted to work with a group that makes a tangible, direct difference in the community. I have found that the Pantry meets those criteria and more – the Pantry benefits from extraordinarily dedicated and talented staff and volunteers who carry out the Pantry’s mission in Lakeview every day.
Despite my proximity to Wrigley Field, I grew up as a die-hard White Sox fan. I am slowly adjusting to the reality that my boys may prefer the more lovable Cubs…
I am a Public Relations executive, working for a large, global firm in downtown Chicago. I was raised in the Chicago suburbs and have lived in the Lakeview area for more than 6 years. I first became involved with the Pantry by serving as a volunteer at the west site and was immediately impressed and humbled with the crew of dedicated staff and volunteers. Additionally, the incredible need for the services that Lakeview Pantry provides throughout our community instantly inspired me to increase my service to the pantry, leading to my interest in joining the board. In my free time I enjoy traveling new places, exploring the Chicago restaurant scene and participating in triathlons across the country.
My position as a Systems Project Manager for a food manufacturing company calls for managing the plan, scope, budget, and resources used to implement new or enhanced computer software. Born and raised in Chicago suburbs, I have lived in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and Buena Park neighborhoods since college graduation. I became initially involved with the pantry by donating in response to an inspiring newspaper article depicting a local, compassionate organization that delivers. I began actively volunteering after talking to an old high school friend who just happened to be on the board. I joined the Fundraising committee and within a couple of years become a board member. I have served as Secretary in the past and now assume the role of Treasurer, proud to serve such well-run organization alongside passionate, committed staff, board, volunteers, and donors.
I am an Architect with over 30 years experience in the profession and recently became a Deputy Commissioner in the Department of Fleet and Facility Management in the City of Chicago. My family and I have lived in Chicago since 1984 and until 2000 in Lakeview. I am the proud mother of two sons who grew up in the neighborhood when the pantry was located in the Hull House on Broadway. They now live in New York City and I now reside in Uptown. I became directly involved with the pantry in 2005 when I drove by one day on my bicycle and signed up to volunteer. I was then, and continue to be, amazed by the need for basic services in one of Chicago’s most affluent neighborhoods. I am honored to serve on the board of directors of this very caring, committed and professional organization that provides the necessary services to meet the basic needs of our community.
Marla S. Gordon
Marla S. Gordon is a CPA and an owner in the accounting firm of gordon + kramer. Originally from Louisville, KY, she moved to Chicago in 1979 after receiving her MBA from the University of Michigan. She specializes in small business tax and accounting services, working with entrepreneurs and their families. Other areas of expertise include individual and partnership tax as well as the international tax arena.
Marla has participated on numerous non-profit boards. She served as the Board president for Jewish Family Services. She was the treasurer of Wrightwood Neighbors Association for ten years. She also served on the boards of Planned Parenthood and Anshe Emet Synagogue. At AES she helped organize the “Hunger Summit” which brought together local politicians, food activists and synagogue youth to highlight hunger in Chicago. She has volunteered with the Night Ministry, Council for Jewish Elderly among other groups.
She has recently organized a group of 20 people to volunteer at Lakeview Pantry twice a month.
I recently joined the Board of Directors at the Lakeview Pantry. Having lived in Lakeview since 1997, I have been quite aware of the contributions that Lakeview Pantry has provided to our community. After volunteering at the Pantry, I became involved with the Board back in 2008 and was recently asked to become a full time member. While there are several charities that look to solve the problem of hunger in the world, it was the focus on our community that really inspired me to devote more of my time to the cause. I look forward to working with a very dedicated team both on the ground at the Pantry as well as in the boardroom. I have worked in the finance industry for the past 18 years and live in Lakeview with my wife and three children.
I am a (mostly) retired writer and editor. I was a copy editor for daily newspapers for about 20 years, and since 1989 I have worked for various government and not-for-profit agencies, writing and editing newsletters and concentrating more and more on corporate and foundation relations — i.e., researching and writing grant proposals. I spent many years as a free-lancer, but I was a staff member at St. Vincent de Paul Center in Chicago from 2003 until my retirement at the end of 2006. I have volunteered at the Pantry for several years, and I now work a couple of days a week with June Dreznick and the Pantry development staff. I continue to do a bit of free-lance work with organizations in Chicago.
I am honored to have been invited onto the Board — an exciting place to be as this great organization continues to grow and find new ways to meet the many needs of the community.
Currently I am a Broker Salesperson with Baird & Warner Real Estate. I manage deals throughout the city of Chicago and write about the Real Estate market for young people on the Website: CheekyChicago.com. Prior to my becoming a Broker in Real Estate I was a salesperson for RR Donnelley and Sons Company selling book printing and manufacturing to publishers; first in New York and then in Chicago. I grew up on the East Coast and have been a resident of both the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park neighborhoods for over 20 years.
I began volunteering at Lakeview Pantry East in early 2012 having already been a steady donor to the Pantry with my husband, Jack Kingsland. As a donor I was impressed with the mission and goals and efficiency of Lakeview Pantry. As a volunteer I am completely astonished by the high levels of professionalism and commitment at which we regard and serve our clients. I was asked to join the board of directors in July 2012 and did so with great enthusiasm for the good work we will continue to do while I stay committed to weekly volunteering and participate in both the fundraising and development of this very vital organization.
Most recently I was Senior Vice-President, Client Development and Marketing for the Department Store Group at HSBC which is one of the largest banks in the world. The Department Store area has roughly $2.5 Billion in managed assets and a team of thirty people in client development and marketing responsible for maintaining and growing our department store relationships. Prior to HSBC I had worked for fourteen years in marketing strategy, product development and direct marketing positions at GE and AT&T.
I began volunteering with the Lakeview Pantry in 1989 and have served on the Board of Directors for nearly 15 years including five years as President. I am Chair of the Board Resources and Development Committee.
I grew up in Skokie and have lived most of my adult life in Chicago. I reside in West Lakeview with my wife, Courtney, and two daughters. I love to travel, cook and am trying to get a children’s book published. I am also training for my third marathon.
Geoffrey A. Koss
Geoffrey Koss has worked in the commercial real estate finance industry for close to twenty years. He is currently a Managing Director at The Private Bank in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to that, he was a managing director at Wrightwood Capital (2007-2009), and a Group Senior Vice President at LaSalle Bank/ABN AMRO (1992-2007).
Mr. Koss has been active in the following non-profit/philanthropic organizations:
• LaSalle Bank Community Development Investment Committee (2001-2007) – voting member
• Landmarks Illinois (2002-2011) – board member, executive committee member, chair of the finance committee, and chairman of the board
• Leadership Greater Chicago – Fellow 2003
• Pilsen YMCA (2004-2009) – board member, executive committee member, and chair of the finance committee
• Lakeview Pantry (2009-2011) – volunteer and advisor to the Young Leaders Group
• Private Bank Community Development Investment Committee (2010-2011) – voting member
• Bethel New Life (2011) – board member
Mr. Koss has a B.S. degree from Indiana University, and holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Northwestern University.
I am a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. I got involved with the Lakeview Pantry by simply walking past and seeing all my neighbors in need. I have lived in Lakeview for 9 years I had no idea that their services would be so needed in this area. The great respect and dignity with which the clients are treated at the pantry motivated me to become more involved. Being on the Board of Pantry has been very educational, from how a non-profit works to searching for ways we can do more.
Most of my family lives in Michigan where I grew up. I have one brother close by in Forest Park. Interests include physical fitness, reading, theater, adventurous dinning and the unconditional love of my two cats: George and Gracie.
Originally from the U.K., I am an Executive Vice President with Edelman Berland, a global insights-driven market research firm. In addition, I play an active role in various professional bodies including the Institute for Public Relations Commission on Measurement and Evaluation and the PRSA.
My first involvement with the Pantry was with food drives which I help to organize through my church. This is a great opportunity for the Pantry to interact with other residents in the Lakeview neighborhood. My husband Derek volunteers for the pantry with a regular food collection run. As well as the Pantry, I am Treasurer of my Townhouse Association and actively participate in my local Church, City Vineyard Christian Church. In my spare time I enjoy relaxing with my husband, spending time with friends, cooking, craft activities, traveling and exploring different cultures.