DAVID GROSSMAN — PRESIDENT
David Grossman is the CEO of Southfield based Pegasus Entertainment. For 29 years Pegasus has been a leader in full-service event production in the Midwest. He is also the CEO of Washington DC based Political Productions, the most experienced political production company in America working with every president in the last 20 years. His other affiliations include: Advisory board member of Childsafe, board member of Jewish Community Center Day Camps, past President and board member of Fanclub Arts Foundation — an organization that promotes Youth art education in Metropolitan Detroit, past Governor appointed State of Michigan DNR Waterways commissioner, and past Board member of Tamarack Camps. He resides in Franklin Michigan with his Wife Margo and three daughters.
JOHN J. SCHALTER, J.D. — TREASURER
John Schalter has dedicated over 30 years, to serving the needs of personal injury clients in Michigan, and across the country. Some of his resilience may have come from playing Big Ten Football for coaching legend Duffy Daugherty at Michigan State University, where he was also a Rhode Scholar Candidate.
He then went on to the University of Notre Dame Law School and passed the Michigan bar exam and hung out his shingle as a Personal Injury Sole Practitioner, a first for Livingston County Michigan. He is licensed in both State and Federal Court in Michigan and is a member of the Bar in California.
Mr. Schalter views Personal Injury Law as his life calling. His father experienced a massive heart attack and stroke due to carbon monoxide poisoning at his job. For 11 years John’s father, once a healthy man, sat in a wheelchair watching his family suffer and feeling constant confusion and despair. He never thought about talking to a personal injury lawyer, or realized he could even afford one. Since then, John has made it his life’s mission to help bring justice to innocent victims of reckless conduct. Consequently, Jon is constantly trying to bridge the gap between law and the people it was designed to protect. The evolution of OurAdvocate is the product of these efforts. He sees this firm as a “work in progress,” constantly evolving into a “better way” of protecting his clients and serving their unique needs in Michigan, and throughout our country.
He has been a long-standing member of almost all state and local bar associations. In his free time, he writes screenplays for major studios in Hollywood. Also, he and his wife Carrie have spent the last year building schools in Kenya, Africa.
LISA ST. CLAIR — SECRETARY
Lisa St. Clair is actively involved in the development and oversight of the nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children to overcome adversity, whether it be child abuse and neglect, childhood illness, or even the death of a loved one. Former Director of Casework for the Michigan chapter of an award-winning national organization, Justice for Children, Lisa St. Clair ran the case-intake and internship initiative program for over three years. Working in the nonprofit sector provided St. Clair invaluable hands-on experience from fundraising and networking with other nonprofits, to helping to pass critical legislation to better protect children in three states, in addition to developing therapeutic programs for children in need. St. Clair studied Botany and Psychology at Michigan State University, and also has been the owner of a successful small business for over twelve years. Currently St. Clair is pursuing her Bachelors at Penn State University in English Literature.
PATRICK R. WILSON — GENERAL COUNSEL
Patrick Wilson, attorney and counselor of Wilson & Wilson, P.C. attended Western Michigan University, where he received his B.A. in 2004, and graduated from Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in 2007. He prides himself on providing superior legal services to his clients and allowing them an opportunity to actually speak with their attorney.
CHIP ST. CLAIR
Chip St. Clair, bestselling author of The Butterfly Garden: Surviving Childhood on the Run with One of America’s Most Wanted, is a motivational speaker who shares his personal story of tragedy and triumph. St. Clair has been featured on Good Morning America, Dateline, and the Huffington Post among others, and most recently in a documentary series on OWN as well as Investigation Discovery, now airing in syndication worldwide for his incredible story of overcoming unbelievable odds. As a young boy, Chip found solitude in poetry and literature – Dickens, Dumas, Twain, Harper Lee, and Tolkien offered brief respite into a world more beautiful than his own. In 2007, Chip founded the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation. St. Clair’s mission is to eradicate the notion that children of sordid backgrounds are defined by their surroundings and destined to continue a cycle of suffering.
Universities, high schools, and juvenile detention facilities across the country have incorporated his inspirational memoir The Butterfly Garden (HCI Books, 2008) into their curriculum, and St. Clair’s compelling lectures have become an integral part of the training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and DHS. In 2005, St. Clair was honored with a U.S. Congressional Record for his ardent child advocacy.
Today, St. Clair continues to expand his foundation and lecture nationwide as a member of Premiere Speakers Bureau and Celebrity Talent International. He is at work on several new fiction book projects, where he looks to offer readers of all ages the same inspiration and enjoyment he found in books as a child. Currently St. Clair is pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts at Penn State University.
Ruth Frushour graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education. Frushour taught Health and Physical Education for 35 years in the Troy School District. Ruth Frushour is presently retired and enjoys volunteering for the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation, the Master Gardner’s Society of Oakland County, and the honorary teachers’ sorority, Alpha Delta Kappa.
Margo Grossman is a former nanny, camp counselor and elementary school teacher. Her love of children has been her driving force in life; whether through parenting her own three daughters or giving back through organizations such as the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation that are dedicated to helping children in various ways. She is on the advisory board of Childhelp, and mentors a nine-year-old through their mentoring program, and is also active with Haven and Women’s American ORT. She resides in Franklin with her husband David and their three daughters.
Patty Huffer attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Education in Home Economics (now referred to as Life Skills or Family Ecology). She earned her Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. After having her children, Patty served as a Brownie Leader and then an Assistant Cub Scout Leader for several years. For a total of almost 17 years, she taught Life Skills classes in Westwood Heights School District in Flint, Michigan and Frankenmuth and Troy, MI school districts. Currently Patty is retired and enjoys volunteering for St. Clair Butterfly Foundation, Troy Senior Computer Learning Center, and other organizations such as Arts and Scraps and Gleaners Food Bank. In addition she dabbles in quilting and various sewing projects some of which are donated to organizations for program support or fund raising such as Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Michigan.
Mike Huffer graduated from Manchester College, North Manchester, Indiana where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and Business Administration. Following graduation he launched his career in sales and sales management where he was fortunate to have a variety of assignments that gave him a broad experience in the Healthcare Industry, including leading two award-winning sales teams.
Shortly after graduation, Mike served as adviser working with the members of two different Junior Achievement companies. He and his wife, Patty, supported the youth at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Flint, Michigan and then Lutheran Church of the Master, Troy, Michigan as Youth Group Advisers. Mike also served 10 years on the Board of Directors for Michigan Pharmaceutical Representatives Association. In addition, he spent three years on the Intern Minister Development team at Lutheran Church of the Master. He also was elected to two (three year) terms on the Church Council at Lutheran Church of the Master in Troy, Michigan.
In 2009 Mike founded Pharma Solutions Consultants and is presently working with physicians on identifying ways to reduce patients’ pharmacy bills and develop systems in their practices to help improve patient wellness.
Michelle Bommarito is a graduate of The Institute of Culinary Education of Manhattan, NY. She is accredited in the Culinary Arts and received her Undergraduate Degree from The University of Michigan in 1990 where she earned a BSA in Marketing Management, with a Minor in Psychology. She was a Freelance Artist for Martha Stewart Omni Media inWestport,CT., and her designs have been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles including, Detroit Free Press, Martha Stewart Living, Oakland Style Magazine, Bride’s Magazine. She has competed in 8 Food Network cake challenges, bringing home one gold medal and two silver medals. Today Bommarito travels extensively offering “Eating Well” Speaking Engagements, Super Power Food Culinary Demonstrations, Inspirational Wedding Cake Design Workshops and to judge Cake Competitions. Michelle Bommarito’s name is synonymous with Wedding Cake Challenges on Food Network, however the energetic entrepreneur has boldly stepped out of the pastry world and is now focusing on her true passion…sharing culinary techniques and how to prepare Energizing Super Power Foods. Bommarito believes that if you eat well…you will have an abundance of energy. Her culinary accomplishments include working for Martha Stewart, The Waldorf Astoria Hotel inManhattanand as a Personal Chef for Athlete Michael Jordan. For the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation she spearheads the Nutrition Therapy Program, sharing her expertise on how to prepare quick, affordable, healthy meals, nurture a positive mindset, and gain an overall sense of well-being for mind, body, and spirit. www.MichelleBommarito.com
Randy Speck is an experienced educational leader who has one dream for students . . . that they are able to learn and define their academic success based on what they are learning. Randy’s dream for education and for students’, centers around their needs and their strengths. Students no longer live in a world where they have to wait for knowledge to come to them.
The days of the teacher being the possessor of knowledge and bestowing that knowledge to the child are coming to an end. It’s coming to an end because students are no longer going to wait for the information. Randy dreams of a day that schools are created in a way in which education meets students where they are, where curriculum is designed based on what is best for students,where teachers are valued for the servants they are,when students have the ability to learn in real-time achieving real-time results, when students have a say in the design and development of curriculum based on their needs and not those of publishing companies, and when students, no matter how they learn are viewed as special pieces of a amazing puzzle.
Recognized in 2010 by Corp! Magazine as one of the Top Entrepreneurs in Michigan, Randy believes in the power of transforming communities through a transformation of education. He began as Superintendent of Madison District Public Schools in April of 2012 after serving as Superintendent of Oakland Christian School located in Auburn Hills, MI and Principal of Angell Elementary School in Berkley, MI. Randy is married to Kim and they have two children, Palmer (9) and Lainey Hope (5).
Hon. James Alexander
Hon. Lisa Asadoorian
Mayor Bryan Barnett
Hon. Lisa Gorcyca
Hon. Edward Sosnick
Elizabeth Wigham attended Oregon State University, where her copious field of studies ranged from Pre-Med to Political Science to Public Administration. An extensively trained classical pianist, Liz accompanied her first orchestra at the age of 10. A prolific career soon followed, where she served as accompanist for multiple choral groups, show choirs, and performing arts companies. By the age of 16, Liz had performed hundreds of times until a catastrophic hand injury would change the course of her life forever. After repeated reconstructive hand surgeries, none of which were entirely successful, she stepped aside from music.
It would be 25 years before her burning passion, the very glue that held her together as a child, would be suddenly rekindled. Upon seeing a multitude of schools losing music programs, the flames were fanned and Liz chose to dedicate herself to keeping the creative outlet alive in schools. She immediately began to volunteer full-time in public schools as accompanist, enabling choirs to continue to perform and musical theatre to thrive.
Today the mother of four tours and performs with hundreds of school children every year, fulfilling a dream that all children have a creative outlet to bring them joy amidst adversity.
In the aftermath of the Oct 1, 1993 kidnap and murder of his twelve-year-old daughter Polly, Marc Klaas gave up his lucrative rental car franchise to pursue an aggressive child safety agenda. In announcing the formation of the non-profit KlaasKids Foundation in September, 1994 Mr. Klaas said, “We can give meaning to Polly’s death and create a legacy in her name that will be protective of children for generations to come by pursuing the singular mission of stopping crimes against children.” On June 8, 2001 Mr. Klaas co-founded BeyondMissing, Inc., a federally funded California public benefit non-profit corporation. BeyondMissing provides America’s law enforcement community with a free and secure Website to easily and swiftly create and distribute missing child flyers via broadcast fax, email, and SMS technology. Working with Texas Governor Perry’s staff, BeyondMissing, Inc. has created a state of the art high tech Amber Alert application that is unsurpassed in efficiency, speed and dependability. Through federal and state legislative efforts Mr. Klaas promotes prevention programs for at-risk youth, stronger sentencing for violent criminals and governmental accountability and responsibility. Often times this advocacy takes the form of legislative testimony. Mr. Klaas regularly appear on local and national television broadcasts advocating child safety issues. Newspapers throughout the USA have published Mr. Klaas’ editorial opinions on children’s issues. Mr. Klaas travels extensively through the United States promoting innovative solutions and proven programs that positively impact crime, abuse and neglect that plague children in so many of our communities. He also counsels and advises numerous victim families and families of kidnapped children.
Alison Arngrim, New York Times Best Selling author of Confessions of A Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated, is best known to viewers world-wide for her portrayal of the incredibly nasty “Nellie Oleson” on the much loved, long running hit television series “Little House On The Prairie,” and continues to amuse audiences through her many film, television and stage appearances. She currently serves as California Chair, National Spokesperson and Founding Board Member on the National Advisory Board of The National Association to Protect Children (www.PROTECT.org), fighting to give children a legal and political voice in the war against child abuse. As an activist for the improvement of child protection laws, she has spoken before the California Senate and worked on legislative and political campaigns in several states, including Virginia and New York, in addition to PROTECT’s work on federal legislation in Washington, D.C. She has appeared on numerous television news programs discussing the legal and political issues surrounding child abuse and molestation. She came forward to tell the world about the sexual abuse she suffered in her own life, during her 2004 interview on Larry King Live. She continues to be interviewed on this and other topics on Nancy Grace, CNN’s Showbiz Tonight, The Insider, Court TV and Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor.
Laurie Perry knits and writes in Los Angeles, California, where she chronicles her daily life on her online diary, Crazy Aunt Purl (www.crazyauntpurl.com). She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, MSN.com, Vogue Knitting, the Boston Herald, and The Palm Beach Post. Perry has written for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Winter Haven News Chief in Winter Haven, Florida. She is the author of Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair.
Michele Rosenthal helps survivors conquer the past and create the future. With a strong focus on post-trauma identity development, she coaches clients to make choices and take actions to create the personas and lives they wish to inhabit. As a keynote speaker, empowerment coach, award-winning blogger, author and radio host, Michele inspires and motivates survivors to make the shift from powerless to powerful. By sharing her own story, Michele leads survivors forward through connection, communication, collaboration, education and dedication to building your best life after trauma. Michele has been interviewed on many radio programs and has been featured in Ladies’ Home Journal, St. Petersburg Times and the Orlando Sentinel. She is a top health blogger for the Stress Management Community of Wellsphere.com, and the host of Your Life After Trauma on Seaview Radio. She is the founder of www.healmyptsd.com. Michele’s trauma recovery memoir, Before the World Intruded: Conquering the Past and Creating the Future, will be released in April 2012. With a passion for helping survivors of every type of trauma, Michele sits on the advisory board of Hope4PTSDvets.org and is Joint Partner with The SWAT Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Vermont College. Her deepest wish is to see all trauma survivors transcend trauma to create lives of freedom, meaning, purpose and joy.