Leadership Team


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  • Laurie Pasler

    President + Founder
    Curious about everything, Laurie’s motto in personal and professional endeavors comes from Steve Jobs: “Creativity is just connecting things.” Throughout her 20+ year career as an award winning creative strategist and producer, Laurie has worked in partnership with clients, bringing fresh eyes and ears to their communications challenges and simplifying complexity with high-impact, visually rich… Continue Reading
  • David Fript

    Education Advisor
    David Fript taught history at the Latin School of Chicago from 1985 until he retired in 2018.  He holds a Masters in Teaching from the University of Chicago and is a Teacher Fellow of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Throughout his long career, he taught various courses in European, Middle Eastern, and American history to middle… Continue Reading
  • Sheryl Kravitz

    Director, Brand Strategist
    Sheryl specializes in helping companies build their brands to help drive growth and momentum. Over the course of her career, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and nonprofits. She  is passionate about the need to educate today’s learners in a way that resonates with their experience – where history leaps off the… Continue Reading
  • Christina Wilde

    VP, Creative Producer
    An independent thinker who loves a challenge, Christina is fearless in the face of large and complex projects. As a small business owner or communications agency executive, she is equally adept leading Fortune 500 C-suite clients as she is managing creative, operations, and strategy teams. Her varied portfolio as an executive producer and creative consultant… Continue Reading
    • Pon Angara

      Director, Non-Profit Advisor
      Part artist and part engineer, Pon brings diverse and seemingly unrelated perspectives together to help community leaders create bold ideas that can transform their organizations into even greater positive agents of change. As a partner to nonprofits, Pon is passionate about telling their compelling story using his depth of real-­world experience in communication design, event… Continue Reading
      • Carolyn Swartz

        Creative Stategy Advisor
        Carolyn is a writer, producer and director whose films help organizations tell compelling brand stories through the insights and experience of their people and those they serve. She cut her film making teeth as a grad student at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA, under the direction of seminal documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock. Her… Continue Reading
      • Philip Berman

        Technology Advisor
        Phil has a passion for building software, collaborating in teams with diverse skill sets, and helping customers leverage technology in a variety of ways. As a Platform Architect at Pivotal and as co-creator of the connected car demo, Phil helped bring together all aspects of the Pivotal platform to demonstrate the power that can be… Continue Reading
        • Annie Yuzzi

          Director + Treasurer
          Annie leads experiential marketing teams at Fortune 500 companies in the silicon valley tech industry. Her award winning, integrated programs build brand value, grow and accelerate pipeline, and educate the customer base. With a millennial focus in mind she delivers content in a way that is consumable and relevant for each attendee, while providing collaboration… Continue Reading
          • Scott Winterroth

            Social Marketing, PR
            Scott is a lifelong history buff who is especially fascinated with elevating non-­fiction historical storytelling into modern tech. A ten-year seasoned pro of the public relations and integrated marketing field, Scott specializes in digital and social media strategy. He is the managing director of Front & Social, a web strategy consultancy and custom WordPress Theme… Continue Reading
            • Jonathan Eisen

              Strategic Partnerships Advisor
              Jonathan is an expert in facilitating partnerships and helping to launch impactful experiences, both online and offline, to engage and inspire community-focused events. He has experience working in the non-profit sector, start-up space, and is currently a strategist with Curiology, a Chicago-based experiential design firm. Originally from St. Louis, MO, he is a 2010 graduate of… Continue Reading
            • Andrew Hicks

              Gamification and Instructional Design
              A digital media teacher for over fifteen years, Andrew understands how to blend technology and education. As a gamer and author, he brings a deep knowledge of play to educational experience design. Andrew also teaches how to teach. In his practice as producer and consultant he engages with parents, business owners, and trainers to demonstrate… Continue Reading
              • Kirk Nash

                Digital Visualization Director
                In 1988, out of the primordial soup of computer animation, Kirk created one of the first all digital animation studios in the Midwest. The mission: help clients communicate using state of the art technology infused with good old fashioned storytelling. As audience’s needs and expectations for experiencing visual content change, Kirk continues to pioneer and… Continue Reading
                • Gregory Di Francesco

                  Secondary Education Advisor
                  Greg has a love of learning and is committed to educating diverse communities in our global neighborhood. A teacher at Chicago’s Northside College Preparatory High School since 2000, Greg is an active member of the Curriculum Team and the Local School Council. He co-led the planning and implementation of the local prairie on school grounds,… Continue Reading
                  • In Memoriam Charles J. Witz

                    Inaugural Board President
                    Charles J. Witz was a pioneering Chicago rock music promoter and attorney, a world-class backgammon player, and a dedicated non-profit leader who always had time for family, friends, and good causes. In the early 1970’s he promoted many top music artists including Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Smokey Robinson, The Doors, and Three Dog Night.… Continue Reading

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                    Want to get involved?
                    Laurie@DescendantsMediaGroup.org