Our Team

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
— Helen Keller

Jeannette Pawula

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Jeannette Pawula is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Avanse since 2010. She brings her extensive international experience of working with street children & collaborating with international NGO’s, and leads overall strategic and operational responsibility for Avanse’s programs, growth and execution of its mission. She is the director & producer of Avanse’s documentary series which focus on the underlying conditions faced by street kids & the intervention role and responsibilities of NGOs.  Jeannette currently serves on the advisory board of StandUp for Kids, a non-profit working with street children in Chicago. She is also a member of the Consortium for Street Children Network and the Chicago Council for Global Affairs as well as a was a recent participant in the Nexus Global Youth summit at the United Nations.


Randee wheeler

Chief Operating Office

Randee has been working with Buyers, Sellers, Investors and Developers in Real Estate for 13 years in the Chicago land area.  Prior to her career in Real Estate she worked in the internet marketing industry during the tech boom opening and managing marketing departments.  Randee joined the Avanse team in late 2016 and quickly became a huge asset to the organization.  Randee has taken multiple trips to Haiti working in the field to manage the Avanse Home for Children and her experiences makes her forever devoted to the children in our programs.



Chief Financial Officer

Brandon brings several years of Senior Wealth Advisory management experience to Avanse serving as Chief Financial Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Brandon attended one of Avanse’s first happy hour fundraisers (#AvanseHHSeries) over four years ago and loved the work Avanse was doing. He wanted to combine his passion for helping children with his professional expertise and provides a comprehensive financial strategy to the organization’s operations. Brandon lives in Crystal Lake with his wife and two children.

Jack Kelly


Jack is an investment banking analyst who holds his Series 63 and Series 79 certifications.  After attending the AvanseHHSeries Jack knew he wanted to lend his expertise to Avanse.  Jack holds his Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A) in Finance & Economics from University of Notre Dame.

Sam Reed

Sam joined the Avanse team as Volunteer Coordinator and has played an integral part in recruiting volunteers to support the Avanse cause. Hailing from Indianapolis, IN, he was born and raised a Hoosier. After graduating from Indiana University, Sam moved to Chicago to begin his career as a broker in the insurance industry. Call it fate or destiny, he became involved with Avanse which has become a cause he firmly stands behind because he agrees that NO child should ever have to live on the streets. On the weekends, Sam enjoys his trips back home to Indiana to visit his horses and pet goats.

abby goetsche

Abby brings her project management skills and upbeat attitude to the Avanse team as Chairman of the Happy Hour Committee assisting with the monthly fundraising series (#AvansHHSeries). Since May 2015, she has been coordinating the logistics of the happy hours to ensure that every event runs smoothly. Originally from Macomb, Michigan, she is a proud midwesterner to heart and is dedicated to putting her talents towards the cause of helping street children.  Abby studied Commercial Recreation Management from Central Michigan University and is a proud Alpha Chi Omega Alumni.

ray thompson

Ray (also known as Rockin Ray), captures all of the candid photographs for Avanse at the monthly fundraising series (#AvanseHHSeries). A civil engineer by trade, Ray had an interest in photography for years before finally pursuing it seriously in 2011. At the invite of a friend, he began attending the #AvanseHHSeries and started snapping photos and his talented photography skills were noticed by The Avanse team.  Ray has become the official Happy Hour photographer ever since. You can frequently find Ray photographing various events around Chicago area. You can also find him out on the dance floor.



Eva Blaszczynski

Senior Project Manager, The Economist

Joanna Kalinowska

Real Estate Broker, Newman Realty

Jon Mindelli

Manager of National Accounts, FLS Transport

Jose Bedolla

Real Estate Broker, Dream Town Realty

Kim Merkel

Mechanical Engineer, Sargent & Lundy, LLC

Ludmilla Cunha

Business Analyst

Mimi Siddig-Billups


Ryan Koslow

Co-Founder, Agora Health Solutions LLC & Osteoplasty LLC


Brandon Clouse, Chairman of the Board

Senior Wealth Management Advisor, CGC Financial

Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria

Chairman, New Generation Power

Justina Pop

Vice President of Business Development, New Generation Power


Abigail Goetsch

Marketing Project Manager, CLEAResult

Emily Hansen

Assistant Interior Designer, Mary Cook Associates

Jeremy Schmitt

Tenant Advisor - Sublease Specialist, Howard Ecker + Company

John Hunzicker

Financial Analyst, Aon Risk Solutions

Kevin Mohl

Account Executive, Travelers

Sam Reed

Commercial Insurance Broker, Arthur J. Gallaher & Co.

Tyler Van Lul

Financial Associate, Thrivent Financial