The Board of Trustees
The Quest Academy Board of Trustees promotes and safeguard's the school's mission, strategically plans for the future of Quest Academy, appoints and oversees the Head of School, establishes broad policies, and develops and shepherds the capital resources of the school. The individuals on the Board serve Quest Academy with a wide range of experience, interests, and expertise.
Curtis Maas, Chair, is the parent of four Quest Academy alumni. He has served on Quest's Board of Trustees since 2006, he is on his second "cycle" of trusteeship, previously having held the post of Vice-Chair and Chair of the Finance Committee. He is the Chairman and CEO of The RDI Group in Itasca, IL. Curtis holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He and his wife Cathy live in Inverness.
Chris Dickerson, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2007. He is a partner in the corporate department of Paul Hastings and he holds a B.S. from the United States Naval Academy, a M.A. from Georgetown and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Dickerson and his wife, Karen, have four daughters, all of whom are Quest Academy graduates or are currently attending Quest Academy (Classes of 2005, 2007, 2013 and 2017)
Michael Helminski, Treasurer, is Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Sargent & Lundy, a worldwide leader in professional services for the electric power industry. He is a Registered Professional Engineer, a Registered Patent Attorney, and a member of the Bar in Illinois and Wisconsin. Mike received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University, his MBA from Loyola University Chicago, and his JD from Chicago – Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology. Mike serves as a member of the Finance Committee. He and his wife Janet, have three sons who attended Quest Academy.
David Benjamin is a Managing Director of Market Growth Partners. In that role, he works with small companies or divisions helping them grow using innovative market and revenue engine approaches. He holds a BA in Economics & Mathematics from Grinnell College and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from University of Chicago (Booth). He has served on Quest's Marketing Advisory Committee and volunteered with the Cub Scouts. He and his wife Kim have two children attending Quest, one graduated in 2014.
Valerie Campbell is a Real Estate Broker with Baird & Warner in Barrington since 1992, specializing in residential real estate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Quincy University in Business Management. She and her husband Roy, are the parents of three children attending Quest and have been actively involved with the school since 2007. Valerie has volunteered at numerous levels within Quest including the "Knight of all Knights", Marketing Advisory and Strategic Planning Committees, as well as at the classroom levels. Valerie also holds a seat on the Council of Messiah Lutheran Church & serves on the Advisory Committee at her office in Barrington. She enjoys spending time with her family, boating & attending her kids' sporting events.
Tim Daum is a Managing Director in the tax practice of Crowe Horwath LLP, where he focuses on executive compensation matters in both the for-profit and not-for- profit sectors. He holds a BA in Business Management from Muskingum University and an MBA in Finance and Human Resources from the University of Pittsburgh (Katz Graduate School of Business). He and his wife Christine have one child at Quest Academy. Tim enjoys attending Quest events, visiting national parks and reading about early American history.
Mark DeDonato, LCSW, ACSW, CSAT is a psychotherapist in private practice and the owner of Emotional Wellness Counseling, LLC. He is a Quest graduate and is the valedictorian of the class of 1995. Mark earned his BA in English Literature from Wesleyan University and his MA in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Mark and his wife Sarah have two young children, Olivia and Dominic.
Deepika Duggirala-Miglani serves as Vice President of Engineering for SPINS, a company that provides consumer insight and solutions in the organic and natural product industries. She has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics Engineering from Nagpur University in India and a Master of Science degree from Rutgers Unversity. Since coming to Quest she has served as a room parent and has lent her technology expertise to the auction office, helping to streamline the Night of All Knights. She and her husband Rahul have one child at Quest Academy.
Dan Gacek joined the Board in 2015. He works for ComEd as a Senior Engineer. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Computer Science, both from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also has a JD degree from The John Marshall Law School. Prior to joining the Board, he served Quest as a volunteer on the PSA Board as well as a Strategic Planning Committee, a role he will continue as a board member. Dan's other volunteer work in the community includes assisting with estate planning for first responders through the Wills for Heroes charity, and serving as the VP of Education for his Toastmasters club. He and his wife Mojhgan have two daughters at Quest
Nitin Gupta joined the Board in 2015. He serves as Chief Financial Officer of Siemens Molecular Imaging business and is driven by passion to deliver impact . He holds an MBA from University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Nitin and his wife Saloni have two children, Sanat & Navya, at Quest Academy. When not traveling for business, Nitin enjoys fusion cooking and spending time with his family.
Matt Hernacki lives in Cary with his wife Andrea and their two young Knights, Lucas and Adam. Matt loves camping with the kids, cycling, and dogs. He has 20 years of local residential Real Estate experience and is the co-owner of MisterHomes Real Estate in Palatine. He also serves on the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors Board of Directors.
Luke Praxmarer is the father of two Quest Academy alumni, one of whom is now a high school math teacher and the other an officer in the US Navy. Luke has had three stints as a trustee, first in 1997-2003 and then rejoining the Board in 2006 and 2016. He has served on or chaired every committee at Quest, but has always been on the Development Committee, chairing it from 2006-2010. He also served on the board of Our Lady of the Wayside School in Arlington Heights, IL, chairing the board in 1996-1997. Luke is President and part owner of Corkill Insurance, an independent insurance agency in Elk Grove Village. As an insurance agent, Luke served as association President of the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois in 2009-2010. Luke is perhaps best known, however, for his award-winning organically grown tomatoes in his suburban garden. He has a B.S. from DePaul University and resides with his wife Carol in Palatine, IL.
Anne Reader is a Senior Attorney with Allstate Insurance managing their complex and class litigation cases. She holds a BA in International Studies from American University in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law. Anne has been both a room parent and Girl Scout leader at Quest while also volunteering with Cabrini Green Legal Aid. She has been a trustee since 2012 and she and her husband Paul reside in Barrington and have two daughters attending Quest. Their weekends are spent poolside watching their daughters swim competitively.
George Reichl serves as Sr. Vice President of Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor and lead partner. He holds undergraduate and graduate school degrees from DePaul University. He and his wife Cathy have one child at Quest Academy. They have spent many hours volunteering at Quest. He also currently serves as Director of his homeowners association board, responsible for recruiting new board members.
Carl Siemianowski works for Hewlett Packard as an Infrastructure Architect providing customer technology planning. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Carl has volunteered at Quest Academy for several years serving as a PSA Board Member, its Treasurer and PSA President. He has also volunteered for the Night of All Knights and, as a runner himself, worked with Quest's running club. During his free time, he served on his neighborhood board assisting on administrative work and volunteers at St. Theresa's Parish. He is the father of one Quest student, a sixth grader.
Jorge Seoane, Ph.D. is a Performance Engineer with IMC Financial, a proprietary trading firm. He holds a Ph.D and MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and a BS from Louisiana State. He and his wife Jennifer have 2 kids at Quest, Carolina, a 6th grader, and Santiago, a 3rd grader.
Sivakami Thayu joined Advocate Medical Group in 2014. Dr. Thayu is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. She received her M.D. degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, after completing her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania. When not attending to the demands of her growing practice, Dr. Thayu enjoys tennis, reading, cooking, travel and spending time with her family. She and her husband Jeremy Marmer have two children, one attending Quest Academy and graduated in 2015.
Khalek Kirkland, Ed.D, Head of School, Trustee Ex Officio
Joan Franklin Smutny,Trustee Emeritus