Joel M. Friedman President

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Joel M. Friedman

President

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Born in Chicago, Joel lived in the Austin neighborhood until age nine and then moved with his family to Niles. Early on, Joel balanced school, sports and working long hours at his family’s restaurant, Booby’s. After graduating from the University of Illinois-Champaign with a degree in Accounting, Joel attended John Marshall Law School while simultaneously working as a revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service. In 1972, Joel married his wife, Iris, and together they have two sons and three grandchildren. In 1975, he joined a small law firm and practiced with several partners for 25 years, then as a partner at Horwood Marcus & Berk, before joining Warady & Davis LLP in December 2021. Joel’s focus areas include taxation, estate-planning, and business law.

As President of the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, Joel oversees its investments, strategic direction, and grantmaking. Since 2005, Joel has grown the grant portfolio to include over 70 organizations working in education, health and human services, environment and violence prevention. Joel is a recipient of the John Marshall Law School Spirit Award and the Cove School's Prism Award. Dedicated to leaving the world a better place for his grandchildren, Joel’s vision and work led to the founding of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment at the University of Illinois-Champaign.

Loretta Namovic Interim Executive Director

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Loretta Namovic

Interim Executive Director

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Loretta comes to the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund with over 25 years of experience as a fundraiser and as an academic administrator. In fundraising, she was the Director of Development Communications at Loyola University Chicago, Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at Loyola, and Director of Development for the John Felice Rome Center at Loyola; more recently she was the Director of Development for the Chicago region for Marquette University. In administration, she was the Special Assistant to the President for Loyola University Chicago and she was the President of St. Scholastica Academy, a college prep school for girls. Loretta earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in English, both from Marquette University.

As Interim Executive Director, Loretta will handle the Fund's day-to-day operations, provide grantee guidance in fundraising, board management, and evaluation, and convene and collaborate with grantees to further the Fund’s impact and relationships within the community.

Laura Jansen Program Coordinator,
Baum Network

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Laura Jansen

Program Coordinator,
Baum Network

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Laura has been in the nonprofit sector her entire career, and has been a consultant to nonprofit organizations and family foundations for the past 18 years. She began her career as box office manager and children’s theatre producer at Moraine Valley Community College and continued working in the arts at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Urban Gateways. As a consultant, Laura works with nonprofits on grantwriting, fundraising planning, and board and staff training. For foundations, Laura provides grants management, proposal review, and program implementation. Laura's consulting career has covered a range of causes, including the arts, education, youth development, homelessness/housing, and marginalized populations.

As Program Coordinator at Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, Laura supports the Fund’s operations and coordinates the Network of Baum scholars and interns.

Laura holds a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Theater from Ball State University and a master's degree in Arts Administration from University of Alabama. She lives in Chicago with her husband, stepson, dog, and a hermit crab.