Advisory Board

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth

Since Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth's return from distinguished service in Iraq, she has led a life of service to veterans, the disabled, and the citizens of Illinois.

As a Major in the Illinois National Guard, Tammy flew combat missions in Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. During a 2004 mission, her aircraft was ambushed by a grenade. As co-pilot, she continued her attempt to pilot the craft until she passed out from blood loss. As a result of the attack, Tammy lost both of her legs and the partial use of an arm. She received many decorations for her heroism, including the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

After serving as Director of Illinois Veterans Affairs, Tammy was appointed as Assistant Secretary of Veteran Affairs for the U.S. in 2009-11, where she led an initiative to end homelessness among veterans and improved the VA's accessibility. She successfully ran for U.S. Congress in 2012, and was proudly sworn in as U.S. Congresswoman for Illinois. She tirelessly focuses on the needs of the state's citizens, earning respect as she travels the state and serves in the Capitol.

Her hobbies? Scuba diving, surfing and skidiving!

Doug Porter, CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities - CNI

Doug Porter joined the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana as CEO in 2004. He oversaw a merger to form one organization dedicated to the health, wellbeing, and education of children. Today, he leads four Ronald McDonald Houses that provide a "home away from home" for over 30,000 family nights each year, a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile offering free pediatric medical services, and a scholarship program. Doug is also past Chairman of the Board of the Namaste Charter School in Chicago and serves on the advisory board for Fifth Third Bank.

Doug graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor's degree from the School of Hotel Administration. Upon completion of the Navy ROTC program, he received his commission in the U.S. Navy. He entered Naval flight school and served for the next seven years, earning the Navy Achievement Medal for accomplishments during extended deployments to the Indian Ocean. Afterward, Doug worked at Leo Burnett and became the executive vice president and worldwide management director on the McDonald's and Hallmark businesses. Doug served on Burnett's U.S operating board and global operating committee, the board of directors of the Advertising Educational Foundation in New York City and as president of the board for the Ronald McDonald House near the Ann and Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

Debra S. Waller, Chairman and CEO, Jockey International, Inc.

Debra S. Waller is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Jockey International, Inc. Debra began her career at Jockey International in 1982 as an administrative assistant in women's merchandising. She rapidly progressed through multiple marketing, management and vice president positions. Debra became CEO in January 2001, following the death of her mother, Donna Wolf Steigerwaldt, the former leader of the family-held company. Ms. Waller has also served on multiple boards, including the sales and marketing committee of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, and the board of directors of Church Mutual Insurance Company. Debra, an adopted child herself, currently serves as a member of the board of trustees for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption where she helps to ensure that thousands of children in North America find a loving family.

A graduate of Carthage College, Debra holds degrees in special education and elementary education. She chaired Carthage's Board of Trustees, and has given generously to the college's many programs.

Emily Hill Chardell, President, SFI Marketing Research Consultants

Meet our newest Board member. She's the founder and President of SFI Marketing Research Consultants, specializing in marketing to both consumer and business-to-business industries. Emily's deep marketing expertise and superior interviewing skills give her an exceptional ability to gain consumer confidence. She is their passionate advocate to marketers.

Prior to forming SFI in 1991, Emily spent 14 years at Leo Burnett, earning her VP title by helping such sophisticated clients as Procter & Gamble, Kellogg's, McDonald's, and Kraft General Foods develop advertising and marketing strategy. Her talent in creating consumer ideas helped launch new products and brands. These skills made Emily a natural for Beauty for the Brave; she deeply understands both the wounded troops and our heartfelt female donors.

Emily holds a Master's degree in advertising from Northwestern University and a Bachelor's degree in advertising from the University of Illinois. She is a member of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, the Marketing Research Association, the World Café, the QRCA Online SIG, and serves on the Women's Board of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Chicago.

Fisher House

  • Build homes away from home
  • Charity rating of four stars
  • 100% of Beauty for the Brave donations go directly to them
  • Serve 19,000+ families a year

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