Our TEam


ALAN REED, Executive Director

Alan Reed is the Executive Director of Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network. Prior to this role, Alan was Executive Vice President, Strategy & Innovation at Dairy Management, Inc., and was responsible for creating and driving innovative strategies to grow dairy demand. Alan has a degree in Telecommunications from Indiana University and an MBA in Management & Strategy from Northwestern University.

MAYRA CRUZ, Administrative Assistant

Mayra Cruz is the Administrative Assistant for Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network. Mayra comes to CFBN with over 20 years of administrative experience. Prior to joining CFBN, Mayra worked as an Executive Assistant at Dairy Management, Inc. She attended Northwestern Business College in Chicago.



LAURA LAMBERTSEN, Project & Events

Laura has an extensive background creating events within the non-profit sector, especially within higher education institutions and member-based organizations. She loves creating and implementing events which offer attendees opportunities for not only professional growth and development, but also for social engagement and fun. Laura holds a BA degree in Communications & Sociology from Cornell College in Iowa, and a MM degree from North Park University in Chicago.

ANNA BRIGGS PIRILA, Communications

Anna brings a healthy dose of creativity and passion to the field of public relations and communications. With a background in education and psychology, she works with Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network and our members to identify communications goals, to design the strategy and tactics that help deliver content and messaging in an engaging and focused way. It is her attention to both small details and the bigger picture that have guided Anna’s creation of nonprofit fundraiser and explainer videos, compelling social media content and graphics, newsletters, media outreach and event collateral.



PATRICK SCHAFFLER, Finance & Planning

Patrick has been with Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network soon after its inception, initially serving as interim COO, and now primarily as a consultant for varying financial control needs and special projects. Prior to this role, Patrick served as the Executive Director at the Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation, leading the organization through an operational stabilization. He spent much of his career in Chicago in the banking and fund services sector, then serving as a Director in Dairy Management Inc.’s Strategy, Insights and Planning department. Patrick has a degree in Finance and Business Economics from The University of Notre Dame.

PAUL CUSIMANO, Development & Operations

Paul Cusimano is focused upon building Bigger Table, playing operational and development roles in the 501(c)3 nonprofit. Prior to Bigger Table, Paul served similar roles at numerous Chicago-area organizations, including community-based groups, social justice organizations, and most recently the Center for Neighborhood Technology, an urban sustainability center. Paul has a degree in History from Middlebury College (VT) and an MA in East Asian Studies from Columbia University (NYC).



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