Life Matters Media
Start the most difficult conversation American isn’t having- the conversation about our end of life preferences

Board of Advisors

Lynette_web001Lynette Kalsnes, Program Director

Lynette Kalsnes is a reporter/producer covering arts, culture and religion at WBEZ. She coordinates a staff training program, and the Pritzker Journalism Fellowship. Lynette joined WBEZ in September 2003 and has served numerous roles, including editor of the Arts and Culture Desk and the Chicago StoryCorps segment. She has a special interest in covering the area’s unique and diverse neighborhoods, including their religious and ethnic traditions. Prior to joining WBEZ, Lynette reported for more than a dozen years at newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, Kalamazoo Gazette, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and the Medina County Gazette, earning several awards.

Lynette is a volunteer with Rainbow Hospice, a fellow with the News Literacy Project, and a board member and program chairperson of the Association for Women Journalists-Chicago. Lynette has a B.A. in journalism with honors from Michigan State University, and studied in England.

Arnie BrownArnold D. Brown is Managing Principal of bCPA, certified public accountants and advisors based in Northbrook, Illinois. He has serviced clients for three decades in the areas of tax, audit, financial, estate, individual and business planning. He has conducted numerous valuations of closely held companies and is proficient in conducting forensic accounting engagements.

He provides extensive litigation support consultant services, including depositions and testimony as an expert witness. He assists counsel in preparing depositions, cross-examination of witnesses and overall strategy. His areas of expertise include: assistance to counsel and clients involving shareholder/partner lawsuits; assistance to counsel, clients and professional appraisers in analysis of documents to litigate divorce cases; structuring of settlements and tax planning for consequences thereof; business interruption insurance claims; buy/sell; damage claims and suits; estate and gift tax issues; malpractice claims and suits; mediation; shareholder disputes and stock options.

Arnold earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola University in 1975. Following study at the University of Illinois, he was granted a Certified Public Accountant certification by the State of Illinois in 1976. He completed his Certified Valuation Analyst certification in 1995 and his Forensic Certified Public Accountant certification in 2006.

He lectures frequently on business and personal tax planning topics and has appeared as a guest expert on Chicago radio station WGN 720 AM. He is a frequent contributor to WCIU television’s “Ask the Expert” program.

Arnold maintains memberships in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois CPA Society, the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, the National Forensic Center, the Business Valuation Association, the Independent Accountants Association of Illinois, the Forensic CPA Society and the Greater North Shore Estate Planning Council.


Joe Cappo is an award-winning journalist and author of The Future of Advertising: New Media, New Clients, New Consumers in the Post-Television Age. Cappo spent more than 25 years at Crain Communications, Inc, most recently as senior vice president-international and licensing for the company. Before joining Crain, Cappo was a reporter at the Chicago Daily News and a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. Cappo teaches graduate courses in journalism and advertising in DePaul University’s College of Communication, and he has been inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame.


Loretta Downs is a nationally recognized speaker, writer, and consultant on the subject of supporting positive experiences at the end of life. She founded Chrysalis End-of-Life Inspirations to advocate for “creating sacred space” for the dying in nursing homes and hospitals with private Chrysalis Rooms where families can keep vigil. Loretta is a certified End-of-Life Care Practitioner, Advance Care Planning Facilitator and Certified Senior Advisor. She is a member of the Illinois Masonic Hospital Ethics Committee, the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the American Society on Aging. She is past president of the Chicago End of Life Care Coalition She is an award-winning gardener and raises Monarch butterflies in the summer.


Mari Gallagher is Principal of Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group. Clients and partners include grassroots community and civic organizations, government entities, foundations, and major international corporations. She and her firm have collaborated with the Institute of Medicine of the Academy of the Sciences, the Urban Institute, Harvard, MIT, the National YMCA, and many other organizations. Gallagher is also the Founding President of the National Center for Public Research. NCforPR’s mission is to provide meaningful and unbiased data and information to improve quality of life, quality of health, and financial wellbeing for all people and communities. Gallagher serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Institute on Urban Health Research at Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston. She has enjoyed a national reputation for diverse, high impact projects around the country for over 20 years of professional history. Expertise includes quantitative and qualitative research projects; financial services, housing, community development, community planning, workforce issues, the economy, immigration, food deserts, and community health; market analyses, commercial site assessments and hands-on redevelopment consulting; business strategies; mapping; expert testimony, facilitation, and public forums.


Daniel J. McCarthy ( has dedicated his career to helping families through one of life’s most difficult times – the passing of a loved one. This commitment began more than two decades ago while working with and learning from some of the best Chicago area leaders in traditional funeral and cremation services. In the mid-1990s, Daniel decided to focus his experience on assisting families and individuals interested in cremation services and memorial events. His dedication and passion for the profession culminated in the creation of Elements, the cremation company.

Daniel says he knew early in his career that he wanted to dedicate his time to assisting families in need when a loved one passed. He notes, “My greatest reward comes from knowing I have been able to help both individuals and families navigate their way through the end-of-life process and assist them in memorializing a loved one.” He truly values the time spent with each family and cherishes the relationships he has developed over the years.

Daniel attended Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois where he focused his studies in the sciences. He completed the requirement for his funeral director’s degree at Worsham Mortuary College in Wheeling, Illinois. Daniel is active in his community and served as president of the Illinois Association of School Trustees, and served two terms as a member of the Worth Township School Trustees Board of Directors. He is a member of the Lions Club and The Knights of Columbus. Daniel takes great pride in his two young children, Emmet and Mary Margaret, and is actively involved in their education as a school volunteer and in their extracurricular activities as a coach.


Eric Price is a Donation Specialist at Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, where he has responded to potential organ donor cases on an “on call” basis since 2010. As one of 58 organ procurement organizations in the nation’s donation system, GIft of Hope works with 180 hospitals and serve 12 million people in Illinois and northwest Indiana. The organization’s work has enabled 18,000 organ transplants.

Prior to his work at Gift of Hope, Eric served as a trauma and pediatric intensive care chaplain at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He also managed the Department of Spiritual Care.

Eric is an ordained Lutheran pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and became a board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2010. He is a graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He received his Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.


Michele Weldon is an assistant professor of journalism at the Medill School of Northwestern University, where she has taught since 1996. Her first book, I Closed My Eyes (Hazelden/ HCI, 1999) was translated into seven languages and was published with new chapters in 2012 as an ebook. Writing to Save Your Life (Hazelden/HCI, 2001), has been translated into four languages and is the basis of her Writing to Save Your Life Workshops and was published as an ebook in 2012 with new chapters. Her third book, “Everyman News: The Changing American Front Page” (University of Missouri, 2008) won the National Federation of Press Women nonfiction book award in 2009. Weldon has written chapters in This I Believe on Fatherhood (Wiley, 2011), Encyclopedia of 21st Century Media (Sage, 2009) and Conversations with Joyce Carol Oates (University Press of Mississippi, 1989).

She has written columns, news and features for newspapers, websites, magazines and radio such as Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, CNN, Dallas Times Herald, Dial, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Nieman Narrative Digest, Parenting, Seventeen, U.S. Catholic, Writer’s Digest, West Suburban Living, womensenews, Woman’s Day and hundreds more. A popular public speaker, Weldon has delivered close to 200 keynotes across the country and Canada, and has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television shows in the United States, Europe and Canada including “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” NPR, Minnesota Public Radio, Chicago Public Radio, “NBC’s Later Today,” “ABC Sunday Morning,” “CBS Morning Show,” and BBC-TV.

Weldon is a seminar leader with the OpEd Project in Chicago and also a leader in the Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellowships at Stanford, Princeton and Northwestern universities. She is a former member of the board of directors of Journalism & Women Symposium and is on the Chicago mentoring board for Global Girl Media.


Megan Hryndza is a social business development consultant with almost a decade of experience working in development, marketing management and nonprofit capacities. She currently consults management teams working on initiatives at the intersection of business, media and social development. Megan is the founder and managing director of Inspirited Media, with which she produced a global documentary about microfinance filmed on four continents. It has been featured at Chicago’s International Social Change Film Festival, Duke University and Women’s World Banking.

She is a co-producer of a cookbook series that was funded by the U.S. Department of State to promote women’s small business development in emerging economies. Previously, she worked for seven years with Starcom Mediavest Group both in Spain and the U.S. She led business and product development efforts there for clients such as Honda, Kraft, Levi’s and Western Union. Megan is a board member of Chicago units of The Op Ed Project and Women Advancing Microfinance. She is a Friends First Mentor at Mercy Home and has served for more than four years as a caregiver to the seriously ill. She loves exploring both near and far and has traveled to 27 countries on five continents.

adeboye-ogunseitanDr. Adeboye Ogunseitan serves as an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He works as a palliative medicine physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and has received board certification in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Ogunseitan completed his medical education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and his residency at Mayo Clinic and Hospitals.