Honor Flight Chicago, a 501c3 non-profit organization, was founded in February, 2008, by Mary Pettinato, Jeanmarie Kapp, Nancy Kapp, and Suzanne Stanits. Four entrepreneurial Chicago women asked themselves what they could do to honor and thank our Veterans – especially our WWII Veterans - whose courage and determination to do the job they were sent to do still echoes down the years. These four individuals joined forces when they saw an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our Veterans. Their own lives have been profoundly touched and changed by the Honor Flight Chicago experience – an experience that they hope will continue to inspire others to honor our Veterans.
We are very proud of our 700+ Guardians and Volunteers who work tirelessly year round to not only raise money for these flights, but also to provide Veteran outreach, community and school education, and public relations support. Without their dedication and commitment, we would not be able to deliver on the promise of Honor Flight Chicago.
Mary Pettinato is the proud daughter of a WWII Veteran. She began her volunteer career at age 14 as a Candy Striper at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Mary’s volunteer efforts have ranged from serving those who have sacrificed much to defend our country to volunteer boards in the Chicago community, including Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago.
Jody (Zimniewicz) Kopsky, President
Jody has been in the investment world for over thirty years, now with Horwitz & Associates in Riverwoods. She graduated cum laude from Loyola University with a BS in education, and holds a Masters degree in Naval Warfare with a specialty in World War II from American Military University. Volunteer work has included Downey VA Hospital, special education schools, and the USO. Her dad is a World War II Navy veteran. She and John have been married for over twenty years.
Doug Roth, Vice President
Doug Roth has extensive experience in restaurant development and operations coming from three generations of restaurateurs who spanned the last century. He has co-owned Bistro 110 and Blackhawk Lodge along with being involved with his family’s restaurant, Don Roth’s, in Wheeling. Doug’s interest in Honor Flight Chicago stems from hearing captivating stories from his late father, Don Roth, of his Marine Corp service. Doug graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Economics. He has twin sons and lives in the northern suburbs.
Read Boeckel, Secretary
Read, his wife, and grown children live in the western suburbs. Read has been active with other not for profit organizations such as The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and The Les Turner ALS Foundation. Read's father, an Honor Flight participant, served in the Pacific during World War II with the Army Air Corps. Read proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Experiencing the World War II Memorial with his dad and other World War II veterans has been a life changing experience.
William Hassett, CPA, Treasurer
Bill is managing director in RSM McGladrey’s National Real Estate Group and provides audit, tax, and business consulting services for real estate developers and investors. Bill is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Illinois CPA Society Real Estate Special Interest Group, National Housing & Rehabilitation Association, and the Illinois Housing Council. He is also Board President emeritus of DuPage PADS, the emergency shelter and supportive housing provider in DuPage County. His volunteer work at DuPage PADS included active involvement on the development, governance and government relations committees.
Duane Werth, Board Member
Duane is a Vietnam veteran having served with the US Navy 1962-1966. His squadron, VA-75 aboard the USS Independence was the first A6A squadron to serve combat in Vietnam. He attended Kent State University. Duane serves on the Board of Directors of Heartland Voices and DuPage Pilots Association. He is active in the local Elgin community and First United Methodist Church.
The volunteers of Honor Flight Chicago are what make it such an incredible organization. With very few paid employees, almost everything that goes into the veteran’s day of honor comes as a direct result of the generous donations of the time and talents of the volunteers. As you can imagine, the continued success and growth of Honor Flight Chicago is dependent on the expansion of our volunteer workforce, especially in a few key disciplines. If you would like to join Honor Flight Chicago as a volunteer please fill out and submit the Volunteer Application.
Honor Flight Chicago volunteers can help in several ways:
Help support us at our fundraising and special events
In office assistance with data entry and administrative duties
At home help with mailing preparation and phone calls
Airport Honor Flight Support at Midway in morning and evening
Run your own fundraising event with our support and assistance
Special volunteer assistance is needed in the following areas:
These are just some of the ways you can become involved in working together with a dedicate team to provide the best possible experience for our veterans at their National World War II Memorial.
Thank you for you interest in volunteering with Honor Flight Chicago, please feel free to contact the Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org any questions or comments you may have.