Terry Ratner is a freelance writer, registered nurse, and writing instructor. In June of 2004, she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Writing has always served a purpose in her life, but it wasn’t until her son died in a motorcycle accident in March, 1999 that she began to publish her works. What’s unique about Terry is the way she balances the life of a nurse with the life of a writer. “Nursing allows me to give back to the community and then write about those experiences.”
Ratner teaches creative writing in a variety of settings from community colleges to a school for homeless children to wellness communities. In 2004, Terry launched an Arts and Healing program for children undergoing dialysis at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. She has published numerous personal essays, cover stories, interviews, and book reviews for a variety of national and regional publications. Her manuscript, a work in progress, features a series of twelve essays, ten of which are introduced with black and white photos, dealing with issues of family and identity.
The Michael Ratner Memorial (MRM) Lecture Series came about after her husband, Michael, was diagnosed (2008) with esophageal cancer (EC). Terry searched for an EC support group and after finding none for that specific cancer decided to start one herself. This group quickly morphed into a lecture series on health-related topics that is now in its ninth year.
MRM meets one evening a month at the Greenhouse Theater in Chicago featuring an expert presenter. The goal of the lecture series—“To share the philosophies and wisdom of innovative experts with the community.”
Michael Stiegel is a trial lawyer. He was elected to the Management Committee and also co-chaired the litigation group of a large national firm. He has a commercial trial practice with an emphasis on complex litigation and has substantial experience handling a broad range of matters involving intellectual property, securities, software, contracts, commercial disputes, with an emphasis in real estate and employment disputes, including restrictive covenants, breach of fiduciary duties and trade secrets. Mr. Stiegel has litigated and arbitrated high-profile cases throughout the country on behalf of publicly-held corporations and other major businesses. He was appointed to the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Committee for the Northern District of Illinois by its Chief Judge. He has served a three-year term on the Council for the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section, the policy-making group for the Section’s 75,000 members. He was elected to officer positions and served on the Section’s Executive Committee for many years. He is an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law and an experienced AAA Arbitrator. He has spoken on, written about, and taught litigation-related issues including punitive damages, arbitration, evidentiary issues and privileges, throughout his career.
Born and raised in Chicago, Ms. Pappas graduated IIT-Kent College of Law in 1972. She currently lives in NJ and is a partner in Pappas & Pappas. Ms. Pappas has been practicing in the area of family law for over 35 years. Pappas produced Shakespeare in the Park for the past nine years, a not-for-profit dedicated to staging one Shakespeare play per summer. Performances were held outdoors in a natural theater in the round park setting and free to the public.
Richard Kronick has been a creative professional for over 45 years. His clients have ranged from small local businesses to multinational fortune 50 companies. He has received international, national, regional and local design, illustration and advertising awards. His expertise includes branding, concept development, logos, print materials, packaging, product design, advertising, websites and displays. He is a script and copy writer, art director, and illustrator. He has produced and created content for the internet, mobile apps, and interactive media. He produces, directs, writes and edits for broadcast, video and film, and has staged and directed large corporate meetings and events.