Shane Staats


Born in Chicago, Shane’s deep desire for growth and empowerment drew him to a Tony Robbins Seminar in 2007.  Tony shared many inspiring personal stories with his audience that weekend, but there was one in particular that sparked something in Shane. In this story Tony spoke about his experience of growing up poor and receiving a basket of food from a stranger one Thanksgiving. Shane felt deeply touched by Tonys story and left that seminar feeling inspired to create a similar experience for Chicago’s needy families.  His involvement in the Chicago Basket Brigade each year enables him to feel connected to the true meaning of this holiday, to his giving heart, and to the gratitude he feels for all he has been blessed with.

Shane’s desire to help others has grown beyond the the Chicago Basket Brigade. In 2014 he created the Real Love House- a home where anyone could visit and experience what it feels like to be unconditionally loved.  His passion for helping others is further cultivated by his deep desire for healing and personal growth.

Currently residing in Boulder, CO, a city that he strongly feels supports his desire for growth, community, connection and nature.  He spends his working hours creating financial strategies, cultivating his long term investing skills and exploring entrepreneurial ideas using Lean Startup methodology.


Liliana Salazar Jaramillo


Originally from Colombia, Liliana has lived in Chicago for the past 18 years. She is a cancer survivor who has a lot more appreciation for life and a great understanding of what a life well lived can mean for others and for herself. It changed her life and her perspective towards her future goals.

With a strong background in fundraising, coordinating events, and data development; plus a deep desire to help those in need, she has helped many local non-profit organizations in their fundraising efforts, as well as coordinating awareness campaigns. She has donated her services in the area of social research to help kids with cancer and low resources in the city of Armenia in Colombia, South America as well as serve as spokeswoman for Amor Al Prójimo y Angelitos de Luz, both organizations from Colombia that provide healthcare services to children from low-income communities.

For her, co-founding the Chicago Basket Brigade has brought meaning of giving to a whole different level. In her own words: “When I participated in my first basket brigade back in 2010, I felt an extraordinaire sense of fulfillment. Giving to a complete stranger who was surprised to receive kindness and feel like someone cared for him, made me think right there that this journey was not over and that I could impact many more lives moving forward.”


Rob Chopra


Rob is an optometrist and lives and practices in the city. He has been involved with the Basket Brigade since it’s inception in 2008 when it was just a dozen or so friends gathered in apartment assembling the baskets.

As an avid networker he has been instrumental in helping the Basket Brigade grow and also coordinating and organizing events to help with fundraising.

“What continuously surprises me is the sheer number of people who turn up to support this good cause year after year. Not only that but we are surprised every year by the amount of help that comes from unexpected places that allows us to not only meet our goals every year but exceed them.”

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Sue Hawksworth


Susan is a Sales/ Account Management Professional in the fashion and hospitality industries in Chicago, IL.

Sue recently joined the board of the Chicago Thanksgiving Basket Brigade after volunteering in 2013. Sue states “It is truly an amazing experience to be part of 100’s of volunteers who come together to help those in need”.

A long time proponent of volunteering and giving back, Sue was part of Team and Training and City Harvest while she resided in NYC for 5 ½ years. Along with volunteering for Bright Pink in Chicago, Sue is an avid net worker in her community supporting local organizations and charities. She is a firm believer in connecting with people to develop valuable relationships.

Monika Philp


Visionary | Video Blogger | Speaker

Monika Philp is the founder of Connect.Inspire.Grow, a networking organization consisting of high value networking events, and monthly philanthropic activities.

She co-founded the first multi-media branding app called Show and Tell.

She is also the producer and host of Social Good TV, a show that features inspiring charities, founders, and directors who share their best advice on what it takes to run a successful organizations that make a huge difference.

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Joseph E. Tantilla



Tammy Tantilla


Tammy is a relationship expert, communication consultant and life coach. She has co-owned and ran 3 businesses. Tammy is a Master Trainer with Robbins Research and is a trainer and event manager with SRI University. She is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a worthy cause as the Chicago Thanksgiving Basket Brigade.