Our Founders

Gaston Curk

Gaston Curk

President

Gaston is the co-founder and CEO of OSM Worldwide, a domestic and international parcel consolidation company. Featured in Crain’s Fast Fifty and Inc.’s 500/5000 for eight consecutive years, OSM developed the exclusive, award-winning “Premium Network,” which offers a consistent one- to five-day delivery standard — the fastest in the industry.

Why I fight for Chicago: “I was born in Argentina and immigrated to the United States at the age of four. This country is truly a land of opportunity, but so many young people in Chicago face major hurdles in their efforts to access that opportunity. I co-founded Fight For Chicago so we can help give young people the tools they need to succeed: mental and physical strength, discipline, and a powerful network of supporters who have their back in the ring and in their daily lives.”

Phil Barbera

Phil Barbera

Treasurer

Phil is a CPA and controller at a Chicago manufacturing company, where he manages accounting, controlling, payables and credit, and payroll, and serves as a key member of the company’s management team. With over 20 years of proven success in industry and public accounting, Phil is skilled at analyzing and resolving accounting issues, developing and building teams and implementing process improvements.

Why I fight for Chicago: “Drawing on my professional background and my previous experience with a startup nonprofit, I’m personally committed to helping Fight for Chicago realize its vision of spurring lasting change in the lives of young people in Chicago.”

Jerry Freund

Jerry Freund

Secretary

Jerry is the founder and president of Chicago-based MidAmerican Printing Systems, Inc. With more than three decades of experience in commercial printing, Jerry has had a guiding hand in establishing presence and poise for organizations in a diverse array of industries — from health care to education to financial services.  

Why I fight for Chicago: “I’m an investor in people. Whether it’s going above and beyond for a client, coaching a new business leader, or providing a leg-up to a promising young person in our community, I try my best to make a positive impact on each member of my network.”

Mike Hanline

Mike Hanline

Mike is a compliance officer for PEAK6 Investments with 20 years of experience in the capital markets. Mike completed the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP) program at the FINRA Institute at Wharton in 2012. He has previously volunteered with New Leash on Life Chicago and Working In the Schools.

Why I fight for Chicago: “In my involvement with other Chicago nonprofits, I’ve seen how dedicated groups of volunteers and leaders can push for change and build strong communities. I see the same potential in Fight for Chicago, and am excited by the opportunities we will strive to provide to a wide range of young people.”

Dave Kim

Dave Kim

Dave is a senior manager with the international tax practice of RSM US LLP in Chicago. His primary areas of expertise are in international tax structuring, foreign acquisitions, and cross-border reorganizations. His client base includes publicly traded companies, privately held businesses, and private equity groups and family offices both at the fund and portfolio company levels. He is a former board member of the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago.

Why I fight for Chicago: “In my own life and career, mentorships have served as a powerful source of connection and opportunity. I believe with the right mentor, like the ones provided by Fight For Chicago, these young people can achieve their goals and find the support structure they need to succeed.”

Rob Lang

Rob Lang

Rob is a Chicago partner with Thompson Coburn LLP and a commercial litigator who focuses on preventing and resolving “business divorces” and representing clients in complex contract disputes across various industries.


Why I Fight For Chicago: “There’s no such thing as ‘my community’ and ‘their community’ — the challenges facing one part of Chicago affect all of us. If we can empower a small network of kids to push themselves and truly strive for achievement, it will spur positive results far into the future for these students, their families, and our entire region.”

Gene Mandarino

Gene Mandarino

Gene is an account executive in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry who helps organizations migrate to the cloud and automate front office business processes. Born and raised in Chicagoland, Gene has 20 years of experience in technology sales and sales leadership roles, and is a seasoned real estate broker and investor currently focused on redeveloping communities for sustainability.   

Why I fight for Chicago: “As a longtime coach for youth sports, I’ve seen the difference athletics, team camaraderie and positive mentorship can make in the lives of young people. I’m excited to support youth in Chicago as they seek a path to success with F4C.”

Allison Spence

Allison Spence

Allison is a St. Louis-based digital content manager with Thompson Coburn LLP, a 380-attorney nationwide law firm. Drawing on her 10-plus years of experience in writing, editing, and marketing, Allison works with attorneys and senior staff to create compelling digital content and social media strategies that connect attorneys to clients and prospects and establish them as thought leaders.

Why I fight for Chicago: “The stories we’ve heard from the young people at Sam’s gym are so affecting – these are kids who have found a supportive community that is fully invested in their success. We want to offer that experience to to many more young people on the South Side.”

Christine Kelley

Christine Kelley

Christine Kelley is Vice President of Marketing at OSM Worldwide where she helps to optimize business strategy through integrated marketing initiatives. Prior to joining OSM Worldwide, Christine held positions at various Chicago advertising agencies before moving over to corporate marketing roles. In addition to building strong brands, Christine is skilled implementing programs that align with buyers to dramatically improve sales performance.

Why I fight for Chicago: “I believe there is so much room for growth and accomplishment in everyone’s lives. I welcome the opportunity to participate in the F4C mission and give underprivileged children the chance to improve and develop into the best version of themselves. A F4C mentorship program can be just the break they need to ensure success in their lives.”

“It’s dedication. It’s commitment. Boxing has taught me to never give up on what you want to do in life.”

– Michelle
“Whatever the needs of the child, we come up with a program that is challenging, engaging, and, most importantly, fun.”
– Sam Colonna
“We co-founded Fight For Chicago so we can help give young people the tools they need to succeed: mental and physical strength, discipline, and a powerful network of supporters who have their back in the ring and in their daily lives.”
– Gaston Curk, founder, Fight For Chicago