AboutThe Palumbo Family Foundation
What We Stand For
Sebastian (Sam) and Mary Palumbo, along with their children, Jessica, Kaitlyn, Samantha, Elizabeth, and Gabriella, founded the Palumbo Family Foundation with the desire to offer boys and girls the opportunity to thrive through education and wellness grants. The pursuit of overall well-being serves to allow them to further their education and careers.
The Palumbo Family Foundation strives to make a difference in two sectors of our communities in the Chicagoland area. One is providing scholarships to well deserving students of lower income families. Without scholarships, many of these students would not realize their dream of furthering their education. The other is providing medical grants to organizations that serve the needs of local medically challenged children.
The Palumbo Family Foundation is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization. The administration of the foundation is all volunteers; a 100% of the net proceeds of donations and fundraising events give hope and inspiration to young adults looking for financial help to continue their education after high school; as well as children with medical needs.
Staff and Board Members
Mary has always dedicated herself to the needs of children. She was a teacher in the elementary school system prior to starting their family of five daughters and has devoted much of her time and energy supporting causes throughout the school systems and community.
Throughout his 25 years of business management in logistics, transportation and distribution, Don has held many leadership positions, providing him with the experience needed to serve as vice president of the Foundation.
Jessica Palumbo Christensen
Jessica expresses her dedication to children as a mother and former elementary teacher. She earned her master’s degree in education and continues to tutor students in all subject areas. She is a dedicated mother who enjoys volunteering her time to help others. Jessica provides the Board with insights from a younger generation’s perspective. She is an asset to the Foundation and a future leader
Kaitlyn Palumbo Gandy
Katie graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Business Marketing degree and an International Business minor, and she is currently working in the family construction business and raising 3 wonderful children with her husband, Ryan, With dedication and passion, she is constantly working on changing with the needs of today’s business climate and growing these companies. With the focus of God and family values, Katie runs her household and company with integrity, courage, and compassion.
Samantha Palumbo Tropeano
Samantha Tropeano is the third Palumbo daughter. She graduated from Miami University in Ohio with her BSN in Nursing. She has been a registered nurse for over four years working in the nation’s large metropolitan hospitals in New York City and Chicago. While her history is with adult patients, she currently works with premature and ill newborns at Northwestern Medicine. Her passion is working with children and helping to create a better future for them. With her medical background and passion, Samantha serves as a wonderful asset to the Palumbo Family Foundation; especially since majority of our focus is on children with medical needs.
Elizabeth Palumbo Pierce
Elizabeth earned a B.S. in Secondary Education with a teaching option in Mathematics at Pennsylvania State University and earned her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Elizabeth started teaching math at Hinsdale Central High School and recently moved to the Washington D.C. area. Elizabeth currently teaches math at Richard Montgomery High School in Maryland. Elizabeth’s education experience creates a strong passion for the board’s goals to help young adults in the community.
Gabriella graduated from Michigan State University and earned a B.S. in Advertising Management and Public Relations. Gabriella started her career in the sports & entertainment industry where she planned and executed large scale events on a day-to-day basis. Now, she works in commercial real estate alongside her father and brother-in-law, Ryan. Gabriella’s combined business & event experience and passion for working with children contribute to her dedication to the Palumbo Family Foundation.
Jeffrey is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. With more than 25 years of experience in financial management for the construction industry, Jeffrey’s financial knowledge is an asset in managing the Foundation’s fund.
A certified CPA for more than 30 years, George has served on many boards, foundations, and non-profit organizations while serving in financial capacities. He has intimate knowledge of the inner-workings of a private foundation. His expertise and experience bring great value to the Foundation.
Board Member, Memoriam
In March 2014, John passed away suddenly. He was very passionate about the scholarship program and the interview process. John would ask his own questions and reserve judgment for each and every applicant that the Board interviewed. John will be impossible to replace, and we all miss him immensely.
Ryan’s business experiences in Finance and Operations have come in a number of different areas: Investments, Real Estate, IT, and Health Care. His business experience coupled with his strong desire to help people and ability to relate well with others makes Ryan a great asset to the Board.
Pam is proud a mother of three and an experienced educator/administrator. She began her 36-year career as a kindergarten-12th grade art/photography teacher and retired as Director of Student Activities. She is proud to work with the Foundation and admires the honor, character and humanitarianism that inspires all that they do.
Paul comes to the foundation with more than 25 years of experience in real estate and years of involvement with other charitable organizations. Paul brings compassion, dedication, and experience to the foundation board. Paul and his wife have three grown children and have instilled the value of higher education and giving back to the community.
Mike graduated from Pennsylvania State University with an Industrial Engineering degree and is currently earning his Master of Business Administration from George Washington University. Mike is a dedicated civil servant and has spent the last eight years as a Navy pilot. He is excited to join the board and apply his passion for service and education to better the Chicagoland community.
From Our President
"I would like to acknowledge my family and friends that comprises the board of the Palumbo Family Foundation. Without the time and dedication each and everyone gives, we would not be able to provide the scholarships and medical grants that support the young people within our communities."
- Mary Palumbo