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Class Notes


Brian J. Cook ('91) has been appointed as Chair of the National Safety Council. The National Safety Council is the nation's leading nonprofit safety advocate, focused on eliminating the leading causes of death and injury. Brian is an executive advisor for Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a Chicago-based global career transition firm, and is a retired executive of USG Corporation.

Deborah G. Solmor ('91) has been named as the General Counsel for the Gateway Foundation. The Gateway Foundation is the country's largest nonprofit treatment provider specializing in substance use disorder treatment and co-occurring disorders.

The Honorable Kristi L. Nelson ('95) has been appointed as an Immigration Judge for the Chicago Immigration Court by U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. Prior to this appointment, Judge Nelson was a Partner at Gair Eberhard Nelson Dedinas Ltd. and served as a volunteer attorney for the Dilley Pro Bono Project representing detained noncitizens.

Aaron Gothelf (JD '96, LLM '08) was promoted to vice president and assistant general counsel for trade and regulatory at The Walt Disney Company.

Todd S. Pugh ('97) was recently sworn in to serve as Treasurer of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Todd is the managing partner of the criminal defense firm of Breen & Pugh and focuses on defending all types of federal and state criminal cases, professional responsibility defense, and selective civil matters.

Ray J. Koenig, III ('99) was recently profiled by Chicago Go Pride highlighting his Presidency of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA). As the first openly gay man to serve in the position, the article highlights Ray's path to the legal profession and his plans in leading the CBA in the organization's 150th year. Ray is a Managing Member and Co-Chair of the Global Litigation Practice Group of Clark Hill PLC and serves as the co-chair of the College of Law's Diversity Council.​


Matthew N. Newsted ('01) will receive the Distinguished PILI Intern Alumni Award at PILI's Annual Awards Luncheon. Matt works as an Association Director of Legal Tech at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), where he manages legal content and focuses on ILAO's document assembly tools. Matt was a "Double PILI," serving as a Law Student Intern at Shriver Center on Poverty Law and Legal Aid Chicago.

Stephanie J. Villinski ('03) has been reappointed to the American Bar Association's (ABA) Cornerstones of Democracy: Civics, Civility and Collaboration Commission. She was appointed to the one-year term by ABA President Mary Smith. Stephanie is the Deputy Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.​


Monica-Kaye (MK) Gamble ('10) has been installed as the President of the North Suburban Bar Association (NSBA) for the organization's 2023-2024 bar year. MK is the first African American President of the NSBA. She is an attorney and policy advocate who operates The Law Office of MK Gamble.

Ryan Schermerhorn ('10) has been named to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin's 2023 "40 Under Forty" list, which recognizes Illinois lawyers under the age of 40 based on their results, skills and bar and community involvement. Ryan is a partner at Marshall Gerstein.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​North Suburban Bar Association:

Congratulations to the following DePaul Law alumni who have been appointed to the North Suburban Bar Association's Executive Board for the 2023-2024 bar year:

  • Monica-Kaye (MK) Gamble ('10) – President
  • Kristin N. Barnette McCarthy ('04) – 2nd Vice President
  • Jeffrey M. Moskowitz ('12) – 4th Vice President
  • Dimitrie B. Umbrarescu ('02) – Secretary & Public Relations
  • The Honorable Pamela J. Stratigakis ('00) – Treasurer 

See a complete list of c​​lass notes or submit your alumni news to the College of Law.​