Our Team

Meet the Team


Founder & President

As Russ’ surviving spouse and a psychotherapist, I know the stress of caring for a Firefighter loved one with cancer, the demands of parenting and running a household, and how hard it can be to ask for and accept help.



1st Vice President

I’ve been a member of the fire service since I was 17 years old, and continue my father’s tradition by serving as a Firefighter/Paramedic. The Brotherhood was there for us and I am committed to paying it forward.



2nd Vice President

I continue my father’s tradition of service by having created the Girl Scout Honor Guard for Fallen Firefighters, being an officer in the IN National Guard, a former police officer and current paralegal.



My experiences as a Firefighter wife, a nurse, and friend of Russ’ family serve me well in this role as I support the Foundation’s efforts to help Firefighters battling cancer and their families and expand awareness of cancer prevention and education.



Now a retired Firefighter and Shift Commander, I bring experience with occupational health & safety in the fire service. Once a co-worker of Russ and still friend of his family, I bring a personal tie to those facing this fight.


1st Director

I am a full time Firefighter/Paramedic with the Itasca Fire Protection Dist.  My husband David was a full time Public Safety Officer with Rosemont PSD and died at the age of 39 from sarcoma cancer. I am proud to be a  part of S23F and hope that through my personal experience I can help other FF’s and their families cope with this difficult time.



2nd Director

I bring my years of sales management experience to raise awareness of the Shield 23 Foundation and to strengthen fundraising commitments that will grow community involvement for the continuous support for firefighters and their loved ones in need.

Barbara Wienckowski

3rd Director

As a wife of a firefighter, friend to Russ’ family, retired public servant for 30 years, as well as a cancer survivor; I understand what a lifeline it is to receive the gift of support in the most trying of times.  It is my honor to be part of Shield 23 Foundation and give the gift of support and hope to the firefighting community and their loved ones.


Shield 23 Foundation cannot do what it does without the support of dedicated staff members. With grateful appreciation, we are pleased to showcase the volunteers who comprise our Support Staff, (non-Board Member positions.)

  • IT/Tech Coordinator: Marty Swidler
  • Legal Coordinator: Rhonda “Randie” Bruno
  • Director of Development: Evelyn Wagoner
  • Administrative Assistant: Kristina Hosticka
  • PR & Marketing: Nicolle Heller
  • PR & Marketing Support: Karla Cutting