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Honoring Outstanding Chicago Mothers

Lung Association shines light on University of Chicago, Restaurant Association, law firm execs, at first-ever local Outstanding Mother Awards on May 1

(April 2, 2019) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]

On May 1, three mothers and titans of their industries will be recognized for their outstanding achievements.

Mary Kay Bonoma, executive vice president for the Illinois Restaurant Association; Sharon O’Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center; and Caylei Vogelzang, director of business strategy for Vogelzang Law and editor-in-chief for Cancer Wellness Magazine, will be honored at the first-ever Chicago Outstanding Mother Awards.

The American Lung Association in Greater Chicago, in partnership with the National Mother’s Day Council, will host the Outstanding Mother Awards at the Hyatt Regency. The special event will recognize three local mothers for their ability to balance their personal and professional lives, while making an impact in the community. All proceeds from the event will benefit the American Lung Association in their fight against lung disease.

“The Mother’s Day Council has hosted the Outstanding Mother Awards in New York City for several years, honoring prestigious woman like Hilary Clinton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Vera Wang and many others,” said Kristen Young, the executive director for the Lung Association. “We are honored that the Council chose the American Lung Association to host four additional events throughout the country, including one right here in Chicago. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of women in the U.S. and lung disease is the third leading cause of death for women, so this event helps us celebrate outstanding mothers, while also raising awareness for lung disease in women.”

Here are more details about each of the three Outstanding Mother Award recipients:

Mary Kay Bonoma, Executive Vice President, Illinois Restaurant Association
Bonoma serves as the executive vice president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), responsible for successful operations, strategic partnerships and special events.

In 2008, her passion for food and Chicago’s world renowned dining scene led her to co-found Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet. After more than a decade under Bonoma’s leadership, Chicago Gourmet has grown to become Chicago’s premier food festival. Additionally, working alongside representatives of Choose Chicago and the team at the IRA, Bonoma was instrumental in bringing the James Beard Awards to Chicago.

Bonoma and her husband, David, raised four daughters, Grace, identical twins Elizabeth and Molly, and Anna, in the South Side community of Beverly.

Sharon O’Keefe, President, University of Chicago Medical Center
O’Keefe serves as president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she oversees a $1.9B clinical enterprise and integrates the patient care mission of the medical center with the education and research missions of the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division.

O’Keefe has more than 30 years of healthcare and executive experience, beginning with her career as a staff nurse and transitioning to executive leadership. Her experience includes roles at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis and Loyola University Medical Center. She has received multiple awards, including being named in the 2013 Modern Healthcare list of the 100 most influential people in healthcare and the top 25 women leaders in healthcare.

O’Keefe and her husband, Hal, live in Chicago and have a daughter, Mackenzie.

Caylei Vogelzang, Director of Business Strategy for Vogelzang Law and Editor-in-Chief for Cancer Wellness Magazine
Caylei Vogelzang is the founder and editor-in-chief of Cancer Wellness Magazine and director of business strategy at Vogelzang Law.

As director of business strategy at Vogelzang Law, she oversees the general operations of the firm, marketing and public relations efforts, charitable initiatives, and community outreach. She works to expand Vogelzang Law’s community presence as well as connect to new potential clients affected by mesothelioma. In 2017, Vogelzang formed Cancer Wellness Magazine, a lifestyle publication that consolidates wellness resources and offers a public forum for stories of the many faces of cancer.

She currently lives in Lincoln Park, Chicago, with her husband, Nick, and son, Chase.

The Outstanding Mother Awards event will include a cocktail reception, dinner and program. Money raised will fund education, life-saving research and advocacy efforts for the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The event is sponsored locally by the University of Chicago Medical Center, the Illinois Restaurant Association, Chicago Magazine and Vogelzang Law. The master of ceremonies will be NBC 5 Chicago anchor Zoraida Sambolin.

More information, tickets, table sponsorships and tribute ads are available on the Outstanding Mother Awards website


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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